At a Glance – Chai Chet Beach
- 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
- Nong Bua Seafood, Wow, Yes, Goya Cafe, Nhong BBQ
Western: Marco, Max’s Bistro
Coffee Shops: Marin, J and G Bistro
- Bars: Malibu Bar, Flora i Talay
Beer Bars: Pillow Bar, Airport Bar, King Kong, Le Red
Sports: Franky’s Road House
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 – Chai Chet Beach
Coming out from Pearl Beach, the road first passes the base for Koh Chang Rescue, with the building which hosts the crocodile and snake show just behind. Big Tree Residences, Grand Tree Bungalows and the tiny Max’s Bistro are around the next corner.
Continue on down and you arrive at The Koh Chang Entertainment Complex, a largely unoccupied hangar intended as zoning for the beer bars. Le Red Bar does sit on the front, but the majority of these bars, Pillow, Airport and King Kong to name just a few, actually eschew the hangar and instead line the street opposite for the next kilometre or so. In amongst them, you’ll also find the island’s main minibus parking area and a hardware store.
Accessed by a small turning by that 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.
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 small restaurants, Nhong Korean BBQ and a petrol station completing the row.
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 J and G Bistro has Star Bar for company. 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.
The Shopping Plazas, The Beach – Chai Chet Beach
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 and Habitat Hostel, which occupies its ground floor. Coco Sardinia Guesthouse is in the buildings on the left hand side.
This is not 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, Goya Cafe and Marco Italian Restaurant. There is also a great noodle shop and cheap Thai diner at the bottom by the bank.
Next door to VJ Plaza is Coconut Plaza, which offers further restaurants, a good bar in Malibu and other travel shops, as well a Tesco Lotus and a large Marin coffee shop at the entrance. 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.
Trat Immigation, good for questions but not able to issue tourist visa extensions, Koh Chang Latex, PP Guesthouse and Koh Chang Animal Rescue are located in buildings oposite to Flora I Talay. At the end, after the two Thai restaurants, Mother Earth, 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 onto the coffee shop at Waree, Klong Prao Resort and past that, Aana Resort’s beach bar area, with the river or klong immediately beyond them.