During my stay in Klong Prao and Bailan Bay on Koh Chang I explored lots of other villages and beaches of the island, too, as I am a person who gets easily bored staying in place for a long time. The west coast of Koh Chang accommodates the longest and most beautiful beaches and of course most tourists also find their way there. All villages and beaches have a very different type of feeling and vibe, and I think I chose very wisely staying in Klong Prao and Bailan Bay.
White Sand Beach (Hat Sai Khao)
White Sand Beach is the most developed and also the busiest village on Koh Chang with lots of restaurants, bars, night clubs, cafes, supermarkets and shops along the main road. I did not particularly like this touristy village, too busy for my taste. Luckily the steep hill right behind the beach and the main road limits development to a narrow strip along the main road.The beach itself is a long stretch of powdery white sand with crystal clear water. White Sand Beach is relatively busy in the south with lots sun beds and deck chairs in front of hotels and bars. The northern part of the beach is very nice, quiet and deserted with trees stretching out over the sand making it is easy to find a shady spot.
Pearl Beach (Hat Kai Mook)
I was told that there is some good snorkeling with corals and colourful reef fish right off Pearl Beach but when I got here I was disappointed to find out that the beach was not sandy, but pebbles so at the end I did not even go into the water. I just decided to enjoy the peace and quiet here for a while as I had the beach all to myself before heading off to Chai Chet a few kilometres down south.The village of Pearl Beach is very quiet being sandwiched between two larger villages, White Sand Beach and Chai Chet Beach, with a couple of small bungalow resorts and a few restaurants.
Chai Chet village up on the main road has several mini-marts, restaurants, a couple of little shopping plazas, pharmacies, gift shops etc.Chai Chet Beach is a very quiet and scenic long white sandy beach with some beach front hotels in the north. Walking towards the southern end of the beach I found huge isolated sections of white sand before reaching a river estuary. Wading across the water to Klong Prao Beach I had water up to my arm pits but made it to the other side. At low tide it must be easier.
Klong Prao Beach is a beautiful and quiet long stretch of fine sand that continues for several kilometres. Even though some hotels and resorts are located right on the beach there is still plenty of undeveloped stretches of jungle that allow the beach to retain a spacious and natural atmosphere.Klong Prao village is a quiet little village that extends quite a way inland and here the main road deviates further from the sea than in other villages. The village stretches for a couple of kilometres along the main road dotted with a few small supermarkets and restaurants. I stayed in Klong Prao for 5 nights enjoying quiet beach life by blue lagoons and green mountains.
South of Klong Prao lies Kai Bae beach and village. Kai Bae Beach is a long beautiful horse shoe shaped beach with white sand, lots of palm trees as well as mountains in the background making it very scenic. At low tide you can wade to the neighbouring island of Koh Man Nai from here. It is also popular to rent a kayak to explore the small islands not far from Kai Bae Beach.Kai Bae village stretches out along the main road a couple of minutes walk behind the beach. The road is narrower here than elsewhere on the island. It is fairly busy here with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, shops and supermarkets.
One morning I walked over to Lonely Beach from Bailan Bay where I was staying. It was a hot and hilly walk but took no more than 15 minutes to reach the village and another 10 minutes to reach the beach. The village has a very laid back backpacker vibe with lots and lots of restaurants, bars, night clubs and shops. I reckon it gets very busy and loud here with wild parties when the night falls, and you surely will not feel lonely at Lonely Beach.
The beach at Lonely Beach is not the longest on the island but a wide strip of sand stretches for a few hundred metres before turning into a pebble beach in the southern end.
Bailan Bay is a very sleepy little village, a true haven of peace and quiet for people like me who like things easy. Jungle rises up steeply right behind the main road with monkeys playing around on the road side cables. There is not much at all in the village, just a couple of simple and inexpensive Thai restaurants and a few shops to buy drinks and snacks.The beach in Bailan Bay is quite short and fairly rocky. However, there is a stretch of fine white sand protected by a breakwater in front of hotel Mercure Hideaway. More about my experiences and stay in Bailan Bay here.
In the good old days Bang Bao village in the south-western corner of Koh Chang used to be a traditional little Thai fishing village where life concentrated around a long and narrow pier with traditional wooden stilt houses and fishing boats moored up ready for sea. In the recent years most of the original Bang Bao village has changed and tourism has replaced fishing as the main source of income. Today the 350 metres long pier resembles an indoor market with plentiful souvenir shops, ticket booths, minimarts and restaurants. More about my day in Bang Bao here.A couple of kilometres east of Bang Bao village I found a very nice and long beach, Klong Kloi Beach, with white sand and great views over the small islands and Bang Bao Bay. This is the last beach accessible by scooter and car in southern Koh Chang.In addition to the main beaches on the west coast of Koh Chang there are some very nice and secluded beaches but you have to be prepared to explore off the beaten path. I went on a day trip around the island but did not have a chance to stop at any of the secluded beaches on the east or south coast. Next time!
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