Things to do in Koh Chang range from diving to snorkeling, swimming with elephants to jungle trekking, cookery schools to visiting the waterfalls and plenty more besides.
Indeed, there are enough activities to meet the needs of even the most demanding of visitor to the island, so there’s no excuse for just lazing in a hammock or lying on the beach while you are here.
We’ve broken down all the things to do and the different activities into their relevant categories, with guides to the companies, the prices, what to expect and what you get for your baht.
You may book your tickets through an agent or your resort but bear in mind they will likely have a favoured boat company, dive school or elephant camp that they always use, which is not necessarily the island’s best choice or the one you want.
In most cases, it is not possible to go direct and in peak season, things will get very busy.
Diving off Koh Chang is perhaps one of the most exciting things to do off the island, with terrific dive sites at the coral reefs of Koh Rang (the Marine Park), together with the new wrecks off the south west of the island. There are a fair number of dive schools from which to choose, so our diving guide lists them for you, what they offer, as well as giving guide prices. Fun dives (2,900bt for 2), dive packages, Open Water courses (14,500bt) and DSD, Discover Scuba Diving, a day’s course for those that have never tried (4,500bt) are all available. Our preferred company is BB Divers, who we have worked with for many years – you let us know your requirements and we co-ordinate it all with them.
Elephant trekking is offered by 6 companies on Koh Chang, mostly located in Klong Prao Beach. Each follows a similar format and price, with 850bt for 1 hour and 1,300bt for 2 hours. The 2 hour trek allows you to swim and wash the elephants at the end of the trek, great fun for all the family. Transfer to and from your resort is included.
We list the companies to help you choose or we can organise this for you. Our recommendation is Ban Kwan Chang in the forest in Klong Son and who we use for our bookings, with 4 times possible per day at 09.00am, 11.00am. 13.00 and 15.00.
A day out on the water snorkeling, fishing or just cruising around the Koh Chang Islands is perhaps the most popular of things to do in Koh Chang. Many companies offer boat trips for full days or half days on large wooden boats or speedboats, with lunch and transfers from your resort included in the price. These trips go down to Koh Rang, Koh Wai other smaller uninhabited islands and they can get very busy.
We list the companies and what they offer with prices ranging from 600bt for the tour boats to 4,000bt for a 1/2 day in a small private speedboat. We recommend Mr Khai for a great day out, with a 3 Island trip at 750bt and 5 Island at 875bt per person.
Jungle trekking is one of the most energetic things to do in Koh Chang, with 3 guides, Tan, Toon and Raht, plotting your route through the jungle. Treks are arranged in groups (or privately) for 1/2 days or full days with prices from 600bt upwards. You can take easy days up to the small waterfalls in the rainforest or much tougher excursions, including scaling two of Koh Chang’s peaks at 644m and 730m or going across the interior.
We also offer bird watching, half days or special photography hide days.
Learning to cook real Thai food at a cooking school is a great way to spend a day on Koh Chang, There are a handful of schools, with prices ranging from 1,000bt to 1,800bt.
Classes can be either all day or morning and afternoon. You will eat what you cook so everything is scheduled around mealtimes. The schools allow you to specify dishes which you would like to master and during the classes, you will also learn about ingredients and techniques.
We recommend Blue Lagoon and Napalai on Klong Prao Beach and can book this for you before you arrive. All prices include transfers to and from your resort.
Sailing in the Koh Chang archipelago is a fabulous way to explore the area, island hopping from Koh Chang to Koh Mak and Koh Kood, taking in other smaller islands such as Koh Wai, Koh Ngam along the way.
There are 2 main companies which offer monohulls including Bavaria 33, Catalina 375, Jenneau Sun Odyssey 409 and Hanse 540, whilst multihulls feature the Lagoon 380, Nautitech 40 and Lagoon 400 S2 (a/c).
Yachts are available either as bareboat or skippered charters, normally for a week but selected boats can be chartered for the day. Full anchorage guides, briefings, provisioning lists and transport to and from the island all are organised too.
You can enjoy the hugely popular Thai combat sport of Muay Thai on the island.
Live tournaments are staged throughout the year and you can learn from scratch or hone your skills at 3 small gyms. Hourly classes are priced from around 500bt, weekly courses at 3,000bt. A full month with accommodation add-ons is also available. Novices are welcomed.
ATV Quad Bikes are another great option when looking for things to do on the island, especially fun for kids.
Two companies, ATV Winner and ATV Monster Adventure run tours into the jungle from their base in Klong Prao. Three times daily, rates start at 1,900bt for an hour with driver and passenger priced separately. Before setting off, you are given full safety instruction.
Visiting the Koh Chang waterfalls makes a nice break from the beach, with the main one at Klong Plu, the northern end of Klong Prao Beach. This costs 200bt for tourists, 100bt for kids and is easy to walk to, so suitable for families of all ages. It is perfectly safe to swim in the pool or even dive off the rocks.
There are another 6 or so waterfalls on the island, mostly on the eastern side of the island. Hiring a motorbike to explore that area would enable you to hunt them out, though some of them do take a good hike to reach.
Massage at any of the hundreds of beach-side or road-side spots is a Thai institution with prices at 250bt to 300bt an a hour. Spas are available at all of the bigger resorts, where prices will increase considerably in line with the comfort of your surroundings.
You can also find a detox and yoga center down the east coast in Salak Khok at Spa Koh Chang and an addiction treatment center at Dara Rehabilitation near Bang Bao.
Koh Chang does not have an 18 hole golf course, but you can it does have a 9 hole course (3 par) in Klong Son, which also doubles up for disc golf.
In Klong Prao, you can learn archery at a small well-run centre or you also play a few sets on an all-weather tennis court located opposite the temple.
For shooting enthusiasts, an ex Thai army expert runs a shooting club down on the east coast, with a vast array of guns and rifles.
Across the island, you can work-out too, with 3 gyms available as well the the in-house facilities in all the big resorts.
Volunteering in Koh Chang is possible in education, animal welfare and the environment, with volunteers more than welcome for a day, a week or longer.
Cambodian Kids Care, based in Klong Prao, welcomes allcomers to its kids’ school and day centre in the migrant workers’ camp.
Koh Chang Animal Project and Happy Dogs Koh Chang carry out unstinting service helping the local animals, with dogs and cats the main focus.
The global operation Trash Hero has successfully established itself on the island, with weekly clean-up days on beaches, roadside and at sea.
Shopping on Koh Chang is very well served with everything from clothes and souvernirs to western foodstuffs, mobile phones and computers available at different outlets up and down the island. In this section, we give you the full round-up
We also look at the some of Koh Chang’s main tattoo artists.
For the kids, there are a couple of shows a day in Chai Chet, where animal handlers attempt daring stunts with crocodiles.
Off the island at Oasis Sea World in Chantaburi, you can swim with dolphins or just watch the show, transfer to and from the island all included in the package.