Chao Le Homestay
Great but not really a homestay
Panka Yai Bay, Ko Bulon Lae T: (086) 290 2519 , (086) 967 0716
More of a regular bungalow joint than an actual homestay programme, Chao Le Homestay has a small number of inviting wood-and-bamboo bungalows overlooking a shaded lawn just back from the bay.
The property blends into the neighbouring village and is run by a local Chao Lae family who seem to effortlessly nail the laid back and warm hospitality that Bulon is known for. Sturdy and well-kept bungalows are set fairly far apart over the atmospheric grounds. Along with firm beds, clean sheets and mosquito nets, you'll find a few unexpected touches, like polished hardwood floors and tables adorned with snowy New England village scenes to contrast the tropical paradise outside. Bathrooms have terracotta brick walls along with sinks and squat toilets. Porches are also larger than you'd expect, with benches that catch a glimpse of the sea. The family staff also run one of the better restaurants on Bulon, itself decorated with red lanterns, a shark silhouette trellis and huge poster of Avril Lavigne. If the bungalows are full, Sawleeda Resort has very similar accommodation for the same price on the nearby path to Mango Bay.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 400 baht, high season 500 baht. Notes:
Location map for Chao Le Homestay
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Kicking a football in the sea breeze, school kids laugh on their beachside field. Local sea gypsies smile at backpackers and families who lounge outside their simple bungalows. Flowers and butterflies abound. Away from the over-development and other problems found on more popular Thai islands, Ko Bulon Lae
quietly preserves its rural tranquility.