May 18 2012
Moonhut Bungalows is a great budget option on Ko Samui’s Mae Nam beach. Arriving at Moonhut from a windy dirt road, the initial impressions may be mixed:the entrance is quaint, with a signposted archway leading to a tree-lined avenue with a beach sand floor, but a stagnant river to the left, at least when we visited, gives off a rather unpleasant smell.
Moonhut offers basic backpacker-type bungalows in both fan-cooled (550 baht) and air-con (1,000 baht) variety, positioned under large shady trees, raised off the ground, and set in the beach sand — no lawn. 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.
On the day we dropped by, Moonhut was full barring one fan room, which is always a good sign. The air-con rooms are larger, but other than size and cooling method, offer more or less the same features including wet bathrooms with shower and a small safety box. There’s WiFi but you need to pay for it.
Moonhuts is located on a great stretch of Mae Nam, with no jet skis in sight, and few vendors. This is where the kiteboarders hang out as the two points of the bay offer a good breeze rounding the bends. 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. Rooms are clean and serviced daily, and the beach sand walkways are raked and swept clean of leaves — well, unless a resident cat is asleep on the ground, in which case the cat gets raked around.
Looking at the beach, a development of upmarket villas is to the left of the resort, and the Old School Bar is to the right. With its wood-clad walls, trendy vintage photos and well-priced nosh, the Old School Bar looks like a good hangout for backpackers and kitesurfers alike.
The resort’s own restaurant is located on the beachfront. Happy hours run 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.
Moonhut Bungalows are a clean, well-priced backpacker option for Mae Nam, as good as Silent Bungalows, a kilometre or so to the east. However, do try to get rooms 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.
67/2 Moo 1 Mae Nam Beach (Coming from Nathon on the Ring Road, turn left 100m past the petrol station in Mae Nam and follow the Moonhut signs along a windy dirt road for a few hundred metres)
T: (077) 425 247
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