Koh Chang is an exotic island resort in Thailand which is obscured by its more famous counterparts, the island resorts of Phuket and Koh Samui.It is the third largest island in Thailand behind Phuket and Koh Samui respectively.
However, the obscurity of this island is waning as more and more people are getting to know about this island’s tourism potential and are making a beeline this relatively quieter and unspoilt Thai island resort.
With more and more domestic and foreign tourists visiting to Koh Chang for their holiday vacation, developers and hotel owners are rushing in to tap this market potential. For example, the Amari Emerald Cove Resort, the first 5-star resort hotel on the main island opened its doors just a few years ago and since then, there are many such projects springing up in Koh Chang.
The White Sand Beach area is a family oriented area and quite a number of assorted beach resorts and hotels can be found here along with some luxurious beach resorts such as Chang Buri Resort and Spa and Koh Chang Kacha Resort and Spa. There are also simple beach hut shacks such as the Rock Sand Bungalow and the evergreen Bamboo Bungalow for the budget conscious tourists.
Located on the western side of Koh Chang is the Hat Tha Nam or Lonely Beach which is also very popular with low budget travelers and the backpacking tourists whereas Kai Bae beach is more popular with scuba divers.
The Thai government has announced that Koh Chang will developed into the next premium beach resort tourist destination and vowed that they will not commit the same mistakes they made in Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui where resort development was not meticulously regulated and are infrastructural nightmares.
In Koh Chang however, the Thai authorities have imposed strict building regulations and directives for beach front developments such as limiting all man-made structures to a maximum height of three storeys. To control indiscriminate developments, the government declared 85% of Koh Chang as a national park and thus any developments are disallowed in these areas.
Unlike Phuket and Koh Samui with their cacophony of tourism related shops, noisy entertainment outlets and sleazy clubs, Koh Chang is just the opposite and is tranquil, quiet and delightful. Tourists have almost nothing to do besides enjoying water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing or just simply soaking up the sun by the beaches.
There are 52 islands which make up Koh Chang National Marine Park and thus potential for the scuba diving industry is excellent. Already, there are more than 20 dive operators in this island resort offering scuba diving excursions, conducting certification lessons and renting diving related equipment.
The best time to go scuba diving in Koh Chang is in the beginning of the year when its pristine water is calm and underwater visibility is at its best. Non divers can also take catamarans to go island hopping cruises.
For tourists and beach lovers who prefer laid back beaches and unspoilt nature, do visit Koh Chang now before it is morphed into another commercialized beach destination in Thailand. Will Koh Chang island resort become the next Phuket or Koh Samui? Only time can provide the answer.
This exotic tourist attraction in Thailand is accessible by ferry from Trat on Eastern Thailand and the peak season to frolic in Koh Chang’s beautiful beaches is from December to April.