Top pick for backpackers
Formerly known as Porn Bungalow, this low-key backpacker spot may have added an apostrophe S to clarify that Porn is short for the owner’s name, Jiraporn, and not an indication of the activities that go on here. With that cleared up, welcome to one of our favourite bungalow spots on Ko Chang.
Fronted by a seaside treehouse restaurant serving terrific Thai food, this family-run budget mainstay has barely changed over the decades. On every visit we see elderly members of the family in charge chatting at the tiny reception stand by the beach, and we always end up standing around waiting for one of the many younger family members to show us a room or two. Having been raised in one laid-beck setting, they’re usually cheerful enough.
Some of the weathered but sturdy wooden bungalows are unexpectedly stylish with smooth wood floors, hammocks strung to wraparound porches and thatched roofs. Some stand two storeys tall with a loft design while set next to seaside umbrella trees. Of the variously sized and styled bungalows, we’d pass only on the grimy, dirt-cheap concrete huts set on the far side of the property.
You’ll also find some grime on stonewalls in larger bungalow bathrooms with hot water showers. But the sleeping space looked clean and the soft bed with proper comforter and mosquito net was more than adequate for us. You also get a wall-mounted fan, complimentary bottled water, several windows and perhaps a table or drying rack. WiFi is free but works only at the restaurant.
Speaking of which, Porn’s Restaurant is a great place to watch a fire spinning show and have a beer or smoothie to cool off after an intensely spiced dish. Afterwards you could play billiards or table tennis, hit the nightlife in nearby Kai Bae village or just retire to a hammock on your dimly lit porch.
Porn’s is the only genuine backpacker-style bungalow spot left on Kai Bae Beach, and it does not accept reservations by phone, email or carrier pigeon—walk-ins only. Elsewhere in Kai Bae, the closest option in terms of price and style would be Siam Cottage Resort, a small spot with beach access and shacks built very close together fetching 650 baht for fan and 1,050 for air-con. There’s also Sanook Sanang if you don’t mind an inland location.
Address: South Kai Bae, Ko Chang
T: (063) 171 2365 ; (091) 208 7933;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º17'24.43" E, 12º1'16.08" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
|500 baht||600 baht|
|Deluxe bungalow||700 baht||800 baht|
|Beachfront bungalow||900 baht||1,000 baht|
|Family room||1,300 baht||1,500 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Chang