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The Koh Chang Yutthanavi Day

The Koh Chang Yutthanavi Day

The Koh Chang Yutthanavi Day

The last week of January every year is a commemoration of the brave Thai Royal Navy forces who risked their lives in the island of Koh Chang for the total independence of Trat from French colonizers.

Also known as Koh Chang Yutthanavi Day, people of Trat celebrate the courage of their heroes through different exhibitions, merit-making or chanting rituals, and tribute rites.


Koh Chang is an island district in Trat province, lying to the east of the Gulf of Thailand’s seaboard which is approximately 310 kilometers from Bangkok and close to the Cambodian border. It means “Elephant Island” not because of elephants (there are no elephants in Koh Chang), but because of the shape of its peninsula.


Today, Koh Chang is known for its mountainous terrain, tropical nature, scenic rainforests, flourishing coral reefs, and even waterfalls. It has Mt. Khao Salak Phet as its highest mountain peak at 743 meters altitude. It is the most popular among the 52 islands of Trat province, including Koh Laoya, Koh Wai, and Koh Kud.


It is also famous for its big town markets, bigger than those of the usual marketplaces found in Thailand. Main reason is because it is very close to Cambodia, so traders—mostly Chinese—chose the region as a strategic area for commerce and business.


However, before World War II broke out, everything is different. Koh Chang was very little known. It only has a few families who live through growing and farming coconuts plus other types of fruits. It was 1941 when Koh Chang became so popular to what it is now.


When the Indochina war broke out, the French troops attempted to conquer Trat again. In the early morning of January 17, 1941, everything was perfect—the weather conditions and the sea were calm and smooth. The French squadron attacked the island but to their surprise, the Thai Royal Navy was already in position, thus creating a clash in the seas now known as the Battle of Koh Chang.


The battle lasted for almost five hours. The French squadron was about to retrieve but it started the Thais’ air attacks started. It caused their ship, Lamotte-Picquet, to be hit by aerial bombs but didn’t sink. On the other hand, Thai forces suffered from total devastation but to their surprise, they were able to defend their territory. The French forces retreated and Trat is still part of Thailand.


Now, the Battle of Koh Chang is very well remembered by the Thais, especially the people of Trat. Every year they commemorate their fighter’s bravery through programs in the Koh Chang Yutthanavi Memorial, Laem Ngop.

published: 11.01.2011

Klong Son Beach is good for:

peace and quiet

sandy beach



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


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:


seafood restaurants



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


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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