Budget beach bungalows
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Moonhut Bungalows is a solid budget option on a top stretch of Ko Samui's Mae Nam beach where there are no jet skis in sight and few vendors. Initial impressions may be mixed: the entrance is an archway leading to a tree-lined, sandy avenue, but a stagnant river lies to the left -- request a room away from here.
Moonhut offers basic backpacker-type bungalows in both fan-cooled and air-con variety, positioned under large shady trees, raised off the ground, and set in the beach sand with no lawn. Air-con rooms are larger, but otherwise offer more or less the same features, including safety boxes and a wet bathroom with shower. Walking straight off the sand to your room adds to the beach holiday vibe, and each bungalow has a bowl of water placed on the balcony to rinse off sandy feet. Rooms are clean and serviced daily, and the beach sand walkways are raked and swept clean of leaves as well, unless a resident cat is asleep on the ground, in which case the cat gets raked around.
A few bamboo salas, tables and sunbeds are set out along the beachfront and each bungalow is also equipped with a couple of plastic chairs. There's WiFi but you'll need to pay. This area is where the kite-boarders hang out as the two points of the bay offer a good breeze rounding the bends.
The resort's own beachfront restaurant has happy hour running 17:00-19:00, when you can also take advantage of the sunset views to Ko Pha Ngan. The menu offers breakfasts priced at 50 to 120 baht and sandwiches and burgers from 95 to 195 baht. The usual selection of Thai food is also offered, albeit at slightly higher prices than one would expect in comparison to the price of the bungalows; spring rolls are 120 baht, about double that of street cafes. A pool table and book exchange add entertainment value, and massages are available on the beach.
To find Moonhut, when coming from Nathon on the Ring Road, turn left 100 metres past the petrol station in Mae Nam and follow the Moonhut signs along a winding dirt road for a few hundred metres. Looking at the beach, a development of upmarket villas is to the right of the resort, and not much on the left.
Moonhut Bungalows are a clean, well-priced backpacker option for Mae Nam, better maintained than Silent Bungalows, a kilometre or so to the east. However, do make sure you claim a room away from the stagnant river near the entrance. Those preferring something a little more upmarket but still easy on the budget would do well to try Hutcha's superior fan or air-con rooms.
By Romi Grossberg
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.