Koh Chang’s only undeveloped beach is a 400 metre long swathe of sand in a sheltered bay with amazing views south to the outlying islands. If ( when) it does get developed it deserves to have a stunning resort built on the site. But at the moment anyone who visits is pretty much guaranteed to have it to themselves.
The beach is a kilometre off the proposed road between Bangbao & Salakphet in the south of Koh Chang. This 10Km stretch is missing from the island loop and although construction on a road was begun it was never completed. The workers disappeared about 8 years ago. A couple of years ago it was announced that the plan had been brought back to life and the road would be completed with a few small changes.
I heard that work was due to begin soon on the road, so went to take a look to see if anything had happened yet and if there were any signs of life. Nothing has & there aren’t. Getting to Wait Chaek is pretty simple. Follow the road, take an obvious left turn. Follow a dirt track across a river, through a field of tall grass and coconut trees and you arrive at the beach. Last time I visited there were still people living here, now the old house is abandoned and empty.
Walk along the beach to the eastern end and you’ll find that there is a lovely little lagoon with access to the sea hidden away. 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 newly built but never completed wooden huts. Looks like someone, an obvious optimist, planned a small backpacker place here. Scramble around a bit and you’ll be able to get a few pics of the view across the bay from above.
The road continues off from Wai Chaek, although following it isn’t immediately obvious and , 100 metres from the left turn, a bridge has been washed out and unless you are Evil Knievel, you wont be crossing the river there. There is an alternative route though. Coming back from Wai Chaek, don’t cross the river, follow the only another dirt track through a rubber plantation until it joins the road again. There’a a rubber tappers house here but that was also empty when I visited.
Then you have another 3 kilometres or so of overgrown tarmac road to negotiate. On the way there are two dirt roads heading towards the shoreline. One I didn’t bother with as it was too muddy to go down on the scooter. The other was a trail that could only be walked, leading off opposite the a shelter / rest stop that was constructed as part of the road building project. So I followed that for about 10 minutes, first up hill and then dropping down steeply until it came out at the top of cliffs on the south coast of Koh Chang – with views to the west towards Bangbao.
The road eventually ends, just after a long steep downhill stretch. From there I decided to walk and follow the dirt road. I could get about 800M – 1Km further before the track just got too overgrown. You need a machete to go any further as the grass and brush is well above head height. At this point, according to the GPS on my phone, I was about 1.5Km from Grand Lagoona (Aunchananlee ) Resort in Bangbao.
If you find that there is barrier across the road where it starts near Salakphet, feel free to ride round it. I’m of the opinion if that the authorities really don’t want people to go into an area they landmine it and surround it with razor wire – neither of which has been done in this case. There are some rough stretches where the road turns to gravel and dirt but most of the way to Wai Chaek is OK and the dirt track isn’t too treacherous. Only thing to bear in mind is that a) you don’t want to get a puncture or run out of fuel down there and b) there’s no mobile phone signal down there.