Koh Chang is the nearest Thai island to Bangkok. This guide will help you plan your trip and choose the best things to do in Koh Chang, Thailand.
We had a few days to spare on our last trip to Thailand, so we started looking for a quick island getaway from Bangkok.
Sadly, my favorite island Koh Tao was 12 hours away so it was out of the question. We needed an island close by, preferably only a few hours by bus. And that’s when I thought of Koh Chang.
Koh Chang is located near the Cambodian border, and it’s a 6-hour trip from the Thai capital.
To help you plan your trip to Koh Chang, I’ve made a list of the best things to do in Koh Chang. You’ll find the most popular activities here, from snorkeling and diving to those amazing Thai massages.
Let’s dive in!
Read next: 27 bucket list things to do in Thailand
Things to do in Koh Chang
About Koh Chang
Koh Chang is the third largest island in Thailand, and it’s not located in the south like the majority of Thai islands.
Koh Chang is in the east by the border to Cambodia, and you know what its name means in Thai? It means Elephant Island.
Just like Koh Tao means Turtle Island and Koh Lipe is Paper Island and so on.
What is Koh Chang like?
Koh Chang is different from other Thai islands I’ve been to.
In fact, I felt a different vibe in Koh Chang than anywhere else in Thailand.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it didn’t strike me as laid-back like other backpacker places. It might have had something to do with the old men with young Thai girls we saw in the city center.
It always makes me sad to see this side of Thailand. I think it’s the most amazing country in the world, but its issues with trafficking and prostitution are disturbing.
Aside from that, we did have a nice time there. We spent most days exploring the island or relaxing on the beach, reading a good book and swimming in the warm ocean.
Things to do in Koh Chang
1. Rent a scooter and explore the island
We always rent a scooter in Thailand, because it’s super cheap (around $9 for a day), you can explore at your own pace, and the traffic isn’t as crazy as in Bangkok.
Having your own scooter is the best way to really discover the island. So, make sure to rent one for a day or two.
You might also like – Join an organized day tour around the island
2. Get a massage
When I’m in Thailand, I always get massages. There are massage places at Klong Kloi for 400 THB, or you can find a massage spot in town.
No reservations are needed, just cash in hand and ready for an hour of unwinding.
3. Go scuba diving
Koh Chang’s HTMS Chang wreck dive is a must-do.
This dive trip takes you to the shipwreck and 2 coral reefs so you can experience the best of Koh Chang.
Go diving – Koh Chang Dive Trip Including 3 Dives
4. Try freediving
Freediving in Koh Chang is a must-try. It’s a cool way to see the reefs up close, without all the heavy gear.
A freediving tour is not just about swimming, though. It’s about mastering your breath and experiencing the underwater world in a more natural way.
Book here – Koh Chang Freedive Trip
5. Join a pool party at Oasis
Joining a pool party at Oasis in Koh Chang is a blast. You’re tucked away in the jungle, munching on unlimited BBQ and sipping tasty cocktails.
6. Go kayaking
Kayaking to Koh Chang’s secluded spots is an adventure. You paddle out, find hidden beaches, and sometimes, you’re the only one there.
7. Klong Plu Waterfall
Khlong Phlu Waterfall is a must-see in Koh Chang. It’s gorgeous, and you can swim in the natural pool beneath it. Just pack your swim gear – the water’s perfect.
To get there, head into Mo Koh Chang National Park. It’s 200 baht for entry (about $6 USD).
You can also join this day tour, which takes you to all the highlights of Koh Chang, including the waterfall.
Book here – Day tour around the island (incl. waterfall)
8. Party at Lonely Beach
Partying at Lonely Beach in Koh Chang is super fun. The vibe changes as the sun sets, with bars and restaurants buzzing with energy.
My go-to is MIMO BAR, away from the main strip. It has a great atmosphere, so it’s the perfect spot to experience the island’s nightlife.
9. Take a cooking class
Taking a cooking class in Koh Chang is a fun way to bring a piece of Thailand home. You get hands-on experience making Thai favorites, which beats any recipe book.
10. Mangrove boat tour
A mangrove boat tour in Koh Chang is serene and scenic.
It’s simple: you hop on, pay a small fee, and enjoy the scenery in the mangrove forest. It’s not crowded, and you get to spot some cool wildlife along the way.
11. Live music and fire shows at the beach
Indie Beach Café on Koh Chang Island serves up a cool mix of live music and fire shows. Twice a week, the place lights up with tunes and flames, right on the sand.
Make sure to go here during your stay.
12. Go snorkeling
Snorkeling in Koh Chang is fun! On a snorkeling tour, you get the gear, jump into the clear waters, and the underwater exploration begins.
Book your tour here – Snorkeling trip at Koh Chang
13. Kai Bae Viewpoint
Kai Bae ViewPoint, on Ko Chang’s south side near Kai Bae Beach, is a famous spot.
It’s got good parking and is popular for sunset photos with the islands in the background.
You can stop here on your way to Lonely Beach.
14. Enjoy the sunset
The Thai food is great and the Koh Chang views are beautiful, but the best about Koh Chang is the sunsets, which can come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. We spent every evening on the beach with a cool Chang beer while watching the sunset in the distance.
Klong Prao Beach and Lonely Beach are the go-to spots for sunsets in Koh Chang.
15. Have dinner at the night market
Visit White Sand Beach Night Market for a cheap, tasty dinner. Open till 11 pm, you’ll get everything from seafood to BBQ and Thai desserts.
It’s more affordable than resort dining and perfect for a bite before you head back to your place for the night.
FAQ – Things to do in Koh Chang
Is it worth visiting Koh Chang?
Absolutely, Koh Chang is worth visiting. It has beautiful beaches, lush jungle hikes, great snorkeling, and a laid-back atmosphere. Perfect for both adventure and relaxation.
What is Koh Chang popular for?
Koh Chang is popular for its pristine beaches, tropical rainforests, waterfalls, coral reefs for diving and snorkeling, and laid-back island vibe.
How many days do you need in Koh Chang?
3-5 days are ideal to enjoy Koh Chang’s beaches, water activities, and jungle treks without rushing.
Why do people go to Koh Chang?
People go to Koh Chang for its natural beauty, relaxed island life, outdoor activities like snorkeling and trekking, and its less commercialized, tranquil atmosphere.
More posts from Thailand you might like
- What to Pack for Thailand (Packing List for First-Timers)
- Surprise! We got married in Thailand
- Koh Tao is my paradise in Thailand
- A Guide to West Coast Island Hopping in Thailand
- Koh Lanta is Thailand’s relaxing island
- Thailand Travel Guide
- Where to stay in Bangkok