The small paradise of Ko Chang island in the province of Trat came alive as it bustled with activity over the recent three-day holiday weekend. It was an event marked by a significant influx of visitors who poured into this gem in the east to soak in the sun and take in the breathtaking views.
The island’s chief of the Mu Ko Chang National Park, Polwaree Buchakiat, could barely contain his excitement on Sunday as he announced the arrival of a substantial number of tourists, especially organized tour groups. With King Chulalongkorn Day underway, this holiday also signifies the end of a school break, bringing with it a wave of fun-seekers to the Ko Chang islands.
This tropical destination provided an array of wonders for its visitors. Tourists were seen immersing themselves in nature as they explored the rippling cascades of Klong Plu and Than Mayom waterfalls. Additionally, many set off to explore the stunning dive sites nestled off the nearby Mu Ko Rang islands. According to Buchakiat, the entire month has been a bustling period, with the Mu Ko Chang National Park office recording an increase in entry fees, raking in over one million baht – a figure much beyond the usual tally.
This sudden upsurge in tourist activity is primarily from Thai and European visitors, contradicting the common trend of Chinese tourists in Thailand. It appears that the Chinese haven’t discovered the charm of Ko Chang yet, opening up opportunities for those seeking less crowded spots.
Buchakiat effused about the allure of the moment, saying “The weather is promising. The sea is beautiful. The water is crystal clear and it is sunny. So, visitors enjoy swimming. It rains sometimes, but it is not an obstacle”. This kind of joy can only be expected from the chief of park!
Saksit Moongkarn, the ex-chairman of the Tourism Council of Trat, further added to the narrative. He mentioned a total influx of approximately 25,000 visitors to Trat over this extended weekend. On average, about 600 visitors a day thronged the island in organized groups throughout the week. Concurrently, about 1,200 vehicles per day ferried eager tourists to the tropical reserve of the Ko Chang island.
In conclusion, even though the number of Chinese explorers hitting the shores of Ko Chang remains relatively small, the energy and activity witnessed over this long weekend prove that this island is a rising star on Thailand’s tourism horizon.