At a Glance
- Likely to meet: Tourists, backpackers, solo travellers, families and flashpackers.
- The Beach: Split by the two canals into three parts, mighty impressive from start to finish, nice laid back atmosphere.
- Accommodation: High end resorts, hotels, bungalows, guesthouses and huts
From 500bt fan rooms up to 17,500bt for the deluxe villas
- 4 Star Resorts/Hotels: Emerald Cove, Dewa, Santhiya Tree
- 3/4 Star Resorts/Hotels: Klong Prao Resort, Ramayana, Barali Beach, The Splash, Aana, Centara Tropicana
- 3 Star Resorts: Vayna Boutique, Bhu Tarn, Noren
- Small Hotels: The Gallery, Kachapol,
- Bungalows: Tiger Huts, Blue Lagoon, Jungle View, Leelawadee, Krongtarra, P & Pu House, Sabaidee, Papaya Cottage, Choc Dee
- Guesthouses: Watercolours, Baan Rim Nam, Moleys, Sapparot
- Hostels: Riverview
- Restaurants: Huge choice from cheap Thai, fusion to western, on the beach, by the street, some real crackers
- All Cuisines: Babylon (Pilot), JE Seafood, Phu Talay, Iyara, Kati, Crust, Bam Issan, Zhong Zi Pad Pad, Annie P, El Greco, Spaghetteria Toscana, Chef Studio, Alchemy (currently closed), Zest
- Bakeries: Crust, , Bread Box
- Coffee Shops: Marin, Waree, Mochaccino, Amazon
- Nightlife: Low Key, Beach bars, beer bars
- Bars: Sapparot, Suzy
- Other: Minimarts, Pharmacies, ATMs, Banks, Ticket agents, Tattoo, Tourist Police, Motorbike Rental, Massage, Temple, Dentist
- Activities: Klong Plu Waterfall, cooking school, elephant camps, trekking, ATV
- Highlights: Waterfall, the choice of restaurants and high end resorts, the beach
- Lowlights: Very spread out along a long dusty road – not so easy to walk from place to place
- Thai Name: Klong Prao (klong is canal)
At an Island Pace – Klong Prao Beach
Klong Prao Beach is the name given to the central area of the west coast, a very popular part of the island, offering everyone from lone travelers to couples to families, something that suits.
The beach, split into two sections by inland waterways, the klongs, is a long sweep of fine sand and calm waters, with tracks and better paved streets linking from it back to the road. That main road itself is lined with shops, good restaurants and bars along the whole stretch.
There is a great choice of high end luxury resorts by the sea, with some backpacker bungalows and guesthouses thrown in, as well as mid range resorts or small hotels at the southern end or inland.
On the downside perhaps, the area is quite spread out but songthaew taxis are very regular around here, so you can hop from one end to the other without needing to get too hot and bothered.
The Northern End
Coming from Chai Chet, the area of Klong Prao is held to start with the turning to Klong Prao Resort, a vast complex spread out around a small reservoir and along the seafront. Waree Coffee sits next door.
It’s possible, though not encouraged, to drive straight through the resort to get to the beach, where you’ll find an abandoned restaurant under the Casuarina trees and Aana Resort’s beach bar area (currently closed). Koh Chang Seafood (The Cape) sits on the bank of another little waterway that runs behind it.
A short walk to the very end brings you to the mouth of the main klong, where it meets the sea. Looking inland, it’s a majestic sight with places to stay, restaurants and homes dotted along both banks, small boats and kayaks plying back and forth and the whole picture framed by the mountains behind.
The klong continues upstream a good distance before reaching a lagoon with two small mangrove rivers, the one on the right often teeming with evening fireflies.
Except for certain times of year when the tides are at their very lowest, it’s not possible to wade across the canal here and continue along the beach. Instead, you must retrace your steps back to the road proper. As an alternative jaunt now you’re here, you could also walk the whole way back along the sand to Chai Chet, reaching the resort, Flora i Talay in about 10 minutes.
After this turning to Klong Prao Resort, the main road enters an avenue of shop units, with DD Mhuek, the Cambodian border minibus company, the bar Crazy Mojito and Koh Chang Gym all in the first section. Annie P American Diner is across the road.
Further on, Bhu Tarn Resort sits tucked in amongst the other minimarts, with Scandinavian Chang Divers and an open air 259bt BBQ at your table (Ka Ta) restaurant alongside. Opposite, lots of places are currently closed due to Covid-19 but you’ll some small cheap diners still opening their doors.
Continuing south, look out for the area of undeveloped land often used for large weekend markets and festivals. The eastern Thai food restaurant, Zhang Zi Pad Pad sits at one end and a further small track heads down to Koh Chang Seafood.
The North Bank of the Canal
A few hundred metres further on, you reach Ramayana Resort, which sits on the corner of the street leading down to the north bank of the canal (klong). About half way along, its buildings give way to the upmarket Aana Resort, with its own Eastern Thai restaurant, Baan Ta Klua, sitting on the bend at the bottom.
The cute Phu Talay seafood restaurant, guesthouse and ornamental windmill hugs the riverbank together with Riverview Hostel (currently closed), Sapparot Bar, Moleys Guesthouse and at the end, Iyara Seafood, all with their terraces built out over the water. Both Iyara and Phu Talay conduct evening dinner tours up the klong to see the fireflies. If you want to try SUP (Stand-up Paddling), then you’re in luck too, as Iyara has a rental centre (with or without instructor) here.
Klong Plu Waterfall
Opposite Ramayana Resort, a track inland leads to a shanty town, which houses the many Cambodian workers on the island. There’s also a school for their children, The Cambodian Kids Centre – if you would like to help at the school or donate, see Volunteering for more details.
Way beyond them down the rutted track, the bohemian KangPlaeng Art Garden, a bar come homestay with 3 rooms, has the jungle all to themselves.
On the next section, passing on you left, Baan Suan, long term bungalows for rent, you reach the turning for Klong Plu waterfall.
This drive though the forest is a world away from the dusty and noisy main street, with the river, small shops and local houses spaced out under the shade of the trees along the length of its gently winding course. Look out for Ban Kon Elephant Camp and the German restaurant Metzgerei Baum.
The waterfall is at the very end with an entrance fee of 200bt, parking at 20bt. There are a couple of somtam, sticky rice and chicken stalls here but the ramshackle looking One Million Somtams, a few hundred metres before, makes for a decent lunch above the water.
The Central Area – Along The Beach to the Far Southern end
Back again at the main road, several more shop units are located opposite the turning to the waterfall but heading south, you next come to JE Seafood. Despite its less than glamorous location on the road by the bridge, it is packed to the gills throughout the year, mostly with Thai weekenders seeking their fix of crab.
A little further along on the mountain side sits Ban Chang Thai, the second elephant trekking company in this area and just past it down the track, Koh Chang ATV (currently closed) has its base. Monster ATV (similarly closed), which uses an almost identical course in the jungle but has more powerful vehicles, is around the next corner. Incidentally, opposite Ban Chang Thai, you’ll find an old airstrip, from where 2 seater planes once conducted tours over the island.
After the bend by the bridge, Leelawadee Bungalows and Krongtarra Resort, complete with its smart coffee shop out front, provide understated rooms on the inland side. The local school is perched high on the hillside above them.
Southern Bank of the Canal
On the other side, a market area has now taken root, with street food shack restaurants, fruit stands and other units selling household bits and pieces. Across from Krongtarra, the southern Thai one, with its wonderfully hot curries, has sadly gone for now but Heatree Seafood a few metres down is also recommended.
Midway along among the stalls, a speed-bumped street leads off down to the sea. Chumnan Restaurant (currently closed), a popular cheap diner once on the main drag, is on the right hand side a few metres in. Opposite them, Elegance Pool Villas has a small office and bar, with their actual accommodation down the adjoining track.
Head to the end of the street and you’ll find KP Huts (currently closed), Tiger Huts and Santhiya Tree all down by the sea. Santhiya Tree now has a huge hotel block on the canal too.
Past Santhiya Tree, the track arrives at the back entrances to two guesthouses, Baan Rim Nam and Watercolours, both on the bank of the canal and at the very end, Longstay Resort straddles the canal, beach and outlet to the sea. Just before them all, another small sandy trail leads down to a tiny beach restaurant (currently closed).
Along the Beach
From that little beach restaurant, you can walk along the beach back past the resorts of Santhiya Tree, Tiger Huts and abandoned huts of KP Huts and onto the resorts of Barali and Centara Tropicana Beach. After them, you hit the second klong, difficult to walk over unless at the lowest tide, though there is also a makeshift pontoon bridge. Blue Lagoon Bungalows, and its cookery school are on the left hand bank.
Using the pontoon bridge, you emerge at Lin’s Bungalows, before continuing along past the remnants of the now derelict beach restaurants, Pilot Bar (moved to the temple area), Mandalay and Family and then reaching the seaside entrances to The Dewa, Vayna Boutique and Emerald Cove.
The final three resorts of Klong Prao are, in sand order, The Splash, Magic Resort and Choc Dee Resort, the latter sitting on the southern headland and cliff. Magic Resort has a good well-priced seafood restaurant built out on stilts over the water. From Choc Dee all the way back to Longstay Resort is a nice 10 to 15 minute stroll.
The Central Area Along The Road to the Far Southern end – Klong Prao Beach
Returning to the route by road, shortly after the turning down to Santhiya Tree, a 7-11 marks the start of the old village, with carts selling all manner of bugs and crepes set up outside. Next door, Crust Bakery has tables by the road whilst opposite, shop units include the Tourist Police. Klong Prao Temple, which holds various festivals during the course of the year is sandwiched in amongst all the development.
Various little streets head towards the interior, one to the local clinic, one to Iyara Resort with the recommended restaurant Chef Studio facing you as you drive in, one to the single court tennis club, with other local houses, some of which are available for rent, also scattered about among the trees.
A proper petrol station with a vast array of motorbikes for hire and a Tesco Lotus are a few metres further south.
Meanwhile down the streets towards the sea, you’ll find VJ B & B, Barali Resort, long term rent bungalows at P & Pu House, Thai Dutch restaurant, Centara Tropicana, Ban Klong Gog, Sabaidee and Blue Lagoon Bungalows. Opposite those last two streets, another elephant trekking operation, Ban Camp Chang, has its base as well as Sima Massage, long established and deservedly popular.
Restaurants along the road include the excellent Issan style Bam, Spaghetteria Toscana, El Greco, Babylon (formerly Pilot from the beach), Zest and Kati Culinary. Potato houses a southern Thai curry and rice shop, always packed with the island’s workers . You can also grab a coffee at Moccaccino and Marin.
Leaving the Temple Area
At the far end, just before the bend the bridge, you pass a mix of massage shops (Coco, Wassana) and cheap restaurants (Naga – vegetarian, Nana – Swedish and Thai) before hitting The Koh Chang Gallery, a small budget hotel. Noren Resort is immediately next door. Look out too for the small fishing tackle shop across the road. Incidentally, the track behind Koh Chang Gallery takes you down to the ocean, with the bungalows of Papaya Cottage just off to the left at the start.
The Big Elk, offering bungalows and steaks, is shortly after the bridge on the opposite corner, whilst heading down the adjoining street for a good couple of kilometres well into the forest will bring you out at Chang Chutiman, the fourth elephant camp in Klong Prao.
Continuing on, there’s a large vegetable shop, a seafood wholesalers and Sing Thong store, a good source for western products at this end of the island. Bread Box, its offshoot bakey and coffee shop is on the left hand side. Across from them, you can fill up cheaply at the second of island’s PTT petrol stations, which has its own franchise Amazon cafe.
In and around here, the resorts, Boonya and Sofia Resort are found in secluded spots off small turnings towards the sea. Shortly after Sofia, the hipster bistro Alchemy (currently closed) sits in amongst a scattering of bars (mostly all currently closed too).
Further south still, the road takes you past the soi leading down to The Dewa, Vayna Boutique and Emerald Cove, with KT Optic and Na Chung Sports Bar (currently closed) in the shop units in front. Next door to them, The Splash (formerly Grand Cabana) , with its huge feature swimming pool and multiple water slides, is hard to miss.
Magic Resort, the street side motels, Golden House and Kachapol Hotel, Jungle View Bungalows, Koh Chang Dental Clinic and Dolphin Divers are all in the immediate vicinity.
Suzy, You and Me (currently closed) and a couple of other bars opposite provide a bit of nightlife. Choc Dee Resort is on the final curve as Klong Prao Beach morphs into Kai Bae Beach.
Return to Koh Chang Beaches