Kai Bae Beach at a Glance
500bt rooms to 10,000bt+ for luxury rooms
Kai Bae Beach at an Island Pace
Kai Bae Beach is the last area before the road climbs over the second mountain and connects to the far south west of the island. Local and friendly, it is a slightly cramped dusty place with a hotch-potch of shops, restaurants and bars jostling for position up on the road, and a good beach, split into two sections, just a hundred or so metres away. Down by the sea, there is a wide choice of places to stay, with the majority mid-range, some cheaper backpacker huts and rooms, three high-end luxury options and inland, a few long stay bungalows.
It has become a popular Koh Chang spot with families and travelers alike, perhaps more easily affordable for beach front rooms than the larger resorts of Klong Prao Beach, relatively peaceful when held up against the party scene of Lonely Beach and without such a package tour feel as White Sand Beach.
Kai Bae Beach – The Northern End
After the last bend of Klong Prao Beach, with its track leading down to Choc Dee Resort, the now narrow road passes the small Kai Bae Beach police box and then reaches Mai Pen Lai Guesthouse. Opposite, with Marin Coffee on the corner, the Kai Bae bypass heads up through dusty, cleared land towards the interior. Its route takes it behind and above the village, giving some great views over the backs of the houses and out to sea, before it cuts back to rejoin the main street about half way along or continues on to rejoin the main road at the bottom of the hill near Seaview Resort at the end of the town.
Adjacent to Mai Pen Lai and similarly packed against the hillside, there are a couple of small places to eat, a bar and barber, whilst on the other side, another smaller soi, known as ‘Walking Street’, curves around in an arc to meet the road proper a few hundred metres further along. It is host to a few beer bars and not much else, with Pirates Pub, a popular haunt for Russian tourists, sitting on its far corner, the entrance to Chang Cliff Beach Resort opposite.
Kai Bae Beach – The Central Area
Pressing on, the road meanders past another couple of bars and restaurants, which frequently seem to change hands to 339 Avenue, a shopping plaza of odd two storey houses. The plaza has never taken off, with most of it sitting neglected and uninviting but on the front, the restaurant, Ciao Italian does still throw open its doors of an evening. Across the street, a row of shop units stands similarly empty. Chang Park Resort is located down along the beach here with Cliff Beach Resort both next door and you guessed it, on the cliff above.
As always, the 7-11 marks a good spot to get your bearings and Kai Bae Beach has two against which to navigate, one at this end and one at the southern end. Friend Seafood sits on one side of this first one, while on the other side, PK208, Ploy Seafood, O2 and Ziva Italian complete the dining choices. Blues Guesthouse and Laluna Guesthouse both offer cheaper room options in this strip, with the well stocked Wine Gallery, a few doors down.
Sandwiched in amongst them are the usual assortment of tailors trying to catch the eye of the uninitiated or clothes stalls with makeshift corrugated iron roofs. The backpacker bungalows of Siam Cottages, a tiny resort, The White Knot and the high end boutique resorts of Gajapuri Resort, The Chill and Awa Resort are all beach-side here. Indeed, you can walk north down the sand to the cliffs at the far end in just a few minutes though a high tide might mean getting your feet a little wet.
On the inland side, behind the now closed Island Life condo show house, Koh Chang Water Park, an aquatic bouncy castle, has recently opened with M & M Guesthouse, The Stage and the Moo 4 restaurant nearby. You’ll also find Mak Mak Restaurant and Gelaterie, well worth a visit, as is Mojito Lounge, one of Kai Bae’s party venues, the usually busy Kung Kra Ta, a Korean bbq, Thai style, with open air dining and by the bridge, Kai Moon with its slowly grilling chickens out front on the spit.
Another small soi leads inland past the mountain side rooms of Awa Resort to longer stay rooms and houses including Koh Chang Residence. This street is, in fact, the loop back of the bypass road which started opposite Mai Pen Lai Guesthouse.
Straight across the other side, the small street leads past The Green Resort, new bungalow style accommodation by the river, down to Coral Resort which sits on the headland where this river meets the ocean. A little bridge, with local Kai Bae fishing boats moored here and there, connects it to Nang Nual Beach Bungalows, known for its evening cabaret show.
Kai Bae Beach – The Southern End and The Waterfall
By the bridge, you’ll find a series of different food stalls on one side by the river and on the other side, at the rear, a Muay Thai ring has sprung up, hosting weekend bouts during the high season. Baan Kai Bae Seafood, Barrio Bonito and Emperor of India, all long established restaurants as well as Filou Bar another good evening spot are also based in this area. Montra Guesthouse is the latest accommodation addition, just down from the ever popular The Garden Resort, which is accessed though a little arch.
The next 7-11 marks the final section of Kai Bae Beach, with a track running inland adjacent to it. This track passes the mid-range Sanook Sanang resort and Kai Bae Elephant Camp, the final pachyderm spot on the island, before twisting and turning past various rented houses and staff lodgings to become no more than a jungle path and ultimately reaching Kai Bae waterfall. The waterfall is not often visited but its solitary plunge pool is great for a swim if in full flow.
Kai Bae Beach – The Southern End and The Offshore Islands
Opposite this turning, another street runs down to Kai Bae Hut Resort. At the top sits Kai Bae Hut Noodles,a popular restaurant for locals and tourists alike and at the bottom is the resort itself. Nor Nou Speedboats have their base here, crossing daily to Koh Wai, Koh Mak and Koh Kood, all the details at Koh Chang Island Hopping.
Kai Bae Huts Resort is situated at the start of the second section of the beach and you can now walk all the way to the very southern end. K.B.Resort is next along, followed by Kai Bae Beach Resort, Kai Bae Beach Grand Ville Hotel, Mam Kai Bae Beach Resort and thankfully, the simply named Porn’s Bungalows.
The large Sea View Resort with its mountain side hotel clinging to the rock face above and Siam Bay, at the very southern tip, complete the picture. Both of these are accessed from small streets leading off the main road as it crosses the mountain, but you can reach them by sand if you hop over the boulder wall dividing them from the rest of the beach.
Offshore is Koh Man Nai with its inviting beach clearly visible. This is one of several uninhabited tiny islands off this shoreline, all within easy kayaking distance. Koh Rom and Koh Suwan, good for snorkelling, sit more at the northern end, whilst Koh Yuak, part of several boat trips’ itinerary, and the less exciting Koh Pli and Koh Man Nok sit near to Koh Man Nai at this southern point.
On the road itself, Paradise Bungalows is located on both sides of the street shortly after the Kai Bae Hut Resort’s turning, with Sea Breeze Bungalows on the mountain side. Nestled in amongst them sits the long standing bakery, Papa’s Deli. After the street down to K.B. Resort, the main road then heads out across the mountain for Lonely Beach, passing yet more shop units on the inland side, the new bypass at its end point and on the ocean side, the main entrance to Sea View Resort at the top of the first ascent.