At a Glance
- Likely to meet: Travellers, couples and tourists
- The Beach: Not its strong point, small beach at southern end, tiny one at northern end, very tidal, rocks underfoot
- Accommodation: Large hotel, 2 star resorts, traveller and backpacker
From 350bt up to 5,800bt for the pool villas
- Hotel/Resorts: Mercure Hideaway, Bailan Beach Resort, Harley Moon, White House
- Bungalows: Elephant Bay, Lazy Republique, Saint Tropez, Vanara, Green Resort, Sanook, Green Cottage, Blue Garden, Jungle Garden, Bailan Bay, Bailan View (under construction), Mangrove (currently closed), Kamrai (currently closed), Lucky Gecko Garden (currently closed)
- Restaurants: Mainly cheap Thai, bit of western, pizza on the beach
- Seafood: Sea Terrace, No Name Seafood (next door to Kohchang 7)
- All Cuisines Vanara, Tamarin, J & K, Lisca Beach (Italian), Coconut Cafe, Pah Jae (noodles), Kohchang 7 (Korean), Mangrove (currently closed)
- Coffee Shops: Bailan Cafe, Zest
- Nightlife: Very low key
- Bars: 3 Trees (sports), Zest, Bailan Bar (currently closed)
- Other: Minimart, Pharmacy, ATMs, Ticket agent, Motorbike Rental
- Highlights: Local, easy going atmosphere, peace and quiet
- Lowlights: The beach, village is getting more cramped as it develops
At an Island Pace – Bailan Beach
Bailan Beach (or Bailan Bay) sits about 2 kms down the road from Lonely Beach. Known for its local, quiet atmosphere and laid back tourism, it boasts a brand hotel (Mercure) at the southern end, a couple of mid range resorts and plenty of bungalows.
Alongside them, you’ll find a few cheap and cheerful restaurants, minimarts and a bit of massage. There is no nightlife – part of its attraction. On the downside, the small beaches at either end are certainly not award winners, so you need to head to either Lonely Beach or Bang Bao Beach for the proper sand and sea experience.
At The Northern End
Coming from Lonely Beach, the road sweeps round a couple of corners before reaching Bailan Bay Resort, with The Mangrove and its hippy chic bungalows by the sea, just a few hundred metres further along.
Next up, the two resorts of Lazy Republique and St Tropez, both French owned, are on the mountain-side, immediately followed by the cheap Thai diner Coconut Cafe and the rooms of Green Resort and Baan Sanook. Completing the row, Vanara offers newly refurbished bungalows in a large garden behind its roadside restaurant.
Opposite Coconut Cafe, a small soi leads to the large mid-range Bailan Beach Resort, bungalows on the seafront, swimming pool and a small hotel block behind. There is a sweet little beach here, which runs northwards past the front of The Mangrove (currently closed) but, due to the rocks underfoot, you can only swim if the tide is up. Incidentally, at certain times of the year when the tide retreats its furthest, Koh Chang’s coast becomes a perfect spot for the locals to harvest a specific type of clam.
You can walk right to the end of the beach and through Bailan Bay to reach the abandoned buildings on the little peninsula.
The Central Area
Back at the road, on the ocean side, Faye Orchid Resort, Kamrai Resort (currently closed), 3 Trees Guesthouse, and Jungle Garden, with its bar, bungalows and hammock shop, run in a line to the bridge.
From the bridge, small minimarts, Pah Jae (noodle shop), the cafe bar Zest, little cheap Thai diners, a motorbike rental and a laundry are all tightly packed together as you enter the middle of the village.
The highly rated boutique resort Harley Moon Hideaway sits at the top of the small street which leads down to the sea, with Bailan View, undergoing a complete rebuild, next door. Opposite, the remains of the old Muay Thai Boxing Club sit abandoned.
Green Cottage Resort and Sea Terrace restaurant face the ocean at the bottom, with Bai Yard Bungalows offering a handful of rooms alongside. Following the curve, the ever popular Elephant Bay Resort has cheap and mid-range huts as well as a swimming pool.
At the very end, Kohchang 7 Guesthouse, seafront cabanas and a Korean restaurant on stilts over the water, finishes the accommodation off, with No Name Seafood (currently closed) its neighbour. The coastline here is rocky, with clumps of mangroves, little local fishing dinghies and no beach.
The Southern End – Bailan Beach
Across the main road from Harley Moon, you’ll find Tamarin, a long running Thai restaurant with a Khmer slant and another good cheap diner, J & K. The sometimes open Bailan Bar sits alongside them and one of Koh Chang’s many building merchants is across the way. The Happy Turtle changed hands in 2020 but has not re-opened since then due to the pandemic – watch this space for 22/23.
Running down the side of The Happy Turtle, the street leads past the Lucky Gecko Garden (currently closed) and its six or so bungalows to The White House. You’ll also find other houses for rent in the garden area behind.
A mid-range resort with swimming pool, The White House is located right on the seafront and you can discreetly walk straight through it to drop down onto the beach. Let’s be honest, this is certainly not the best strand in Koh Chang but combined with the headland in the distance, it’s still makes an impressive overall panorama.
On the Beach
Next door to The White House, The Mercure Hideaway, a mixture of villas, a hotel block and various swimming pools, dominates the beach at this southern end of Bailan. Indeed, the beach was mostly created by them when they first arrived, with sand imported and rocks dredged, all to give it more of a holiday brochure feel. They also built that weirdly curving stone breakwater to keep it all in place.
At the far end, the Italian/Thai owned Lisca Beach, a chilled out bar/restaurant also offers a few teepee tents. Previously you could walk up to the headland but it has now been wired off as private property – a pity as from its tip, there is a fabulous view looking back at the bay itself or across to Lonely Beach in the distance.
Far Southern End on the Street
Back at the road, opposite The Happy Turtle, the inland street leads past Bailan Cafe on the corner to the few bungalows of Blue Garden Resort and other local and long stay houses.
In the next little section heading towards Mercure Hideaway, there’s a laundry and minimart as well other good local food stands on either side of the road. The police box, an ATM and Preecha Seafood restaurant (currently closed) are opposite the hotel entrance. The bungalows and restaurant of Rock Inn straddle the start of the hill next door.
Just before you leave Bailan, you”ll spot another track leading seawards, which brings you out at Lisca Beach. The canopying, Treetops Adventure Park, which was also down here, has now closed down.
Summary – Bailan Beach
All in all, Bailan Beach makes a good base for those not too fussed about lying on the beach. There’s a good range of accommodation, a few cheap diners and enough chill-out spots to relax in the evening, without any late night partying.
You can easily hop over to Lonely Beach using a songthaew or your own bike. To walk takes under 15 minutes. Or head the other way, further south to Bang Bao Beach (6 kilometres or so) and you can hang out for the day on that fabulous beach.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 22 for 22/23 Season
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