- Where is Koh Chang?
- What is there to do on Koh Chang?
- Why go to Koh Chang?
- The 15 most unusual things to do in Koh Chang (Thailand)
- 1. Shipwreck Diving
- 2. Free Diving (this was one of our favourite things to do on Koh Chang)
- 3. Coral Propagation (quite an unusual thing to do)
- 4. Ben Beach Massage
- 5. Pool Parties in a Jungle
- 6. Kayak to a Secret Beach (where you’ll be all alone)!
- 7. Visit an Abandoned Cruise Ship
- 8. Party the Night Away
- 9. Spend the Day with Rescue Dogs..
- 10. A Local Cooking Class
- 11. Wander Through a Sky Full of Fireflies
- 12. Explore the Hidden Mangroves by Local Boat
- 13. Live Music and Fire shows at Indie Beach Café
- 14. Kayak to the Beautiful Ko Ngam
- 15. The Final Thing to Do – Snorkel at a Beautiful Secluded Beach
- This is what we carry in our day bag around Koh Chang;
- Our Gadgets
- About Us
- Get In Touch
Where is Koh Chang?
Koh Chang Island also known as Ko Chang or Ko Chang Tai, situated in Thailand, is the third-largest island in the country, but it is often wrongly referred to as the second-largest, as Koh Samui is actually larger.
What is there to do on Koh Chang?
Regardless of its size, Koh Chang is still one of the LEAST explored islands, making it a hidden gem for tourists who are looking for natural beauty, wildlife, and breathtaking beaches, as well as 15 of the most unusual activities in Koh Chang! Personally we loved Koh Chang so much we spent nearly a month there, exploring every corner in depth.
In addition, if you ever hear the term, Elephant Island, that is Koh Chang! No, there aren’t elephants there unfortunately, but if you ever get the chance to see it from the sky, the shape resembles an Elephant!
Why go to Koh Chang?
While everyone is flocking to Koh Phi Phi for a wild night out, Koh Phangan for its legendary full moon parties, and Koh Tao for some serious diving, Koh Chang is often overlooked. It’s insane how many tourists pass it by, especially considering how many people come to Thailand to escape the crowds and soak up some natural beauty. And get this, you can get to Koh Chang in the easiest possible way, leaving in the morning and arriving in time for lunch, practically hassle-free.
So, let’s give Koh Chang the love it deserves, shall we? It’s time to swap the neon lights for a stunning sunset, the thumping bass for crashing waves, and the crowds for some much-needed R&R and trust us, you won’t regret it.
If you’ve arrived on this blog, rest assured that you are in the right place! We cannot guarantee that it will remain this way, but currently, by visiting here, you will experience this island in its truest form.
There are so many things to do in Thailand, so we hope you enjoy our list!
The 15 most unusual things to do in Koh Chang (Thailand)
We’ll start with all the water activities first and then move onto the rest!
1. Shipwreck Diving
When it comes to diving, there is one thing you can’t compromise on: Safety. We did our research and went with BB Divers, who not only have a great reputation but also won’t break the bank. Their team of dive masters are awesome and will take you on some seriously epic dives. Our personal favourite was the HTMS Chang – a 100-meter-long wreck with the bottom deck at 30 meters and the top deck at 20 meters. It’s the ultimate dive site for both newbies and pros alike. Anish is a fearless diver, while I’m a little more nervous, but this site catered perfectly to both our skill levels. Trust us, you won’t regret taking the plunge with BB Divers.
What you will see
The HTMS Chang didn’t just sink – it was a purposeful act to create an artificial bed for an explosion of marine life, and boy, did it deliver. Prepare to be dazzled by an array of colourful fish, from batfish and filefish to scorpionfish and barracuda. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a giant grouper, squid, octopus, or even a whale shark!
How to book
We managed to book our trip for a steal at approx £86 per person, so if you’re interested in going you can book here.
Keep in mind that depending on where you’re staying, you might need to find your own way to Bang Bao Pier, but don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered. In our Koh Chang downloadable guide, we spill all our secrets on how to travel with local knowledge, including all our personal contacts that you can easily access through WhatsApp.
Personal tip: We weren’t able go on the day we preferred as visibility under water changes every day, so make sure you ask them before booking. We’ve linked our personal contact to BB Divers in our guide so you can chat to them easily via Whatsapp.
2. Free Diving (this was one of our favourite things to do on Koh Chang)
Again with BB Divers. I know we’ve been raving about BB Divers, but this time it’s for a really good reason – they’re the ONLY ones on the island who offer Free Diving which is by the way one of the coolest things we’ve ever done.
Whilst running this brand, we’re always trying to snap the perfect shot for our socials and website, but getting to the sea bed without scuba gear was a real struggle. And that’s where learning this magic skill comes in, allowing you to get up close to corals and reefs without needing any special gear.
But Free Diving isn’t just about holding your breath and going for a swim. It’s about learning breath work techniques and how to control and clear your mind. As mindfulness enthusiasts, this was right up our alley.
The best part? There’s no pressure from BB Divers. It took me longer to get the hang of it than Anish did which proves that levels are welcome here and you get to choose whether you want to explore from a boat or from shore. There are 3 locations from the boat: Koh Rang National Park, Hin Luk Bat, or down to the HTMS Chang wreck. Most importantly, if you’re not comfortable diving off a boat, you can always go from the shore instead.
We booked directly on their website and paid approx £83 per person to go from the boat, but it’s only about £60 if you prefer to go from the shore. Trust us, it’s worth every penny.
3. Coral Propagation (quite an unusual thing to do)
BB Divers just keeps getting better and better! And not only are they the only company on the island offering free diving, but they’re also taking on the vital task of rehabilitating the coral reefs.
Let’s face it, the coral reefs in Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Tao are a total bummer – damaged beyond repair and devoid of marine life but BB Divers is stepping up by training their instructors and dive masters on the Ocean Quest Process and inviting us to learn and help out too!
We were thrilled to learn that even big names like Sea Shepherd are partnering with Ocean Quest, an organisation teaching the public how to revive coral reefs. It’s heartening to know that BB Divers is doing their part to protect the reefs in Koh Chang and keep it as one of the top diving destinations in Thailand.
You can join them for 4500THB for a 1 day workshop which is approximately £107. It is quite an unusual thing to do on Koh Chang, but is really cool!
Check out their website for more info.
4. Ben Beach Massage
Koh Chang is crawling with massage places, but we found THE ONE that we can’t stop raving about and it’s a beachside paradise on Klong Kloi Beach – which is the best beach on Koh Chang in our opinion! Imagine falling into a deep level of relaxation with the sound of the waves crashing all around you. The price tag of 400THB for an hour (that’s only £9) is a steal!
We’ve scoured all over Asia, and hands down, Thailand is the cheapest place to pamper yourself with a massage. No need for reservations at this particular spot, just stroll on in and let them work their magic. Just remember to bring cash!
5. Pool Parties in a Jungle
Oasis Koh Chang have built their property in the forest landscape of Koh Chang Island & they host BBQ pool parties. They hold them roughly once a week so check out their Instagram for their next event when you’re in Koh Chang.
For about £5, we were able to enjoy an unlimited BBQ spread with delicious sides and it was so fresh! In addition to their amazing food, their cocktails are also noteworthy. And if that’s not enough to convince you, they also boast the most incredible treehouse where you can climb up and witness the breathtaking sunset view!
You can also stay at Oasis, check out their rooms and availability here.
6. Kayak to a Secret Beach (where you’ll be all alone)!
We’re not called UNDISCVERED for nothing 😉 Here’s one of our favourite things to do in Koh Chang. Find a secret beach.
You may or may not have seen the the abandoned shipwreck on our insta page which used to be a 5 star hotel which has now been closed down. The guards securely (you can possibly pay them a fee to get in if you want to) monitor the entrances by road to prevent people from flocking to the abandoned ship hotel, possibly for safety purposes.
What they don’t monitor is the beach right in front of the abandoned ship, which was once the private beach for this resort. So, you can grab a kayak from the The Tropical Hideaway Hotel and kayak over to this beach in about 15/20mins. It is a pretty unusual thing to do, so you can tell them what you’re doing as it seems like a few people have been adventurous enough to do this before (at least someone will know you’re out there). There is NOTHING here, so take enough water with you and some snacks too. Oh and please make sure you’re careful and get back before it gets dark.
This beach has been untouched for a while so you should get some pretty good snorkelling here too!
7. Visit an Abandoned Cruise Ship
Continuing from the above, it’s worth noting that the abandoned cruise ship has an eerie vibe, & some visitors have managed to access it by paying a fee, while others have not been as fortunate. However, getting to the ship requires traveling on a remote road where we saw monkeys strolling along, adding to the excitement of the journey. Either way, visiting the shipwreck promises to be an unforgettable adventure, so here’s the location you need to head to for this unusual adventure in Koh Chang.
8. Party the Night Away
Koh Chang has a great backpacker scene (those who managed to find this beautiful island anyway!) and this is centred around Lonely Beach which is relaxed during the day but comes alive at night. There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars in the area and they even have prices similar to elsewhere on the island. But, be aware that restaurants tend to close early, with last orders around 9pm even in this bustling area.
Our top pick for bars is MIMO BAR with an overall fantastic atmosphere and which is located slightly away from the main strip, we believe it has the best setting.
To make things even easier for you, we’ve compiled a downloadable guide that includes the best restaurants, bars, and experiences on Koh Chang so now you won’t have to scour countless blogs for information.
9. Spend the Day with Rescue Dogs..
..or you can consider volunteering with Happy Dogs on Koh Chang Island for a few weeks. The organisation was founded by Tina and Martina who are a remarkable duo. They have been caring for stray dogs and cats on the island since 2008. They search for and rescue these animals, provide them with food, treatment, and ultimately offer them a home – all on their own, without any funding. Go ahead and support them if you can. Drop by and learn more about their work. If you can’t stay for long, simply showing a friendly face would be appreciated.
10. A Local Cooking Class
Here’s one for when it’s raining in Koh Chang or if you just want to learn how to cook delicious Thai food.
Anish and I tried to make some Thai curries back in the UK before we left and they were difficult when following a recipe book. We found cooking classes really useful and you learn so much that you wouldn’t from a video or a book.
Napalai Thai is one of the best rated cooking schools on the island and they manage to host 3 cooking classes a day. All classes are 4 hours long (afternoon class is 1 hour shorter) and include 3 courses. However, only the evening class shows you how to prepare fish, if that’s what you’re interested in. Drop them a message on Facebook to book.
Classes are 1200THB for the morning class, 1000THB for the afternoon class and lastly 1600THB for the evening class.
11. Wander Through a Sky Full of Fireflies
Without a doubt, this is one of the best things to do when it’s raining in Koh Chang. The rain in Koh Chang is normally passing by, so once it has stopped raining is when the fireflies come out. The rainy season is normally around May – Oct. Iyara Seafood restaurant takes you on a FREE firefly boat ride depending on the weather and as long as you dine with them. Alternatively you can head down to the Salak Khok Mangrove Forest and see them for yourself hovering in the mangroves because they really are so incredible to see up close!
12. Explore the Hidden Mangroves by Local Boat
Head to Salak Khok Boat Tour on the East side of the island, located right by the mangrove forest and hop on a local boat. You will embark on a delightful 50-minute journey deep into the mangroves for 200THB per person.
To fully enjoy the experience, make sure to arrive by 2:30 pm as they close at 4 pm. Although exploring the mangroves on foot is an option, the boat ride is highly recommended. Especially as it allows you to reach inaccessible areas and adds a touch of magic to the experience.
The East side of the island is relatively unspoiled, making it a sight to behold. But not many people travel here, so to make things even easier for you, we have included our personal WhatsApp contacts for these boat trips in our downloadable guide, which can be accessed on your phone for a hassle-free experience.
13. Live Music and Fire shows at Indie Beach Café
On Mondays and Saturdays, this incredible place not only hosts live music with some of the most incredible bands but also offers a chilled-out atmosphere. Additionally, there is no need to book in advance; however, you should aim to arrive by 7pm. Furthermore, apart from the live music, they have fire shows on their private beach. This added to the unique experience. Moreover, the cocktails and food available here are DELICIOUS, making it an ideal spot for a night out. In fact, we enjoyed the atmosphere so much that we decided to switch hotels and stay here. Also, suppose you want to experience the same ambiance you can book a stay here as well!
For other bars in Koh Chang, check out our guide for condensed info of the island.
14. Kayak to the Beautiful Ko Ngam
Located at the southernmost tip of the island, is a kayak vendor renting kayaks for 250 THB per day. To get here, follow signs to Long Beach but be careful as the road leading down can be quite narrow and bumpy so and we recommend not driving here after dark.
Adjacent to the beach you will see a gravel path that leads to a small mangrove forest on the left hand side.
At the end of the trail, you will see the kayaks next to the small beach but remember to bring cash. On a sunny day, you can rent a kayak and paddle over to Koh Ngam to explore this magnificent national park site and indulge in some snorkelling.
Koh Ngam has two hills which are linked by a sandbar and it really reminded us of a smaller secluded version of Ko Phi Phi in South Thailand.
15. The Final Thing to Do – Snorkel at a Beautiful Secluded Beach
Finally, Long beach offers some of the best snorkeling experiences, as we had the chance to witness a school of flying fish zooming through the air (although it was too quick to capture on camera!). However, the road leading to this beach can be pretty windy and rough, so it’s essential to take extra care and avoid driving here after dark.
In addition, the water here is calm and shallow, with a sandy sea bed, and although there are a few ladies selling water and snacks, their availability is not guaranteed, so it’s better to bring your own supplies. Also as it is a completely natural and secluded beach, there are no sunbeds available, and you’ll need to bring your own towels and snorkelling gear.
This is what we carry in our day bag around Koh Chang;
- Snorkels – after trying out numerous snorkels, which either never fit or fogged up eventually, we found it challenging to find a good one. Therefore, we decided to invest in snorkels made by Cressi, and we have not been disappointed since. Their snorkels not only fit perfectly but also offer a clear view and do not fog up easily.
- Towel – microfibre towels are incredibly practical and these ones are highly recommended.
- Water bottles – we bought ourselves a couple of these for days out and they are really handy. The best part is they are also light too and if Serena is really fussy with water and doesn’t mind drinking out of these then you’re good! They are eco-friendly and are reasonably priced!
- Suncream – because we travel so much we use suncream very regularly, we have 2 that we use. Our favourite is the NIVEA Spray cans. This is also the cheapest place we found them and we constantly search to see if it’s cheaper anywhere else and not had any luck so far. Additionally, the second one is Inde Wild who are a completely chemical free suncream which is great but it needs regular reapplying.
- Sunglasses – we love our sunglasses and if you’re from the UK, go grab a pair from Notting Hill Gate Opticians. They are really friendly in there and have a great range of them!
- Day dry bag – Anish carries the Overboard day dry bag, which is not only great for water activities but also comes in handy if it rains on Koh Chang. As a result, you’ll probably see him with it in most of our photos on Insta. In addition, the bag’s durable and waterproof material makes it a reliable companion for any adventure.
- Headphones – It took us ages to find decent in ear headphones that weren’t extortionate, had good noise cancellation and fit well in your ears so, we bought some of these Jabras and LOVE them. We both have a pair. Again, Amazon is the cheapest place we found them!
- Camera gear:
If you’re keen on exploring hidden hiking trails and knowing our secret sunset spots, be sure to check out our guide. They contain a comprehensive list of routes and more unique places that you won’t want to miss.
Here’s a little about who we are and why we do what we do!
Anish and I run UNDISCVERED; your ultimate digital wingman for exploring the world like a local. But we’re not just your average travel guide, we’re like your best friend who knows all the insider secrets of every destination.
We’ve got connections with locals all over the world and we’ve curated all their juicy recommendations into bite-sized, easy-to-digest info.
But don’t worry, we’re not just about the hidden gems. We cover the well-known spots too, but with a little insider help to make your trip even more epic. Think of us as the digital version of Lonely Planet, but way more up-to-date.
Our approach doesn’t just help you have an awesome time, it also supports local businesses and communities so, if you want to be a savvy traveler and spend less time googling and more time exploring, UNDISCVERED is your new BFF (with some seriously good info).
Check out our Instagram highlights for more info on us!
Get In Touch
Let us know whether you have anything else you would like us to cover off in the comments as we’re always happy to help with recommendations in any city around the world!
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We have also collated ALL of this info and more with all of our personal WhatsApp contacts, clickable links and more in our downloadable Koh Chang guide.
CONTACT us on firstname.lastname@example.org for any partnerships or affiliations.
Serena & Anish