Cheap hillside bungalows
At the foot of jungle-clad mountains that go on for miles, TP Hut offers good-value budget bungalows spread around a flower-strewn hillside. It would be our choice out of the many cheapies found off the inland side of the main road from Haad Khaimook down through Chai Chet and Khlong Prao.
We most recently rode this way searching for a bungalow spot called Buddy House, where we enjoyed staying years before. Sadly it had closed, but our spirits were raised after finding that neighbouring TP Hut had absorbed Buddy while perpetuating the same old welcoming and laid-back atmosphere.
A German/Thai couple with ties to the old Buddy House owner took over in 2014, performing some upkeep on the bungalows and a pair of single-floor concrete buildings. All rooms were full when we visited so we couldn’t peek inside, but they appear to be well suited to budget travellers who will be renting a vehicle to get around and simply need a cheap and functional room as a home base. Staying here without a vehicle could be frustrating.
The cheapest options are tiny huts with woven bamboo walls, corrugated metal roofs, screened windows and wall-mounted fans cooling the firm beds. These rely on shared bathrooms with cold water, but there is at least one similar bungalow with a private bathroom, we were told.
In the little green and white concrete buildings, six rooms are available with fan or air-con and these sport tile floors, ensuite hot-water bathrooms, TVs, desks, fridges, kettles and tables on the shared stoops—quite a list of extras for the prices. WiFi is also free throughout the property, which includes a small common room where you can grab a beer or rent a motorbike.
Over in the Buddy House section, we were happy to see the old sign still hanging on one of the concrete bungalows that are similar to, but a smidge pricier than, the attached rooms mentioned above. If you can swing the 1,000 baht price tag, the three larger wooden bungalows spaced well apart on the upper reach of the property all afford sea views from porches strung with hammocks. The only pricier option is a two-floor bungalow for families.
TP is a good long-stay option, with discounts often available for stays of five nights or more. A few hundred metres further down the main road, another lane branches up to Elephant and Castle, a welcoming British/Thai-run spot with solid wood-and-concrete bungalows fronting a rubber tree grove; they’re similar in price and amenities to TP’s top-end bungalows.
Out of the pack of inland cheapies, we prefer TP and Elephant and Castle because they’re set well off the main road and close to the forest. If you don’t mind a room closer to the road, nearby Baan Ton Rak offers solid boutique-style rooms in the 1,000 to 2,000 baht range—just be warned that it’s close to some roadside pubs.
Another solid option in this category is Grand Tree Resort, which has a small swimming pool and clean air-con bungalows for less than 1,000 baht but is close to the girlie bars on the main road through Chai Chet. A better choice may be Coco Plaza Guesthouse located in the eponymous eating and shopping area in northern Khlong Prao. Or you could check out Jungle View, a bar and restaurant with basic bamboo bungalows out the back. Overlooking scenic Khlong Prao Canal, Moley’s also makes a good base for around 1,000 baht.
Address: 36/10 Moo 4 (lane cuts inland just north of Tesco Lotus), Ko Chang
T: (087) 072 3736;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º16'48.94" E, 12º5'14.91" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan share bathroom||300 baht||300 baht|
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||400 baht||400 baht|
|Standard double room|
Fan-cooled. Add 200 baht for air-con
|500 baht||500 baht|
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom||900 baht||900 baht|
For concrete bungalow; plus 100 baht for sea-view wood bungalow
|1,200 baht||1,200 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