Chai Chet at a Glance
500bt to 5,000bt+ for deluxe
Chai Chet at an Island Pace
Chai Chet is a curious mixture, with beers bars, a hardware store and gas station at its northern end, shopping plazas marking the centre and a rather good beach in the south.
Chai Chet accommodation has a bit of everything from large traditional resorts on the sand to newer boutique, backpacker and standard bungalow operations. There are also some good restaurants in and around the plaza and at the southern end. With your own transport to explore further, Chai Chet can make for a great place to pitch up for a few days, yet another Koh Chang spot that has more to it than meets the eye.
Chai Chet at the far northern end
Coming out from Pearl Beach, the road first passes the crocodile and snake farm, much loved by the kids, but not it must be said very high on our recommendations of things to do on Koh Chang before reaching Grand Tree Bungalows, Max’s Bistro and the somewhat curious Zip n’Zorb Adventure Park just around the next corner.
Shortly afterwards, you arrive at a large empty hangar-like building, The Koh Chang Entertainment Complex, a failed attempt at zoning the Chai Chet beer bars, which now line the other side of the street. Palm Beach Restaurant once down on the sand has now popped up in amongst them, with a hardware store and the island’s main minibus parking area further along.
Accessed by a small turning by the hardware store, a narrow street leads past Baan Fine Times, bungalows and long stay houses for rent, before winding its way through the forest all the way down to the sea. This back area, once used by Koh Chang Offroad ATV Vehicles is great fun to explore on the motorbike and you get some terrific views down the coast, an area of Koh Chang not often seen.
Back at the main road opposite the bars, Kerdmanee Resort, with its bungalows lined up the hillside, sits next door to the Lanna style villas of Thai Garden Hill Resort, with Suwan Garden Restauarant and a petrol station completing the row.
Blue Resort and Spa, set back from the road on a curious inland reservoir, lies on the bend just before the two Chai Chet shopping plazas, VJ and Coconut. Luxury Guesthouse, certainly not luxury but more than passable, is found down an alleyway by the palza and a good tour office, Cocodobee is located at the front.
Chai Chet – the shoppping plazas and start of the beach
VJ Plaza is principally known for the large supermarket, which stocks a whole host of western foods and wines, but behind it, a concrete avenue of further shops and restaurants leads up to VJ Island View, an apartment building, home to many of the better paid island workers and long stay guests.
This is not the most scenic of places to eat or take a stroll but in the evening, things tend to pick up with popular choices being Yes, Goya Cafe and Marco and Jo. The whole area is popular with the Russian tour groups who stay at Coconut Beach Resort across the road, so much of the signage and the menus are also in Cyrillic.
Next door to VJ Plaza is Coconut Plaza, which offers further restaurants, a good bar in Malibu and other travel shops, as well a Tesco Lotus and a large Marin coffee shop. Opposite the two plazas, needless to say, there’s yet another 7-11, with a small street leading down to the sea on which Coconut Beach Resort is spread out on either side.
Follow this street to the end and you reach Chai Chet Resort, which sits on the headland, with some lovely views out over the sea. The resort is accessed by crossing over the small bridge spanning the inlet, where small tour boats and other local fishing boats are moored up. At the rear of the resort on the hill, you can pick-up a signed jungle path around the shoreline, well worth a few minutes of your time, not least to see the 300 year old Tabor tree hidden away in the forest.
Chai Chet – the southern end
Back up on the road, there is a small police box and then the two large ocean front resorts of Koh Chang Paradise Resort and Spa and the older Koh Chang Resort. The boutique resort, Flora i Talay dominates the southern end of the beach with its stylish ochre coloured bungalows.
Koh Chang Latex and PP Guesthouse are located in buildings on the other side of the road and slightly separated from them, is a great local restaurant, Raan Somtam Udon, offering bbq chicken on the spit, sticky rice and of course, somtam. At the end, Mother Earth, an environmentally sustainable project where you can stay, is perched up on the hill.
Next door to Flora i Talay, Pajamas Koh Chang Hostel offers dorms or flashpacker rooms, with its in-house restaurant a second branch of the very popular Nong Bua Seafood from White Sand Beach, this one a more chic and cool affair but still with great prices.
Finally, there is also another public beach access, from where a very pleasant stroll takes you past the fronts of all the resorts all the way to Chai Chet Resort. Going the other way, the beach continues onto Klong Prao Resort and past that, the small German restaurant Ko-Ko-Mo and Aana Resort’s beach bar area, with the river or klong immediately beyond them.