Our guesthouse on Koh Chang
Due to coronavirus the guesthouse is now closed. Permanently. So many thanks to everyone who stayed here over the past 15 years.
The good news is that whilst the old guesthouse will go, something new will replace it. So Baan Rim Nam will still be here but in a different form. It looks like we’re going to have several months or more where travel isn’t possible, so this seems like a good time to change things a bit.
Exactly what the builders are doing will be revealed in the next month or two. There’s not much to take photos of right now. But it will be ideal for families or couples who need more space. And will probably be the best value for money on the island. In my opinion. :-)
Baan Rim Nam guesthouse in the centre of the west coast of the island but is hidden away from the hustle and bustle on a river estuary most visitors to the island never see. Yet we’re only a 150 metre walk or 300 metre canoe paddle to the quietest stretch of beach on this side of Koh Chang.
We have five, simple, tastefully decorated, ensuite, air-conditioned double rooms in two adjacent houses. The rooms open out on to two decks – one open and one covered built out over the water.
“Run by some of the most helpful people on Koh Chang, this converted fisherman’s house turned guesthouse teeters over the river in the mangroves. Free kayaks let you explore up river or down to the beach (under 5 minutes) and offshore islands. Rooms are spotless and the estuary keeps the whole place relatively cool.” Lonely Planet Thailand’s Islands & Beaches
“Baan Rim Nam: A charming, idiosyncratic, converted fishing family’s house, built on stilts over the klong at the end of a walkway through the mangroves. Run by a British-Thai couple, it has just three comfortable, stylishly-furnished air-con rooms with good bathrooms, plus a deck area for lounging but no restaurant. You can borrow kayaks and it’s a couple of minutes walk to the beach and Barracuda Restaurant.” The Rough Guide to Thailand
“This out-of-the-way guesthouse is set in one of the most gorgeous spots on the island.” www.Travelfish.org
And if that’s not enough, there are 200 + reviews on Tripadvisor.
Baan Rim Nam has also been featured in Bangkok Airways in-flight magazine, various Scandinavian newspapers & magazines, including being rated as one of the ‘Top 198 places in Thailand’ by a Finnish magazine. So, maybe you’ll like it too . . .
About Baan Rim Nam Guesthouse
The two fisherman’s housse are built on concrete & wood stilts over the Klong Prao river estuary on the west coast of Koh Chang. At high tide the water reaches underneath the house and into the mangroves at the rear. The beach is around 2 minutes (150 metres) walk away through the coconut field or 3 minutes paddle (300 metres) by canoe down to the mouth of the river. How you get there is up to you.
The idea is that we want you to feel like you are staying at a friend’s house rather than you are just a room number in a resort. Adding to this feeling is the fact that as 70% of our guests come from this website, or from recommendations from previous guests. So you’ll find that anyone else staying at the house probably has a similar ideas to you of what to expect on Koh Chang and how they like to spend their vacation time.
Our neighbours are a a couple of resorts, a couple of small guesthouses, a couple of good restaurants and some local families. In the evening it’s usually quiet. There are no bright lights, no bars, no traffic noise and the only sounds that you usually hear are the cicadas, vocal frogs and the occasional firefly tour heading upstream to see the nearby fireflies which inhabit the mangroves upstream. It’s also one of the few places on the island where you can be woken up by birdsong at sunrise.
(If you are here at a long weekend holiday or during a Thai festival then you may well hear music coming from the makeshift Klong Prao Showground & Event Centre. This is a field, a few hundred metres away where fairs with cheap food and live music are held a few times a year. These are for locals and workers rather than tourists, but it is well worth going along for a cheap, Thai style night out.)
We want the place to be laid back and not overly commercial so things aren’t run or done too formally. This is a business but it’s not run as an exercise in emptying guests’ wallets as quickly as possible. So there’s no forced tours or trips but if you want anything arranging we can help do it. But don’t expect too much pampering.
We’ve got a very fast, free wi-fi connection in the rooms and also on the deck at the front of the house for anyone travelling with their laptop or smartphone. So it’s no problem to do essentials such as updating your Facebook status or Instagramming the view.
Klong Prao Beach
You’re coming to Koh Chang because you want some sunshine and want a good beach. When you walk 150 metres from our guesthouse, through the coconut field, you come to a small beach restaurant. Walk out onto the beach and this is your view south. The sun umbrellas are our neighbour’s, the luxury Santhiya Tree Resort. You can walk about 1km along the beach to the southern end where you will find several large resorts. To the north is about 300 metres of quiet beach with just a handful of longstay bungalows.
The guesthouse rooms have a ‘natural’ feel, so the decor uses a lot of wood, cream colour and bamboo furniture. There is one double bed, with a proper spring mattress, in each room. But we can provide an extra fold out bed for a child or short adult.
The bathrooms have a shower, sink, hot water shower and western style toilet. We provide toiletries & bath towels in the rooms, as you’d expect. Beach towels and beach mats are available on request.
There are three types of room:
The Original Rooms. So called as they were the original three rooms that we had. These are three adjacent rooms in the main house.
The Family Room. Actually two rooms, one with a double bed, one with single bed and with plenty of space for another single bed if needed. Plus a large covered outdoor deck with sofa, table floor cushions to lounge around on. Good for families or for people who just like a bit of space.
The Budget Room. The same style as the other rooms but cheaper as it is a bit smaller than the Original rooms and doesn’t have a view of the river. But fine if you need a place to sleep and don’t plan on spending your holiday lurking in the room all day.
Why aren’t there any room rates for next high season?
We currently aren’t taking any bookings from April 2020 onwards. This is because we’re going to be renovating / rebuilding the guesthouse during the low season. But at the moment, we don’t have any real idea what the new version will look like or when it will be completed. It might be some renovations. It might be a total rebuild. That will probably be decided in March and April 2020.
You;re welcome to send an inquiry, but at the moment I’m not sure what the new Baan Rim Nam will look like, what prices will be or when it will be open.
Terms of payment: Cash (Thai baht) or Paypal. Payment in full on departure. No need for any advance payment or deposit. I’ll trust you to show up if you say you will – so don’t let me down and taint my faith in humanity.
Location: Although we’re in the centre of Klong Prao beach, we’re a little off the beaten track. This part of the beach is the quietest on the west coast and never gets crowded. You can always find a quiet spot to sit and read, sunbathe etc here. And you’re guaranteed not to be disturbed by people selling souvenir junk on the beach or by noise from any bars or beach restaurants.
To walk to the main road takes about 15-20 minutes along the access road. Here you’ll find cheap restaurants, a bank, a bakery and a 7-eleven, Tesco Express etc. Some of you may be disappointed to know that the nearest beer bars or souvenir shops are over 30 minutes walk away.
And when you’re on the main road it’s under 10 minutes pick up truck taxi ride to the supermarket and shops at the north end of the beach or to Kai Bae village to the south. So we’re not cut off from the outside world entirely.
To make life easier we can also call a taxi for you to pick you up from Baan Rim Nam to take you to one of the other beaches if you fancy a night out in the big city. The usual rate is 80 – 100 Baht per person each way.
Directions: To reach us, follow the access road, 100 metres north of Klong Prao temple, that is signposted to KP Huts, Tiger Huts, Watercolours, Santhiya Tree Resort and Longstay Resort.
Go about 50 metres past the Santhiya Tree Resort and then turn right and stop immediately after passing a concrete wall – there’s only one wall, you can’t miss it.
You’ll then see our signposted wooden footbridge through the mangroves to the house. If you end up at ‘Koh Chang Longstay Resort’ , you’ve gone 400 metres too far.
If you are coming by bus, you ca take one of the shared pick up truck taxis that you will see waiting for passengers at the pier. They will drop you off at our guesthouse. The price should be 120 Baht / person. Or, if you are travelling by plane, Bangkok Airways have a minibus service that provides a door to door service between the airport and Baan Rim Nam.
Restaurant: We don’t have one as we know we can’t cook. Fortunately, there are a few good options in the vicinity.
On the opposite side of the river a good Thai & Seafood restaurant called ‘Pu-Talay’ which is also in a renovated fisherman’s house and at the mouth of the estuary is another well-known seafood restaurant, ‘Iyara Seafood’. Both mainly cater to Thai tourists, although the menus are also in a kind of English. Both of these restaurants will pick you up from Baan Rim Nam by boat for free.
Also on the estuary is ‘Moleys’ restaurant, the place to go if you need a fry up in the morning or some home made Thai or Western food at night – but you’ll need to take a canoe there. On the beach, 3 minutes walk away, Tiger Huts, does surprisingly good Thai food at very reasonable prices. Even closer there’s Palm Beach restaurant that has an extensive menu and nightly fire show during High Season.
One meal we can manage ( just about ) is breakfast, which isn’t included in the room rate. Nothing extravagant: fresh coffee or tea, fruit juice, cornflakes/muesli, toast – i.e. some food that you recognise to start your day before you spend the rest of it eating various weird and wonderful Thai dishes.
Some of our guests will opt to have breakfast at our place, others head down to the nearby beach restaurants to have a banana pancake – Tiger Huts, is the place to go for these. And some like to buy some bits and pieces in the village and make their own. The choice is yours, just let me know when you get up if you want anything.
We also have a fridge full of beer, water & soft drinks at ‘normal’ prices e.g. Coke – 15 Baht, Singha – 70 Baht, Large Beer Chang – 90 Baht etc. But, if you want to buy your own drinks from the mini-mart in the village, no problem, you can keep them in this fridge too.
Activities: There are a lot of companies offering trips and tours. Rather than have dozens of choices for you, we just offer activities from tour companies that I know you will enjoy and that don’t cost a fortune. We can fix you up with boat tickets to Koh Wai, Koh Mak etc. Full day snorkelling trips from where, in addition to seeing loads of fish, you will be very well fed and looked after. A jungle trek with Tan the Trekking Guide, is also highly recommended. The best Thai cookery schools on the island are also nearby in Klong Prao village.
Kayaking: We have sea kayaks and a Canadian style canoe which you can use for free to explore the river estuary and mangroves. There are six small islands just off Klong Prao & Kai Bae beaches. The nearest is about 45 minutes paddle from us or you can visit them all in a day – but you’ll need to be reasonably fit and confident on the water as the furthest island is around 3km from the mainland and no-one is going to save you if you get into trouble. Alternatively, a new Stand Up Padding place – ‘SUP Station‘ opened on the opposite side of the river in late 2017, that’s well worth trying.
Laundry: There is a good laundry in the village. The cost is 35 Baht/kilo. Just give us a bag of laundry and we’ll take it down there for you. You’ll get it back the same evening, neatly folded and smelling of roses.
Other details you might find useful
Our Guests: There isn’t a typical guest at Baan Rim Nam. We get people from all walks of life, all ages, all religions, all sexual orientations and all countries – it’s like the United Nations at times. And pretty much the only thing guests have in common is that they, like you, have found this website and are looking for a place like Baan Rim Nam in which to stay. Which has got to be a good thing :-)
Check in / Check out: Check in time is when you arrive, which for most people arriving from Bangkok is mid to late afternoon. The check out time is 12.00 noon, however if you need to hang around longer and there’s no-one waiting for the room you can do so, no problem.
Child Policy: I’m of the opinion my dog is more intelligent than most young children, however I realise that your views may differ. Therefore, we welcome kids providing they are house trained. More seriously, the house and footbridge are around 1 to 1.5 metres above the water/river bed and therefore it isn’t advisable to allow small children to play unsupervised on the deck as you’ll get very wet and muddy should you have to pull them out of the river. (Our dog can get out on her own.)
Animals: We’ve got a Golden Retriever ‘Brownie’ who will want to play with you. She loves making new friends and is fine with young children. She often draws a small crowd when chasing fish & crabs in the shallow sea by the beach during her late afternoon walk. There’s also another dog ‘ Heidi’ – she’s an adopted stray who we found as a skinny puppy, hiding in the car park in late 2016. Plus a couple of cats hanging around. (You might have seen another retriever ‘Santa’ mentioned in reviews – he sadly passed away in December 2015. )
Cancellation/No Show/Early Check Out: If you have to cancel, please let us have as much advance notice as possible as it will upset me if I’ve kept a room for you for months and you then suddenly have a change of plans 24 hours before you’re due to arrive. Also, if for whatever reason you discover that Baan Rim Nam isn’t for you, I won’t be offended at all if you let me know you want to leave early – even if you have booked a few nights. This has happened in the past when guests have found the location too quiet or in the rainy season when the weather has been very bad. It is far better you move on and enjoy your holiday elsewhere rather than stay somewhere that doesn’t suit you.
Trat Airport Transfer: I’d advise taking the Trat Airport minibus shuttle service. It’s by far the simplest and quickest way. The cost is 500 Baht/person one way. They’ll drop you off on our doorstep. Just let me know if you plan to fly here and I’ll arrange tickets for you.