At a Glance
- Likely to meet: Tourists, families, couples and few backpackers.
- The Beach: One of the island’s best, excellent at the northern end, giving way to rocks and cliff at the southern end.
- Accommodation: Mainly resorts and hotels but bungalows, huts, guesthouses also available
From 500bt fan rooms up to 12,000bt for the deluxe oceanside villas
- Resorts: KC Grande, Kacha, Chang Buri, Grand View, Apple Beachfront, Bamboo, Banpu, Cookies
- Small Hotels/Motels: Erawan, The Grand, Keeree Ele, 15 Palms (& Palm Garden), SP Place, Sai Khao Inn, Du Sila
- Bungalows: Tantawan, White Sand Beach Resort, Arunee, Jinda, Rock Sand Resort, Para
- Backpacker: Independent Bo, Tuk Tuk, Maylamean
- Restaurants: Cheap Thai to western, seafood, bbq’s, tables on the beach
- Nong Bua (currently closed), Sun and Soul, Seabar, Beach Tango, Alaturka (currently closed)
- Coffee Shops: Marin, KC Grande
- Nightlife: Couple of nightclubs, sports bars, pub, beach bars, zoned beer bars area
- Party: Sabay Bar, Babylon (both currently closed)
- Bars: Rock Bar (currently closed) , Tapas Bar
- Live Music: Oodies (currently closed), Rock Bar (currently closed)
- Sports: 15 Palms, White Elephant, Golden Flowers (currently closed)
- Other: Dive Shop, Internet, Minimarts, Macro Food, Pharmacies, ATMs, Banks, Ticket agents, Tattoo, Motorbike Rental, Massage
- Highlights: Beach, easy for everthing with lots of choice
- Lowlights: Developed and touristy
- Thai Name: Hat Sai Khao (hat is beach, sai is sand, khao is white)
At an Island Pace
White Sand Beach is generally split into north and south, with the vast majority of the actual beach at the northern end and the southern section generally held to start at the point where the sand gives way to rocks and the cliffs.
What was once a small village is now a bustling tourist town with one huge luxury resort, other mid range hotels and resorts, smaller bungalow operations, motels and backpacker rooms. Alongside the accommodation, there is a wide array of restaurants, bars, cafes, massage and spas, tattoo artists, clothes and souvenir shops, pharmacies, motorbike rental, ticket agencies, banks and currency exchanges.
White Sand Beach is a popular choice for those that want the standard Thai beach resort holiday. During the day, you can enjoy a terrific stretch of sand, with clear calm waters, whilst in the evening, you can wander along the main street or the beach for something to eat, with the chance to cap things off at one of the nightspots dotted around town later.
It is safe, hassle-free tourism but if that is something you normally steer clear of, then White Sand Beach is probably not your kind of place.
The Northern End – White Sand Beach
Crossing over the mountain from Klong Son, the road makes a couple of hard switchback climbs near the National Park Office before it passes the steep incline leading to White Sand Beach Resort and begins its descent into White Sand Beach itself. A viewpoint just before this last stretch offers some great sweeping aerial views of the town, beach and out to sea.
At the foot of the hill at this northern end, the luxury resort KC Grande dominates the immediate surroundings with its buildings on both side of the road and staff lodgings winding back up the hill. A couple of cheaper smaller guesthouses, Jinda, Arunee and Palm Garden Hotel among them, can be found opposite. To the left of the 7-11, one of several to be found in White Sand Beach, a concrete walkway gives public access to the sea.
Taking the walkway down onto the sand brings you out in the middle of the beach, a world apart from the busy Koh Chang street just a few metres away. It’s a wonderful sight, with powder white sand stretching far into the distance in both directions, blue shallow waters ahead and jungle covered cliffs looking down on the northern peninsula.
Walking to the right and north along the beach, you soon stumble upon the backpacker quarter of White Sand Beach. The cheap and cheerful bungalows, Pen’s, Star Beach, Chang Beach, Ban Na, Independent Bo’s, Rock Sand Resort and Maylamean, are all uniquely built up the cliff face, with their little restaurants at the front. High tide brings the sea right up to the buildings, with you actually needing to walk into Rock Sand, through it and out the other side in order to continue on your way.
The bungalows of White Sand Beach Resort, whose steep road entrance you passed when snaking over the mountain and beyond it, an abandoned restaurant, complete the picture at this far northern end.
The Central Area
Heading the opposite way and south from the concrete walkway, you can walk right to the end of the northern section of White Sands Beach, passing restaurants and bars such as 15 Palms, Sangtawan, Sabay Bar, Sun and Soul, Beach Tango and Tapas Bar, the beach-side entrances to the larger resorts of Cookies Hotel, Mac Resort, Koh Chang Lagoon Resort, Kacha Resort and Banpu Resort or the densely packed bungalows of Sang Arun, Tantawan, Bamboo and Apple Beachfront.
Tables and chairs are laid out on the beach by each of these spots, making a great place to break from the sea and sun for lunch or at night, with their low lights and candles, enjoy dinner to the sound of the waves.
At that southern end, you can emerge back onto the main street via another beach walkway by the boutique-style small hotel, Du Talay.
On the Street
At street level, meanwhile, the road of course passes the entrances to these places from their other side, with small shops nestled in among them, selling the usual array of Thai souvenirs, clothes and beach mats.
There are multiple minimarts, travel shops and ticket booths, BB Divers, Oodies with its nightly live music, Buffalo Bill’s (currently closed), Taste of India, Bua Spa (currently closed), Marin Coffee, several motels in SP Place, Gold Beach Guesthouse and Baan Saikao, pharmacies, bank (Bangkok Bank) and the police box.
The Erawan, a 35 room hotel with rooftop pool and The Grande, 34 rooms, sit on the mountain side of the road.
Close to Tantawan and its neighbours at Bamboo, Apple Beachfront and Sea Bar, the street comes alive in the late afternoon and on into the evening, with stands laid out selling little bags of curry, fruit, bbq chicken and and sticky rice, even kebabs. The sports bar Golden Flowers (currently closed) is next to the noodle shop.
Just before Kacha Resort, a small road leads inland to another little world of cheap no frills guesthouses, Fishermans’ Hill, Tuktuk, Island Lodge (currently closed) and White Sand Garden all built up the hillside amid the trees and just a short walk to the beach.
Another cheaper guesthouse, Sai Khao Inn, is located at the end of the small soi opposite Banpu Resort. The eclectic jewellery, accessories and vintage shop, Peace Moon and the cheap, popular Thai eateries of Nong Bua and Gai Mun (Boogie Chicken) – both currently closed – sit either side of the turning.
Alina Hotel is on the same side, with Banpu’s summery looking offshoot rooms opposite. The small hotel, Du Talay is their neighbour.
The Southern End – White Sand Beach
Shortly after the walkway from the beach, Grand View Resort sits at the start of the rocks and cliffs, which signal the southern end of White Sands Beach. Marin coffee shop is at the top of the resort entrance, whilst opposite the so called Grand View Plaza houses restaurants along the front – Alaturka, Bella Vita and Royal India and the bar Monkeys, among others. At the rear, Rock Bar (currently closed) provides the nightlife.
The mountain side buildings of Chang Buri Resort sit between Makro Food and 7-11, with Siam Kitchen a popular little diner a few doors down. Opposite them are the main entrance to Chang Buri, its seaside accommodation and another small coffee shop.
Next up at this southern end, you’ll find the zoned area for the beer bars (all currently closed) – a dense concentration of small open air venues staffed by scantily clad hostesses, which pump out competing loud music fom 18.00 onwards. Babylon Nightlcub (currently closed) is at the rear. Krungthai Bank has its Koh Chang branch here too next to yet another 7-11.
Up the Hill and Out of Town
Further up the hill, seaside, are the resorts of Plaloma, Koh Chang Hut Hotel and Top Resort, with its Foodland store out front. Keeree ele Hotel, a Bangkok style boutique hotel, the dairy-free cafe bistro Coco Mango (currently closed), Du Sila (formerly Paddy’s Palms Resort), The White Elephant pub/resort and Sea Sun Hotel sit on the mountain side.
Next door to Sea Sun and opposite the excellent fruit and vegetable shop, you’ll find a small indoor food court offering Thai staples such as chicken over rice (khao man gai) and braised pork leg (khao ka muu).
Finally, Chang Cliff Resort, with its ingenious walkway built into the cliffs, is the last resort on the sea side. Various other long stay options are opposite as well as a couple of smaller bungalows operations at Para Resort and Baan Aunrak.
Ciao Italian, along running Italian restaurant, is also found at this end, with Anna’s, the cash and carry store stocking many European foods, located at the top of the hill.
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