Updated for 2018-19 Season
Dan Khao is a small area on the Koh Chang east coast near the ferry piers.
Not previously featuring on anyone’s radar other than keen cartographers, it is now a name bandied about with far more regularity due to the increasing popularity of its handful of quiet getaway resorts.
Top End – Dan Khao Koh Chang East Coast
Dan Khao starts at Centerpoint Ferry Pier, the older of the two Koh Chang ferry services. There is an coffee shop opposite and just a few hundred metres further south down the coast, you’ll also find another old slipway down by the sea. Back in the day, the wooden passenger boat ferry used to dock here, with rucksacks and backpackers alike unceremoniously piled up in all of its available space. Thanfully, once everyone moved over to the car ferries, it was discontinued but you can see still the remnants of the pier and curiously an old gym nearby too.
The Beach and Resorts – Dan Khao Koh Chang East Coast
Around the next bend is the main area of Dan Khao, a collection of three resorts and two homestays fronting onto the gritty red sand beach overlooking the mainland. All the east coast beaches are in this similar vein and not on a par with those over on the west coast so don’t expect to be sunbathing on a towel or playing too much in the waves. All is not lost though, as you can still head out to sea on a kayak or at low tide, explore the coast on foot and perhaps most importantly, you can kick back and enjoy the prevailing mood of perfect calm tranquillity, Dan Khao’s star attraction.
0n the beach itself, the English owned and immaculately kept boutique resort Amber Sands is first up, with just 8 rooms with a swimming pool. It’s very popular in TripAdvisor, with its quiet unassuming atmosphere offering a real contrast to the hurly burly of the west coast.
Next door, Pen and Cesar is a small homestay, while continuing on from that, The Souk, a long standing Thai resort of whitewashed cabanas, has now changed hands. Due to re-open in late 2018, it will become a restaurant on the beach run by the original owners and a brand new resort with swimming pool run by its new English owners. Opened in 2015-16, Serenity Resort and Residences, another very well reviewed boutique resort of 10 bungalows and 8 large villas, alongside its ocean-fronting swimming pool, completes the set.
A homestay, Baan Mai Rim Fang Nam sits at the far end on the sea. Though primarily aimed at Thai weekenders, they are happy to accept foreign guests too, with accommodation available in bungalows or large share rooms.
On the main road above the beach, you’ll find a couple of cheap places to eat and a basic minimart but that is about your lot.
The Final Stretch – Dan Khao Koh Chang East Coast
Continuing on down the coast, another road down to the sea leads to a small fishing dock where you can get the fresh catch of the day before you pass a petrol station with coffee shop opposite. Shortly after here, you reach Sompot Garden, buildings on one side and plastic produce growing tents on the other. Over the last few years, this fruit farm, with its small attached homestay, has emerged as the focus of agro-tourism on Koh Chang. Thais visit from the mainland to learn the ins and outs of local fruit varieties, durian in particular, as well as specific farming methods. There is another similar project down in Salak Khok, a few hundred metres after the turning to Salak Khok Seafood.
Look out next for the brightly coloured entrance to Blessed, an esoteric house and homestay by the sea, with its wonderfully vibrant and vivid mosaic artwork covering every available space alongside sculptures and installations reminiscent of Easter Island.
Around the next corner, the Belgium owned Garden of Joy is the final resort in Dan Khao, a large sprawling affair of over 20 bungalows under the trees with beachfront swimming pool, vehicles for hire and coffee shop come bakery.
Last but not least, at the far end of Dan Khao before you head out down the coast to Dan Mai, you can turn in to Baan Talay Thai, a small understated Koh Chang housing development, which has a mixture of private houses and holiday villas for rent, some with swimming pools.
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