Artistic and comfy
One of a few flashpacker-range resorts found towards the south end of North Ao Khao Kwai, Baan Klong Kleng impressed us with personable service, a traditional Thai artistic touch and rooms that are classy and comfortable.
The resort occupies a narrow strip of land with rooms built fairly close together along a tree-lined hill, with only the priciest rooms joining the sea-view restaurant within steps of the sand. Freestanding bungalows are made of dark wood with an elegant Northern Thai theme. Though a bit dark, these boast soft queen beds draped in mosquito nets, wood ceiling fans, Chinese-style ceramic sinks in polished concrete bathrooms with cold water, and notably large front decks with chairs.
At the back of the property, a few family rooms occupy a two-storey building constructed out of dismantled materials from a Colonial-era schoolhouse. These were full during our visit, but we were told that each unit features two rooms with a living area in the centre. All rooms come with a few antiques and tasteful framed art on the walls, creating a romantic air.
The owner is a pleasant older Thai woman and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be here when her friendly son Jack is visiting from his home in Australia. Free WiFi works in restaurant, where the coffee comes from an espresso machine. Electricity runs for 24 hours during peak season and is shut off only for parts of the daytime during the shoulder months.
Other flashpacker-range options in this vicinity include neighbouring Sai Thong with its flash polished concrete villas, and Mr Gao, which was undergoing major renovations when we last passed through. There’s also Chom Jan, a long-running resort with a range of concrete bungalows located a little further north. Nearby Heaven Beach also has large fan bungalows with an artistic touch starting at around 1,500 baht a night.
Address: North Ao Khao Kwai, Ko Phayam
T: (092) 597 1110;
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º24'30.36" E, 9º45'12.96" N
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Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
1,000 baht for a larger bungalow closer to the beach.
|closed or n/a||700 baht|
|Family room||closed or n/a||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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