Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top 10 Things to do on Koh Chang

Koh Chang, the second largest island in Thailand, situated in Trat province, in the Gulf of Thailand, is highly reputed for its pristine natural beauty, with verdant mountains and emerald waters.

There are many interesting and exciting activities to take part in on Koh Chang. Here are the top ten activities, recommended by Amari Emerald Cove Resort.

Relax and unwind on the beach. There are many beautiful beaches with different landscapes such as Klong Prao Beach, Klong Son Beach, White Sand Beach, Kai Bae Beach, Lonely Beach, Bai Lan Beach etc. If your time allows, try different ones to appreciate the charm of each.

Diving is incredible here, as the waters are rife with vivid corals and plenty of colourful fish. Only about an hour from Koh Chang, Hin Lok Bat and Hin Rap have a good diversity of marine life. There is also Koh Wai, Koh Lao Ya Nok and Koh Rang. Koh Lao Ya Nai is home to the wreck of the Thonburi, sunk in 1921.

Kayaking on Koh Chang is a great way to explore both the coastline and inner landscape of the island. Kayak through the shade of the mangroves and see verdant shrubs and aquatic animals. There is a walkway through the mangroves in Salak Petch, as well as in Salak Kok.

Koh Chang means elephant island, as the shape of the island is similar to that of an elephant. One of the popular activities here is riding on the back of an elephant. There are a couple of elephant camps on Koh Chang. The treks go through the local villages, fruit plantations and into small jungles.

Trekking on Koh Chang is definitely worthwhile. Abundant with flora and fauna, Koh Chang offers breathtaking paths through to the forest. Some can be arduous, but most are certainly manageable. Walking through the jungle, while listening to birds chirping, is not to be missed.

Try island-hopping! There are small islands dotted around Koh Chang, such as Koh Klum, which has a beautiful stone yard landscape. Koh Wai, Koh Phrao Nai and Nok and Koh Lao Ya are great for lazing around on the white sand beaches. Koh Ngam has 2 beautiful sections, linked by a sand dune. Further away, Koh Mak and Koh Kood are worth visiting due to their unspoilt nature and sheer tranquility.

Take a trip on a catamaran to cruise around the archipelago, with friends and great food on board, for an activity that combines relaxation, adventure and comfort all in one. Stop off at some dive sites to snorkel or just to swim with the colourful fish. Amari Emerald Cove Resort, on Klong Prao Beach, offers a Catamaran service to their guests. The ‘Supercat’ cruises from the resort’s beach to Koh Kood, the island furthest east in the Gulf of Thailand.

Take a culture tour to the fisherman village. Guests can either go there by boat, by car, by motorbike or even by bicycle. Houses there are built on stilts over the water and connected by bridges. The villages can be found in Bang Bao (there are some restaurants here, serving freshly caught seafood, with fantastic views) and in other areas, such as Baan Salak Petch, Baan Dan Mai, etc.

Agro-tourism on land is an obvious choice to visit and appreciate the local way of living at one with nature, in a sustainable way. There are a variety of plantations on Koh Chang, such as rubber trees, coconuts, durians, rambutans, pomelos, jackfruit, mangosteens and more, located on different parts of Koh Chang.

After a sunny day and cool breezes on the beach, have a refreshing dip in one of the many waterfalls, located across Koh Chang. Klong Plu Waterfall is the most popular and most accessible, only a 20-minute walk from Klong Prao and Kai Bae Beach. Than Mayom Waterfall is located within a 45-minute walk from Than Mayom pier. Kiripetch Waterfalls and Klong Nueng Waterfall, situated in Salak Petch, are well worth a visit and guests can climb up the rather difficult, steep cliffs for higher levels of the falls.

All activities can be arranged at Amari Emerald Cove Resort. After such exciting activities and adventure, ultimate comfort awaits back at the 5-star Amari Emerald Cove Resort, where guests can relax by the 50m lap pool or in the jacuzzi pool, be pampered body, mind and soul at Sivara Spa by well-trained, friendly staff, or sip cocktails at the Poolbar happy hour or Breezes Bar and savour Thai and international delicacies at a great variety of restaurants.