Wai Chaek Beach Guide and Visitor Information
2020 – 21 Update
✔ Nowhere to say unless you camp on the beach. Bring a tent.
✔ Access by unfinished road and dirt track. You’ll need a scooter or pick up truck to get there.
✔ The most remote beach on the island.
Way down on the southern coast of Koh Chang is a lovely half moon beach called ‘Wai Chaek’. Eventually, once the road between Bangbao and Salakphet is restarted and the road completed, it will be relatively easy to visit this beach and it’s sure to be ruined. But for now it’s still quiet and even in High Season you will only find a few people a day visiting. (Although some speedboat tours do stop for 20 minutes or so for selfies and a swim.)
This 400 metre long swathe of sand in a sheltered bay has amazing views south to the outlying islands. Walk along the beach to the eastern end and you’ll find that there is also a lovely hidden lagoon . Walk to the western end and there’s a small stream, cross it and you should be able to make out a narrow path up the hill. Follow it and you’ll come to a handful of dilapidated wooden huts. This was run as a very basic bungalow resort and restaurant for a couple of years but closed down in 2015.
If you scramble a little further past the bungalows you’ll come to a newly built concrete house with weird concrete, cartoon elephants looking out over the sea. Stunning views from there. That is the only sign of life in this area. Ben, who made the video below, also wrote this article about camping overnight on the beach.
The beach is a kilometre off the proposed road between Bangbao & Salakphet in the south of Koh Chang. There is a 10Km stretch missing from the island ring road and, although construction on a road was begun, it was never completed. The workers disappeared over a decade ago.
In 2015 it was announced that the plan had been brought back to life and the road would be completed with a few small changes. However, nothing materialised and the road has continued to deteriorate. Every rainy season more tarmac and gravel gets washed away and more potholes appear.
The first time I went there was in 2003 in an old Nissan Sunny, a car not known for it’s off-road abilities. However, nowadays I wouldn’t advise trying to get to the beach in a vehicle unless it was a 4×4 that you didn’t mind getting a bit scratched by undergrowth and tree branches or a scooter.
It is a bit tricky in places, especially on a couple of steep sections where the road surface is potholed, loose gravel. The bike will slip around a bit. And if two people are on it, one will probably have to walk up a couple of the steepest sections. Care is needed not to get the wheels stuck in a gully. There’s also a river crossing to negotiate. But this is pretty straightforward, assuming there isn’t much water in the river. From December to May, the river bed will be virtually dry.
You’ll also have to bear in mind that this isn’t a good spot to break down or run out of petrol. There’s no mobile phone signal in some areas, no passing traffic and it would be extremely difficult to have to push a scooter up the hills and back to civilisation. Needless to say there are no shops of any kind here, so bring drinking water with you.
To get to the beach, you need to head round the east of the island and follow the signs to Salakphet Seafood restaurant. Head along the western side of Salakphet Bay and you’ll pass the marina. The turning for Wai Chaek is another kilometre further on. Keep a look out for a sentry box and barrier by a single lane tarmac road on the right hand side of the road. ( See the Streetview image below ) The barrier will be raised. It always is.
Head along this narrow road and you’ll soon start to climb. Up a couple of hairpin bends and then down the first of the hills. By this time you’ll have gone from a good tarmac road into one where you’re having to take a lot more care.
In total you need to go approximately 3Km along this road. You know you are getting near the turning for the beach when the road flattens out and there is a an area on the left where the jungle has been cleared and rubber trees planted. The dirt track to the beach is on the left. The turning is obvious. In fact if you continue on the road you’ll find that you can only go another 50 metres or so as there is a river crossing and the bridge is washed out.
Follow the dirt track parallel to the river for a few hundred metres and then you come to the crossing. Check for large stones and pick the flattest route across. The river is only 4 metres wide but you don’t want to get a wheel stuck half way. From there it’s a sandy trail through coconut palms and tall grass 800 metres to the beach. The only danger on this section is from loose sand, don’t go too fast. all the way to the beach just head towards the coconut palms.