33/4 Moo 4, Bang Rak (Big Buddha Beach), near Petcherat Pier T: (077) 447 792, (089) 025 9778
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If you think that 500 baht per night bungalows on the beach on Ko Samui no longer exist, we have some good news — you’re wrong! We’ve found another one to add to our selection of good beach backpacker spots.
In fact, Sunset Resort in Bang Rak, also known as Big Buddha Beach, has a few perks not usually found at backpacker digs. Firstly, there’s little traffic noise, although the resort sits on the Bang Rak main road, as a big parking area separates the bungalows from the road entrance. You will have some plane noise, but it’s not too bad, especially when you weigh it up against the pros of this cheap beachside operation.
Fan bungalows go for 500 baht per night, and if you splash out for the slightly bigger air-con bungalow, it will set you back 1,000 baht per night. Aside from air-con, and size, the only other difference is that the pricier bungalows also have bathtubs, a rare find at this pricepoint.
The bungalows are simple wooden structures, slightly raised off the ground, and all have little balconies with patio furniture. Inside, you’ll find a TV with a few English channels, hot water bathrooms, safes (in most rooms) and even fridges. That’s a lot considering the price. The double beds are covered by mosquito nets, and the free WiFi reaches the rooms.
In the common area, there’s a free self-service coffee-making facility as well as a snooker table and beach bar. The restaurant isn’t trading at the moment, but the super friendly staff said that they would order takeaways for guests, with no added mark-up. But really, it’s not necessary as there are so many restaurants within walking distance, including cheap roadside cafes and street food. You’ll also find convenience stores and pharmacies only 200 metres away.
The beach in front, although not the best Samui has to offer, is still decent and kept clean by the resort. A couple of hundred metres on each side of the resort is a pier where speedboats, tour boats and ferries to Ko Pha Ngan and the full moon party leave from. There’s a small swimming pool and a few sun-loungers overlooking the beach if you’re not up to a saltwater dip. Big Buddha is visible in the distance, and a 20-minute walk will take you to this Samui icon. And of course, as the name suggests, the sunsets from this beach are spectacular.
If it’s a centrally located backpacker pad you’re after with easy access to public transport, you can’t go wrong with Sunset Resort.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 24th March, 2015.