White Sand Beach at a Glance
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White Sand Beach at an Island Pace
White Sand Beach is generally split into north and south, with the vast majority of the actual beach at the northern end and the southern section generally held to start at the point where the sand gives way to rocks and the cliffs. What was once a small village is now a bustling tourist town with mid range hotels and resorts catering to families and package tourists, smaller backpacker rooms and bungalows, restaurants, bars, banks, the large cash and carry Makro, 7-11’s and Tesco Lotus, the odd fast food outlet and souvenir shops.
White Sand Beach is a popular choice for those that want a Thai beach/resort holiday with no hassle – during the day, a good stretch of sand with clear calm waters for swimming and sunbathing and in the evening, dining under the stars at the tables laid out along the beach, with the chance to hit the odd nightspot later. For those not seeking this or unsure as to whether the atmosphere will prove too touristy for their tastes, it is probably best to look elsewhere on Koh Chang.
White Sand Beach – The Northern End
Crossing over the mountain from Klong Son, the road makes a couple of hard switchback climbs near the National Park Office before it passes the steep incline leading to White Sand Beach Resort and begins its descent into White Sand Beach (Hat Sai Khao in Thai, hat meaning beach, sai, sand and khao white). A viewpoint just before this last stretch offers some great sweeping aerial views of the town, beach and out to sea.
At the foot of the hill at this northern end, KC Grande dominates its immediate surroundings with its buildings on both side of the road and staff lodgings winding back up the hill. A couple of cheaper smaller guesthouses, Jinda, Arunee and Palms Garden Hotel among them, can be found opposite. To the left of the 7-11, one of several to be found in White Sand Beach, a concrete walkway gives public access to the beach.
The sand is powder white, stretching far into the distance in both directions with jungle covered cliffs on the northern peninsula and, as with much of Koh Chang, instantly creating a world apart from the busy tourist street just a few metres away. Walking further north along the beach, you soon stumble upon the backpacker quarter with its many cheap and cheerful bungalows, Pen’s, Star Beach, Chang Beach, Independent Bo’s, Rock Sand Resort and Maylamean, all uniquely built into the cliff face.
Continuing on, you reach White Sand Beach Resort whose road entrance you passed when snaking over the mountain and beyond this, an abandoned beach restaurant at the far far end.
White Sand Beach – The Central Beach
Heading the opposite way from the concrete walkway, it is possible to walk right to the end of the northern section of White Sands Beach, passing restaurants and bars such as 15 Palms, Sangtawan and Sabay Bar, the beach-side entrances to the larger resorts of Cookies Hotel, Koh Chang Lagoon Resort, Kacha Resort, Banpu Resort or the densely packed bungalows of Sang Arun, Tantawan, Bamboo and Apple Beachfront among others.
Tables and chairs are laid out on the beach by each of these spots, making a great place to break from the sea and sun for lunch or at night, with the low lights, candles and the sound of the waves, enjoy dinner by the sea.
You can emerge back onto the main street via another beach walkway just after the restaurant, Thor’s Palace and by the boutique-style small hotel, Du Talay.
White Sand Beach – On the Street
At street level, meanwhile, the road of course passes the entrances to these places from their other side, with small shops nestled in among them, selling the usual array of Thai souvenirs, clothes and beach mats. There are the odd dive shop, multiple travel shops and ticket booths, Oodies with its nightly live music, Buffalo Bill’s, several motels in SP Place, Gold Beach Guesthouse and Baan Saikao, pharmacies, Bangkok Airways’ office, banks and the police box. The Erawan Koh Chang, a 35 room hotel with rooftop pool, has also recently opened its doors in this area.
Close to Tantawan and its neighbours, the street comes alive in the late afternoon and on into the evening, with stands laid out selling little bags of curry, fruit, bbq chicken and and sticky rice, even kebabs. Cookies Hotel, Kacha Resort, Koh Chang Grand Lagoon and Alina Hotel have more rooms and buildings on the mountain side of the road.
Just before Kacha Resort, a small road leads inland to another little world of cheap no frills guesthouses, Fishermans’ Hill, Tuktuk, Island Lodge and White Sand Garden all built up the hillside amid the trees and just a short walk to the beach.
Another cheaper guesthouse, Sai Khao Inn, is located at the end of the small soi opposite Banpu Resort, with the restaurant, Tamnak Chang, the wonderful jewellery and accessories shop, Peace Moon and the cheap and highly popular Thai eateries of Nong Bua and Gai Mun (Boogie Chicken) either side of the turning.
White Sand Beach – The Southern End
Shortly after the walkway from the beach, Grand View Resort sits at the start of the rocks and cliffs, which signal the southern end of White Sands Beach. Opposite is Grand View Plaza with restaurants including Monkeys, Chang Faa and Pink along the front and behind them, the Rock Bar and La Dolce Vita restaurant.
Tesco Lotus has the first of its many stores on the island next door to the large Chang Buri Resort, itself found on both sides of the street, with 7-11’s and other coffee shops alongside. Makro, the cash and carry superstore, this one specifically for food, has now also opened in this area.
The southern end is the zoned area for the beer bars (girlie bars), with a whole row pumping out loud music and offering the obvious from about 6.00pm onwards. Further up the hill are the resorts of Plaloma, Koh Chang Huts and Tops Resort, seaside, with Keeree ele Hotel, a Bangkok style boutique hotel, Paddy’s Palms, a themed Irish pub and resort and Sea Sun Hotel amongst others, on the mountain side.
Invito al Cibo, one of the island’s best Italian restaurants, is accessed through Koh Chang Huts Resort, with the Thai Danish cafe in the same strip. Next door to Paddy’s Palms, you’ll find the The White Elephant offering the same sports, beer and food combination, while by Sea Sun and opposite the excellent fruit and vegetable shop, are a couple of food stalls offering good cheap dishes such as chicken over rice (khao man gai).
Completing the picture, Chang Cliff Resort, with its ingenious walkway built into the cliffs offering excellent views and sunsets is the last resort on the sea side. Homepro also has a small outlet here in the buildings along the front, with various other long stay options opposite and a couple of smaller bungalows operations at Para Resort and Baan Aunrak.
Ciao Italian, another recommended Italian restaurant, is also found at this end, with Anna’s, the cash and carry store stocking many European foods, located at the top of the hill. The boat noodles stall on the other side is terrific.
Leaving White Sand Beach, the road passes the international clinic, Bangkok Trat on the mountain side and on the opposite side sits a curious flight of steep concrete steps lead to the crest of the hill. An increasingly slower and slower walk up brings you out at the Naval Memorial, with a great view out to sea, a couple of guns, a small shrine and not much else.