Ko Si Chang Island

A little Gem off the east coast of Thailand

Tha Bon Fishing Village on the Island

The tiny island of Ko Si Chang sits ever so peacefully just off the east coast of Thailand, and it may very well be the perfect place should you want to avoid the hustle and bustle as well as the commercialism of the more popular resorts found in the vicinity.

And I wouldn't bother looking for fast food outlets or shopping malls like the ones you find in other parts of the country either. That's because you won't find any of them here. In fact, you won't even find any motorized transport other than a few of those three-wheeled motorcycle rickshaws that are unique to the area.

While Ko Si Chang island may be small in size, it does however pack a big punch which usually happens the moment you disembark the ferry from Sriracha on the mainland. But before I tell you about all the hot spots, you need to get in touch with a little of the island's fascinating history. But I promise not to hold you up too much as I am sure you would rather go sightseeing.

Fishing Boats at the Waterfront Pavilion

Though Ko Si Chang has but a few beaches, most of the coastline is rather rugged so for the most part you will find it relatively quiet here. The island once functioned as the customs checkpoint for ships bound for Bangkok, but more importantly, it was the former summer haunt of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). 

The charming and charismatic fishing village of Tha Bon situated on the eastern side of the island is the only real town here. Just north of it is Saan Chao Paw Khao Yai, also known as the Chinese Temple. The temple itself is an enchanting hillside complex of colourfully decorated shrine caves that overlook the main town and offers great sea and cliff views.

Inside one of the caves is a sacred stalagmite where pilgrims pay homage to a monkey god called Sun Wu-Kong. Legend tells us that the role of this monkey god was to guard a seventh century pilgrim named Hsuan Tsang on his travels across the Gobi Desert in China to all the way to India. In Thailand this monkey god is known as Heng Chia. Don't you just love all these Thai Legends?

Shrine Cave at the Chinese Temple

The Chinese Temple on Koh Si Chang

Since you are here, why don't you light a few incense sticks or perhaps a candle or maybe even shake a numbered siam si stick out of one of the bright colour coded cups you'll find in the shrine. While locals pay respect to deities, tourists can have their fortune told. Who knows, perhaps you too will be blessed.

All you have to do is choose one of the cups filled with several numbered long thin sticks. Then shake the container until one of the sticks falls out. After that, go to the board of fortune outside the cave to match your number with a fortune slip. And there you have it. The message you get is very much like that which you get from a Chinese fortune cookie. Go on then, give it your best shot.

After you are done exploring in the cave, don't forget to climb the five hundred odd steps to the Buddha's Sacred Footprint on the shoulder of the Kayasira Mountain. From there you'll be rewarded with some spectacular panoramic views of the island as well as the smaller islands in the neighbourhood. When you do decide to leave, why not take the alternative stairway for a completely different view as you descend the mountain.

Kayasira Mountain on Ko Si Chang

Ko Si Chang Beaches

Located on the west coast of Ko Si Chang are the island's only real beaches of which Hat Tram Pang is the most popular. The beach stretches about a kilometre long and is lined with deck chairs and beach umbrellas for your convenience. You can rent a kayak for the whole day, or if you prefer, by the hour from Uncle Juk's water sport stall. If you like you can also rent inner tubes snorkeling equipment and or fishing rods.

Two other beaches on the west coast are those of Hat Sai and Hat Khao Khat with the later being little more than an actual beach. Here you will find a public park with several white pavilions that offer spectacular views across, not only of the ocean, but also the rugged cliffs and headland too. From the pavilion, walk down a path to a few fishing spots hanging precariously over the waves.

The Pavilion over Khao Khat Beach

Attractions - Rama V Summer Palace

Perhaps the most famous site on here is the partially overgrown ruins of the Rama V Summer Palace occupying a huge chunk of a sprawling hillside midway down the east coast. You'll find the palace just behind the pebbly beach of Hat Tha Wang and though relatively easy to reach on foot, you can if need be, get there on one of the three wheeled peddled powered samlor taxis.

The palace was built around 1890 as a kind of health resort for members of the royal family who came and are still coming here to relax. It also formed part of an elaborate complex comprising of homes for royal advisers, quarters for concubines and chalets for convalescents. Who knows what else went on in this place.

However, in 1893 the palace was abandoned after a fleeting occupation by the French. Then in 1901 Rama V lost interest in his island project and subsequently had his golden teak palace moved to Vimanmek Mansion at Dusit Park in Bangkok where it was then reconstructed.

While restoration work on the remaining structures of the palace complex on Ko Si Chang Island have been carried out, for the most part only the foundations remain with a riddle of staircases, a couple of rock pools, some tattered mosaic floors and an alleyway of hundred years plus Frangipani trees. There are however two elegantly restored pistachio green villas.

Shrine Cave at the Chinese Temple

Return from Ko Si Chang to the East Coast of Thailand

Visit Luxury Thailand Travel's profile on Pinterest.

Recent Articles

  1. What to wear in Thailand

    Dec 02, 16 09:59 AM

    The question most foreign visitors ask is what to wear in Thailand during their vacation. The answer is to simply pack light and choose mostly natural cotton that is carefree and comfortable.

    Read More

  2. Ko Samui Island

    Dec 01, 16 02:05 PM

    The picturesque beauty of Ko Samui Island lies just off the Gulf Coast of southern Thailand, attracting visitors to the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai as well as Ang Thong National Marine Park

    Read More

  3. Good Thai Girls in Thailand

    Nov 29, 16 09:40 AM

    Meeting Good Thai Girls in Thailand is a lot easier than you may think and this guide will help you in your quest on where the best places to go looking for good girls in the land of smiles.

    Read More

  4. Ko Samui Beach

    Nov 28, 16 01:08 PM

    This Ko Samui Beach Guide is filled with the palm fringed beaches such as the magnificent Chaweng Beach, the lovely Lamai Beach and the beautiful Big Buddha Beach.

    Read More

  5. Chiang Mai Attractions

    Nov 27, 16 05:35 AM

    Some of the best Chiang Mai Attractions include important historical sites such as Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Suan Dok.

    Read More

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.

Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page and or book your hotel reservation to amazing Thailand using the HotelTravel search box below. Have a happy holiday and a safe trip.

Rooms :

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Luxury Thailand Travel.

Touristlink Certification Badge

Free Web Submission

Build a Better Travel Blog

Thai Dating

Hotel Booking

HotelTravel.com – Worldwide Leader in Hotel Bookings with Guaranteed Lowest Rates and Discounts of up to 75% Off!

Hotels and Resorts

Top Thailand Hotels



National Parks



Kids Stuff

Bangkok Markets

Bangkok Temples

Arts and Crafts




Herbs and Spices

Mythical Creatures


Go Go Bars

Blog Traffic