Check out the other half
Published/Last edited or updated: 12th February, 2018
Fishing boats bob beside stilted homes as sea eagles glide over mangroves, orchards and rubber groves. In the background stand 700-metre-high mountains concealing waterfalls shrouded in jungle. Anyone who thinks that Ko Chang is too crowded or developed has never made it to Salak Phet and the east coast, an area that rewards those who are ready to explore.
Yet most travellers hit the east on day trips from the touristy west coast, and they can expect a roughly 70-kilometre round trip from Haad Sai Khao. Whenever we hit the east coast, we usually start out thinking day trip, but realise once we’re over there that staying a night or two is really the way to go.
Venturing north out of Haad Sai Khao you’ll eventually drop into the village of Khlong Son, where you could sidetrack west to the pretty, sheltered beach where Little Sunshine is found, or head east to do the scenic hike to Khlong Jao Leuam Waterfall. Also on the inland road is Baan Kwan Chang, considered the most responsible of Ko Chang’s elephant camps.
North of Khlong Son, the smooth main road passes a Chinese shrine honouring a spirit image known as Chao Por Ko Chang. When you hear Thai drivers honking in this vicinity, don’t worry, they’re displaying respect for the spirit and not telling you to speed up.
From the Chinese gates the smooth road brings you close to the north coast and passes the two car ferry piers before curving southeast around the tiny village of Dan Kao. Around here you might stop at the excellent Amber Sands Resort or Garden of Joy for a bite to eat. Otherwise you’ll find fresh seafood served further south near a long pier and another Chinese shrine in the village of Dan Mai, where a simpler Ko Chang persists despite the mass tourism on the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,600 words.)
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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