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Koh Chang Outdoor Activities

Koh Chang’s beaches provide much of the outdoor activity on the island, with hordes of holidaymakers heading for the cooling waters at Whitesand and Kai Bae beaches each year. If you prefer to stay on dry land, the island’s interior offers lush and cool vegetation, hills and waterfalls.

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The best dive sites are on the west coast and the southern point of the island, between Koh Chang and Koh Kut. Here you can see soft corals, anemones, countless reef fish and occasionally eel. Both Hin Luk Bat and Hin Lap have coral reefs. Further down south, white-tip reef sharks can be spotted near Hin Phrai Nam.

There are also two wreck diving sites. The Koh Chang wreck is a Thai navy ship sunk by the French fleet in 1941. The wreck sits at 15 metres deep in Salakphet Bay on the island’s southern tip. The other shipwreck is the Pak One, which went down after crashing into a coral reef in August, 1996, while on its way to Vietnam. Nearly eight years later it resurfaced. The 900-ton tanker was a threat to ships in international waters. The Royal Thai Navy drained the ship’s 600 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and let it slip to the bottom of the sea between Koh Chang and Koh Samet. Today it lies flat in 35-metre deep waters. There are a handful of diving centres on Koh Chang, including the Ploy Scuba Diving in Bang Bao. They offer free transfer to and from the resort.

Boating

Boat trips can be easily organised at most resorts, beaches, fishing villages or from Laem Ngob on the mainland. You can get to different sites for snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing. Sailboats can also be chartered. The Sea Adventures in Bang Bao offers a 13-metre catamaran for charters or cruises, serving dinner while you watch the amazing sunset. Inter-Island Hopper operate regular boat trips from Bang Bao in the south of Koh Chang to some of the other islands. Most boats provide snorkelling equipment, freshwater showers and toilets.

Bird watching

Khao Laem and Khao Yai are popular sites for watching birds. Commonly spotted native species in these areas include Koh Chang hornbills. Bird watching activities are regularly organised all year by Koh Chang and the Nok and Nature Club (tel: +66 89 147 940).

Firefly watching

During the cool season, renting a boat and slowly cruising along the waters at dark will let you observe fireflies in the mangroves. Swarms of fireflies give out mating signals as they make their home in the mangrove forest, lighting whole trees with their simultaneous blinking in the dark. Hotels can give information on the best places to spot the fireflies and arrange boat services.

Hiking

A popular hiking route is the main road west of Koh Chang from Klong Son to Kai Bae. In the island’s north, you can walk from Ban Klong Son to White Sand Beach. The southern half of the island has the best hiking tracks as there are fewer roads. If you like more adventurous hikes, venture inland to the steep and forested hills. Shorter hikes to waterfalls are also popular.

Waterfalls

Away from the beaches, Koh Chang’s mountainous interior offers lush rainforests and steep territory, forming a number of picturesque waterfalls. Many are frequently visited by tourists and locals. At some waterfalls, an entrance fee is charged. The most famous waterfall on Koh Chang is Than Mayom, located next to Than Mayom pier with its entrance just after the headquarters of the Marine National Park.
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