Bai Lan Bay Resort is home to the first room I rented in all of my travels around Thailand, and also happened to be my favorite accommodation of all the places I booked over my 4 months of traveling the country. It was very affordable - cheap even for many Thai hotels. The resort is comprised of many individual bamboo and straw bungalows (very sturdy though), situated on stilts strewn across the slope of a hill overlooking Bai Lan Bay. The huts at the top of the hill are nestled between tall palms; the bungalows at the bottom of the hill have the waves lapping under them during high tide. The restaurant/ lobby area at the top of the hill is a great place to sit and watch sunsets or relax with a newspaper and your morning coffee. The bungalows are each made up of 2 mattresses pushed together underneath a mosquito net. While this may be a turn off to some, we had no problems with the mosquitoes (our visit was in late January). They were all equipped with outlets, electric lights, and good powered fans. You could get away with not using the fans and just propping open the large shutters covering the windows to allow a good breeze to blow through (perfect for afternoon naps). The bathrooms were surprisingly very clean considering they are partially open to the elements - as is the rest of the hut with the roof suspended a few feet over the wall height, which again helped move air throughout. The toilets are western toilets, and the shower has a removable head and heat (if you really need it). Each hut also has a front porch that lets you sit and look out over the bay. I traveled with a group of students and we comfortably slept 4 in each hut, but 2 or 3 would be ideal. Because of the steep hill and stairs used to get down from the restaurant and street entrance area to the bungalows, this would not be a good choice for those who are not as mobile.
The owner/manager of the resort was an amazing Thai woman (I feel terrible for not remembering her name anymore) who spoke enough English to find you whatever you wanted, and also thoughtfully inquire about your travels and home country. She ran the restaurant at the top of the hill which had really good food and a decent menu to choose from including western breakfast and some "farang" dishes mixed in with Thai foods. Make sure to ask for "coffee homemade" to taste some of the best coffee you have ever had - hands down. The desk can call taxis to pick you up and take you to other points on the island (elephant trekking is very popular on Koh Chang, as well as diving). You can also rent motorbikes through the resort. The port and the "busy" part of the island is about a 30 minute taxi drive from the resort, but our group found it great to be away from the hustle and bustle because it was the best way to enjoy our surroundings. The beach there is rocky so it is difficult to swim at low tide or a lot during the summer, but high tide at winter is fine. It is also not a far taxi ride to White Sand Beach, the most populated beach on the island. As far as nightlife is concerned, the best time on the island - a restaurant by day, a fantastic time by night - is within walking distance from the resort. It is a little hidden but well worth the search.
It says on the website that they only allow a minimum 3 night stays, which I am sure you would enjoy your 3 nights fully, but it is possible to negotiate a shorter stay (we had a group so that helped, and a native Thai speaker I am sure could not hurt either).
- Also Known As:
- Bai Lan Bay Hotel Koh Chang