At a Glance
- Likely to meet: Backpackers, solo travellers, party people and flashpackers
- The Beach: Not the longest beach but good sand, best at the northern end, nice vibe
- Accommodation: Mainly bungalows, huts, guesthouses but odd boutique and swankier resort, with prices from 250bt cold shower fan rooms up to 7,500bt for the pool villas
- Resorts: Nest Sense, Siam Beach, Bhumiyama, Nature Beach
- Bungalows: Warapura, Oasis, Paradise Cottage, Seaflower, Magic Garden, Little Eden, Beach Jungle, Carpe Diem, Sky Beach, Navagio, Sunflower, Day Night
- Guesthouses: Janrassamee, Thale, Cafe del Sunshine, Ploy Inn, Easy Life
- Hostels: Slumber Party, Stay Inn, Jungle Fresh
- Restaurants: Lots of choices, cheap Thai, western
- Coco, Por Par, Roxy Bar @ Warapura, Nature Beach, Magic Garden, Oneka Seafood
- Coffee Shops: Roxy Bar @ Warapura
- Nightlife: Parties, dj’s, some live music, lots of bars
- Party: Ting Tong, Himmel
- Bars (LB Complex): Titanic, Beautiful Bar, Rude Boy, Mimo Bar, Mimo Tree, Kiss, Siam
- Bars (Beach and other): Lonely Beach Bar/Cafe, Mimo Beach Bar, Life’s a Beach, Nature, Gu’s Bay, Nhings, Crazy Monkey, Easy Life
- Live Music: Rock Alonley (village), Mask Bar (LB Complex), Dirt Bar (street, LB Complex)
- Sports: Beach Jungle
- Other: Minimarts, Pharmacy, ATM, Ticket agents, Cannabis Shops, Tattoo, Motorbike Rental
- Highlights: Nightlife, meeting other travellers and fun lovers, beach
- Lowlights: Noise in the village at night
- Thai Name: Hat Tha Nam (hat, beach, tha nam, pier)
At an Island Pace – Lonely Beach
Lonely Beach is the backpacker hub and the party centre of the island.
Situated far down the south west coast, up and and over a mountain, it is split into two parts. The beach section runs for a few hundred metres from the bottom of the mountain and a kilometre or so further along, the village section is laid out along the main street and two sois which lead off it down to the rocky seafront. A new partially occupied development space, LB Complex, sits between the beach and the village.
Accommodation ranges from shared bathroom guesthouses, to densely packed rows of bungalows and mid range offerings, right up to the odd boutique and higher end resort. On the actual beach, there are just three places to stay, with the rest in and around the village.
Bars and nightlife are centred in the village and the LB Complex though there are actual beach parties down on the sand throughout the year.
Also in the village, you will also find a few cheap restaurants, minimarts, tattooists, massage, an ATM and a couple of tour outlets.
All in all, Lonely Beach is a fun and busy place to stay, attracting both the budget travelers and backpackers and those that are just looking for a good time.
Down The Mountain and Along The Beach
Coming from the north, the road climbs out of Kai Bae Beach, first passing the main road entrance of Sylvan (formerly Seaview) Resort and then an excellent vantage point complete with visitor centre. The view from here is spectacular taking in the offshore islands, beaches to the north and to the south and the sea disappearing off the horizon.
The road, flanked by wonderful old trees towering above the surrounding canopy and with curves and tight corners aplenty, continues on up and over, reaching the clifftop annex of the same Sylvan Resort, perched on the rock edge at the midway point, then the turning to Siam Bay, with a switchback corner immediately after, providing the first glimpse of Lonely Beach beneath.
Dropping down this last section of the mountain, the road passes the original but now abandoned huts of Siam Beach Resort on the hillside and the actual open resort itself at the bottom on the beach, before it winds on around the back, past an undeveloped area of scrubland.
The upscale Bhumiyama Beach Resort is located in the middle of the beach, the boutique Nature Beach Resort next door and the ruins of the abandoned Siam Huts at the southern end, with nothing on the mountain side but jungle and a few overfed monkeys.
You can walk through Nature Beach, the track next door in the undeveloped scrub or the remnants of Siam Huts to get to the sea itself, with the best section of beach running north from Nature to Siam Beach Resort at the end.
Also butting onto the sand here, you’ll find the old school-style hangouts of Mimo Beach Bar, Life’s a Beach, Pangs Restaurant and Lonely Beach Bar. Just before Siam Beach, Himmel Bar lies abandoned but they still have their main outlet in the village (see below) and their beach branch moved over to White Sand at Koh Chang Lagoon (Princess).
Next door to the old entrance to Siam Huts, the aptly named Go To The Beach Road runs down to the sea and the area known as LB Complex, a slow burning development with the intention of creating another whole mini-village.
As you turn in, the cannabis store, Kush, serves up seeds and edibles, whilst a few beer bars, Kiss, Mask (live music too) and Siam line one side of the wide approach street, a few basic rooms opposite. Beautiful Bar sits at the end by the boat ingress, whilst the restaurants, Por Par and Coco bookend the bar bistro, Titanic along the seafront. There are also three bars at the far end – Mimo Tree and Rude Boy by the water and Mimo Bar behind them.
Back up at the main road, the tiny Stay Inn Hostel offers three small dorms and it’s an easy 5 minute walk to Lonely Beach village from here. Dirt Bar, playing old school Thai blues, is next door.
In the village and Up and Down the Sois (Streets)
Gu’s Bay Bar and the tattoo shop, Danny’s, are located in the shop houses just before the bridge, whilst opposite, Oneka Seafood is the only one of the restaurants which have survived the Covid-19 business down-turn.
Carrying on just a few more metres, you can turn into Soi Tian Chai 1, the first street that comes off the main road running down to the sea. The aptly named Restaurant Soi 1 occupies the corner space.
Immediately down Soi 1, the long established burger and kebab joint provides the late night fare whilst opposite, Oom Guesthouse (currently closed), Thale Guesthouse and, Cafe del Sunshine run in a row down the left hand side of the road.
You’re now in the heart of Lonely Beach’s party area. Himmel Bar and its offshoots starts things off with Ting Tong, the late opening bar and open-air club, arguably the main venue of the whole scene, a little further down.
The now closed retail outlet Wine Gallery sits on the corner of a connecting street back to Soi Tian Chai 2, itself running parallel 50 meters away. Also along here, you’ll find the accommodation entrance for Cafe del Sunshine, which sits opposite the abandoned Maco Jaco Bungalows.
Sunflower Bungalows, complete with its One Love and Clubhouse bar and shop, find themselves in the thick of the action after Ting Tong, with X Bar and Bungalows opposite.
Back Route to Beach
Following the curve to the right at the bottom of the soi, you reach the bungalows of Sea Flower Resort, which sit on the rocky seafront. The original party and backpacker Treehouse Lodge was located around here and so goes the story, the owner coined the name Lonely Beach as a means of attracting early visitors to her bungalows in the late 1990’s. The name is now universal, though locals do still refer to Hat Tha Nam, the real Thai name.
At the very end of the track, it is sometimes possible to hop across the inlet and walk along the path past the front of Rude Boy Bar and its neighbours in the new development area and then onto Lonely Beach itself, a useful shortcut.
Back to Soi 1 again, the road leads down to the older Sunset Huts, also one of the very first resorts to open in this area. Sunset’s bungalows lie in two rows along the seafront and following them, leads you to Sky Beach Resort, a small Italian backpacker style resort.
On the corner and flanking the right hand side of the street is Warapura Resort, one of the top Lonely Beach boutique resorts and also home to Roxy Bar. Late in 2020, this resort split in half, with Navagio (new name for Casa Beach) effectively taking the accommodation in the back and the swimming pool.
You are now actually at the bottom of Soi 2, so by taking this back to the main road, you complete the village grid. Along the way, you pass the hostel, Slumber Party, with the Australian owned small resort Carpe Diem next door. Here, you’ll also find the other end of that connecting street to Soi 1 as mentioned above. Antenna Guesthouse, across the way, did not survive the pandemic.
Baan Mai Minimart, the bars Crazy Monkey and Nhings (Stone Free) with Rock ALonley opposite, are all found in short order as you move up the street. Lam Yai Bungalows has been demolished.
At the top, where the soi rejoins the main road, the coffee shop, hostel and pizzeria Sleepy Owl (same owners as Warapura) remains closed.
On The Hillside and Leaving The Village – Lonely Beach
Between the two sois on the main road, Ploy Inn offers rooms on the mountain side behind its restaurant and there are a couple of other cheap eats and stalls.
Another street, Soi Tian Chai 3, heads inland and uphill. Day Night Bungalows at its start and Little Eden further up are the only two spots still in business. However, occupying the prime position at the top, Oasis Bungalows, continues to thrive, with a swimming pool added in 2022. Climb up to their treehouse for the fabulous views out over the whole area.
Continuing along the main road from the turn to Soi 3, the Aussie/Thai owned Beach Jungle, a hostel with bungalows and the Brit/Thai Janrassammee Homestay with its cafe out front, are both on the left hand side. All the other places leading up to them are either shut or falling down. Next door, the Russian owned Exotic Bungalows, is still open but Green Sun Bungalows and Fish House opposite are also no more.
On this same side, Jungle Fresh arrived in 2023 and is slowly doing up the old BB Divers space, with the hostel rooms now open. BB themselves moved over to Cliff Cottages in Bang Bao. To complete the row, Easy Life took over the old Margaritaville space and will open for the 23/24 season – bar, restaurant and rooms out back.
On the other side, the picture does not get much better with Kachapura Resort the start of another run of abandoned businesses as you head south. That said, both Lonely Beach Resort and Magic Garden Resort are still going strong. Look out too for the long running beach and hippy clothes store, which is a cut above the normal island offerings.
Leaving Lonely Beach
At the far end of Lonely Beach village just after the small diner and the abandoned Lemon Bar/My Hostel, a final soi leads down to the boutique resort, Nest Sense Resort and Paradise Cottage, with its bungalows, restaurant and bar by the sea.
UPDATED December 23
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