Family and fishing
Chalee Villa harks back to the days when accommodation on Samui usually came in basic bungalows made of natural materials and rented out to backpackers by local families.
This frozen-in-time setting exists at the far west corner of Bophut beach, next to a narrow canal where boats bob in tangles of nets and ropes. We arrived in the morning and couldn’t stop taking photos of fishers carrying their catches up to the sand. About half a dozen bungalows (“villa” is a reach) are made of coconut wood, logs, bricks, stone, cement and tiles, topped by metal roofs and fronted by beachfront balconies where you can laze in a hammock or sit on plastic chairs. With springy beds and basic wet bathrooms, the interiors are worn and we did notice some mould in places. The fact that old-style beachfront bungalows like these are so hard to come by on Samui today makes them special. Air-con bungalows are similar but come with tiny TVs, fridges and hot water.
Don’t let the fishing boats make you think that the beach here is dirty or otherwise worse than the rest of Bophut -- it’s quite good. If you don’t believe us, ask five-star Zazen Boutique Resort, which is a stone’s throw away. The location does however put you a solid 20-minute walk from Fisherman’s Village if going along the beach (longer if walking up to the main road). It’s a strategic location if you have a vehicle, with Mae Nam stretching just beyond the headland to the west. The family staffers at Chalee offer a restaurant and free WiFi.
To get here, head to the west end of Bophut Beach or look for a small sign pointing right off the ring road as you head west towards Mae Nam; a mostly undeveloped lane begins here and ends at Chalee. If looking for a bungalow with a better interior and a more central location for a bit more cash, but no sea view, head over to Free House.
Address: West end of Bophut beach, Ko Samui
T: (081) 895 4780 ; (089) 591 7340;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º1'4.71" E, 9º34'1.79" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||600 baht||600 baht|
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom||1,000 baht||1,000 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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