At a Glance
- Likely to meet: Tourists, couples, families, few backpackers, travellers
- The Beach: Long stretch, split into two halves, best at southern end and northern ends
- Accommodation: Three high end resorts with lots of mid range, bungalows, few cheaper huts from 500bt up to 10,000bt+ for a pool villa
- Resorts: The Chill, Gajapuri, Awa, Seaview, KB Resort, Kai Bae Beach Resort, Mam Kai Bae, Kai Bae Beach Grand View, Cliff Beach, The Stage
- Bungalows: Paradise, Sea Breeze, Coral, Porn’s, Green Resort, Sanook Sanang, Patoo, Baan Chom Doa, White Knot
- Guesthouses and Hostels: Blues, M & M, JOP, Montra
- Restaurants: Great choice, everything from cheap Thai, Italian, Mexican, DIY BBQ, coffee shop and bakery
- Thai: Khao Kwan, Friend Seafood, Baan Kai Bae Seafood, Nai Hua Baoi Gaeng Tai
- Western: Wine Gallery, Cabana, Mordi & Fuggi, Morgan, Fin, Little Italy
- Other Cusines: El Barrio, Indie Raw, Indian Chef
- Vegetarian: Tofu Kitchen, Poke Bowl
- Coffee Shops: Fig Cafe, The Mount, View Cafe
- Nightlife: Bars, live music, parties on the big nights
- Bars: Fin, Wine Gallery, Yak Yak, Jelly Fish, Green Bar, Cabana, See the Sea
- Live Music: Sea Breeze
- Sports: Morgan
- Other: Waterfall, Offshore islands, Elephant Camp, Speedboat Pier, 7-11, Tesco, Internet, Minimarts, Pharmacies, ATMs, Currency Exchange, Ticket agents, Tattoo, Motorbike Rental
- Highlights: Choice in everything at every price, the beach
- Lowlights: Can feel a bit cramped on the main street, a steadily more touristy atmosphere
Updated June 22
At an Island Pace – Kai Bae Beach
Kai Bae Beach is the last area before the road climbs over the second mountain and connects to the far south west of the island. Local and friendly, it is a slightly cramped dusty place with a hotch-potch of shops, restaurants and bars jostling for position up on the road, and a good beach, split into two sections, just a hundred or so metres away.
Down by the sea, there is a wide choice of places to stay, with the majority mid-range resorts, but also including three high-end luxury options, Awa Resort, Gajaparui Resort and The Chill. In amongst them, you’ll also find some cheaper backpacker huts and guesthouses, while inland, there are a few long stay options.
Kai Bae Beach has become a popular Koh Chang spot with families and travelers alike, perhaps more easily affordable for beach front rooms than the larger resorts of Klong Prao Beach, relatively peaceful when held up against the party scene of Lonely Beach and without such a package tour feel as White Sand Beach.
The Northern End
After the last bend of Klong Prao Beach, with its track leading down to Choc Dee Resort, the now narrowing road reaches the northern end of Kai Bae, with the small police box a useful marker.
An assortment of massage shops, a laundry and a few cheap Thai diners including Chrisu (Dragon Place) and Pepper line each side of the street. Papa’s, the Greek restaurant, has also now moved to this end, whilst, built up against the hillside, Mai Pen Lai Guesthouse offers guesthouse rooms, a swimming pool and coffee shop. Adjacent to Mai Pen Lai, you’ll also find the ever popular Burger Station and a barber.
Bypass and Walking Street Area
Opposite Mai Pen Rai, with the southern Thai curry shop, Nai Hua Baoi Gaeng Tai on one corner and Indie Raw on the other corner, you can pick up the Kai Bae bypass. This heads inland behind and above the village, giving some great views over the backs of the houses and out to sea.
Were you to take the bypass, it cuts back to rejoin the main street about half way along at Koh Chang Residence (Fig Cafe) or continues on to rejoin the main road at the bottom of the hill near Seaview Resort, the end of the town.
Back at its start, meanwhile, there is a small grid system of lanes where you’ll find bungalows for long term rent, the excelllent vegetarian restaurant, Tofu Kitchen and the eclectic reggae inspired Nid’s Kitchen. One of the sois (lanes) links through to Walking Street, a selection of beer bars which includes Maipai, Mark’s and Yak Yak. Sky Bar, drinks and food, runs all the way down one side of the Walking Street’s main entrance from the main road, itself on the left about 50 metres further on from Indie Raw.
Lighthouse, an ever changing venue currently offering Thai live music and a nightclub, occupies the corner at at the far end of Walking Street and here you can rejoin that main road. The entrance to the large Chang Cliff Beach Resort sits directly across the way.
Beach Area at the Northern End
Pressing on from here, you meander down a rather depressing avenue of empty shop units on either side, though the bars Hell Sinki and Bonjour do still throw open their doors.
On the ocean side, the older resorts of Cliff Beach Resort and the Chang Park Resort have prime position at the excellent northern end of the beach. At one end of the empty row of units, you’ll spot too the path down to The Beach Club, which comprises a bar and beach tennis courts. Just along from that, See the Sea – it has its own entrance immediately after Chang Park – is another beach bar and restaurant, which also frequently hosts Sunday flea market (with DJs) on the sand.
The Central Area
As always, the 7-11 marks a good spot to get your bearings and Kai Bae Beach has two against which to navigate, one at this end and one at the southern end.
Friend Seafood and Poke Bowl are next door to this first one, while on the other side sits the guesthouse, JOP. Adjacent to that and running in a row on this side, you’ll now find various buildings in disrepair or simply pulled down, all in all a bit of a mess. This was a bustling little restaurant area but sadly, none of them have survived the pandemic businesss downturn.
Also in this strip, Blues Guesthouse, Lemon next door to Poke Bowl and Baan Chom Dao (behind Chang Yes) provide some cheaper room options. The excellent Wine Gallery, a few doors down comprises wine bar, a Mediterranean tapas menu and off licence all rolled into one. Sandwiched in amongst them are an assortment of the tailors and massage.
Look out too for the bars, Jellyfish, Green Bar and Beach Babe, which itself sits at the front of the clothes shops of the old Laluna guesthouse. In amongst them, Mordi and Fuggi, offers an array of Italian specialities with a 2nd ice cream outlet further down the street, whilst the stylish looking Thai fusion restaurant, Khao Kwan, owned and run by Yaa (formely owner of Blue Lagoon Cooking School, itself now closed) is immediately next door.
M & M Guesthouse, complete with its late night bar and The Stage, interesting wooden rooms around a decked pool, share this section with restaurants and bars including Bananas and the BBQ at your table, Krung Kra Ta. Tesco Lotus has a branch here too.
Resorts by The Sea
The older backpacker bungalows of Patoo, the small couples resort, The White Knot and the high end boutique resorts of Gajapuri Resort, The Chill and Awa Resort are all beach-side in this part of the village. Indeed, you can walk north down the sand to the cliffs at the far end in just a few minutes though a high tide might mean getting your feet a little wet.
Inland Street to Bypass
Heading inland opposite Awa Resort, you pass their secondary mountain side accommodation, the entrance to Duckling Resort and some local longer stay rooms before reaching Koh Chang Residence, with its excellent Fig Cafe hidden away in the garden on the corner.
Inland Street to Bypass
The T junction here is, in fact, the bypass road which started opposite Mai Pen Lai Guesthouse, so a left turn will take you back to Walking Street. A right turn meanwhile leads past the entrance to Filou Pool Villas and then a further little lane to the left into the interior. Along that, you’ll find houses for weekly and monthly rent such as Ariya or standard daily bungalows at Hippy House.
Follow the same back lane over the bridge to the end and you emerge at the main road at the bottom of the mountain to Lonely Beach. On the other hand, by taking a left inwards just over said bridge, you pick up the waterfall road. Look out for the signs to The Mount coffee shop, with its fabulous views out to sea and of Kai Bae.
Street to The Sea
Back in the main centre of the village, the lane straight across from the Awa inland street described above leads past The Green Resort, well priced bungalows by the river, down to Coral Resort which sits on the headland where this river meets the ocean. The bistro Cabana has made its home inside the resort by the sea.
A little bridge, with local Kai Bae fishing boats moored here and there, connects Coral Resort to an ongoing resort development by the owners of The Chill – more mid-range and likely to open for late 22.
The Southern End and The Waterfall
Morgan, good food, beer and playing all the live sports on its screens, sits by the bridge, with a bustling Thai food court behind it. This in turn leads down to the Muay Thai ring, which, pre-Covid, hosted weekend bouts during the high season.
Opposite Morgan, the units of Kai Bae Market are slowly starting to fill in with occupants and at the rear, you can also access Duckling Resort across the foot bridge. Baan Kai Bae Seafood, the Mexican El Barrio, all rounder Ta Tum (currently closed) and India Chef are all long established restaurants in this strip. Now Belgian owned, Fin (formerly Filou) combines bar and restaurant at its open air venue.
Accommodation comes via Montra Guesthouse, Nonthawat (long stay bungalows) and the long established Garden Resort, which is accessed though a little arch, with Little Italy (same owners as Toscana in Klong Prao) on the corner.
The next 7-11 marks the final section of Kai Bae Beach, with a track running inland adjacent to it. This track passes the bar Squid Story, the standard bungalows at Sanook Sanang Resort opposite Meechai Kai Bae Elephant Camp, the final pachyderm spot on the island, before it too joins that bypass road by the little bridge.
If you head up the lane to the right, you twist and turn past various rented houses, staff lodgings and the track up to The Mount till hitting a dead end, from where you can walk the final stretch to Kai Bae waterfall. Though not often visited, its small drop, solitary plunge pool and sheltered surround make it a fabulous place for a dip, especially during the rainy season.
The Southern End and The Offshore Islands – Kai Bae Beach
Opposite the elephant camp, another street runs down to Kai Bae Hut Resort. At the top sits Kai Bae Hut Noodles, a popular restaurant for locals and tourists alike and at the bottom is the resort itself. Nor Nou Speedboats have their base here, crossing daily to Koh Wai, Koh Mak and Koh Kood, all the details at Koh Chang Island Hopping.
Kai Bae Huts Resort is situated at the start of the second section of the beach and you can now walk all the way to the very southern end. Two of the beach’s best mid range resorts, KB Resort and Kai Bae Beach Resort are first up, followed by Kai Bae Beach Grand Ville Hotel, Mam Kai Bae Beach Resort and the old traveller favourite, Porn’s Bungalows.
The huge Sea View Resort, hotel and bungalows on the beach connected by funicular shuttle to its mountain side offshoot clinging to the rock face above and Siam Bay Resort, at the very southern tip, complete the picture. Both of these are accessed from small streets leading off the main road as it crosses the mountain, but you can reach them by sand if you hop over the boulder wall dividing them from the rest of the beach.
Offshore is Koh Man Nai with its inviting beach clearly visible and indeed, around May, June time when tides are at their lowest, you can actually walk over there. Koh Man Nai, soon to be developed, is just one the of several uninhabited tiny islands off this shoreline.
Koh Rom and Koh Suwan, good for snorkelling, sit more at the northern end, whilst Koh Yuak, part of several boat trips’ itinerary, and the less exciting Koh Pli and Koh Man Nok sit near to Koh Man Nai at this southern point. All are within kayaking distance.
Leaving Kai Bae Beach
On the road itself, Paradise Bungalows is located on both sides of the street shortly after the Kai Bae Hut Resort’s turning, with Seabreeze Bungalows on the mountain side, together with its live music bar and Bai Bou massage centre. Squeezed in amongst them sits the long standing bakery, Papa’s Deli.
After the streets down to KB Resort and Kai Bae Beach Resort, the main road then heads out across the mountain for Lonely Beach, passing yet more shop units on the inland side including Sawasdee Travel, with their dozens of motorbikes for rent.
After its back tour of the area, that bypass too finally emerges to join the steep slope, which leads up to the main entrance to Sea View Resort and Porn’s Bungalows. Shortly afterwards, you can turn in to the magnificent Kai Bae Beach viewpoint, with its picture postcard vista out over the offshore islands and way down the coast. There is also a good coffee shop here, View Cafe, with tables and chairs ideally positioned to take in that view.
UPDATED JULY 22 for 22/23 Season
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