When strolling from one side of White Sand Beach Resort to the other, we can’t help but feel that the resort has greedily hogged almost the entire brilliant northern end of Haad Sai Khao ever since tourists first appeared here.
This is arguably the best single location on the island: a wide stretch of powder-white sand with jungle-shrouded hills rising from behind. Most bungalows sit draped in rattan palms and umbrella trees. Though the resort takes up at least as much beachfront as KC Grande, the bungalows are spaced farther apart and there’s no pool or other facilities apart from a large restaurant area, where servers have been known to lose track of patrons amid the cobwebs.
Before you get too excited and book a room based on the location, beware that the resort itself is mediocre (at best) and charges a premium for old, uninspired rooms. We checked out two bungalows and found both acceptable, with firm beds, slightly grimy hot-water wet bathrooms, notably old fridges, newish TVs, wood floors and plastic chairs on the porches. Interiors are dreary.
Go outside, however, and you’ll see why these bungalows stay full in high season. You won’t find many rooms on Chang where you can step out of the door and on to the sand within a few steps of sun-soaked water. Beachfront bungalows are worth the extra cash, but you could do worse than a garden edition set back beyond a narrow moat.
While all of the seemingly endless bungalows are designed for two guests, the resort also has some medium-size buildings set up with families in mind. Sporting white tile floors and painted concrete walls, the cheapest of these have two queen beds along with furniture that may induce 1980s-themed nightmares. There’s also a family house that sleeps up to 10 in three different rooms.
A lot of guests have complained of unhelpful service but we’ve had mostly positive experiences when inspecting the resort on multiple occasions. It’s an old resort and staffers seem set in their ways, which often includes joking around or playing with their phones when perhaps they should be assisting guests. Bring a sense of humour and you’ll have better luck getting their attention.
Monkeys often hang around the woods out back, where an extremely steep driveway leads up to an undeveloped stretch of the main road on the way to Khlong Son. Those without vehicles will need to walk a kilometre south down the beach to hit the main drag, so this is a place where you could feel stuck.
We suggest skipping the resort restaurant and dining at other options nearby, such as Maylamean and Rock Sand. The latter offers better-quality air-con rooms without the dazzling beach right out front. White Sand Beach Resort declined to give us low-season rates but we’d look for discounts in rainy months.
Address: North end of Haad Sai Khao, Ko Chang
T: (086) 310 5553 ; (086) 317 3255;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º15'51.01" E, 12º7'5.12" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom|
Add 400 baht for beachfront
|1,900 baht||1,900 baht|
|Deluxe bungalow||3,150 baht||3,150 baht|
Up to 7,000 baht (sleeping ten)
|3,600 baht||3,600 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