Ko Chang, the “Elephant Island” of Trat province, has long been my favorite out of the five Thai islands that are both large and popular. For me, it edges out Ko Phangan and Ko Lanta mainly because of its natural attractions: a bundle of waterfalls, 700-meter mountains and secluded beaches accessed via back roads. One such road is so rough that I prefer to leave the motorbike behind, and hike it.
That would be the road to Ko Chang’s only undeveloped beach, Hat Wai Chaek, whose name is also transliterated as Chek or Shak, among other ways. Hiking there avoids potential motorbike problems in a remote area with little to no cell service. Using my own two feet also allows me to fully appreciate the jungle, which I explored well beyond the road to Hat Wai Chaek in 2019.
On that excursion I jogged much of the roughly 10-km round-trip — and that does not include the two-hour motorbike ride from my bungalow in Bang Bao to where the road to Hat Wai Chaek begins west of Salak Phet Bay. Bringing only a day pack along, I left my camera in the bungalow. So while I’ve added photos from previous trips to Hat Wai Chaek, you’ll have to use your imagination for the rest.