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Diving in Koh Chang

Koh Chang has many beaches to explore and even more dive sites. The rich and relaxed diving is a perfect complement to a rejuvenating holiday.

Diving in Koh Chang

Quick facts

Koh Chang’s bohemian and laid back vibe bodes well with its white sand beaches, palm trees and warm aquamarine waters. Koh Chang, meaning Elephant Island, is also home to mountainous rainforests and a range of wildlife including a variety of bird species, deer and elephants. Koh Chang offers good wreck diving as well as rock pinnacles, pretty reefs and abundant marine life at dive sites in the Koh Rang National Park to keep you enthralled dive after dive Most dive trips leave from Bangbao however you don’t need to stay there. You can book your diving with offices on your beach or by calling or emailing. Your transfer from your beach will be part of your trip. Diving here is shallow and calm and perfect for children and learning to dive. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some exciting dives, though. More than 30 sites are available to dive. Reefs have grown up around the boulder formations that are common to the area. Sites dot around the island and the close by smaller islands. There are plenty of crevices to peer into, and some fun swim throughs too. Koh Rang National Park lies close by and offers some great pinnacle dives, one looks like a cathedral. The dives here can experience current.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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HTMS Chang Wreck - Formally known as the USS Lincoln County, HTMS Chang is Thailand’s longest wreck at 117 metres / 384 feet and sits at 30 metres / 100 feet underwater. After more than 50 years’ service in the Royal Thai Navy, it was sunk in 2012 to create an artificial reef. It’s a great site with lots to explore including cabins, briefing rooms and the main holding area. The wreck is also home to a wide variety of marine life including barracuda, octopus, batfish, groupers and a range of interesting critters. Hin Luk Bat – Considered by many to be one of the best dive sites around Koh Chang, this rock pinnacle site attracts schooling fish and is home to moray eels, sting rays, groupers, barracuda as well as more colourful species such as parrotfish, angelfish and damsels. The boulders surrounding the pinnacle have created interesting canyons and crevices which make ideal shelters for hiding fish and critters. Koh Rang – Also known as Koh Rang Pinnacle, this site is well known for attracting passing pelagics including great barracuda, tuna and cobia. The pinnacle itself is surrounded by reef fish and when the sun’s rays filter down from the surface it is a stunning site for underwater photography. You’ll also find nudibranch, various shrimps, scorpionfish and other critters hiding out any suitable ledge. T11 Wreck – This 30 metre / 100 foot long Thai navy ship was sunk in 2013, giving Koh Chang its second wreck dive (after the HTMS Chang). The T11 lays within close proximity of Hin Raab at around 16 metres / 52 feet which makes it ideal for first time wreck divers. The wheel house, bridge, storage areas, main deck cabin and control room are all identifiable and the structure is now home to numerous species of reef fish. Thonburi Wreck – Sunk in the 1940’s by the French during a territorial dispute, this 76 metre / 250 foot wreck now sits at 15 metres / 50 feet encrusted in corals and home to a myriad of marine life including barracuda, snappers, moray eels, lionfish and small schools of reef fish.

What to see

Whilst wrecks are a big attraction in Koh Chang the marine life is no less impressive. Highlights include barracuda, groupers, sting rays, tuna and cobia together with a diverse range of critters, macro life and a plethora of colourful reef fish.

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

There are two islands called Koh Chang in Thailand. This guide refers to the larger island located in northeast Thailand close to Cambodia. Koh Chang means Elephant Island and while there are elephants on the island they are not native. The name, in fact, refers to the shape of the headland. The island is part of a 51 strong archipelago. It’s 18 miles (30km) long and 9 miles (14km) wide. Coconut plantations were the mainstay and while tourism now is a big industry visitors to Thailand often overlook this island. It doesn’t enjoy the fame of other Thai islands, but that is not to say that this island is sleepy or undeveloped. Most recently the islands development seems to be focussed on catching up with Koh Samui and Phuket.

There are 14 areas, mostly located on the western side, from which you can choose to base yourself. Picking which location to stay at is key to a happy holiday. Like most Thai islands, it enjoys rich tropical vegetation and a central elevation peaking at around 2500ft (750m).

Other attractions

Koh Chang offers some good hiking and wildlife spotting options. Sailing and kayaking are also popular here and are fun ways to play on top of the ocean.

Getting there

The nearest airport to Koh Chang is Trat Airport situated on the mainland, around a 30 minute drive from where the ferries depart. There are regular domestic flights from Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai. Public buses from Bangkok run to Koh Chang and although cheap, can take up to 7 hours. Ferries to Koh Chang leave from Ao Thammachat Pier and from Centerpoint Pier. Crossing time is 30 – 45 minutes and there are numerous crossings each day. Island hopping ferries provide services between Koh Chang, Koh Kood, Koh Mak and Koh Wai.

UTC+07:00

Time zone

THB

Currency

+66

Calling code

220-240 V

Electric volt

A, 

B, 

C

Plug type

TDX

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.