Klong Prao Beach Hotels Tips

Baan Rim Nam Guesthouse

Stay at baan Rim Nam, Klong Prao beach, Koh Chang

Welcome to our guesthouse on Koh Chang

We’re right in the centre of the west coast of the island but are hidden away from the hustle and bustle on a quiet 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 the west coast .

Baan Rim Nam on TripadvisorReviews.

For 3 years ( 2013,2014,2015 ) we were awarded a Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award after being chosen as one of the Top 25 B&B’s in Thailand.

The guidebooks seem to like us too . . .

“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

“Peaceful, scenic and unusual, this converted fishing family’s house is built on stilts over the wide, attractive khlong at the end of a walkway through the mangroves. Run by the British author of the best Ko Chang website it has just three comfortable aircon bedrooms with free wifi plus a big deck for soaking up the khlongside village but no restaurant. You can borrow kayaks and it’s a couple of minutes walk to the beach and Barraccuda restaurant or 20 min to the main Khlong Prao facilities .” Rough Guide to Thailand’s Islands and 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

 

‘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.   All this in addition to being the subject of a four-page feature in ‘Intisari’, an Indonesian travel mag, although admittedly that was mainly due to the author staying here and being a travel writer in search of a story.

(And for any Russian speakers reading this, check out Cybercrime’s excellent photos and reviews from 2005 onwards of our guesthouse and numerous other places to stay on Koh Chang on the ‘AWD – Vinsky’ travel forum. He returns every year to the island and to updates the info and reviews. )

So, you never know, maybe you’ll like it too . . .

First of all, thanks for considering staying at our little homestay/guesthouse/holiday home . . . . whatever you’d like to call it. Hopefully I can convince you that staying here is far more comfortable than a chipboard backpacker hut and far more laid back than a package tour resort hotel. And despite not being right on the beach the views along the river are far more interesting than staring at an empty ocean all day.

We completed the renovation of ‘Baan Rim Nam’ (‘House on the water’) in early Dec. 2004. Although only having a handful of rooms means that this venture isn’t going to make our fortune. Although in November 2009 we rented the neighbouring house and added two additional rooms, another covered deck and a very large open air deck for sunbathing during the day or sitting out under the stars at night.

The Beginning:

It was simply a matter of us finding the house by chance, loving the quiet location and figuring that there must be other people who would like to stay here too. Therefore, why not fix up the rooms in an old wooden fisherman’s house and see what happens.

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 99% 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 fisherman’s house is built on concrete & wood stilts over the Klong Prao river estuary on the west coast of Koh Chang. It’s the only place of it’s kind on this side of the island. 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.

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.

You will see that our neighbours are a 4 star resort, a couple of good restaurants, local families, – some are fishermen, some are boat operators and some seem to spend the day doing nothing much at all except shouting at their dogs & kids or wandering around under the stilt houses at night looking for crabs.

In the evening it’s usually quiet. Very 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 canoe tour paddling past 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 some pretty awful music coming from   Aana   Resort opposite  or the sound of bands at the makeshift Klong Prao Showground & Event Centre, i.e. 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, loud, 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 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 Facetiming your friends back home.

Video Tour of our Guesthouse:

Here we have short video made, not by me, by David from Sawadee Koh Chang. See for yourself what the place is really like – and save reading my longwinded descriptions.  This shows our old covered deck by the river, the new one, built in September 2014, is almost double the size & much nicer, so loads of space for lounging by the water.

The 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 the small beach bar and restaurant where I took this 360 degree panorama.  Click & hold the mouse to move through the full 360 degree view.

Rooms:

The 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 adult who doesn’t mind a bit of discomfort.

The bathrooms have a shower, sink and western style toilet. They now also have hot water showers. We provide toiletries & bath towels in the rooms, as you’d expect. But no beach towels – bring your own or buy cheap ones here. Although we have beach mats you can borrow for free to put on the sand.

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/VIP 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. 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 just need a place to sleep and don’t plan on spending your holiday lurking in the room all day.

Room Rates for 2016-17

15 October 2016 – 31 May 2017

Original Double room – 1,400 Baht/night

Family / VIP Room – 1,900 Baht/night ( Double bed plus single bed and large private covered deck area )

Budget Double room – 1,000 Baht/night. Slightly smaller and no river view.

* One Extra Single Bed in Original or Family room – 500 Baht/night 

1 June 2017 to 14 October 2017

Original Double room – 900 Baht/night

Family / VIP Room – 1,300 Baht/night ( Double bed plus single bed and large private covered deck area )

Budget Double room – 700 Baht/night. Slightly smaller and no river view.

15 October 2017 – 31 May 2018

Original Double room – 1,400 Baht/night

Family / VIP Room – 1,900 Baht/night ( Double bed plus single bed and large private covered deck area )

Budget Double room – 1,000 Baht/night. Slightly smaller and no river view.

There are NO additional taxes, surcharges etc, no compulsory gala buffet dinners on special occasions and no price increases over New Year, Thai New Year, Public Holidays etc as these are all examples of the kind of excuses for price rises that I don’t like.

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Terms of payment: Cash only (Thai baht). 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 only a 5 minute 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 White Sand beach or Kai Bae if you fancy a night out in the big city.   The usual rate is 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, Panviman Resort and Longstay Resort.

Go about 50 metres past the Panviman Hotel 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 100 Baht / person. Or, if you are travelling by plane, the Trat Airport shuttle provides a door to door service between the airport and Baan Rim Nam.  It’s cheaper if I book tickets for you in advance ( 500 Baht if you buy at Trat Airport or 400 Baht if i book it for you. )

Restaurant: We don’t have one. It isn’t worth it for   a few rooms and 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 an old wooden, Thai style gondola and then paddle you over to the restaurant if you want to eat there.    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 a small ‘no name’ beach bar has some snacks and cheap beers and cocktails on wooden tables on the sand.

One meal we can manage ( just about )   is breakfast, not 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 minimart 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 Attipol Tour where in addition to seeing loads of fish, you will be very well fed and looked after. Treetops Adventure Park, if you’ve got teenage kids or just fancy a bit of exercise. Also Baan Kwan Chang elephant camp should be on your ‘must visit’ list and if you want to get away from the beach a jungle trek with Tan the Trekking Guide, is also highly recommended. The two best Thai cookery schools on the island are also nearby in Klong Prao village.

Diving: BB divers is probably the best dive company on the island.  We can arrange dive courses and snorkelling trips with them.  Diving for around 2,900 Baht / day.  Snorkelling is 950 Baht. You’ll get better quality equipment and avoid overcrowded boats. Plus get the benefit of learning about the fish you see from an English speaking Divemaster.

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.

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.

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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 his 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 are also a couple of cats hanging around.  ( You might have seen another dog ‘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 a couple of times 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 400 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.