Serene backpacker option
The very simple and almost dollhouse-like bungalows at Sand and Sea sit in a quiet spot on the southern rim of Ao Bang Bao with an outlook spanning this entire spectacular bay.
Sand and Sea overlooks a coastline of sand, grass, trees and rocks on the south side of an estuary forded by a wooden footbridge from Bang Bao Beach or avoided by a very bumpy and long road that cuts here from closer to Ao Ta Khian. So while Ao Bang Bao itself is not exactly remote, those heading up to Ngam Kho and Khlong Chao by motorbike should expect a much longer ride than from Bang Bao’s other resorts.
Those who are down for the isolation will find several room types, all of them fan cooled and most fetching less than 1,000 baht per night. We first looked in one of the cheapest rooms set in a two-floor house and found only a mattress on the floor with portable fan, window and use of shared cold-water bathroom. Though spartan it appeared clean enough and was surprisingly spacious.
An extra 200 baht bags you a tiny but well-located wood shack set almost within an arms reach of the aquamarine sea. Relying on shared bathrooms found a short stroll across the lawn, these have fans and mosquito nets draped over mattresses perched ever-so-slightly off the floor. A nifty design enables guests to prop open the entire front wall to let the salt air spill inside.
Painted teal, maroon and royal blue, other bungalows stand on stilts amid thick flower bushes on the forest-backed hillside. These were full during our visit but they look adorable and each comes with an attached bathroom. We noticed families and solo travellers staying in these.
Bungalows are spaced well apart over a long and narrow property with swings hanging along the seafront. Walk to the far end to find a wooden pier that’s great for a dangle of the feet as you soak in the bay view. You’ll also find a few tables set up over the sand at the small restaurant area, where a staffer seemed a tad annoyed to see us at first but warmed up quickly. WiFi is free and the vibe is for beach bums.
Sand and Sea accepts walk-in bookings only and does not even give out a phone number. If all bungalows are full you could stay in the attached building and wait for a better room to open up, or seek a beachfront bungalow at the large and characterless Siam Beach Resort next door.
Address: Southern end of Ao Bang Bao, Ko Kut
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º32'3.37" E, 11º36'34.93" 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.
|Dbl fan share bathroom||600 baht||600 baht|
|Bungalow fan share bathroom||800 baht||800 baht|
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||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.
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