15 unique things to do in Koh Chang (2024)

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.

unique things to do in Koh Chang

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

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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. 

unique things to do in Koh Chang

What is Koh Chang like?

Koh Chang is different from other Thai islands I’ve been to. 

The water isn’t crystal clear or turquoise blue like on Koh Tao, Koh Lanta, Phuket, or many of the other Thai islands.

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.

Koh Chang, Thailand

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

Koh Chang, Thailand

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.

Koh Chang, Thailand

3. Go scuba diving

Koh Chang’s HTMS Chang wreck dive is a must-do.

It’s an incredible spot that caters to all, with beautiful marine life around an actual shipwreck​​.

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

Koh Chang, Thailand

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.

They throw these shindigs weekly, and it’s a laid-back jungle vibe with a stunning treehouse view to boot​​.

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.

It’s peaceful, a bit of a workout, and offers great snorkeling. Renting a kayak is easy and sets you up for a day of exploring​​.

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.

Koh Chang, Thailand

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.

There’s plenty of learning, and of course, eating. Napalai Thai is known for great classes, so check them out​​.

Koh Chang

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.

It’s usually quiet, so you get the fish and the coral pretty much to yourself. Just bring your own snacks and water, and you’re set for the day​​.

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.

Koh Chang, Thailand
Koh Chang, Thailand

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.

They’re easy to reach and each gives a unique sunset experience, with Lonely Beach adding a lively night scene right after​​.

Koh Chang, Thailand
Koh Chang, Thailand

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.

Koh Chang

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.

Koh Chang, Thailand
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  1. Although I have been to Thailand many times I have never been to Koh Chang but my parents were two or three years ago. I have been to a the Andaman Sea a few times and on Koh Samui twice. My boyriend and I had considered to visit Koh Chang in 2008 but he got nervous when he heard that there is a higher Malaria risk than in other parts of the country and back then I wasn’t as chilled as I am now (I have been to places with a lot higher Malaria risks in the meantime) and I always take Malarone with me but only as a stand-by.

    It’s such a shame that there the ugly side of Thailand – old man with young Thai girls – are now also on Koh Chang. I didn’t expect them to be in this part of the country. Nevertheless it seems that you had a good time. Your photos are amazing and make me want to visit Koh Chang on one of my future trips to Thailand. 🙂

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I love Thailand, but the prostitution issue is a nationwide problem. More so in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, but Koh Chang is influenced as well. It is so sad.

      But thanks for the kind words! I hope you get to visit Koh Chang soon 🙂

  2. Nice write up on the island. The good thing about Koh Chang is that, with the exception of White Sand beach, it rarely seems crowded.

    Klong Prao beach, where a few of the pics were taken is always quiet even in peak season.

    True, the water isn’t as clear around the island as in other places. Partly because it’s close to large mangrove swamps & estuaries on the mainland.

    If you head down to Koh Kood or Koh Mak then you’ll see water as clear as in the south. They’re the islands to head to if you want to really get away from it all. No car ferries there. So no traffic and no tour groups. Plus no beer bars. So they don’t attract the ‘Single guy & rented girlfriend’ demographic. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the great tips on Koh Kood and Koh Mak! I’ll remember that next time I’m in Thailand! It’s always lovely to discover new Thai islands, especially those that aren’t crowded 🙂

  3. This brings back memories of our time in Koh Chang, which was about this time last year. We enjoyed many beautiful sunsets and the island was quiet as it was off-season. I didn’t like it as much as Haad Salad on Koh Phangan but it was one of the more relaxed Thai islands I’ve visited.

    1. I felt the same way, Amy. It was a nice getaway for a few days, but the vibe was different from some of the other islands, like Koh Phanang and Koh Tao. It was good for sunsets and a little quiet-time, though.

  4. However, it’s grown a bit over the years and is now the largest site about the island.  There’s over 1,000 pages of photos, reviews and Koh Chang related stuff.  Some of it is probably worth reading if you plan on visiting the island for a holiday.

  5. Hi Miriam,
    Came across your blog while fighting a self-proclaimed war between Koh Lanta and other beaches in Thailand. Don’t think I need to say, “good one”.

    Getting back to my own mental fight: which Thai island for a first-timer? A first-timer, oh did I mention, with a wife and nearly-6-year-old daughter
    Ilove the look and feel of Lanta but flights/commuting to and from Bangkok will eat up a good part of 2 days. And with a 10-day holiday, and itching to catch a bit of inland and Bangkok, that’s precious time wasted.
    Any suggestions? Commute apart, 3-4k baht is my daily budget.
    Any suggestion is welcome.

    1. Hi Shantanu,
      Oh, I know that dilemma 🙂 Have you thought about Koh Samui or Koh Pha nang? It’s a direct flight from Bangkok to Samui, so you won’t waste much time on the road. You could also fly directly to Phuket or Krabi, find a more secluded place and then do day trips to the nearby islands.

      Since you ended up on this blog post, I reckon you’re thinking about throwing Koh Chang into the mix? Just beware that you’re looking at a 6 hour bus drive both ways from Bangkok. And Koh Chang is not a “paradise island” like some of the other Thai islands (for instance the water is not as clear). But that’s just my personal opinion – lots of other people love this island.

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