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 another 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 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
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 The Fisherman Hut, Pizza and Pasta, Leo Station, Waree and Pa Yoi BBQ, as well as other houses, minimarts and a couple of tiny bungalow operations for Thai package tourists, Sangtong Resort and Oh Ho.
The old island electricty generator is just around the next corner, followed by the police station and across from that, you’ll see the well signed track down to Meedee Resort and Seafar Resort on the beach itself.
Incidentally, the small street heading inland by the electricity center takes you on a winding shortcut through the forest, passing 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, the school and at the end, a small petrol station. Another Thai spot, Baan Aow Thai Homestay sits next door.
Northern End – 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.
A few hundred metres past Koh Kood Temple, you arrive at the long concrete Nam Luek Pier, confusingly sometimes also referred to as Hin Dam Pier. This was formerly the principal arrival and departure pier for the mainland boats, but they have now all moved over to Ao Salad in the north east of the island.
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.
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