Spread across the clear blue waters of the gulf of Thailand sits one of Thailand’s most stunning national parks. An array of protected rainforest, white sandy beaches and magnificent coral reef form Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park. Ko Chang is the gateway to Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park and the island offers many opportunities to experience parts or all of the special area.
Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park
Prior to 1982 the beautiful islands and waters that form the Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park remained unknown for many years. Koh Chang is the largest island of 52 forming the Ko Chang Archipelago. This group of islands make up the protected Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park. Stretching across 650 square kilometres of which 458 sq kilometres are the gulf of Thailand, Ko Chang is the most popular destination within the park. Not all of Koh Chang is protected by the National Park and all of it’s west coast beaches lay outside the park’s boundaries.
The islands around the national park are native to over 70 species of birds and as many as 40 different animals including Turtles, Macaques, Deer, Python and Cobra’s Scuba divers and snorkellers arrive daily to explore the many coral reefs within Mu Ko Chang national Marine Park. The diversity of marine life amongst these clear blue waters offers some of the best diving opportunities in Thailand. The West coast of Koh Chang around Bang Bao beach and the smaller islands of Koh Wai, Koh Rang, Koh Lao Ya and Koh Klang in particular. There are also some great wreck dives to explore following the sunken ships of the 1941 Koh Chang Naval Battle.
Koh Chang Islands
The islands of Koh Mak and Koh Kood make great escapes from Koh Chang if you are wanting to go on a day trip or perhaps stay overnight.
Koh Mak lies 20km south of Koh Chang and is a quieter laid back alternative to it’s big sister. Beach bars are few and far between and it’s not uncommon to have a stretch of beach to yourself here.
Koh Kood is the second largest island in the Koh Chang Archipelago. Again a quieter retreat than the developed Koh Chang and perfect getaway for tranquil surroundings.
The Klong Chao waterfall is a must see although not particularly high it falls into a huge plunge pool and it’s jungle surroundings make swimming here extremely scenic. Dive trips can also be organised from Koh Chang here through one of it’s dive shops.