Bailan Beach Koh Chang – Explore with Our Guide

Bailan Beach at a Glance

Likely to meet:
Backpackers, couples and tourists
The Beach:
Not its strong point, small beach at either end, tidal and rocks underfoot
Accommodation:
Large hotel, mid range resorts, boutique and bit of backpacker
300bt or 7,500bt or more for deluxe pool villas at the hotel
Restaurants:
Mainly cheap Thai, bit of western, pizza on the beach
Nightlife:
The odd chill out bar, live music venue, low-key
Other:
Canopying adventure at southern end, Muay Thai club
Highlights:
Local and easy going atmosphere (hanging on), peace and quiet
Lowlights:
The beach, not Koh Chang’s best

Bailan Beach at an Island Pace

Bailan Beach or Bailan Bay as some call it was for many years the sleepy neighbour to Lonely Beach. Known for its local quiet atmosphere and its lack of obvious tourism, it attracted a steady, if not spectacular stream of loyal visitors and was itself seemingly oblivious to the development taking place elsewhere on the island. All has now changed, however, and at a pace, the village has been transformed.

The building of a large hotel at the southern end has brought in a different kind of tourist, whilst more people have begun to see it as a viable option to the noise of Lonely Beach . This rise in numbers has prompted the need for more rooms, mostly mid-range, which in turn has created a building boom. Other new entrepreneurs seeing the boom have moved in behind, putting up restaurants, opening motorbike rentals, bars and massage and so filling up the roadside plots. In short, Bailan Beach is a microcosm of how tourism has changed Koh Chang.

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The locals, meanwhile, remain in the middle of the development quite happy at their new prosperity, with the women in particular doing very nicely indeed. As in the island’s other villages, the land is mostly owned by just a few families and was passed from the head to the son or to the daughter. Traditionally, the best plots, inland, where the soil is good for fruit farming or growing rubber trees, went to the male, whilst the less useful stuff by the ocean was handed to the women. The perhaps unintended result of this practice is that, today, those women sit on prime tourist location real estate, smiling quietly at how the worm has turned.

Bailan Beach at the northern end

Coming from Lonely Beach, the road sweeps round a couple of corners before reaching Bailan Bay Resort at the bottom of a small steep incline, a great spot for sunset watching. Climbing the incline and dropping down the other side, it passes the entrance to The Mangrove, hippy chic bungalows by the sea. Lazy Republique, a tiny upscale backpacker resort, is on the mountainside with the French owned bungalows of St Tropez next door. Coconut Cafe, a popular cheap restaurant, sits adjacent to the rooms of Baan Sanook, with the live music venue and cheap huts of Tarzan Island, completing the row.

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Opposite Coconut Cafe, a small soi leads to the large mid-range Bailan Beach Resort. There is a tiny beach here which runs northwards past the front of The Mangrove and from where it is possible to swim if the tide is in. The whole bay is rocky underfoot, so low tides makes things somewhat trickier. Indeed, at certain times of the year, the sea retreats for a good couple of hundred metres, completely exposing the seabed and its rocks, great for the locals to gather a certain kind of shellfish but not so good for the tourists wanting to take a dip. On the beach, you can walk to the end and through Bailan Bay to reach the abandoned buildings on the little peninsula.

Bailan Beach – The central area down to the sea

Back at the road, on the ocean side, Kwaimaipar Orchid Resort, Filin Cocktail House, Kamrai Resort and Jungle Garden, with its bar, bungalows and hammock shop, run in a line to the bridge. Another bar and tattoo shop, homestay, noodle shop, vegetables stands, motorbikes for hire, laundry and minimart are all crowded into this next section, with a small street heading off down to the sea.

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At the top, Harley Moon Hideaway is soon to open, whilst immediately behind it, Bailan View, cheapish bungalows in a garden setting, sits opposite Koh Chang’s only Muay Thai Boxing Club (Russian owned, no less), complete with ring, rooms and ridiculously high roof.

Green Cottage Resort, Vanalee and its Sea Terrace restaurant are at the bottom and then following the curve, Elephant Bay Resort offers cheap and mid-range huts, complete with a swimming pool.

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At the very end, Bailan Huts, with seafront cabanas and a restaurant on stilts over the water finishes the accommodation off. The coastline here is rocky, with clumps of mangroves, little local fishing dinghies and no beach.

Bailan Beach – The southern end

Continuing down the village, Tamarin, a Thai restaurant with a Khmer slant, is located on the mountain side with the recently relocated and still excellent Joy and Yaa Massage next door. Opposite sits one of Koh Chang’s many building merchants and The Happy Turtle, restaurant and bungalows, a good hang out spot with affable host.

The street here, running down the side of The Happy Turtle, leads to the Lucky Gecko Garden, six or so bungalows with restaurant and The White House, a mid range resort. You can walk straight through and drop down to the sandy southern section of the bay, its headland at the end giving a most impressive panorama.

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The Mercure Hideaway, with its villas, swimming pool and loungers, is located in the middle of the beach, a beach they actually created by importing sand, dredging rocks and building the long stone breakwater. At the far end, Lisca Beach has drinks, food and glamping tents. The headland has been wired off as private property, a pity as from the tip, there is a fabulous view looking back at the bay itself or across to Lonely Beach in the distance.

Opposite The Happy Turtle, the inland street leads to local and long stay houses, with other houses for rent in the garden area behind the massage units on the road. Down towards the hotel, you’ll find a laundry and minimart as well other good local food stands all opposite the Bailan Herbal Sauna, long since changed hands from its original owners.

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Heading south from here, the road passes the main entrance to Mercure Hideaway, with the police box opposite, Boat Seafood restaurant behind that and the bungalows and restaurant of Rock Inn next door. Just before the hill, a track leading to the ocean is clearly marked for Treetop Adventure Park, a fun time swinging through the trees. The end of the track brings you out at the southern end of the bay once more, where you can hear the excited screams from the canopy as another brave soul flies down the wire.

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All in all, Bailan Beach makes a good base for those not too fussed about lying on the beach, with a good range of accommodation, cheap eats and chill-out bars that do not rave into the wee hours. It is easy enough to hop over to Lonely Beach by songthaew, your own bike or even a 15 minute walk and as an alternative, Bang Bao Beach, 6 kilometres further south, is a very popular option for a day on the sand.

Related Content to Bailan Beach Koh Chang – Explore with Our Guide

  • Previous Beach along the coast at Lonely Beach
  • Next Area along the coast at Bang Bao

  • Return to Koh Chang Beaches – Start Exploring Here!