East Coast

  Ian Armstrong

East Coast

Almost completely oblivious to the development on the west coast, the east coast is winding roads through undulating hills of coconut and palm trees, small fishing hamlets, mangroves and scenic bays. The east side is a place to get a motorbike and explore! Ride carefully though as there are some pretty tight bends on the cliffs; this is not a route to learn how to ride a scooter on! There is no connecting road on the south of the island so you have to head north past Haad Sai Khao to make your way down the east coast. Along the way, you will pass the village of Khlong Son in the North West with its access to Nang Yom Waterfall. About halfway down the east coast, you will pass the entrance to Klong Nonsi Waterfall, just before the humble village of Dan Mai. The village is worth a look, especially if you are not going to make your way to Salakkok or Salakphet in the south. Just a bit further past Dai Mai is the path entrance for the islands tallest waterfall, Khlong Neung (for further details on each of the waterfalls take a look at the Waterfalls highlight page). Continuing further south, you head towards two of Ko Chang’s little gems, Salak Kok Bay and Salak Phet. Salak Kok Bay is a charming little fishing community with people living the same way of life as they have done for years. Here you can see rickety wooden bungalows backing onto the mangroves, a snapshot of how the island was before development. You can take a walk out onto the 800m concrete walkway into the mangroves (not exactly eco-friendly but it’s there now), even more special is to hire a kayak and paddle out into them. You can get some superb views of the bay around here, and you will probably be the only tourist around. To get here take a hard left off the main Rural Rd 500m after the gas-station and another 400m down the road you will see the access to the mangrove walkway. You can hire kayaks from Salak Kok Kayak Station which is a community based project. Just past this is a left turn down to Salakkok with more huts and some amazing views of the bay. Right at the very south on the west coast, Salak Phet is a sleepy fishing village where the only real signs of tourism are a couple of homestays and seafood restaurants. So you can stay here but there’s no nightlife to speak of. Besides enjoying the views of the bay you can take a stroll on the mangrove walkway or hire kayaks to coast round them. There’s also a lovely little temple in Salak Phet which is well worth a look inside at the beautiful mural covered walls. If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your way to the off-grid Haad Wai Shak beach. If you do, you’re likely to be the only one on this good stretch of sand which offers superb views and excellent snorkelling. You may even spot some dolphins out at sea if you’re lucky. There are some very basic bamboo and thatch huts there known as Wai Shak Bungalows which closed in 2015 and at the start of 2016 were still closed. If you go there and this has changed let us know! To get to the beach, you need to follow the partly completed road to Bang Bao. At the end of the concrete road it turns into a dirt track where you take a left and follow the track to the beach.

Map of East Thailand

East Thailand-Map

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