Our 2016 trip to Southeast Asia was our longest yet so we thought this would be a good opportunity to include a week at one of Thailand’s many attractive beaches. When we can we like to avoid big crowds and we’re a little past the party-till-you-drop phase of our travels so we were looking for something different than the crowds of international tourists in Phuket or the all-night Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan. So we asked our friend Nook Tourguide (Thailand Guide Extraordinaire) her thoughts and one of her top suggestions was Koh Chang in the Trat Province.
Koh Chang is one of the largest islands in Thailand. The name Koh Chang translates as Elephant Island, which is derived from the shape of the island rather than the natural indigenous presence of the animals. However, probably partly from that name, the island has become a center for elephant camps so an elephant “experience” is definitely one of the excursions many travelers enjoy.
For our purposes, we visited Koh Chang after spending 7-weeks traveling across much of Southeast Asia (Hanoi, Luang Prabang, Chaing Mai, Yangon, Mandalay, Hsipaw, Bagan, Inle Lake, Bangkok, Surin and back to Bangkok) with very few days without planned activities so we were mostly looking to just settle into a nice room on the beach and chill out.
And that’s what we did. In fact, it was 2-days before we were motivated to leave our little beachfront hotel. The beach was literally one step from our door and no more than 30 feet to the water’s edge.
We had a wonderful visit to Koh Chang and couldn’t believe how fast 6 nights could pass. A huge part of our experience was the really nice (and reasonably priced) Serenity Resort. You can read a bit more detail on the hotel and it’s restaurant at Serenity Resort.
The Serenity is one of the few small but very nice resorts on the eastern (quieter) side of the island and we loved it.
But if you’re looking for a party scene, it may not be for you. By far a much more active nightlife atmosphere can be found on the western side of the island at one of the bars, restaurants, beaches or live music venues centered near Lonely Beach, White Sand Beach and Kai Bae Beach..