Did you say seafood?
Chaloklam doubles as one of Ko Pha Ngan's primary fishing ports so if there is one thing that is absolutely guaranteed, it is that they'll be plenty of seafood and it'll be good. But even if you're not keen on seafood, there is a good selection of decent and affordable eating in and around Chaloklam.
As far as breakfasts are concerned, head straight for The World’s End, which you'll find towards the eastern end of Chaloklam on the off-beach side of the road. This popular and charming joint does some of the best coffee around, real breakfasts, and some great sandwiches and wraps. The open plan means that even indoors is “al fresco” and fans keep the place cool instead of air-con.
The mainstay of Chaloklam's eating scene though are the row of seafood restaurants that are built over the beach here. We didn't have time to try all of them, but did have very good meals at Hai Thong Seafood and Nong Nook – the later often comes recommended so is well worth a try – but there are quite a few others to choose from. In the evenings fresh seafood is on display and you can point and pick. This is also a great area for lunch as the wooden decks are all shaded so you can escape the midday heat. While these are all seafood restaurants, they do do other Thai dishes as well, along with a smattering of western fare.
Sticking to Thai food, if you're after a cheap one plate meal, head back off the beach to the bypass road and the off-beach side of the road, towards the eastern end of town is lined with a series of simple Thai streetside eateries. A popular lunch time spot is on the "island" at Malibu Beach Resort – the food here can be hit and miss but the setting is beautiful. It is about a ten minute walk along the beach to the west from Chaloklam.
Opposite Mandalai is the much promoted Holy Grill, a BBQ and buffet joint that is very popular in the evening. If you give it a go, just to the west of here you'll find the Lost Dog Cafe which is a good spot for a tipple and a game of pool. We also like North Beach way out to the east of town, past where the longtails to Bottle Beach go, for a sundowner.
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.