Most visitors go to Koh Chang for the white sandy beaches and inviting ocean and are completely unaware of the huge jungle hiding in the islands interior. Koh Chang is Thailand’s third largest island after Phuket and Koh Samui, 80 percent of the island is covered in a tropical rain forest which is relatively unexplored by both tourists and locals.
Hidden in the islands interior is another world, full of ancient tree’s, snakes, spiders, hidden waterfalls and dramatic coastal viewpoints. The only safe way to explore Koh Chang’s uncharted jungle is by going on a guided trek. The trekking guide I recommend is called Tan, who runs well organised trekking tours for his well established company ‘Tan Trekking’.
Amazing coastal viewpoints deep in Koh Changs jungle interior
Due to a family connection, I have known Tan for over 10 years, our similar interests on trekking and anything adventurous have brought us close together. I have spent many months in Koh Chang on his treks, and I have even assisted him during the high season when he gets very busy. I know all of his routes very well, and the one thing I can say is that if you want a challenge, a real trek, and one that hasn’t been watered down, then you should definitely go to see Tan, but be prepared to sweat!
Exhausted but still smiling. A group I trekked with on Tans Klong Prao trekBOOK A TREK WITH TAN - START HERE
Tan is the founder and main guide for Tan Trekking. He came to Koh Chang around 10 years ago. Before that he lived in Krabi, working as a tour guide, he also owned a bar. Unfortunately the bar that he had lovingly built and decorated got washed away by the Tsunami, so he decided to move to Koh Chang in the safer waters in the Thai Gulf. As well as being a tour guide for well over 15 years, Tan has also spent time working and studying in Australia, he is very approachable, friendly, and speaks remarkably good English.
Tan with a red tailed racer, a friendly snake, found in the jungles of Koh Chang
Over the last 10 years, Tan has built quite a reputation on the island within backpacker circles in Thailand. His enthusiastic approach and no nonsense treks have become a big hit with people of all ages who like a challenge and are willing to swap the beach for a day of adventure.
Tan with a huge Jackfruit, in a fruit plantation at the beginning of a trek
Tan has made all of the routes himself with nothing more than a machete, which is quite an achievement due to the length of the routes and thickness of the jungle. He has 4 trekking routes, they all offer something different and cater for all age groups.
Every Thursday Tan does a half day family trek which is a super relaxing day suitable for the whole family including small children. The family trek is a gentle introduction to the jungle with some nice easy trekking and wild swimming in a scenic river with refreshing cool water.
A refreshing pool, perfect for cooling down in on the family trek
If it is real adventure you are looking for then the Klong Prao or Jom mountain treks are the treks for you. These full day treks are quite a challenge and will test even the most adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. The routes are approximately 10km long and go deep into the islands jungle interior, they can last up to 8 hours depending on how fit you are. The routes feature every kind or terrain from steep accents, descents, river crossings, thick jungle, and dramatic rocky viewpoints of Koh Chang’s stunning coastline. All of the treks feature waterfalls or somewhere to cool off, which is well needed after all of the sweating!
Amazing coastal viewpoints – your reward for conquering Koh Chang’s mountainous interior
Trekking along a river during the dry season on the Klong Prao Trek
A typical day trekking with Tan will last the whole day. He will pick you up from your hotel at around 8:30am and drive to the start point. After a quick briefing and loading your backpacks with water you will start the trek which usually start gently through fruit and rubber plantations. Here Tan will explain some interesting facts about the island and the locals, then you will enter the jungle and the serious trekking will begin! Although Tan’s routes are adventurous, he is a professional guide and makes sure everybody is comfortable and finishes the day with a smile on their face.BOOK A TREK WITH TAN - START HERE
Tan’s treks are on the beautiful island of Koh Chang (Koh Chang Marine Park), which is in the north east section of the Gulf of Thailand, in Trat province. Koh Chang can be reached from Bangkok in 6 hours by road (bus or minivan), or a 45 minute flight into Trat airport.