A view from the loo
Those staying at Maylamean opt for a 20-minute walk to the main drag in exchange for a cheap and solid bungalow perched high above a phenomenal stretch of sand that stays quiet after dark.
Also spelt Melamine, the small and long-running spot looks like a less flashy sibling of nearby Independent Bo, with a similar setup featuring tall stilted bungalows and cheaper rooms in a longhouse built into the hillside. Even if not staying, do climb the steep stairway to the open-sided restaurant for a drink on a floor cushion—come at sunset and we doubt you’ll be disappointed.
We counted seven rooms in total and the best are the sea-view bungalows painted yellow, green and orange. These have hot-water showers, hardwood floors and hammocks strung to porches with the same prime outlook as the restaurant. One of these comes with two double beds and another boasts a floor-to-ceiling window affording a view from the loo. Now that’s what we call paradise.
The cheaper longhouse rooms also have private bathrooms but are much smaller and less inviting than the bungalows. Each does however come with a chair on a small porch and the value isn’t bad for solo travellers.
When walking north along the beach, Maylamean is the first place after you pass the boulders on which Rock Sand Resort was built. It’s also the only place other than White Sand Beach Resort that fronts the sand on this far northern stretch of Haad Sai Khao—arguably the best beach on Chang. Even at high tide there’s plenty of room to lounge directly in front of Maylamean, which is not the case at Independent Bo and other bungalow joints found further south.
The downside to this position is that it’s a slightly longer walk down to the main drag from than from Independent Bo or Star Beach Bungalows, among others found closer to the backpacker nightlife around Chang Bar. While that area gets a little noisy after dark, Maylamean stays sedate unless the family owners decide it’s time for a seafood barbecue party. As with all places to stay up this way, there is no parking or direct road access.
You also get free WiFi and the young staffers were polite after they put down their phones for long enough to notice us. You could try calling or sending a Facebook message to make a reservation, though most guests just huff it up here and seek out rooms on the spot. A classic move is to start with one of the little rooms before pouncing on the first bungalow that opens up.
Address: North Haad Sai Khao, Ko Chang
T: (092) 891 4409;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º16'0.58" E, 12º6'49.79" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan private bathroom||300 baht||400 baht|
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
Up to 700/900 for the largest bungalows.
|600 baht||700 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