Weather in Koh Chang
Koh Chang enjoys a tropical climate. The annual average daytime temperature is 28C with an average high of 31C and an average low of 25C. Mid-November to February is the best time to visit, when the cool, dry season brings pleasant temperatures, particularly in January when the average is a pleasant 25C. The hot and humid season is from March to May, with the hottest month, as in most parts of Thailand, being April when the temperature hits an average high of 32C but can reach as high as 38C.
The wet season runs from late May to October and brings more rain, although not all the time. The wettest months are August and September, with a monthly rain fall of approximately 700mms. During the rainy season, going to the other islands can be quite difficult and dangerous because of the rough weather.
Koh Chang’s History
During the reign of King Naresuan in the Ayutthaya era, Trat province (which includes Koh Chang) was originally called Baan Bang Pra. The name Koh Chang, meaning Elephant Island, comes from island’s shape, which resembles the head and trunk of an elephant.
The province of Trat played an important part during talks with France under the rule of King Rama V. The area was originally handed over to the French under an agreement that would ensure that French troops were removed from Chantaburi Province. But King Rama was later successful in reclaiming Trat when on 23 March 1906, the French gave it back in exchange for Sri Sophon, Pratabong and Siem Reap.
Hailed as a triumph for Thailand, the people of Trat erected the Rama V Monument which today can be seen at the City Hall and to this very day they celebrate 23 March as their ‘Independence Day’ and the ‘Trat Recalling Day’ is held every year to commemorate these events and the King who freed Trat from foreign rule.
During the Indochina war (1940-1941), the French navy tried its best to capture Trat again. On 17 January 1941, the French-Thai battle took place at Koh Chang. With considerable bravery, the Thai navy successfully drove the French fleet out of Thai territorial waters. However, many Thais lost their lives and the French laid claim to three Thai battleships Songkhla, Chonburi and Thonburi. This battle was to become known as the ‘Koh Chang Naval Battle’. As a mark of respect for those who lost their lives fighting for their country, the Thai Navy holds a merit-making ceremony each year on 17 January.
In 1982, the island and its 51 surrounding small islands came under protection as part of the Koh Chang Marine National Park. About 85 percent of the island is under national park designation, most of which is rainforest found in the island’s interior.
During a trip to the island in 2001, the Thai Prime Minister was so captivated by Koh Chang’s beauty that he suggested the island should be developed into ‘the second Phuket’. His intention was to develop Koh Chang to attract ‘first-class tourists’ only and to limit the number of visitors. However, it is possible that with recent events such as the 2006 military coup, this grand scheme will fade away into the white sand of the island’s beaches.