Budget accommodation used to mean staying in a very basic hut or roach ridden room the size of a cupboard. But over the past couple of years there’s been a big rise in the number of more stylish hostels on Koh Chang. So I thought it was time to list a few of the options that are available.
Whilst hostels fall into the budget accommodation category, they are usually a couple of steps up in terms of cleanliness and decor. The downside is that the cheapest accommodation will usually be in shared dormitories, rather than having your own bungalow. Conversely, shared accommodation and communal living areas make it much easier to meet and socialise with fellow travellers.
Travellers and tourists who opt to stay in a hostel aren’t necessarily those looking simple for a cheap room. Modern hostels are often more secure and safety conscious than budget backpacker huts. Plus they’ll often have air-conditioning, clean sheets, without any dubious stains, and hot showers. Plus they provide a more all-inclusive, friendly vibe with plenty of social activities organised for their guests.
So these aren’t the cheapest rooms or huts available on the island. You will be able to find a bed for 200 – 300 Baht / night if you look around the quieter areas of Bailan and Bangbao. This is a guide to some of the better, newer hostels on the island. However, I’ve also included some other cheap and cheerful options at the end if you do want to stay in a simple wooden shack.
Top 5 Koh Chang Hostels
These aren’t in any particular order. Although you should definitely consider staying at Pajamas hostel.
Pajamas Hostel, Klong Prao beach
Pajamas has been open a couple of years and is run by a young Thai couple who gained experience managing a well known hostel in Bangkok before opening their own on Koh Chang. This boutique hostel is located 100 metres from Klong Prao beach. Accommodation is in stylish, modern mixed and ladies dormitories plus private poolside rooms . The dorms can sleep a maximum of 8 people on 4 sets of bunk beds. There are separate, super clean, shared male and female bathrooms.
The owners pride themselves on providing as secure, spotless, fun, social environment for their guests to relax and meet.
Dormitory beds from 500 Baht / night.
Habitat Hostel, Klong Prao beach
Habitat Hostel opened at the north end of Klong Prao beach in mid 2016 and quickly proved to be very popular with young travellers who preferred to avoid the nosier Lonely beach area but still wanted value for money budget accommodation. As with Pajamas accommodation is in bunks in either mixed or female only dorms.
The rooms were previously very drab and dull apartment rooms which were rented monthly. However, the backpacker friendly makeover has certainly improved them. The tropical jungle themed rooms are now bright and airy.
There’s a communal lounge plus a large garden area at the rear of the property where guests can hang out at night. The building has CCTV and access is by keycard only, so it’s more secure than a budget beach hut. The beach itself is under 5 minutes walk away and there are shops, minimarts and cheap streetfood all close by.
Dormitory beds from around 350 Baht / night.
BB Hostel, Lonely beach
BB Hostel has the same owners as BB Divers, the oldest and probably best rated dive centre on the island. If you want a cheap place to stay in Lonely beach where you can hang out with divers then this is it. There’s even a small pool. Other facilities include a pool table, mini-football table, board games and free wifi. There’s a gym adjacent where guests receive discounted rates.
It’s more basic and with a funkier atmosphere than the newer hostels. And is cheap and cheerful. Not a place to stay for a quiet night in, it’s more suited to people who want to party a bit at night. Accommodation is in four mixed dorms, each with four beds plus six private rooms.
Fan dorm beds from under 200 Baht / night
KLKL Hostel, Lonely beach
I’m not sure how the owners would describe KLKL Hostel but ‘prison camp chic’ sums it up. With it’s high chicken wire fence, it’s definitely a safe place to stay and the two floor bungalows remind me of those seen in old WW2 movies set in POW camps. Except that they’re blue and not khaki. Plus there’s a spacious garden area, pool and free wi-fi everywhere. Luxuries that POWs didn’t enjoy.
Accommodation is in fan rooms with private bathrooms. So on the face of it, it is better value than an aircon dorm at Pajamas. However, whilst it ticks all the boxes as far as originality and facilities go, you won’t get the same standard of service, cleanliness or comfort as you would at Pajamas or Habitat hostel. Plus it’s also in a relatively noisy location so better for partying travellers rather than anyone just looking to chill out peacefully.
The name is pronounced ‘Cool Cool’ and not ‘KL KL’ ( the abbreviation for Kuala Lumpur twice ) or ‘Cl . .Cl. . ‘ like a stuttering clucking chicken
Fan rooms from 600 Baht / night
Beach Jungle, Lonely beach
Beach Jungle is the brainchild of Aussie Adam and Thai partner Jeen. They took over what was ‘Q’ bar and over the course of 18 months rebuilt it from the ground up. Adding all new bungalows and dorm rooms plus a bright, spacious roadside restaurant. There are loads of very nice artistic touches courtesy of Jeen’s skills with a paintbrush.
The cheapest beds are in the dorms which are from around 350 Baht in high season. The air-conditioned dorm sleeps a maximum of six people and has a shared bathroom. If you prefer not to sleep with strangers but are on a budget there are two and three bed rooms, also with shared bathroom from 650 Baht upwards.
Moving into ‘flashpacker’ territory are the private bungalows, one bedroom villa and a much larger 50sqm Family bungalow that sleeps four in two bedrooms. Figure on around 2,000 Baht high season for this, which is good deal and ideal for a family wanting to introduce kids into the world of travelling.
Guests also love the homeliness of the place with the very helpful owners and staff complemented by a couple of playful dogs. Also available to guests are live sports on the big screen in the bar, ping pong and pool, PS4 and N64 games consoles, fruit cocktails, cold drinks and more. Simple healthy breakfasts are on offer for guests, there’s no problem finding a smoothie bowl here.
All in all, a very nice spot if you want to be in the heart of backpacker land on Koh Chang. The beach is an easy 10 minute walk and nearby you’ll find loads of small shops, bars and restaurants.Check prices on Booking.com for budget accommodation on Koh Chang
Other budget accommodation on Koh Chang
If you’re old skool and prefer a bit of suffering in a rickety fan hut to mingling with hipster twatpackers in a communal kitchen, then there are plenty of alternatives. Here are just a few of the options that you’ll find:
Independent Bo’s, White Sand beach. One of the most photographed places to stay on the island with 400 Baht / night fan rooms hugging the hillside. No children allowed and there’s a minimum of stay of 3 nights. Only 100 metres walk from some of the most expensive beachfront villas on the island at KC Grande Resort. But way, way cheaper. There are a couple of similar standard places nearby – Pen’s, Star Beach and Maylamean all with similar prices and ramshackle hillside accommodation.
Tiger Hut, Klong Prao beach. All of a sudden it’s the mid 1980’s. There’s no wifi, no cocktails in buckets, no fireshows, no parties, very good Thai food and the staff will probably be asleep somewhere whenever you need them. But the basic fan huts are on a great stretch of beach which is infinitely quieter than Lonely beach. A good spot to get a way from it all.
KP Huts, Klong Prao beach. Adjacent to Tiger Ht and a step up in quality. Especially if you can get one of the beachfront huts that are built high up on stilts so always get a cooling sea breeze. But these are quite expensive for a fan hut. You’re looking at around 1,000 Baht / night in High Season, but it’s cheaper for the dingier huts at ground level. Again not a place for anyone who likes to party. No advance bookings, walk in only.
Siam Cottage, Kai Bae beach. Two rows of newly renovated and rebuilt bungalows fronting onto Kai Bae beach. The cheapest beachfront option in the area. Handy location within easy walking distance of shops ad restaurants. Good value at around 500 – 800 Baht / night for Fan or Aircon bungalow
Klong Kloi Cottage, Bangbao. Another good option for people who want to be beachfront but don’t need all the frills of a luxury hotel. Around 600 Baht / night will get you an ensuite fan hut just a stone’s throw from the sea. Plenty of places to eat and drink nearby and great views towards the islands south of Koh Chang.
Hippy Hut, Bangbao. Probably the cheapest place to stay on the island, yet located next to the most expensive condominiums. You don’t get much for 200 Baht / night. But there will be a roof, four walls, a mattress and a lightbulb. Plus reggae music. Lots of reggae music.
Hippy Hut has been going over 13 years and is well known for being a friendly, chilled place to stay for anyone on a seriously tight budget. They also run a roadside restaurant nearby with great views over Bangbao bay. If you don’t have an intimate knowledge of Bob Marley when you arrive, you will when you leave.
Treehouse bungalows, Long beach. For people really wanting to get away from it all. If staying in a tent is too comfortable for you, then these extremely rudimentary huts way down in the south east of the island on Long beach might be for you. Expect to have ‘interesting’ neighbours who enjoy herbal cigarette or two.
Electricity is from a generator for a few hours a night. No shops or restaurants nearby. So whilst the huts are only 200 to 300 Baht / night. You’ll be spending far more each day eating and drinking in their restaurant. You’ll need a scooter to get here or take the daily songtaew ( pick up truck taxi ) from Lonely beach. The plus side is the long, quiet, undeveloped beach that you’ll have to yourself.Check prices on Booking.com for budget accommodation on Koh Chang