Hidden away at the end of a never completed and now badly deteriorating road, Wai Chek Beach remains one of Koh Chang’s most remote spots. Whilst never ranking at the top of a visitor’s to-do list, the sheer beauty in its wild untapped nature is ample reward for those who make the effort to find it.
Getting to Wai Chek Beach
To reach Wai Chek, you must head down the east coast of the island all the way to the Salak Phet area, about 25km from the ferry piers. As a marker, after about 20km, look out for the turning to Long Beach and Parama Resort, but ignore it and continue on another 2 to 3 kms until you reach two very similar local stores facing each other, with a couple of noodle stalls and a pharmacy as company. There’s a large map too on the left hand side and a sign for Chang Noi Kitchen.
Turn right here and you are on the road to Salak Phet Seafood, a long winding route which makes its way past orchards, rubber trees, scattered houses, shops and the occasional restaurant. About 4 kms along, there is a narrow lane off to the right, marked by a small hexagonal long disused hut, with accompanying traffic pole that can be raised or lowered to let through vehicles. This is the road to Wai Chek Beach.
The road is in pretty dire straits, worst on the hills where the tarmac has been washed away to leave nothing but gravel. You will need to take extra care when going downhill as the motorbike wheels can gain little or no traction, so you will find yourself sliding. It’s only like this in places though and on the stretches in between, as decrepit as it is, the old road is more than passable. After about 5 km, just before it abruptly stops at a broken bridge, you need to take the wide sandy track to the left.
Follow this through the forest up to the dried up river bed and then in turn follow the intermittent arrows until you reach the right place to cross, the 3rd clearing along. After a few minutes snaking through the tall grass and coconut trees, you arrive at the sand itself.
Arriving at Wai Chek Beach
The lovely long strand is framed by two small salt water lagoons at either end, with gentle jungle covered hills above. Out at sea, the uninhabited island of Koh Klum dominates the horizon, a few fishing boats normally at anchor at its eastern tip.
At the northern end of the beach, there is a path up the hill which brings you out at the now abandoned and crumbling Wai Shak Bungalows, a handful of huts with an accompanying restaurant that used to host the occasional more intrepid travellers.
Beyond these shacks, however, someone has been busy and there now sits a rather incongruous single storey brand new concrete house, with half a dozen 2000 liter bright blue water tanks up on its flat roof. Giving a fabulous view of the beach below and out to the islands in the distance, it’s a terrific location, the sort of spot you might find a James Bond villian, with the stone terrace and two Ganesh style elephants adding a further Blofeldian twist.
Back down on the sand, the whole area is more often than not completely deserted and that splendid isolation is yet another hidden quality of Wai Chek Beach. Take a few minutes to enjoy it with a swim before packing up and heading back on that horrible road.
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