Island Guide

Wai Chaek Beach

Wai Chaek beach on the south coast of Koh Chang, Thailand

Located on the south coast of the island, Wai Chaek beach is the only undeveloped beach on the island. Getting there is an adventure in itself. :-)

Wai Chaek Beach Guide 

2023 – 24 Update

✔ Nowhere to say unless you camp on the beach.  Bring a tent.

✔ Access by a potholed, 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 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 back in 2004.  

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. ( Still no progress on the road in 2023.)

The first time I went there was in 2003 in an old Nissan Sunny, a vehicle not known for it’s off-road abilities. Back then the road and track were passable. 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 just loose, potholed 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 or hit the underside of the bike on rocks.  

There’s also a river crossing and some sandy stretches to negotiate.  The river crossing is pretty straightforward, assuming there isn’t much water in the river.  From December to May, the river bed is dry.  Once you cross the river the track is sand, some is packed and so easy to ride on.  But some is loose, so is very easy to lose control on.  Keep an eye on the track ahead for areas with deep track marks – indicating soft sand  – and go slowly.

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, no passing traffic and it would be extremely difficult to have to push a scooter up the hills and back to civilization. 

Needless to say there are no shops of any kind here, so bring drinking water with you.  ( Update: As of late 2023 one of the locals comes down in their pick up truck and sets up a makeshift stall with cool drinks. I’m not sure if they are there daily.

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 usually be raised.   If it isn’t, it is easy to go around it.  

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 bed is only a few 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.

In the gallery below the old bungalows and restaurant have also gone, they were in operation briefly around 2015 – 2018.  These photos from 2017.

Current state of the road, as of late 2023.  No beach photos as it was very high tide when I went and all the sand was underwater.

This video from 2022, was filmed by a couple of Thai guys on dirt bikes and and takes you the full length of the road to the beach. Watch first before you decide to go there.  :-)


And finally, some photos that I took in 2010.  The building that you see near the beach has gone and the roadside shelter that was built is still there but you won’t spot it as it’s now hidden in the jungle. 




  • Yes, that’s what I figured.
    It ‘ll be taxi’s for moving around then. No worries..
    thx a bunch Ian!

  • There isn’t a road around the south of the island, so you have to go via the north. You can rent a bicycle here but you wont find many places to ride it off road. Just on the main road and that’s not much fun on the hills near Lonely beach. The roads are narrow and there are a lot of crazy drivers. Koh Mak is the best island in this area for riding a bicycle around.

  • haha..right, so the only way is going around north before heading down east coast if I understand?
    Mmm.. (I’m probably underestimating how big the island is for sure)
    Here’s the thing..
    I am def planning on visiting Koh Mak and was initially thinking visiting Koh Kood. I’m not a party minded person, more of nature/plants/snorkeling kind of guy. But I also love to just do nothing for a bit and enjoy the quiet..hence Koh Mak seems about right. Bit it does seem a bit less interesting nature-wise. In that regard I figured Koh Kood but am a bit struck back by how expensive everything is there. It also seems impossible to find a spot that rents mountainbikes.
    So it was only then that I realised perhaps Koh Chang is interesting enough despite it seeming so developed on the coast (inland seems great tho..). So exploring the more remote southern beaches seemed a nice idea but I might have underestimated the remoteness. I haven’t drove a scooter before and Koh Chang doesn’t appear to be the best place to start learning haha.
    Do you think renting a mountainbike is worthwhile on Koh Chang?
    Or should I just stop on the island for the jungle trekking and head for Koh Mak afterwards?

    (from the Netherlands)

  • You could ride a mountain bike to Wai Chaek. But first you’d have to get to the south east of the island. That’s over 50Km from Lonely beach. That’s more of the problem.

  • Hi there,

    so I was just wondering, would it be possible to get there by (mountain)bike? As I don’t have a motorcycle license I don’t wanna rent a scooter. I am considering renting a bicycle when I visit Koh Chang this February. Would it be possible to get anywhere near this beach by mountainbike?
    I am fit an don’t mind sweating a bit..:)

    If not, which area would be okay to cycle around a bit? I am now looking for accomodation near lonely beach.



  • The barrier is always up. So should be no problem. You might put a few small scratches on it as there are a lot of bushes and low hanging branches.

  • Thanks Paul. I know where you mean. I’ve got as far along the road as possible, like you said bypassing the bridge that has collapsed and following the old road as far as you can go. I remember walking out onto some rocks from where I could see Bangbao. But I didn’t try walking along by the sea.

    Will have to try it some time :-)

    If you have and a GPS you can download the KML file for the 100KM Koh Chang trail race which went through the jungle around there. So could try following some of that trail too.

  • You can walk from here to Bang Bao now, fairly easily (at least it’s no more difficult a trail than some of the others on Koh Chang). The trail brings you out at a small beach probably about 500-750 metres from Bang Bao, from there you have to walk along the rocks to get to the beach at Bang Bao where that huge abandoned ship is.

    I found that rather than following the road, pick up a dirt road/trail not so far from the beach itself, heading left if you’re coming from the beach. Eventually that will bring you to the road again which you can follow for about 1km (you can do all this on a motorbike), then it’s walking only the rest of the way.

  • Hi Ian,

    I rode there with my 9 year old on a scooter.

    Wow. What a beautiful beach. The lagoon is gorgeous too.

    Well worth the visit!

  • Hi Fred
    I guess your taking the boat round there. If so, also do a stop on Koh Laoya, great beach there too. Enjoy the trip

  • Great article and photos Ian. I’ve also done this ride and it’s much fun, although that was in the dry season so there was no water in the river one has to cross.

    Just hope this spot remains as unspoilt as it currently is! In fact no south coast road would be good.

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Koh Chang Island Guide For Independent Travellers