Weather: The cool season runs from November to March. Temperatures are balmy with some nights quite cool at around +20. April and may are the hottest months with the temperatures around +35. May to October is the start of the “Green Season” with rain and storms as a constant. The rains though usually last only a couple of hours and the days can be quite sunny after.
Monthly Average Range: +34 C (April) to +22 C (January)
Annual Average: 27 C
Average High: 31 C
Average Low: 23 C
Annual average rainfall amount 3,200 mm
Geography; Koh Chang was formed from a volcanic uplift about 60 million years ago, leaving the island with rugged mountains based on basalt and other igneous rocks. It is rugged, wild and has deep rain forest all throughout with many streams, rivers and other waterfalls. The coastal areas have huge mangrove swamps with a fascinating blend of wildlife due to the interaction of fresh and salt water. The west side of the island has long sandy beaches for the most part, much more than the east side. The east side though boasts the best harbor and wonderful views as good as the west side.
Koh Chang is Thailand’s second largest island with an area of 650 sq. Km. 70% is national park and undeveloped. The island itself is about 30km x 14 km running in rough rectangular shape from north to south.
Population: 6000 approx. Probably higher due to many undocumented Cambodian and seasonal workers. Estimates are around 20,000 unofficially.
Highest peak: 744 m (Khao Jom Peasat)
Long/Lat: Latitude 12 6’13” N Longitude 102 21’7” E
Religion: overwhelmingly Buddhist with a few Catholics, Muslims and Christians at about 3% of the population
Electrics: 220v 50c
Postal Service: main station on the west coast with many mailboxes throughout the island.
Internet Access: plentiful with fiber-optic lines being ran from the mainland and two competing companies maintain two systems. There are numerous internet cafes and wireless systems throughout and most resorts and hotels have them. Thailand also offers SIM Card internet access through several telephone networks and supports G3 systems in most places.
Koh Chang is made up of several villages and areas of development on the island, with the most populous being White Sands, followed by Klong Prao, Klong Son, Chia Chet, Salek Phet, Lonely Beach, Bang Bao and Bai Lan . All villages have a good power supply, sewage and water management and garbage pick ups.
History; Koh Chang has been a naval center for Thailand since the 1930s, with a famous battle being fought here between French and Thai forces during WW2 which resulted in the sinking of the Chonburi along other severe losses for the Thai forces. Koh Chang was virtually unknown until the mid 1970s when it was first discovered by travelers.
At that time there was no roads or power. Development began in earnest in the late 1990s. Today there is a road network, numerous resorts and hotels and attractions. Koh Chang has managed to skip the over-development of the other islands and still remains a very authentic and wonderful part of Thailand.