UPDATED for 2019-20 Season
At a Glance – Lonely Beach
- 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
From 250bt cold shower fan rooms up to 7,500bt for the pool villas
- Resorts: Nest Sense, Bhumiyama, Warapura, Paradise Cottage, Nature Beach
Bungalows: Oasis, Seaflower, Siam Huts, Magic Garden, Carpe Diem, Lonely Beach Resort, Sunflower, Little Eden, Beach Jungle
Guesthouses and Hostels: Janrassamee, Marco’s, Thale, Oom, Cafe del Sunshine, Sleepy Owl, BB, Bee Sleep, My Hostel, Stay Inn
- Baan Mai, Dang Seafood, Nature Beach, Warapura, Marco’s (Pizza), Rim Taan, Magic Garden, Yummy (Fusion)
Coffee Shops: Sleepy Owl, Janrassamee
- Party: Ting Tong, Himmel, Cancun
Bars: Margaritaville, Gu’s Bay, Mod, Tattoo Bar, Shanti Shanti, Riverstone, Kamrai
Live Music: Stone Free, Banana Bar
Sports: Beach Jungle
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 sparsely occupied development space 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 four places to stay, with the rest in and around the village.
Bars and nightlife are centred in the village too though there are actual beach parties down on the sand throughout the year.
You will also find plenty of cheap restaurants and cafes, tattooists, dive shops, a gym, massage, ATM’s and tour shops.
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 – Lonely Beach
Coming from the north, the road climbs out of Kai Bae Beach, first passing the main road entrance of 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 Seaview 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 and now decaying huts of Siam Beach Resort on the hillside, its old and now decaying bungalows on the mountainside 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 cheapest 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 or Siam Huts to get to the sand itself, with the best section running north from Nature Beach to Siam Beach Resort at the end.
Next door to the entrance to Siam Huts, there is a minimart and bakery but adjoining them, the aptly named Go To The Beach Road also runs down to the sea. This is the entrance to a fledgling development to create another whole mini-village, but as yet, it is has not had many takers. Nonetheless, you will find the very popular party venue Cancun Bar, Por Par and Monkey (complete with fireshow) restaurants and Beautiful, a tiny thatched bar, all lined up by the water’s edge. Up by the road, the tiny Stay Inn Hostel has two dorms near to the restaurant, Guitar House, the first of its 2 local outlets.
Continuing along the road, it is an easy 2 to 3 minute walk to Lonely Beach village itself.
In the village and Up and Down the Sois (Streets) – Lonely Beach
Gu’s Bay Bar and the tattoo shop, Danny’s, are located in the shop houses just before the bridge, which is itself flanked by the Riverstone bar and the mini resort, Joy Cottage. The excellent Dang Seafood, Smile and Rim Tarn restaurants sit on the other side.
Carrying on just a few more metres past Oneka Seafood, you can turn into Soi Tian Chai 1, the first street that comes off the main road running down to the sea. Another restaurant, Number 1 Seafood occupies the corner space.
Immediately down Soi 1, the long established burger and kebab joint provides the late night fare whilst opposite, Oom Guesthouse, Thale Guesthouse and Cafe del Sunshine run in a row down the left hand side of the road. Shanti Shanti bar sits on the corner of a small side street, which joins up with Soi Tian Chai 2, itself running parallel 50 meters away. Zmokers, a burger joint and the retail outlet Wine Gallery are alongside Shanti Shanti, whilst further down that little connecting street, you’ll find the accommodation entrance for Cafe del Sunshine and Maco Jaco Bungalows across the way.
Back on Soi 1, the next section is the party area of Lonely Beach. Himmel Bar and its offshoots starts things off before they blend into the very late opening bar, live music and club venue Ting Tong and its cafe. The smaller Tattoo Bar is sandwiched in amongst them as are other tattoo shops.
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.
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 Cancun Bar and its neighbours in the new development area to Siam Huts and onto Lonely Beach itself, a useful shortcut.
Back on Soi 1 again, Banana Bar and Bamboo Tattoo and Bungalows lead down to 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. This is actually 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, KLKL, with the Australian owned small resort Carpe Diem next door. Here, you’ll also find the entrance to Maco Jaco Bungalows, as you are now at the other end other end of that connecting street to Soi 1 as mentioned above. Antenna Guesthouse sits opposite.
Marco’s Place, an Italian run guesthouse and excellent pizzeria, Lam Yai Bungalows, Mod Bar, Baan Mai Noodles and Minimart, the music bar Stone Free (Thale Guesthouse) and Oom Bar (same as the guesthouse on Soi 1) are all found in short order as you move up the street. Bee Sleep Hostel of Klong Prao Beach has a second branch here too.
The restaurant Chilli Garden, with its outdoor cooking school and vegetarian specialities and the massage house Nara Spa complete the picture.
At the top, the coffee shop and pizzeria Sleepy Owl, with its accompanying hostel at the rear, is located on the corner where the soi rejoins the main road. There is also a good little no name cafe on the other side.
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 other cheap eats and stalls including Guitar House.
Another street, Soi Tian Chai 3, heads inland and uphill with Day Night Bungalows at its start. Janina’s Resort, Happy Yokee Huts, Easy House and Little Eden are spaced out on either side as you go up, with Oasis Bungalows occupying the prime position at the top. 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 7 Days minimart, Buongirno Bakery and Scuba Dawgs dive shop start the next section while you can find yet more Lonely Beach party action at Kamrai, sister bar to their bungalows in Bailan Beach. Beach Jungle, bar, restaurant and rooms sits adjacent to Janrassammee Homestay, with its own accompanying Jungle Fresh ticket shop and cafe.
Exotic Bungalows, restaurant, bungalows and rooms and the tiny Green Sun Bungalows, both Russian owned, lead on towards BB Lonely Beach, which encompasses its dive shop, swimming pool, gym, dorm rooms and restaurant. The lively bar of Margaritaville is last up on the mountain side, it too having rooms out back.
Meanwhile back opposite Soi 3, Kachapura Resort, its restaurant at the front and bungalows in the gardens at the back, starts a run of resorts and diners as you head south. You can find fusion cooking at Yummy, cheap eats at the ever popular Baan Mai and both food and accommodation at Lonely Beach Resort, Fish House and Magic Garden Resort. Look out too for the bar built around the amazing ancient tree by Fish House.
At the far end of Lonely Beach village just after the 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.