Koh Chang East Coast at a Glance
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Koh Chang East Coast at an Island Pace
Along the way, the road passes through the administrative capital at Dan Mai and other little hamlets but it is a world apart from the west coast, with very little tourism, certainly no proper beaches and seemingly, therefore, limited attraction. Yet, as with so much of Koh Chang, scratch away the surface and there is plenty on offer – excellent, well-run peaceful resorts, a health spa, seafood and local Thai restaurants, a couple of waterfalls and a terrific coastline to boot.
Koh Chang East Coast – from the ferries to Dan Khao
Coming away from Klong Son and its Chinese temple perched on the brow of the hill, you immediately drop down to the Koh Chang ferry terminal at Ao Sapparot, with Koh Chang Fasai Resort and some more than acceptable seafood restaurants hidden away down a little street at the bottom of the slope.
A couple of kilometres further on, the road passes the garishly pink Thai resort, Mayuree before shortly afterwards reaching Dan Khao, where Centrepoint ferries are based. Next door is another now disused pier, at which the little old wooden ferry used to dock, with its cargo of backpackers squeezed together like sardines and their packs piled unceremoniously one on top of the other in the prow of the boat.
Dan Khao is a steadily developing area, with three small resorts, Amber Sands, The Souk and Serenity, which also now has 6 large villas under construction. At the end of the row, a more old school Thai homestay sits down the bottom of its own track. All the accommodation shares the same stretch of beach looking out over the mainland.
The beach, its red gritty sand typical of all the beaches down this coast, is no award winner but the location is peaceful and secluded, so the resorts are popular. Indeed, a few cheap roadside restaurants have now sprung up to feed those that venture out.
Blessed, a small guesthouse with lots of artistic flourishes, is just a bit further along followed by East Coast Resort and its own Italian restaurant. Around a few more twists and turns, Baan Talay Thai, a mixture of private houses and holiday rent villas, sits down on the seafront.
Koh Chang East Coast – Dan Mai
Dan Mai is the main government area on Koh Chang, with the lots of administration buildings and the head police station. It also boasts a gentle but very pretty tiered waterfall, Klong Nonsi, clearly signed as you enter the area, with a popular somtam and sticky rice restaurant on the corner of the turning.
Opposite the Police Station, a narrow street leads past the school and temple to the village itself, with a crossroads at the bottom. Taking a left here, brings you to Dan Mai Seafood, an old style restaurant over the water. There are plenty of other local houses, a tiny Chinese temple, some bungalows for rent at Baan Chid Talay and at the far end, another small unfinished development of western style private villas. If you follow the route here, you’ll emerge out at the main road before the hospital.
Back at the crossroads, you can walk to the estuary and the old pier. This was a fish sauce factory in its heyday but now, the whole area is unfortunately very dilapidated. Still, by treading carefully, you can get out onto the pier and enjoy the great views back to Dan Mai village itself.
Returning to our crossroads once more, you can now take the right fork, which leads you past the temple, over a small bridge and via local houses, in a loop back round to the main road, coming out near the sports field.
Heading out of town on down the east coast, you’ll spot Tippayarat, a place for camping and Graceville, a simple Thai weekenders resort, followed in short order by three huge imposing private villas, one of which is available for holiday lease and finally a turning down to Uncle Chalerm’s Bungalows.
Koh Chang East Coast – Than Mayom to the Salak Khok turning
After a few kilometres, passing through the hamlet of Baan Klong Makhok with its long abandoned condo development, the east coast road reaches Than Mayom waterfall, with its prinicpal entrance by the bridge. This is one of the main centres for the Park Authorities on Koh Chang with various offices and staff lodgings, as well as a long disused pier, pretty little beach, restaurant and 2 or 3 bungalows, Baan Ing Luk.
Over the brow of the next little hill, a curious row of blue metal benches, cutely laid out along the seafront, makes a welcome spot to pull over and take a breather. The boutique resort of Na Koh Chang Tara Resort, with its coffee shop by the water, sits around the corner.
More hamlets such as Hat Sai Daeng follow over the next few kilometres, nothing of much note in fact, but look out for Baan Look Chang, a shooting range with a some sailing facilities and the tiny Privacy Resort. Kooncharaburi, a huge upscale resort, quiet even at the busiest of times on Koh Chang, is located at the the end of a long track in its own cove, known as Ao Kong Kang.
The road drops down to the The Spa Koh Chang, the secluded detox retreat, a petrol station and finally after some 20 or more kilometres from the piers, the turning to Salak Khok, Chek Bae and Long Beach. A minimart and noodle shop sits on the corner amid all the signage and Salak Phet itself is another 4 kilometers straight on from this point.