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, you’ll now hear the name bandied about far more due to the popularity of its 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 a sometimes open 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. Thankfully, once everyone moved over to the car ferries, it was discontinued but you can see still the remnants of the pier.
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 which overlooks the mainland.
All the east coast beaches are in this similar vein and not on a par with those over on the west coast. 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. 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. Comprising just 8 rooms with a swimming pool and great restaurant, the resort’s quiet unassuming atmosphere offers a real contrast to the hurly burly of the west coast. Head over to TripAdvisor to see their ratings.
Next door, Pen and Cesar is a small homestay, while continuing on from that, The Souk, after the sale of its accommodation, now operates solely as a restaurant and cocktail bar.
That accommodation of white washed cabanas from The Souk has been absorbed into Sunrise Beach Resort, where the owners have also added larger family rooms at the back. There’s an excellent central swimming pool too.
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 accept foreign guests too. Accommodation is either in bungalows or large share rooms.
On the main road above the beach, you’ll also find a couple of cheap places to eat and a basic minimart but that is about your lot.
Farming Project – Dan Khao
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. 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.
The Final Stretch- Dan Khao
Look out next for the brightly coloured entrance to Blessed, an esoteric house and homestay by the sea. Follow its gravel drive to the bottom and it opens out onto a wonderful property, where the artist owner has used vivid mosaics alongside sculptures to create a unique space.
Continue around the next corner and you’ll spot Garden of Joy, Dan Khao’s final resort. It’s a large sprawling affair of over 30 bungalows under the trees, complete with beachfront swimming pool.
Last but not least, at the far end of Dan Khao before you head out down the coast to Dan Mai, the tiny Thai diner, Suan Wirote sits a few metres before the turning to Baan Talay Thai.
Baan Talay Thai is the second of the islands’ housing developments. Blue Haven (formerly Siam Royal View) in Klong Son is currently the major one bu that will be eclipsed by Aquarius in Bang Bao, currently under construction.
Baan Talay Thai itself comprises a mixture of around 25 private houses and holiday villas for rent, some with swimming pools. It’s a popular a spot for families who want to avoid the west coast but you really do need a car to not feel isolated .
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