Photo: The beach is plenty good here.


Lush and comfy

69/10 Moo 4, Ao Plaay Laem, Ko Pha Ngan T: (077) 239 620


Our rating:

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Lush and jungly, Shambhala sits on a great stretch of Plaay Laem Beach and offers an excellent standard of well maintained classic Ko Pha Ngan beach bungalows.

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The setting is lush, with palms and banana trees (we could almost reach some bananas from our balcony hammock) delivering a generous dose of privacy to just about all the bungalows, each of which has a good size deck with at least one hammock and a table setting.

Rather green.

Rather green. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Inside the bungalows are clean and well kept. They are simple affairs – ours had a double bed on a raised platform with a small shelf for books and two bedside lamps. The window looked out onto the terrace (you'll only get a decent water view from the front huts as the foliage blocks much of the view for most of the huts). The hot water bathroom was clean and like the room, well looked after.

Bungalow decks have plenty of space for lounging around and the front ones are ideally placed looking out over the water. The resort restaurant shares the beachfront with the front huts and does well priced Thai food along with western standards and it is a good spot for a cool drink in the afternoon heat.

Clean, well-kept, simple.

Clean, well-kept, simple. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Shambhala also has a few salas in the garden – initially we thought they were massage salas, but they are actually rented out as rooms with shared bathroom facilities – and are a reasonable option for those on a budget (though for not much more you can get a simple hut at Beach99 just down the beach a bit.

WiFi is available, but the signal didn't reach our room towards the rear of the resort – it was fine in the restaurant though. One peculiarity here is upon check-in the staff wanted to take our photo and attach it to the reservation on the computer, when we refused the staffer took a photo of himself instead – odd.

A beachfront bungalow.

A beachfront bungalow. Photo: Stuart McDonald

As a walk-in, rates seemed to be extremely variable – it took staff a while to decide what to charge us and then, when they didn't have change they knocked 100 baht off. Rates listed here are from their website.

A Shambhala sala.

A Shambhala sala. Photo: Stuart McDonald

For the money this is a solid flashpacker option on Plaay Laem – recommended. If you're looking for something a little cheaper, consider long running backpacker hangout Cookies, or, just past the rocks to the south, Beach99.

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Walk-in rates at Shambhala

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
450 baht
900 baht
In a sala
Superior double room
950 baht
2,200 baht
Beachfront bungalow
1,100 baht
2,500 baht
Family room
1,200 baht
2,500 baht
Room: Camping, low season: 450 baht, high season 900 baht. Notes: In a sala
Room: Superior double room, low season: 950 baht, high season 2,200 baht. Notes:
Room: Beachfront bungalow, low season: 1,100 baht, high season 2,500 baht. Notes:
Room: Family room, low season: 1,200 baht, high season 2,500 baht. Notes:

Where is Shambhala

69/10 Moo 4, Ao Plaay Laem, Ko Pha Ngan
T: (077) 239 620
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º58'35.55" E, 9º43'25.35" N
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B

Map for Shambhala

Map for Shambhala

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