Ko Chang is Thailand's second largest island after Phuket and the biggest in eastern Thailand. With about 5,000 permanent residents the island is not heavily populated, but there is a lot of tourism (and development).
Ko Chang is the largest island in the Ko Chang Archipelago. The name means 'Elephant Island', named for the elephant shape of its headland, although elephants are not indigenous to the island. Seventy percent of the island is rain forest, steep hills, cliffs, waterfalls, and wildlife, fine beaches, coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. The island also has tall mountains and rock cliffs.
Ko Chang is one of Thailand's most beautiful islands with long white sandy beaches, most half-deserted. The island is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including a good selection of birds, snakes, deer, and a number of non-native elephants. The island and its vicinity are great places for snorkelling, diving, and jungle hiking. The "discovery" of the island as a tourist destination in 2000 brought on development.