1. Attend a cooking class
Participating in a cooking class is always a great way to culturally immerse yourself. While Kati Culinary is one of the most popular restaurants on the island (for tourists and locals), you can also learn how to cook traditional Thai food here under the guidance of the restaurant’s head chef. You’ll spend about five hours with the chef, learning how to use secret ingredients and preparing a feast that you’ll later enjoy. It costs about 1,595 THB ($50 USD).
2. Have fun on Hat Sai Khao Beach (White Sand Beach)
White Sand Beach is where most of the resorts and high-end accommodations are, as well as the expensive restaurants. It’s definitely the most developed part of Ko Chang, but you can’t deny it’s a really beautiful beach. The town itself is lively and full of shops, restaurants, and nightlife options, including nightly live music at Oodies and late-night fun at Zap Bar. If your aim is to avoid the touristy areas, this isn’t the place for you. If you just want to have fun and meet people, come here.
3. Visit the Bang Bao floating village
Ko Chang has its very own floating village, right at Bang Bao pier where many of the snorkeling and diving tours depart from. However, in recent years it hasn’t retained much of its original fishing village charm — it’s now essentially a souvenir shopping hub for tourists. Many of the buildings have been turned into restaurants, shops or guesthouses, although a few locals do still fish here. But if you’re coming here anyway, look around and take some photos. It’s very beautiful, especially the views from the lighthouse at the end of the pier.
4. Hike Salak Phet
Since Ko Chang is so big, it’s heavily forested and contains quite a few mountains. There are a few official hiking trails where you can go on your own and a few unofficial ones if you just want to explore, though I recommend getting a local to go with you. Salek Phet is the highest mountain on the island, and it has some incredible panoramic views from the top, but it can be difficult to get to. Ask your hostel about tours, or see if they will recommend some other routes.
5. Go snorkeling
If you’re not interested in diving, snorkeling is another way to enjoy Ko Chang’s underwater playground. The coral reefs are full of fish and it’s easy to find snorkeling tours all over the island. (It’s actually cheaper if you walk up to the boat and get a ticket yourself, though.) Most tours include a full lunch on the boat as well. You can find tours starting around 600 THB ($16 USD) but others are in the 1,500 THB ($47 USD) range for a full day.
6. Mu Koh Chang National Park View Point
The Mu Ko Chang National Park View Point gives you a clear view overlooking Ko Chang’s forests, the surrounding ocean, and the islands off in the distance. It’s easy to get to — the route is well marked from the main road. Plus, it’s free! There’s a nice beach nearby with food kiosks and swings hanging from palm trees, and other hiking trails will take you to waterfalls and mountains. I recommend going to the viewpoint at sunset.
7. Take a sailing trip
Who doesn’t love a good catamaran trip at sea? Some companies around Ko Chang will take you on a leisurely day trip to enjoy sun, swimming, snorkeling, and sometimes even fishing. It’s a nice way to spend your day simply hang out and soaking up the weather. Sea Adventures Catamaran Tours is one company you should tour with, and they offer a full barbecue lunch. Tours start around 1,750 THB ($55 USD).
8. Check out the Treetop Adventure Park
One of the best ways to see Ko Chang’s tropical rainforest up close is by visiting the Treetop Adventure Park. You can explore the forest canopy with swinging bridges, rope walks, Tarzan swings, and even slides. There’s also a zip line! It’s probably not a place to visit if you’re afraid of heights, but the guides are excellent and well trained, and the bird’s eye views are amazing. If you’re traveling with children they will love this place. Tickets are 1,250 THB ($40 USD) for the full day.
9. Kayak to Koh Suwan and Koh Rom islands
If you’re spending time on the south end of Klong Prao beach or Kai Bae beach, you’ll notice some islands off the coast. Koh Suwan and Koh Rom are the closest islands, and in a kayak, you can paddle there in about 20-30 minutes from the beach. They’re a whole lot quieter than Ko Chang, so pull up your kayak and go for a swim, and enjoy the peace and quiet. If your hostel or hostel doesn’t rent kayaks, you can find rentals on the south end of Klong Prao for about 300 THB ($9 USD) per hour. Some places also have stand up paddle boards.
10. Learn some Muay Thai
Koh Chang has a handful of Muay Thai gyms for experienced fighters to train, but some offer beginner-friendly classes as well to teach you some basic movies. The Ko Chang Thai Boxing Camp is one of the best places to learn, offering classes for 600 THB ($19 USD) per two-hour session. If you don’t feel like training, check to see if there are any matches happening during your visit. They’re always intense and a lot of fun!
11. Go jungle trekking
If you feel like doing more than just a hike, there are many half-day or full-day trekking tours on the island. You’ll get to see the many gorgeous waterfalls, vibrant green trees, rare reptiles, and more just make sure to bring lots of water! Half-day tours start at 700 baht, full-day tours start at 1,200 baht.