Jungle trekking is one of the activities must do when visiting Koh Chang. However, accessing the waterfall or finding the safest routes to the peak of the jungle was hard work without marked trails. The only way to safely explore those places is by going with a local experienced tour guide.
There are very few licensed tour guides in Koh Chang, and not many could speak English fluently as Mr Tan. He is knowledgeable, and passionate about the jungle and has been trekking in Koh Chang for over a decade.
Tan Trekking offers four different hiking routes. The activities range from 3 hours to 8 hours with different difficulty levels.
1. Half-Day Trekking + Elephant Riding
2. Klong Prao Trek
3. Jom Mountain Trek
4. Half-Day Family Trek
If you fancy a hike and wish to deal with him directly, you could email or call him. Other than that, you could also book his tour from a travel agent near you.
Number: 089-6452019, 089-8322531
Klong Prao Trek
During our six nights holiday in Koh Chang, Matthew, Mike, and I had a nice exercise walking in the jungle with Mr Tan. We chose Klong Prao Trek, its difficulty level is between medium and hard.
On that day, Mr Tan arrived at our hotel at 8:10 am driving his DMX Spacecab, and we were the first ones that he picked up. We stopped by a few other hotels along the road to get the other hikers before driving away to a place near the rubber plantation and parked the car.
Shortly after that, another car arrived and unloaded a few more hikers. There were 14 of us on the trip, and besides Mr Tan, I was the only Asian in the group. The rest of the hikers were from Germany, the UK, and other western countries.
Before we began the journey, he briefed us on the trekking plan and the rules. He then asked us to load the meal that he had prepared for us in our bag, as well as the bottled water. If you didn’t bring your backpack and walking sticks, you could borrow one from him.
Once we loaded the essentials in our backpack, we started our journey at 9 am by walking across the rubber plantation before entering the secret entrance that only Mr Tan knew about it.
Along the way, he would let us know whenever we encountered something interesting such as the Redwood, Banyan tree, Rattan, Orchid, Fern, Cicada’s nest, and snake.
We conquered the first hill at 11:12 am and had a little break. Mr Tan told us we could leave our backpack in this spot and collect it when we returned from the summit about 600 metres away. The hike would be the hardest, and it would be wiser to leave it there.
Although 600 metres doesn’t seem far away, the elevation made me feel like I had walked miles away. We arrived at the top of the unnamed hill after 25 minutes hike. The view overlooking Kai Bae, Klong Prao, and Chai Chet beaches was fantastic. We spent about 15 minutes resting and admiring the picturesque view before walking down a different trail back to where we had left our backpacks.
Throughout the whole journey, there was only one place that was a bit challenging. It required us to hold onto a rope to get down from the steep slope. Other than that, it wasn’t that difficult. We had our lunch at the riverside. The water was clear with plenty of little fish. I gave some of my rice to the fish, and they all seemed to like it.
Once we finished our lunch, we resumed our walk and arrived 30 minutes later at the undisturbed Waterfall.
Hidden in the jungle, Mr Tan called it a Secret Waterfall. There’s no information that can be found online about this waterfall, and I can only guess the height was about 18 feet. I believe it would look majestic during the rainy season when the volume of water cascading over the Falls at its greatest.
25 minutes later, once everyone had freshened up, we hiked down along the river, and it was a long walk before we reached the elephant camp. We also stopped by to look back at the hill that we had conquered earlier before heading towards the rubber plantation near the starting point. When we reached the car, we just realised that 5 hikers had gone missing.
Just when Mr Tan reversed his car to go back and look for them at our last stop, his partner that drove the other car this morning showed up and told him that he saw them on the main road. We weren’t sure if that was them and were still trying to decide whether to go back or to the main road when the missing hikers showed up.
They told us that they got carried away looking at the scenery and took the wrong junction. Instead of heading towards the rubber plantation, they took the other way. We were all laughing after they finished the story.
Relieved that everyone was finally there, Mr Tan was finally able to carry out his final task – driving us back to our hotel. We got back to the hotel at 5 pm. Compared with the Jirisan, this one offered more to see, and this hike had been a little bit more challenging due to its distance. I could feel my muscle burning that night.
Travel Date: 24th March 2018