By C & D., Germany
After visiting Chiang Mai and spending two weeks trekking, my Thai friends told me to explore the islands near Cambodia before we headed home. Their first suggestion was to go to Koh Chang island. I loved the idea. So, we headed there and decided to stay at Lazy Republique in Bailan that we booked online. And what a great decision it was.
They charged us with a decent rate, which is really important to me since this side trip wasn’t in my plan upon coming here. When we arrived, we were welcomed by the owners, themselves. This was unexpected. Usually you meet the guesthouse staff and the owner's are nowhere to be seen during the day. So this was my first time to be greeted upon my arrival by the owners of the establishment.
Nathalie and Leung, our hosts, made us feel at home in their modernist bungalows. The establishment is located in a tropical garden. It’s a perfect place to unwind and get a few lazy days.
But it wasn’t only the owners that we truly love. The bungalows are in a very quiet hillside of Koh Chang. I should have known Nathalie was French considering its name. But we only found that out while actually talking to them. We were lucky to have booked online as there are only five bungalows available and in high season just about everyone books online. So there's no space for walk-ins.
We were pleasantly surprised by the room. It was spacious with two comfortable beds. The previous guests who stayed here just checked out a few hours before we arrived. But the staff has already cleaned the room. It was super clean when we entered the villa. Plus, it had lovely little touches. We had our own mini fridge in our room.
Even though the villa was small on the outside, it was actually bigger on the inside. Then, it had a little seating area outside where we could chill out.
The quiet location of Lazy Republique is a great factor for us, since we really needed a nice place to relax after the trekking. Immediately after we checked in, we headed to Lonely Beach. It took us about 15 minutes to get there. We had to walk along the road. The owners recommended taking taxis to get there easily but we opted to walk. Maybe not the best choice as it was hot and hilly. There's also small beach right across the road at Bailan Beach Resort . Guests can go and use their beach and it is possible to swim there.
The hotel’s food was great. We loved their banana pancakes. They were the best we had. But it’s not only the pancakes that we love. Their constant supply of coffee was fantastic. I bet you could never find that anywhere else. Their coffee was great too.
The meals they served were delicious. Since the owner has French blood, you could expect having European dishes. However, if you wanted to try Thai foods, you could as they provided some of the best native foods here. Nathalie, the wife of the owner, served us French crepes for our dessert. They were awesome too.
We also enjoyed Muesli and the fresh fruits they served. Each morning, we were provided with yoghurt. At dinner time, we got to taste the lava cake, which was absolutely delicious.
They also have good choices of beers and wines. We absolutely love their native wines made of coconut. That was my first time to try this.
The owners also helped us in planning our activities while we stayed and with tips for exploring the island. They gave us recommendations on which areas to go to really experience what Thailand has to offer.
In other words, they made us feel at home.
We also tried jungle trekking, as recommended by the hotel’s owners. We weren’t disappointed. It was tougher than the walks we did in the north of Thailand. We had so much fun with it.
I’ve been travelling in various places in Asia. I got to say that this place is unique. It was really a different vibe from other places I’ve stayed in.
Nathalie and her husband really welcomed us with big smiles. Their staff was so nice we couldn’t help but be sad when we left after a few days of staying here. It’s a highly recommended place if you wish to explore Koh Chang or Lonely Beach.