Koh Chang has many beautiful beaches, making them one of the island’s most appealing attractions. The most popular are undeniably White Sand Beach, Klong Prao, Kai Bae and Lonely Beach, but given that they are also some of the more established and can be busy, especially in high season, you don’t need to stop your beach apppreciation there. If you prefer something quieter, there are more remote options along the west coast, right down to Bang Bao Bay on the south of the island and beyond. These are a few of our favourites.
White Sand Beach
With a humble beginning as a small fishing village with basic bamboo huts for accommodation, White Sand Beach is now the main hub of tourism on Koh Chang with a healthy mix of activities and fun things to do, as well as numerous comfortable resorts to stay in. With a 3 km stretch of soft white sand and a dense tree-covered mountainous backdrop, you can understand why the area has been extensively developed. Among the advantages of staying in Koh Chang’s most popular strip are the many restaurants to choose from, all offering a range of local and international cuisines. Along with a wide selection of bars and active night life options. Here you will also find banks, ATMs, supermarkets, gift and souvenier shops, pharmacies, and activity booking agents.
Klong Prao Beach
Klong Prao Beach is home to some of the most upmarket resorts on the island. While there are budget and mid-range accommodation choices available, the top end resorts are the main draw for visitors to Klong Prao. The long expanse of fine white sand and clear waters, palm trees running along the beach edge and idyllic picturesque scenery makes this the perfect location for which offers a more relaxed feel around the area which is perfect for couples and families wanting to escape for some quiet island living. The beach is divided into two by an estuary that runs through a coconut plantation out to sea. The Klong Prao village extends inland from the sea, but the name is used to cover the five kilometres of coastline from Chai Chet in the north to Kai Bae in the south.
Kai Bae Beach
Kai Bae village and beach are found just past the far southern section of Klong Prao and provide an inviting mix of nightlife, restaurants and beach activities. The beach, not as long or wide as Klong Prao or White Sand Beach, is known as one of Koh Chang’s most tropical and scenic settings. Overlooking the bay, this is where you should rent a kayak to paddle to one of those nearby islands and find your own private beach. At the north end of Kai Bae you’ll find a pier from where boats depart to reach the islands south of Koh Chang. Kai Bae is also known for its excellent international restaurants.
Lonely Beach, also known as Haad Tha Nam, used to be cut off from the mainland and only reachable by a hike over a large hill. Well worth the effort, it was a place to get away from it all that only the adventurous traveller would seek out. Today, the beach huts have been upgraded and there is a road connecting Lonely Beach to the rest of the west coast. It remains very popular with backpackers visiting Koh Chang and given that there is less infrastructure here compared to the beaches further up the coast, you still get the sense of seclusion. Along with accommodation, you will find bars and restaurants along the road, as well as shops selling a whole range of items, from tattoos to sarongs.
Klong Kloi Beach
Perhaps better know as Bangbao Beach, Klong Kloi lies on the south of the island about a kilometre from Bangbao fishing village. This area is increasingly popular and there is a wide range of accommodation available from budget hostels to simple bungalows, as well as luxury hotels. Staying here does leave you a bit removed from the island hub, so do bear that in mind when booking.
Dan Kao Beach
This small red sandy beach is home to three of Koh Chang’s best boutique resorts; Amber Sands, The Souk and Serenity Resort. Located on the east of the island, just a short drive from the ferry piers, it is an ideal place to get away from it all.
Wai Chaek Beach
Located on the south coast of the island, Wai Chaek Beach can be accessed from the main road a couple of kilometres from Salakphet village. Like a thing of island dreams, look out for a hand written sign and dirt track through a rubber plantation, follow this across a small river through a coconut field and you will find the deserted beach and lagoon.
A bit of a challenge to reach, Long Beach is in the far south-east of the island and you’ll need your own transport to get there. The road makes the journey worthwhile as it winds up the hillside and offers excellent views over Salakphet Bay. There’s currently only one place to stay here, Treehouse Bungalows, which opens for a few months each High Season.
– Most of the beaches on Koh Chang are quite narrow, given their position between the steep mountains and the sea.
– Be aware of the unusual tides in the Gulf of Thailand; there are generally only two tides every 24 hours, not the usual four. The tide in Koh Chang can be low throughout the day, then high at night.