Mu Koh Chang National Marine Park to give it its full name is situated in the eastern Thai province of Trat, abutting Cambodia, (or Cambodian waters to be precise!). The national park comprises of the mountainous interior and surrounding waters of the large island of Koh Chang, as well as the myriad coral-fringed rocks and smaller islands of the archipelago stretching between Koh Chang and the Cambodian border. (Mind you some of these, such as Koh Kut are actually pretty large and also include well-preserved forest interiors, whilst others such as Koh Mak are primarily given over to rubber and coconut plantations.)
Despite the hectic development on Koh Chang’s beaches most of the interior is actually very well-preserved, whilst the east coast still has some intact mangrove swamp areas. Smaller mammals and bird-life abound! Whilst the waters around the large island are generally too cloudy for decent snorkelling, many of the smaller off-shore isles have abundant coral.
On our Ruined Cities and Tropical Islands tour, we stay on Koh Mak during the dry season (October to April) and the rainy season on Koh Chang – where there’s more to do if the weather’s inclement! A boat tour and snorkelling in the Koh Chang archipelago is an option, weather permitting! Both islands are also very popular beach extensions to many of our tours.
Could post a hundred pretty pix of Koh Chang and the surrounding islands but here’s just one more – an over-view of the archipelago from the wonderful Koh Mak.
Go on – one more then! Koh Wai – another delightful island lying just off Koh Chang’s south coast!
Koh Chang is reached by a minibus transfer and 40-minute car ferry ride from Trat Airport or a 5-6 hour drive from Bangkok. It is also conveniently reached by road (around 2 hours) form the Cambodian border at Pailin.