Very confusingly, there are actually two Ko Changs in Thailand. This is the one on the eastern coast of Thailand, near the Cambodian border.
“Ko” means “Island” in Thai, and “Chang” means “elephant”, so this is Elephant Island. It’s an unspoiled island being rapidly spoiled by commercial development–so go there soon, if you can. It is in a malarial region of Thailand, so you’ll need to take antimalarials–but it’s worth it for the unspoiled beauty, complete quiet, and tropical beach.
I stayed in a bamboo hut for most of my five days there–you can also stay in concrete bungalows complete with air conditioning, cable TV, and so on, but why? (Okay, if you want to impress your S.O., I can understand.) Still, I think much of the charm in Ko Chang is its simplicity, and the chance to get away from annoying Western intrusions. Living with TV, cable, etc. it’s hard to get away from the Western sense of urgency and time. (The bamboo hut is also cheaper–I think my room and board for five days was maybe $25. Next time I get laid off, I’m coming here to spend an entire month just lazing on the beach.)
On one of my days here, I went on an elephant trek. For 1000 baht ($25), I got a three-hour tour, a swim in a tropical pool, and some great pix.
You can read more about my adventures on Ko Chang in the Thailand section of my travel blog.