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Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs: Mu Koh Chang National Park Underwater Gems

As one of the major tourists’ destination, Mu Koh Chang has the variety of coral reefs underneath its islands’ seabed. Fringing reefs develop around most of the islands and coral communities are also found on off-shore pinnacles.

 

Mu Koh Chang’s total coral reef areas are approximately 16 square kilometers and over 130 scleractinian coral species have been reported with average live coral coverage around 40%. The dominant corals are Porites lutea, Pavona decussata, Echinopora lamellosa, Goniopora spp., Pavona spp., Symphyllia spp., Fungia spp. and Astreopora sp. The sponge, Xetospongia sp. is also abundant. Coral reef conditions of a group of small islands north of Koh Chang are fair with an abundance of Porites lutea and Symphyllia spp. Coral reef conditions of the Koh Mak group, the largest coral reef area, are poor.

 

The dominant corals are Porites lutea, Diploastrea heliopora, Goniopora spp. and Symphyllia spp. The sponge Xetospongia sp., soft coral Sinularia sp., giant clam Tridacna spp. are also common in the area. Coral reef conditions around Koh Kut groups are fair with an abundance of coral Porites lutea, Diploastrea heliopora, Symphyllia spp., and Faviidae, and giant clams Tridacna spp. Coral reef conditions around Koh Chang and small islands nearby, except the northern part, are poor.

 

Coral Reefs in Mu Koh Chank National Park
Coral Reefs in Mu Koh Chank National Park

The four attributed causes of coral destruction are; sedimentation from infrastructure development, impacts from expansion of tourism business, unskilled divers, illegal fishing, storm, coral predators, coral diseases and coral bleaching. The boom in tourism industry creates imbalance to the environment if proper measures are taken aside over financial gains. The severe coral reef bleaching phenomenon resulted in coral reef degradation of Mu Koh Chang, however natural recovery is observed and human undertakings are carried out like implanting artificial corals. Coral reef fishes of Mu Koh Chang are comparatively high in both abundance and diversity.

 

Over 113 species of fishes are recorded, comprising economically important species such as lutjanidae, serranidae and haemulidae, coral reef indicator species such as chaetodontidae and common coral reef fishes such as apogonidae, labridae and pomacentridae. Several endangered species, such as sea cows, dolphins, whales, sea turtles and whale sharks can be found in the area. In general, the marine organisms found at Mu Koh Chang are of relatively high diversity for the western section of the South China Sea.

 

Mu Koh Chang’s coral reefs support the biodiversity of the underwater world. Ensuring their healthy level is of paramount importance. The authority should be watchful to any destructive practices which tourism business inflicts to the environment like unauthorized or prohibited infrastructure development, resorts or hotels unskilled guide divers and uneducated scuba diving tourists who trample down coral reefs in the shallow water. Likewise, the local residents should be informed of their obligation to the preservation of coral reefs like educating them on the bad effects of illegal fishing using destructive chemicals and dynamite blasting. Coral reefs as nature’s priceless gift to Mu Koh Chang need human effort and care. Harmony and balance of nature is realized when humans are always conscious of their role in the entire eco-system. The effects of climate change are made destructive with insensitive human activities.

 

Klong Son Beach is good for:

peace and quiet

sandy beach

fishing

 

Short description:

Klong Son beach (or Had Klong Son) is located on the north of Koh Chang. Nice bay at the very top of the island. Pure white sand stretch of beach, shaded with coconut trees. Klong Son gets very low numbers of visitors with the bulk of the backpackers and tourists alike speeding south enroute to Koh Chang's finer and more popular stretches of sand.

White Sand Beach is good for:

night live

sandy beach

variety of restaurants

shopping

Short description:

Koh Chang's most famous stretch of sand, at over 2km long there's certainly room for everyone! Lined with bungalows, food stalls and shops this is one of the best beaches in all of Thailand.

Klong Phrao Beach is good for:

tranquil surroundings

gorgeous rocky landscape

all sorts of activities

quiet and peaceful

Short description:

Situated on the somewhat less glamorous, northern side of the Koh Chang Island, Klong Prao isn’t all that much of tourist destination, especially for those who are in need of a true holiday experience of the exotic kind.

Lonely Beach is good for:

great sunset

cheap and peaceful retreat

all sorts of beach activities

perfect for family

Short description:

Also known as Kai Bae Beach, this is the spot to catch a great sunset! A few small shops and food stalls are along the beach, a good spot to chill out away from the crowds at White Sands Beach.

Bangbao Bay is good for:

fishing

seafood restaurants

shopping

nightlife

Short description:

A well-sheltered bay with a small and quiet beach. It is a fishing community where residents still live in houses built on stilts and are connected by wooden bridges. There are a growing number of tourist shops, scuba dive outlets and seafood restaurants offering a good selection of seafood.

Salak Khok Bay is good for:

pretty, unspoiled area

traditional Thai community

kayaking

quiet and peaceful

Short description:

There aren’t so much attraction in Salak Kok, but tourists can Kayak among the mangroves. Salak Kok Bay still has a fishing community that doesn’t change so much in many years, a great place to see the real traditional Thai community.

 

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