In order to escape the crowds on New Years Eve we headed round to Salakkok Bay in the south east of the island for a spot of lunch and some paddling around the bay.
Part of the plan didn’t come to fruition as we got hungry on the way and made a detour to The Spa Koh Chang for some healthy food and seriously good smoothies. A bit more expensive than your average fruit shake but truly exceptional. Good place to stop to eat if you don’t mind overhearing conversations about enemas coming from diners at nearby tables who are undertaking one of the detox courses on offer.
Once fed and watered it is only a 10 minute drive to Salakkok Kayak Station where you can either hire a sea kayak to explore the mangroves or have one of the staff paddle you through the canals and into the bay on a traditional Thai gondola. The kayak station, along with the seafood restaurant are run as co-operatives by the local community. ( A couple of years ago Salakkok community won an award from the Tourist Association of Thailand for it’s community based approach to handling tourism and last month it won a ‘Green Globe’ award for work in promoting eco-friendly tourist initiatives in the village.)
There is an easy to follow numbered route but there are also more small canals where you can do detours and have an enjoyable time. Plus you’ll see the lifestyles of the local fishermen up close as you paddle past their homes.