Just like back in the day
Laid back and uber friendly, the ramchackle Beach 99 delivers simple and eclectic beach beach bungalows in a rustic setting at towards the southern end of Plaay Laem, just around the boulders from Cookies.
These are some of the simplest bungalows we list for Ko Pha Ngan, and we're pretty sure there wasn't a single straight edge in the entire hut we stayed in here, but it was smack-bang on the beach with a big deck, a hammock and a recliner and cost just 800 baht, which struck us as a pretty good deal.
Not all the bungalows here are on the beach – some are scattered on the rise behind the restaurant and others are over towards Cookies (we're not exactly sure where Beach 99 ends and Cookies starts as Cookies has some very rustic huts as well), and there is one very well placed hut beside the on-again off-again beach bar, elevated above a couple of boulders.
This is extremely simple and rustic living with pretty much no mod cons – all bungalows are fan-cooled, that is about as flash as it gets here – but the beach is good out front and on both our stays here we've found the old lady that runs the place to be sweet and welcoming. She also rents out kayaks should you feel like a paddle to the offshore island (takes about 40 minutes one way).
The restaurant is large and does standard Thai bungalow food. If you want something more sophisticated, then Shambhala up the beach is a better bet, but for backpackers looking for a spot to drop off the map and fine with somewhat rundown huts, this is a good, affordable spot. Note you will have plenty of insects in your room. In the off chance they're full, Cookies next door is a safe second option.
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
On the hillside
|500 baht||500 baht|
|Beachfront bungalow||800 baht||800 baht|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Pha Ngan