One of Thailand’s biggest islands, Koh Chang retains much of its ruggedness unlike similar tourist hotspots in the south. Located in the eastern Gulf of Thailand, it is named after the Thai word for elephant, which is what the headland is shaped like.
Holiday-goers who take a luxury yacht to Koh Chang are often pleasantly surprised at how well it rounds off a sailing holiday, with a plethora of activities, not only due to its sheer size but also thanks to its popularity.
For some sun-worshiping and a little mingling, head to White Sand Beach or Lonely Beach, with exciting restaurants, bars, and hotels.
For those seeking peace and quiet, the eastern end of the island has fewer people and more nature in the form of mangrove forests and cascading waterfalls. A bonus might be a glimpse of local life in the fishing villages.
On the southeast side of the island, you can kayak through the shady canals of Salakkok, a mangrove-lined bay that opens straight into the shallow waters.
For a truly Thai experience, join a Thai cooking class and learn some real local cuisine, or treat yourself to an authentic Thai massage in one the island’s many spas. Better yet, go to the Ban Kwan Chang elephant camp at the appropriately named Elephant Island and watch these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat of jungle and fruit farms.
Koh Chang is a popular scuba diving spot, particularly between November and May. Point your yacht at one of the popular dive sites in Koh Chang Marine Park to marvel at the exotic underwater world of colourful coral and bountiful fish. If you’re not quite ready to go deep, there are a large variety of fishing, snorkeling and kayaking options also available.
An exciting way to balance out a day on the waters in your yacht rental is to head straight into the wilderness. Having a guide when hiking in the thick, lush jungles, as not only can they navigate the path better but they can also point out wildlife that you may have missed. Dip in the waterfall pools and then scale the peaks… can you spot your yacht in the distance?