This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Ko Chang. To help you make friends with Ko Chang before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Koh Chang is a large island found in the Gulf of Thailand just south of the city Trat. You can get here by taking a bus from Bangkok, Pattaya, or Cambodia to the ferry terminal in Laem Ngob and then take the ferry over. Once you arrive you will be met with one of the local taxis that will take you on the one road that leads around the island. They have set and varying prices depending on your destination -- just tell them where you want to go and they will drop you off.
The main beaches that people stay at during their visit to Koh Chang are White Sands Beach, Lonely Beach, and Bang Bao Beach. You will find that most of the backpackers tend to congregate around Lonely Beach and Bang Bao area, so most Koh Chang hostels are also located here. Each beach has a different feel to it. Lonely Beach is busier, but if you can get to it, the best beaches on the island are Long Beach on the far side of the island (best to hire a motorbike to get to) and Bang Bao Beach.
There are many waterfalls for those who like to do a small hike and explore the inner regions of the island; you can find information about these on any of the local maps. It is again easier to get to these if you have a motorbike for transport, as the main taxis do not really head off the main road running through the island. They also have a multitude of elephant parks where you can go elephant riding, but many of the elephants here are poorly treated and beaten despite the reports otherwise. If elephant riding is something that you want to do, it is not advised to do it here, but to do your research and go to a sanctuary where people play with the elephants as opposed to riding them. You will have a much happier elephant experience with a happy elephant instead of one that is constantly crying and sad.
The majority of the great food can be found at the seafood restaurants down on the Bang Bao Pier, although this can be a little expensive. Lonely Beach has cheaper food and if you find some of the smaller hubs on the side of the road you will find that they do food pretty inexpensively, and it will often be better and more authentic than what you get in the bigger restaurants.
Written by local enthusiast for Ko Chang hostelsGlobetrotter