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. Instead, continue on another 2 to 3 kms until you reach two very similar single storey low roofed local stores facing each other. There’s a couple of noodle stalls and a pharmacy as company. You may spot too 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 and accompanying traffic pole – the sort that can be raised or lowered to let through vehicles. This is the road to Wai Chek Beach.
The road itself is in pretty dire straits. It’s worst on the hills where the tarmac has been washed away to leave nothing but gravel and you will need to take extra care when going downhill due to the lack of traction. Don’t be surprised if you 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. Turn in and follow the intermittent arrows until you reach the correct 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.
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 abandoned, crumbling Wai Shak Bungalows, a handful of huts with an accompanying restaurant, that once hosted 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. You get a fabulous view of the beach below and out to the islands in the distance from here. It’s the sort of spot you might find a James Bond villian and the stone terrace and two Ganesh style elephants add 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.
You can also head here on a private speedboat as one of the stops on a local bespoke tour.
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