Koh Chang: History and development

    Koh Chang, with its 215 square kilometers the third largest island of the Kingdom after Phuket and Samui, is located in the southeast of the Gulf of Thailand, not far from the Cambodian border. Koh Chang in English means "elephant island", referring to the shape of the island which resembles an elephant. Mangrove forests, which are home to a great variety of animals, as well as palm plantations are lining the white sandy beaches. In 1982 the government declared the highland of Koh Chang and 46 islands in its vicinity "The Koh Chang Marine National Park".

    Koh Chang – discovered by backpackers, cultivated by luxury travellers.

    As far as tourism is concerned Koh Chang remained for a long time a white spot on the map, until in the late 80's the first backpackers were attracted to this untouched paradise. With Thailand's economic boom in the 90's and the start of the new millennium more and more Thais have the means to spend a weekend or a short holiday on Koh Chang. Now that tourism developments are in full swing, part of which is the airport of Trat on the mainland that was opened in 2003, the First-Class Tourism is also growing, just as the government intended. And the peak of this development has definitely not been reached yet. At present about 600.000 tourists visit the island annually. Many people regard Koh Chang as the most beautiful of the larger islands of Thailand. And this is not just because of the beautiful white beaches but also because of the abundant greenery in the national park which covers ¾ of the island. Constructural transgressions occur therefore rather seldom.

    Koh Chang: Travelling there, figures and facts

    Located around 320 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, Koh Chang can be reached very easily. People who whish to travel by plane from Bangkok, can get to the airport of Trat in about 50 minutes. From there it takes another 60 to 90 minutes by minibus to reach the main locality of the island, White Sand Beach. The crossing by ferry from Laem Ngop port takes about 30 minutes. The journey from Bangkok by minibus or VIP-bus takes about 4 - 5 hours, and from Pattaya, Koh Chang can be reached even in 3 hours.

    A marvel of its own – Koh Changs ring road - here around the New Year period.

    The island, which belongs to the province of Trat, has about 6.000 inhabitants, is 30 kilometers long, between 8 and 13 kilometers wide and its interior is covered with dense, wild rainforest. Its highest peak at 744 meters is the Khau (Thai for mountain) Salak Pet. The mountains are home to wild boar, snakes, monkeys and deer and is regarded as one of the best-preserved forests in Southeast-Asia. The main locality of Koh Chang is the White Sand Beach (Haad Sai Khaew) in the north of the west coast. Here you'll find the most hotels and guesthouses as well as a variety of restaurants, bars, discothèques with live music, shopping venues and ATMs. Further south lies the more sedate Klong Phrao. Still further south there is Kai Bae, a place that offers quite some comfort, without being overrun by tourists. The island's most beautiful beach, Lonely Beach, is located in the southwest and is regarded as the last remnant of Koh Chang's backpacker tourists. The fishermen's village of Bang Bao at the island's southern end, boasts a few great restaurants located within the fishing harbor.

    Koh Chang, this marvel of the tropics will enchant you.

    Public transport does not exist on Koh Chang but there are regular services provided by communal taxis - the so called "Songthaews". In some of the resorts there are cars and motorbikes available for rent. The only road on Koh Chang, which is fully tarred and in good condition, leads along the coast around almost the entire island. The word "almost" means that in a very mountainous area there are still 6 kilometers of road missing. It probably has not been completed for fear that there would be more traffic. When driving around during the rainy season, especially on a motorbike, one should be very careful on steep and winding roads. The inhabitants of Koh Chang earn their living from the developing tourism as well as from fishing and managing their palm plantations.

    Koh Chang: Leisure time and infrastructure

    With the progressing development of the tourism industry Koh Chang does also offer more leisure activities. Next to motorbike tours, excursions to the mountains and the waterfalls there are now also a lot of beach activities on offer. Divers will love the waters around Koh Chang and its neighboring islands (Koh Mak, Koh Kut etc.)

    Koh Chang's nightlife is for now limited to the main locality White Sand Beach. There revelers will find restaurants, night-clubs - some of them on the beaches - bars and discos with live music. On Koh Chang there is a public hospital (on the east coast in Dan Mai) as well as a clinic just north of White Sand Beach, which is part of the Bangkok General Group. During the high season there is also a doctor available 24 hours a day. Banks and ATMs can virtually be found all over the island. There is a post office on Pearl Beach, and several mini markets (7Eleven) as well as internet cafes offer 24-hour-service.

    Koh Chang and the province of Trat: The real estate market

    Koh Chang is a Mecca for people who are looking for beautiful beaches, lush tropical forests and imposing mountains with waterfalls, but at the same time enjoy luxury accommodation, nice restaurants and cool nightclubs and beach bars. In short an idyll combined with all modern amenities. Some of the old hippie quarters still exist, but most of them have made room for more up-market accommodation.

    The ultimate beachfront pool villa for rent.

    Nowadays Koh Chang is being regarded as an equal of Samui and Phuket, as a lot has been done on the island. The constant building activity and the rising land prices are signs of this development, but because this development started relatively late - mainly during the premiership of Thaksin Shinawatra (2001 - 2006) - a great deal of transgressions in regards to building activities has been avoided. Most likely it's not just human rationality but rather the mere existence of the national park that limits the overall development. This park covers about ¾ of the island and therefore guarantees the preservation of nature and restricts the construction of commercial buildings.

    This circumstance and the continuously improving infrastructure have contributed to the fact that the standard of visitors and their willingness to spend money are steadily on the rise. Soon there emerged stressed business people from the west who wanted to acquire real estate. Where else could one relax in such splendid surroundings?

    Waking up and taking a walk on a heavenly beach - Beachfront villas for sale.

    The pioneers in the development of holiday accommodation as a means to earn an income were two Swiss nationals, who with the help of some investors had acquired a beautiful bay with a total of six beaches. Today there are 60 Thai-style villas, some low-rise condominiums, a 9-hole golf course, a fantastic 50-metre swimming pool, an elegant clubhouse, some restaurants and other facilities on this site. A marina for the yachts of the well-heeled or the occasional sailors will soon be completed. Furthermore there are some condominium buildings on the island that have been incorporated more or less harmoniously into nature. These can be purchased directly by foreign buyers. Also available are various luxurious villas in stunning locations.

    A dream within reach – House with seaviews for sale.

    Nowadays professional builders invest in housing-, villas- and condominium estates in limited numbers. At beautiful locations high quality projects are being built. One should watch these developments with a keen eye, and it would certainly be advisable to talk to an expert before deciding on a particular project. These days more and more houses are being built on the flanks of the mountains on the lower edges of the forest, which ensure marvelous views over the sea and the offshore islands.

    In less prominent locations one can already find a nice flat or a smaller house - both with western comfort - for around 60.000 US Dollars. Here you can find interesting properties for sale. Rental accommodation, be it a house, villa or apartment, for a holiday or to escape the European winter or for a longtime stay, is also available. Find here a choice of rental offers. Living on Koh Chang means living with nature, and a nice beach is always close by.

    Obviously on Koh Chang and the entire province of Trat the same laws regarding the building and purchasing of real estate apply like anywhere else in Thailand. Many valuable tips regarding real estate laws can be found right here. Ownership documents, right of access, the quality of buildings and the danger of flooding are some of the points that should be checked very carefully when purchasing real estate on Koh Chang. Please talk to us or send us an e-mail. We are here to help you.

    Koh Chang: Why should I invest on this island?

    On Koh Chang one can realize the dream to live in a place to which other people have to travel a long way if they wish to spend some time in such beautiful location. Good value for money, excellent chances to let your property and therefore make a profit - well-heeled tourists are prepared to pay high prices for private holiday accommodation - as well as the possibility to combine business with pleasure, are compelling reasons to invest on Koh Chang.

    Real estate prices generally range between those of Samui and Phuket. On Koh Chang buildings are not allowed to be higher than the treetops, in other words, they cannot have more than four floors. In this way the beauty of the island will be maintained.

    Koh Chang: The market situation and real estate prices

    At this point in time there are relatively few properties for sale, as the island is still in its development stage. Nevertheless, because of the global financial situation and the Euro-crisis many people seek to invest their capital in the emerging Thai market. Anywhere in the world location and limited supply are the price dictating factors. The beauty and the good infrastructure of the island have already been mentioned before. Because of the fact that the national park, which covers most of the island, is a protected zone in which no commercial buildings can be erected, and also because building plots are few, real estate prices will no doubt go up. At present prices are still lower than those in Phuket and other tropical destinations around the globe, but because of the reasons mentioned above, one can expect that this will soon change.

    Mainland Trat, Koh Mak, Koh Kut - the real estate situation

    Even though the mainland is not without its individual charm, as far as real estate is concerned it is of no interest to foreign investors. There just is nothing outstanding and the region lacks in and the possibility to meet Westerners. The same goes for the islands of Koh Mak and Koh Kut. On Koh Mak, however, things are starting to change. A lot of land has been sold there lately and the foundations have been laid for the first few housing complexes.