Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) at a Glance
400bt rooms to 5,000bt+
Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) Koh Chang at an Island Pace
Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) is the final beach on the west coast. With its fine sand, calm waters throughout the year and great views across the bay, it has witnessed a slow and steady development, quietly managed by the sole land owner who has resolutely held out against the large scale investors.
There are just a handful of places to stay ranging from cabins on the creek to cheaper bungalows and small resorts, with the one large hotel at the very end.
Bang Bao Beach has become the day beach of choice for those that find Lonely Beach a bit too busy and of course, for those staying at Bailan Beach and Bang Bao, which do not have their own stretch of proper sand.
Low-key restaurants with their deckchairs out front together with a couple of bars and massage spots ensure the mood is laid-back and friendly.
In the evenings, Bang Bao Beach feels nicely detached from the rest of the island, but perhaps inevitably you do now sense a nightlife scene emerging, as one-off parties become regular weekly events.
Songthaew taxis happily run out here during the day, but come dusk, they will ramp up the prices considerably, not least because they are unlikely to be bringing anyone back the other way.
Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) – Hat Sai Noi
Having passed behind the condos of Tranquillity Bay, the road quickly reaches Hat Sai Noi, a tiny bit of beach that has become home to four relaxed restaurants and bars, Maha, I-Do, How High and the long standing, Djembe House. There are even a few huts out the back and Djembe hosts weekly party and jam sessions, with didgeridoos featuring heavily.
Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) – Walking along The Beach
A few hundred metres further on, you arrive at the creek from where a small bridge leads onto Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) itself. The restaurants Mon, The Beach and Yu Yu Golden Beach are located at the top end, with their tables, deckchairs and loungers laid out along the sand. The Beach and Yu Yu Golden Beach offer a few rooms out back too and there’s even a small bakery.
Mr T’s T-Bar and the Lion Bar are next up providing the evening entertainment and Klong Kloi Cottages, cheap to mid-range bungalows arranged in a semi-circle and Bang Bao Beach Resort are the accommodation choices.
Continuing south, the upmarket Chivapuri Beach Resort, with its large Lanna style villas and swimming pool, rests back amongst the trees and the boutique round huts of Tropical Beach Resort sit at the end.
If you keep walking, you reach a weir and in the distance, another group of buildings is clearly visible. This is Koh Chang Boat Chalets, a huge resort which has undergone many name changes and re-inventions over the years but resolutely remains deserted.
The 30 metre high converted ship did serve as a hotel at one point. It is only accessible by following the road behind the beach to its end, whereupon a 100bt entry fee is levied if you want to go any further and are not resident.
Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) – The Unfinished Road
Past the little bridge at the start of Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi), the road heads up and round the creek passing the new Chaipura Resort, with its restaurant on stilts over the water and then back off into the forest. After a short distance, there is a turning to the left, which was and in theory, could still be the back road to Salak Phet on the east coast. Despite what many maps might indicate, this section has never been completed due to a troublesome mountain being in the way at a crucial juncture and a lack of funds and willingness to start again.
You can follow the other end from Salak Phet by heading to Wai Chek Beach, but that stops abruptly at a collapsed bridge. The two ends are tantalisingly close, separated by just a few kilometres, but they do not meet.
There is always talk of the project getting underway again, indeed one plan suggests circumventing the mountain obstacle by means of a road up on concrete supports out in the ocean. But at the end of the day, the talk is probably just that, talk, not least as, each time it is mooted, it pushes up the price of property on either side of the divide.
You can take the road here in Bang Bao Beach and explore, but it is severely degraded in parts and ultimately, it too comes to a dead-end in the form of another broken bridge. If you clamber over to the other side, you can continue on foot but ultimately the jungle has taken over and it becomes impenetrable.
Bang Bao Beach (Klong Kloi) – Behind The Beach
After this turning inland, the main road, meanwhile, carries on behind the beach. It is a lovely drive through the forest, with a couple of long sandy tracks leading off it, the back routes to Chivapuri Beach Resort and Tropical Beach Resort.
Along the tracks, about 5 minutes walk from the sea, a few old style bungalows operations have appeared over the last year, T-Garden, Santiosook and finally on the little island on the creek, Treehouse Cottages, owned and run by Ting Tong Bar.
You’ll also find a couple of tattooists and a few more scrappy rooms here and there to rent. This new minor development behind the baech is how Lonely Beach village first looked all those years ago, so watch this space maybe boom over the next few years.
Carry on past them and you come out on the beach at Klong Kloi Cottages.
Back at the road, meanwhile, a little further on, it does stop rather abruptly at the kiosk for Koh Chang Boat Chalets and its 100bt fee, so you must retrace your steps.