Made up of Family Island Cheats, there are plenty of places to visit within the Ko Chang National Marine Park besides Ko Chang itself. Due to their protected status these islands offer some of the best and well preserved wildlife in all of Thailand. The area’s naturally mountainous landscapes and rainforests make for a dramatic skyline filled with a stunning array of majestic cliff-tops presiding over the many white beaches and permanently turquoise seas.
It has been agreed that any land that was planted before the assignment of the area’s national park status in 1982 can be bought and used for private development but this is only about 15% of the total land available. Development has also been carefully restricted and as such many of the islands are totally uninhabited. Only ten of the park’s islands offer overnight accommodation. On some this may be no more than a basic beach bungalow for about ten US dollars a night, whilst other islands are equipped with resorts providing an extremely high level of luxury and may cost up to 100 US dollars per night.
At the cheaper establishments it is possible to just turn up and find a room whereas the more exclusive resorts tend to cater more to visitors who have pre-booked their accommodation with package tour-operators. This is a particularly good option for those who are looking for a secluded spot away from the crowds as most package deals will include boat transport directly to the resort’s private beach as well as day-trips to the surrounding attractions and smaller islands.
Following is a list of the best of the smaller islands that the Ko Chang National Park has to offer:
Ko Chang Noi / Laem Chang Noi
The closet of the smaller islands to the arrival port of Ao Sapparot, Ko Chang Noi is situated near the north-western tip of Ko Chang and the bay of Chang Noi (Laem Chang Noi). Although both the bay and the island are made up of rocks rather than sand, the appeal to this area is the stretch of water joining them which is home to a fabulous and pristine coral reef ideal for snorkelling and admiring the abundant marine life. For visitors who wish to stay in this area the Aiyapura Resort and Spa is a five star resort offering guests luxurious rooms with delightful views looking over the island.
Ko Yuak, Ko Man Nai, Ko Man Nok
Following the western coast of Ko Chang and heading south there is a cluster of small islands which can be seen from Ko Chang’s Khlong Prao and Kai Bae beaches (creating a spectacular view during sunsets). Due to their small size and close proximity to Ko Chang these islands make ideal day trips but do not offer their own accommodation.
Of these smaller islands Ko Yuak has a small sandy beach with shallow waters making it a good spot for snorkelling, whilst the neighbouring Ko Plee and Ko Suwan have rocky shores. Nonetheless snorkelling around this area is still a real treat as their is an abundance of marine life to be found amongst these rocks. Furthermore, close to Ko Suwan there is a small island known only as Ko Rom or ‘Umbrella Island’ (due to an enormous tree in the centre which takes the shape of an umbrella), and in the water surrounding this island there are a number of extremely bright corals that should not be missed.