At a Glance
- Likely to meet: Tourists, especially from Eastern Europe (northern end), families and flashpackers (southern end).
- The Beach: Excellent all the way along to northern Klong Prao.
- Accommodation: Resorts and hotels, with some long stay rooms also available
500bt to 16,700bt for beachfront pool villas
- Resorts: Koh Chang Paradise, Paradise Hill, Flora i Talay, Chai Chet Resort, Coconut Beach, Thai Garden Hill
- Small Motels: Luxury Guesthouse, P & P Guesthouse, VJ Island View
- Bungalows/Guesthouses: Baan Fine Times, Blue Resort, Kerdmanee Resort
- Backpacker: Pajamas, Habitat Hostel
- Restaurants: Cheap Thai, choices in the plazas, western, seafood
- Nong Bua Seafood, , Nhong BBQ, Gloy, Wow, Yes, Goya Cafe, (those 3 currently closed)
- Western: Marco, Abella
- Coffee Shops: Marin
- Nightlife: Beer Bars, Thai karaoke mainly
- Bars: Malibu Bar, Flora i Talay
- Beer Bars: Pillow Bar, Airport Bar, King Kong
- Sports: Franky’s Road House
- Other: Plazas, ATMs, Immigration Office, Koh Chang Rescue, Koh Chang Animal Project, Minimarts, Pharmacies, Massage, Ticket Agencies.
- Highlights: The beach, shopping.
- Lowlights: Touristy around the plazas, the beer bars area.
At an Island Pace – Chai Chet Beach
Chai Chet Beach has always been a curious mix, with a concentration of ramshackle beer bars at its northern end and ugly concrete shopping plazas in the centre, both contrasting sharply with its excellent peaceful beach in the south.
Not as popular as as other areas on Koh Chang, it tended to be somewhere you sped through en route to somewhere else and to be truthful, it felt rather soulless. Over the last few years, however, that atmosphere has changed as resorts have been added or upgraded and whilst the bars and plazas are still there, Chai Chet is definitely now well worth a visit.
Chai Chet accommodation ranges from large resorts on the sand to standard bungalow operations up by the road, practical guesthouses to backpacker hostels. Alongside them, there are also plenty of restaurants in the plazas or roadside, as well as a couple of other nightlife options outside of the beer bar variety. Throw in the shopping and overall, you’ll find Chai Chet Beach has plenty on offer for everybody.
The Northern End
Continue on down and you arrive at The Koh Chang Entertainment Complex, a largely unoccupied high roofed building, which was intended as zoning for the beer bars. Unfortunately for the authorities, the concept never took off and so nowadays, these bars – Pillow, Airport, Princess, Pepe’s Bodega and King Kong to name just a few – instead line the street opposite for the next couple of kilometres. In amongst them, you’ll also find the highly rated King Pizza, takeaway only, the island’s main minibus parking area and a hardware store.
Back at the main road opposite the bars, Kerdmanee Resort, with its bungalows lined up the hillside and the bar Franky’s Roadhouse in front, sits next door to the Lanna style villas of Thai Garden Hill Resort, with a couple of restaurants, Gloy and Nhong Korean BBQ and a petrol station also thrown into the mix.
By The Sea
If you whip in 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.
The Shopping Plazas
Just before the two Chai Chet shopping plazas, VJ Plaza and Coconut Plaza, Blue Resort and Spa is set back from the road on a curious inland reservoir, while on the bend Star Bar (currently closed) has U-Turn restaurant for company. OYO Luxury Guesthouse, certainly not luxury but more than passable, is found down an alleyway across the way and the tour office, Coco Dee Bo is located at the front.
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, home to island workers and long stay guests. The traveller style Habitat Hostel occupies its ground floor with its dorms and private rooms. Coco Sardinia Guesthouse (currently closed) is in the buildings on the left hand side.
You won’t find this the most scenic of places to eat or take a stroll but in the evening, things tend to pick up with popular choices being Wow, Yes and Goya Cafe (all currently closed). There is also one of the island’s best noodle shops and a cheap Thai diner at the bottom by the bank.
Next door to VJ Plaza is Coconut Plaza, which offers further restaurants including the Italian Abella, a long running old school bar in Malibu, a very useful computer repair shop JJ Com and other travel shops. Tesco Lotus and a large Marin coffee shop stand either side of the entrance.
Down To The Northern End of the Beach
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 very end and you reach Chai Chet Resort, which sits on the headland, with some lovely views out over the sea and down the island. 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.
The Southern End – Chai Chet Beach
Back up on the road, a small police box sits next to Koh Chang Paradise Hill, the 96 room sister resort to Koh Chang Paradise Resort across the road on the beach. The older Koh Chang Resort is alongside, with their own secondary buildings similarly on both sea and mountain side. Completing the set, the boutique Flora i Talay dominates the southern end with its stylish ochre coloured bungalows.
Located in the buildings opposite to Flora I Talay, Trat Immigation is open every week day and is good for questions as well as 90 day reporting. It does not issue tourist visa extensions, you need Laem Ngop over on the mainland for those.
PP Guesthouse and Koh Chang Animal Rescue are in the same strip and the highly rated Marco’s Italian, has also now moved over here from VJ Plaza. There’s a decent somtam restaurant too.
At the end, Mother Earth (currently closed), an environmentally sustainable project where you can also stay, is perched up on the hill.
Next door to Flora i Talay, the excellent Pajamas Hostel offers dorms, private rooms and a swimming pool while Nong Bua of White Sand Beach has its second branch here, this one specialising in seafood and a more chic, cool affair.
Finally, there is also another public beach access, from where a very pleasant stroll takes you past the fronts of all the resorts above all the way to Chai Chet Resort.
Going the other way, the beach continues past an undeveloped section until the coffee shop at Waree, Klong Prao Resort and past that, Aana Resort’s beach bar area (currently closed) – the river or klong stretches immediately beyond them.
Return to Koh Chang Beaches