You just can’t beat local knowledge, can you? Of course, it’s great to explore a new place for yourself, but it helps to have guidance from someone who knows the destination like the back of their hand. So, let me share some insider knowledge with you that will make it super-simple for you to choose where to stay in Koh Chang Thailand.
Koh Chang is all about natural beauty, and its sharp mountain peaks covered in the lushest tropical forest are a sight you won’t ever forget. As Thailand’s third biggest island, Koh Chang offers plenty of interesting places and sights for you to explore.
White Sand Beach is the best place to stay in Koh Chang to explore the island. White Sand Beach has something for all budgets, and you can dine, drink, and party in great restaurants and bars. You can also enjoy the convenience of banks, supermarkets and good transport. And, last but not least, the beach is a supremely beautiful place to be at sunset.
The majority of visitor accommodation and tourist development is on the West Coast of Koh Chang. The simple reason for this is that this coast is home to most of the island’s beaches.
So if you want a good choice of places to stay and some decent infrastructure, then it is probably a good idea to pick one of the West Coast beaches as your base. These are from the North to South, Klong Son, White Sand Beach, Chai Chet, Klong Prao, Kai Bae, Lonely Beach, Bailan Beach and Bang Bao.
Another factor in choosing where to stay on Koh Chang is what time of year you intend to travel. In the busy high season, which runs from roughly December to May, places can fill up. And since everywhere is open for business, this is a good time to venture a little further afield.
Resorts in more out-of-the-way places like Salak Phet and Long Beach in the Southeast of Koh Chang will be open and these are interesting places to stay. In the monsoon months from June to October, these places can seem a little remote and there isn’t a great deal to do on rainy days. Staying somewhere more developed at this time of year is perhaps a good plan.
|💖 Best Area for First Timers:||White Sand Beach|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||KC Grande Resort & Spa – SHA Extra Plus|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||Kacha Resort & Spa, Koh Chang – SHA Extra Plus|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||The Erawan Koh Chang|
🎬 To get an overall idea of where to stay in Koh Chang first time, check out this video:
- Where to Stay in Koh Chang: 5 Best Areas to Stay in Koh Chang
- White Sand Beach, Where to stay in Koh Chang for first-timers
- Lonely Beach, where to stay in Koh Chang for solo travelers
- Klong Koi Beach, where to stay in Koh Chang for quiet holiday
- Klong Prao, where to stay in Koh Chang for families, sightseeing
- Salak Phet, where to stay in Koh Chang for local atmosphere
- FAQs on the best places to stay in Koh Chang
Where to Stay in Koh Chang: 5 Best Area to Stay in Koh Chang
Koh Chang has many different beaches and villages to stay in, and each has a unique atmosphere and a special appeal. I have selected five great and varied options that cater well to the requirements of different kinds of travelers on differing budgets.
1. White Sand Beach, where to stay in Koh Chang for first-timers
White Sands, as the locals call it, was the first of Koh Chang’s beaches to develop for tourism. The setting is picturesque, with the great rocky tooth of Chom Prasat mountain rising sharply from the jungle to give a stunning backdrop to the palm-fringed beach.
There is a cluster of mid-range resorts skirting the roadside and the beachfront. As you head away from the beach up the hill, there are some more budget-friendly places, and there are a few defiantly old-school backpacker places perched on the rocky hillside at the north end of the beach.
White Sand Beach has great shopping, some excellent restaurants and bars, and a bustling night food market. There’s something for most budgets and it is a good choice for families, solo travelers, and couples.
STAY IN WHITE SAND BEACH IF you want a lovely beach; you’re searching for family-friendly and low to mid-range resorts; you want restaurants, bars, shops, supermarkets, and banks on your doorstep; you’re looking for the chilled-out tranquility of the north part of the beach; you want a great street food market every evening; you don’t mind a place that can be busy in high season.
Best hotels in Koh Chang in White Sand Beach:
- luxury ($$$): KC Grande Resort & Spa – SHA Extra Plus
- mid-range ($$): Kacha Resort & Spa, Koh Chang – SHA Extra Plus
- budget ($): The Erawan Koh Chang
2. Lonely Beach, where to stay in Koh Chang for solo travelers
Lonely Beach isn’t quite as lonely as it once was. These days it is Koh Chang’s go-to spot for backpackers and independent travelers looking for a vibrant base from which to explore the island. You can choose from plenty of good value budget bungalow resorts and hostels.
It is a great place for solo travelers to meet people, and the nightlife is the liveliest and loudest on the island. A good insider tip is to choose a place to stay up the small hill overlooking the village. This small extra distance should ensure a good night’s sleep. However, Lonely Beach might not be the best choice for those traveling with kids.
The beach itself isn’t the longest on the island, but it is one of the prettiest and is well worth a few minutes’ walk from the village to swim, chill and soak up the atmosphere.
STAY IN LONELY BEACH IF you want backpacker and budget-friendly resorts and facilities; you’re looking for plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightlife; you don’t mind a bit of noise; you’re happy to walk for five minutes to the beach
Best hotels in Koh Chang in Lonely Beach:
- luxury ($$$): SYLVAN Koh Chang
- mid-range ($$): Mercure Koh Chang Hideaway
- budget ($): Kaibae Beach Resort
3. Klong Koi Beach, where to stay in Koh Chang for quiet holiday
Klong Koi Beach is situated close to the end of the road in the Southwest of Koh Chang. Just a few years ago, there was nothing there except a pretty and peaceful beach. These days there is a good selection of budget and mid-range beach bungalow resorts. The beach is still pretty, and it’s still quite tranquil too. It has become a quieter and more relaxed alternative to Lonely Beach for backpackers and some of the more intrepid tourists.
The beach itself is the main draw. It sits in a stunning location with a great view of some of the other nearby islands.
There are several nearby attractions. Just down from Klong Koi, a road bridge crosses a deeper stretch of river that has become a go-to swimming place. Then, right at the end of the road is a strange private resort that you can visit for 100 baht. It is worth that alone to explore the bizarre cruise ship “hotel” that has an almost haunted atmosphere. It is a true curiosity.
STAY KLONG KOI BEACH IF you want a stunning beach and great views; you’re an independent traveler, looking for peace and quiet ; you plan to travel to/from Koh Mak and Koh Kood.; you’d like to be close to Bang Bao fishing village; you don’t mind limited transport and infrastructure; you’d like to be far away from all the development.
Best hotels in Koh Chang in Klong Koi beach:BEST HOTELS IN KOH CHANG
4. Klong Prao, where to stay in Koh Chang for families, sightseeing
Klong Prao is a village and beach midway down the East Coast of Koh Chang. It has developed into the mid-range tourism hub of the island and there is a host of good three and four-star resorts along the long sandy beach. There’s also a good selection of lower budget accommodation in the village, a five-minute walk away from the beach.
It is a great location choice for families and holidaymakers seeking the convenience and comfort of higher-end tourist resorts and facilities.
Close to Klong Prao, you can follow a small road for a kilometer into the interior of the island. From there, you take a charming riverside path to visit Klong Plu, the island’s best waterfall. The national park entry fee is 200 baht, but it is a beautiful spot, and a swim in the deep, clear pool at the base of the falls is a Koh Chang must-do.
STAY KLONG PRAO IF you’re looking for good higher range hotels; you want a long sandy beach; you want a great family choice; you’d like a location close to Klong Plu waterfall; you don’t mind walking a few minutes between the village and the beach; you don’t need a wide choice of budget accommodation.
Best hotels in Koh Chang in Klong Prao:
- luxury ($$$): The Emerald Cove Koh Chang
- mid-range ($$): Klong Prao Resort – SHA Extra Plus
- budget ($): Pajamas Koh Chang
5. Salak Phet, where to stay in Koh Chang for local atmosphere
Salak Phet is a local fishing village nestled in a spectacular bay down in the remote South-Eastern corner of Koh Chang. There are just a few guesthouses and homestays there. It is very much still a local village with few of the trappings of tourism.
So it is not a place for short-term tourists or those expecting all mod cons. But if you want to get off the beaten track and sample a taste of traditional island life, then I think you’ll love the sleepy charms of Salak Phet.
The village has a lovely temple surrounded by brightly colored naga sculptures with an impressive wall painting inside. Then there is a recently-restored mangrove walkway nearby and two waterfalls plunging through nearby valleys. The whole area sits in the shadow of Koh Chang’s highest peak, rocky Salak Phet mountain. If you can muster the energy, local guides will be happy to take you up the 743-meter peak. I’ve been told that the views are worth the effort.
STAY SALAK PHET IF you’d like to experience local island life; you’re happy with little tourism development; you want lots to see and do nearby; you love great seafood; you don’t mind no beach close by (10km away Long Beach is closest); you’re happy to be far from everywhere else on Koh Chang.
Best hotels in Phuket in Salak Phet:BEST HOTELS IN SALAK PHET
Where should I stay in Koh Chang for the first time?
White Sand Beach is the best place to stay in Koh Chang for first-timers because it is the most famous beach of Koh Chang and the first place on the island developed for tourism. There are a wide range of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops for all budget travelers.
What are the best areas to stay in Koh Chang?
White Sand Beach, Lonely Beach, Klong Kloi Beach, Klong Prao, Salak Phet are the best areas to stay in Koh Chang because they are the most popular areas for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.
How Many Days Do You Need In Koh Chang?
But Koh Chang’s jungly charms are much better revealed if you’re able to give them some more time. A couple of weeks gives you time to settle in and experience the island.
And if you don’t see everything on your first trip, then don’t panic. It’s very common for people who visit Koh Chang once to find themselves returning. It’s that kind of place.
Is Koh Chang Touristy?
Everyone seems to have a different development threshold. Koh Chang is quite touristy on the Central West Coast and almost not at all on the Eastside. So visitors can pick a level of convenience versus rustic charm that suits them best.
To put it into some perspective, Koh Chang only began to develop as a tourist destination in the late 1990s. So it is a great deal less developed than islands such as Phuket, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan. It is part of a Thai Marine National Park and this protected status means that 70% of the island remains a native jungle. And thankfully, the beaches are free of the horror of speedboats and jet-skis.
What Is Koh Chang Popular For?
Koh Chang is, first and foremost, a nature destination. It is a beautiful, verdant, “Jurassic Park” style jungle island fringed by sandy beaches, all set in a tropical sea.
Should you require more incentive to check out the island, then there are several scenic waterfalls to visit. There’s also a fishing village with great seafood restaurants that stretches out along a pier. Koh Chang has excellent diving and snorkeling, and it is a great base from which to visit some of the 51 other islands in the Koh Chang Archipelago.
Can You Drive Around Koh Chang?
You can’t drive around Koh Chang, yet. There is a gap of maybe 12 kilometers between the ends of the main road in the Southeast and the Southwest of the island.
Plans to complete the circuit road are announced every few years, but nothing ever seems to come of them.
But remember that Koh Chang is really big. It is the third biggest Thai island after Phuket and Koh Samui, and you can drive for 60 kilometers on the main road from end to end. So there’s plenty to explore, even without circumnavigation.
Is Koh Chang Expensive?
You can get by fine in Koh Chang on most budgets. There’s a lot of competition, which keeps prices down. Also, the car ferry means that a plentiful supply of goods from the mainland prevents some of the inflated prices you see on some of the more remote Thai islands.
Getting around isn’t quite as cheap since the local white taxis have a monopoly. If you travel by flagging down the frequent shared taxis, then the prices are high, but not eye-watering. Private taxi hire, however, can be expensive.
Motorbike rental rates are reasonable but hiring a bike isn’t advisable unless a) you have an international motorbike license (you won’t be insured otherwise) and b) you’re an extremely competent driver. Koh Chang’s roads can be crazy in peak season.
How Much Is The Ferry To Koh Chang?
Koh Chang has two car ferries services that link it to the mainland. Koh Chang Ferry at Ao Thammachat is the larger of the two businesses, with more ferries, and Centerpoint is the name of the other service, a few kilometers down the coast.
Both of them leave hourly, and sometimes even more frequently, between 6 am and 7 pm every day.
It costs 80 Baht per person to cross. The charge for a car is an additional 120 Baht. The journey across takes between 30 and 50 minutes, depending on which boat arrives to collect you.
There’s not much to choose between the two ferries, but you will find it easier to jump on one of the shared white taxis arriving with Koh Chang Ferry.
What Is There To Do In Koh Chang At Night?
Koh Chang has some excellent evening entertainment options. Many hotels have beachfront fire juggling shows just after sunset. They are free to watch, even for non-residents, and Kids love the shows.
The heart of the island’s party scene is Lonely Beach, where several bars and clubs have DJs pumping out the tunes until late. You can dine very well indeed at a huge variety of international restaurants, as well as some great Thai seafood restaurants. And there are plenty of other bars, some with live bands and all with drinks and entertainment.
What To Do In Koh Chang When It Rains?
You will notice that tropical rain forest covers Koh Chang. That’s a bit of a giveaway that the island receives plenty of rain. Almost all of it falls in the monsoon months, so, between Mid-October and the end of May, you probably won’t experience much rain at all.
So what can you do when it rains?
If the sea is calm, then taking a boat trip to some of the other 51 islands in the Koh Chang archipelago is a great idea. Often it only rains on Koh Chang due to the mountainous terrain, and the other islands remain dry.
Bang Bao village, over the water in a lovely horseshoe bay, has a covered pier so you can stroll down the walkway checking out shops and stopping for a great seafood meal over the water. There are some attractive temples to visit, and a huge indoor sports complex in Klong Son village is approaching completion.
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So there you have it. Will you choose one of the bustling central beaches like White Sand Beach or Klong Prao? Or do you feel that the nightlife and backpacker-friendly Lonely Beach is more your kind of place? Or maybe you’re an intrepid explorer who would rather escape to Klong Koi Beach or Salak Phet? Whatever destination you choose, I’m sure that your trip to Koh Chang will be a delightful and rewarding experience. Enjoy!