At a Glance
- Likely to meet: Tourists, backpackers, travellers
- The Beach: Good, long stretch, shallow waters
- Accommodation: Boutique to Backpacker in 200bt rooms to 5,000bt+ suites
- Resorts: Chivapuri, Chaipura, Tropical Beach
- Bungalows: Bang Bao Beach Resort, Klong Goi Cottage, Yu Yu Golden Beach, Lakchai, Family Huts, Indie House (Hat Sai Noi), Secret Garden (Hat Sai Noi)
- Backpacker: Freedom House, Treehouse, Santisook, Sea You, Yak
- Restaurants: Beach style, simple, cheap Thai, evening bbq
- Klong Goi Cottage, The Beach Cafe, Ido Ido (Hat Sai Noi)
- Nightlife: Beach bars, hippy haunt (Hat Sai Noi)
- Djembe (Hat Sai Noi), Chan Siam, Rasta Beach (Bang Bao)
- Other: Minimarts, Bike Rental, Tickets, Massage, Stand Up Paddle, no ATM
- Highlights: The beach, laid back, quiet
- Lowlights: Furthest point down the island, expensive taxis at night
At an Island Pace – Bang Bao Beach (Klong Goi)
Bang Bao Beach, also known as Klong Goi or Klong Kloi Beach, is the final beach on the west coast. With its fine sand, calm waters throughout the year and great views across the bay to Bang Bao Pier, 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.
Both on the beach and around the creek at the top end, there are an increasing number of places to stay, ranging from cheap fan huts through standard a/c bungalows up to small boutique resorts.
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.
Beach style restaurants, with their deckchairs out front, together with a couple of low key bars and the odd massage spot ensure the overall mood is very laid-back, friendly and relaxed.
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.
Hat Sai Noi
Leaving Bang Bao village and just after the condos of Tranquillity Bay, the road passes Rasta View Cafe with its magnificent vista down onto the bay beneath. Its bungalows offshoot Rasta Beach and its minimart lie alongside, followed by Secret Garden, a family house and bungalows for rent down on the rocks by the sea. There is also one of the Koh Chang’s National Park offices on the forest side of the road.
Shortly afterwards, you reach Hat Sai Noi, a tiny stretch of beach that has become home to a handful of places to stay, relaxed restaurants and the odd bar.
The dorms of Home Hostel and the practical mini portacabins of Beach Box @ Koh Chang are on the initial bend, whilst on the sand itself, the whitewashed bungalows of the popular Indie House are the principal accommodation. Its identikit Sai Noi Bungalows sits next door and there are a few other rooms at the other end including Maya Guesthouse.
Maya has a good restaurant too, with its neighbour the long running, excellent beach diner I-do I-do . Djembe, perhaps the island’s original hippie hang-out, is at the northern end – bar, homestay and parties (Follow the Flowers), where didgeridoos feature heavily alongside the drums.
Walking along The Beach
A few hundred metres further on, you arrive at Bang Bao Beach proper. A small bridge crosses the creek, with The Beach and Yu Yu Golden Beach located at the top end, with their tables, deckchairs and loungers laid out along the sand.
The Beach also provides rooms in a simple building behind, whilst Yu Yu Golden Beach offers three rows of brightly coloured bungalows, including one set with balconies opening out onto the creek itself.
Continuing south down the beach, next door to Yu Yu Golden Beach, Sea Paradise is the base for Koh Chang Stand-Up Paddling (SUP), as well as having a small restaurant and some rooms. Alongside them, Green Garden is the replacement to Mr T’s T-Bar – he has returned to Trat after many years of providing the evening entertainment in these parts.
BB Beach (currently closed), the beach bar offshoot of the dive company, BB Divers, and Rim Ray (currently closed), another cheap beach style diner, complete the set.
Klong Kloi Cottages, cheap to mid-range bungalows arranged in a semi-circle with more choices at the back and Bang Bao Beach Resort, pricier wooden huts in a row, are the accommodation choices, with Bamboo Hut restaurant and its cooking school (currently closed), sandwiched between them.
Further down the beach still, the upmarket boutique resort, Chivapuri Beach Resort, with its large Lanna style villas and swimming pool, nestles back amongst the trees, while the stylish round cabanas of Tropical Beach Resort sit at the very 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, see below, whereupon a 100bt entry fee is levied if you are not resident.
The Back Trails
Back at the bridge, if you wander to the left down the trail rather than heading down the sand itself, another area, a sort of grid, has begun to develop. Yu Yu’s waterside bungalows are on your left, with Chan Siam and its camper-van mobile bar nearby. This is followed by the six or so bungalows of the Welsh owned Lakchai, which has its own 2 storey house at the rear overlooking the creek.
After Lakchai Bungalows, the trail curves back round to join another wider trail, from where you can access Klong Kloi Cottages down on the sand, with Mumlukyim a cheap dining option on the way. Head in the other direction away from the beach and you pass Yak Bungalows on your right and the entrance to Treehouse Cottages, which is also on the lagoon, on your left.
A few metres further on, also to the left at the tiny Mandala restaurant and rooms , three more sets of backpacker bungalows are hidden away down yet another path, Family Huts, Sea You Place and right in the mangroves, Freedom Home.
After Treehouse Cottages, meanwhile, the main trail passes Santisook Bungalows, a couple of other cheap restaurants including Nong Gao (currently closed) and Pizza House (currently closed) and finally Green Garden Bungalows before reaching the access routes to Chivapuri Resort and Tropical Beach Resort.
Ignoring those resorts and continuing straight on, the track ultimately brings you out on the actual main road, which runs in a 3 kilometre arc behind the beach all the way from the starting bridge.
The Unfinished Road
To get on to that main road, you simply ignore the little bridge at the start of Bang Bao Beach and instead follow the road, which heads up and round the creek passing Chaipura Resort, with its restaurant on stilts over the water, at the beginning.
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 lack of funds.
Here in Bang Bao Beach, you can take the road and explore. Chai’s Tea Garden (currently closed), unique refreshments and camping, is tucked away a couple of kilometres in but the route is severely degraded and it comes to a dead-end in the form of a broken bridge. If you clamber over to the other side, you can continue on foot but after a few hundred metres, the jungle has taken over and it soon enough becomes impenetrable.
Salak Phet Side
You can follow the other end from Salak Phet by heading to Wai Chek Beach, but once there, that route too stops abruptly at its own collapsed bridge. It is now possible to cross the dried up river bed and keep going till the ever narrowing road runs out and then on foot continue down the path till you hit the dead-end at the rock slope. From here, you are just a few tantalising kilometres from the Bang Bao Beach end, but unfortunately, the two do not meet.
In early 2018, the Army Prime Minister gave the latest go-ahead for funding to complete the project. The locals, perhaps better versed in such matters, are still not holding their breath on construction starting anytime and as of mid 2021, nothing has yet happened – though, of course, the pandemic has hardly helped.
Behind The Beach – Bang Bao Beach (Klong Goi)
After this turning inland, the main road itself carries on behind the beach. It is a lovely drive through the forest, which passes along the way the long sandy track, the back route as described above, to Chivapuri Beach Resort, Tropical Beach Resort and the actual beach, before stopping rather abruptly at the kiosk for Koh Chang Boat Chalets and its 100bt entrance fee. If you do not want to pay the money to go in or cannot persuade them to forget the fee, you must retrace your steps.
Return to Koh Chang Beaches