Ao Tapao Beach has developed steadily over the last few years, with visitors drawn to the excellent resorts which line its wonderful long stretch of sand, as well as the wide array of shops and diners up by the main road.
Down by the sea, the area boasts five places to stay – the 3 star Meedee, Seafar and Koh Kood Paradise Beach, the older Koh Kood Cabana, as well as the highly rated boutique, Shantaa, up on the hillside. Koh Kood’s main temple is also located just behind the beach.
In addition to the resorts and shops, Ao Tapao (Hin Dam) is home to the island’s hospital, police station and town hall. Tucked away in amongst them or along the back streets, you will also find further cheaper homestays and guesthouses.
Ao Noi and Central Area (Hin Dam)
Soon after leaving Klong Chao Beach, the road reaches the sign for Ao Noi Resort, where the paved track leads through the forest to a very picturesque bay, dotted with the resort’s huts and bungalows, wooden piers and gazebos.
Continuing on up the coast, the route cuts inland, passing restaurants such Pizza & Pasta, Leo Station, Esan Family and Little Bird, as well as other houses, a pharmacy, minimarts and a tiny bungalow operation for Thai package tourists, Sangtong Resort. Incidentally, if you dip down the rough track by Koh Kood Pharmacy, you can drive all the way to the undeveloped end of Ao Tapao Beach (see below).
The island’s electricty centre is just around the next corner, followed by the police station and across from that, you’ll see the well signed road down to Meedee Resort and Seafar Resort on the beach itself.
The small street heading inland by the electricity center takes you on a winding shortcut through the forest, passing the bungalows at Mermaid B & B, the restaurant The Fisherman Hut and then Kama Siri Guesthouse at the far end, before emerging onto to the main Ao Salad road.
Next along on the Ao Tapao road, meanwhile, the island’s administration centre perches up on the hill, with the huge Koh Kood sign in front. Over the way, one of Koh Kood’s rare ATMs is next door to the cheap food court area of Pangya Kitchen.
Near to these, you’ll also find the hospital, with Dara Homestay opposite, 108 Issan cafe, the school and at the end, a small petrol station, bookended by Mermaid Boutique and Cafe and Baan Aow Thai Homestay.
Northern End, On the Beach – Ao Tapao Beach
At the crossroads just past the petrol station, a left turn takes you down to the northern end of Ao Tapao Beach itself.
You’ll pass Wat Rat Bamrung, Koh Kood’s main temple and the lane leading to homestay/restaurant Mateoasis before arriving at the long concrete Nam Luek Pier, sometimes also referred to as Hin Dam Pier.
This was formerly the principal arrival and departure pier for the mainland boats, but about 7 to 8 years ago, they switched to Ao Salad in the north east of the island. Rumour has it that now the pier has been fully restored, some or all of the boats will move back. Time will tell…
The boutique resort of Shantaa straddles the hill above the pier, with wonderful views out over the bay. You can access it via a sandy track running off through the long grass just near their western style minimart.
Down on the sand, the large Paradise Beach Resort, sister establishment to Koh Chang Paradise Resort and Spa, dominates this end, whilst next door the old Thai resort of Koh Kood Cabana hangs on after all these years. Further along, Meedee Resort and Seafar Resort sit side by side, a with a lovely long sweep of undeveloped beach beyond them (accessed by road as explained above).
Behind Meedee Resort and Seafar Resort, the long new concrete road leads past Meedee 2, The Lodge and Little 9 Cafe to rejoin the main road at the police station as mentioned above.
Incidentally, you can link to the pier area from Meedee and Seafar by following the small road behind them that runs parallel with the sea. Head in at Cabana’s entrance and about half way along that, take the rough old track to bring you out at Paradise’s reception area. From there, simply head on out the resort and you emerge on the pier approach road.
UPDATED November 22 for 22/23 High Season
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