Guide to the Southern part of White Sand Beach
✔ Busy stretch of beachbut isn’t as attractive as the stretch further north
✔ 2* and Budget accommodation readily available
✔ Makro Cash & Carry, Bulk buy shopping in paradise
The southern section of white sand peters out into stones and bits of dead coral just south of Kacha Resort. Worth bearing on mind if you decide to book a room at Grand View Resort or beautiful pool villa at Changburi Resort.
Great rooms to be sure, but the steps down from to the beach lead less than invitingly onto this area of rough, stony beach. If you stay here you’ll be sunbathing by the pool rather than on the sand and swimming in the pool, not the sea. But it is ideal for anyone with loads of disposable income and an adversity to mingling with people with a lower net worth than themselves.
South from Grand View Resort, the road steadlily climbs and the resorts in this area are built on the clifftop. A couple such as Plaloma Resort and Top Resort have access to the sea, but no sandy beach.
Kacha Resort have now built a new hotel block by the beach ( opened December 2014 ) and a couple of smaller resorts nearby – Apple and Bamboo were also totally rebuilt before the start of the 2015-16 High Season. Morphing from old bungalow resorts to small hotels, with two floors of hotel rooms replacing stand alone bungalows.
Both new resorts have a U shape design with a pool between the two hotel wings. And a little further south still what was Baan Thai Resort , which was only built 10 years ago, has now been reborn as a large concrete monlith called ‘DuTalay’ which seems to be targetted at Chinese visitors. As with the aforementioned new resorts, the aim now for resort owners on White Sand beach is to pack as many rooms into their limited space as possible.
If you budget doesn’t run to a pool villa or even a two star, then Alina Grande & Alina Resort have acceptable mid-price rooms near the sea. Some recently renovated beachfront bungalows are also available at the often overlooked Grand View Resort which never seems to get a mention in guides. But it has far better quality rooms than many other resorts on the beach. This used to be a bit slummy and run down, but I was surprised at how nice it looked last time I visited. It isn’t the best known of resorts, but worth checking out if your first choice is full or too pricey. Again, the beach itself isn’t great. In fact it’s non-existent, only stones.
Food and Drink
At the entrance to Grand View is ‘Marin Coffee’, a very good coffeeshop & nice place to escape the heat and cool off in some aircon whilst watching the sweaty world pass by outside. To the right a huge new Makro Cash and Carry opened in early 2016. This caters to visitors who require a 24 pack of toilet rolls, several cases of beer and enough snacks to feed a small army.
Directly opposite Grand View is a Tesco Express minimart and adjacent to this a shopping plaza, with various shops and restaurants along the roadside and in rarely visited units set back from the road. Head here for a new pair of glasses, mock-Mexican meal, have a massage, to buy a painting or suit.
A better reason to visit would be for a meal at La Dolce Vita, a good, well-recommended, Italian restaurant. Until early 2015, Koh Chang’s only real nightclub was also located here. That has now been demolished and relative quiet returned to the area.
On the roadside, ‘Monkeys’, is a popular roadside restaurant with footie on TV, pool, and an extensive menu of consitently good food. And that ticks all the boxes the typical White Sand beach visitor requires when it comes to finding a place to eat at night. An obvious tourist trap and that’s what makes it so popular.
In case you’re beginning to panic that I haven’t made any mention of the nearest 7-eleven, fear not. A 100 metre walk from Grand View will bring you to the 7-eleven near Changburi Resort, and another 100 metres walk south brings you yet another 7-eleven on the opposite side of the road – ideal for people who don’t enjoy crossing roads. This area of roadside is also home to the ‘Little Pattaya’ beer bar enclave.
Anyone looking for a bit of adult R&R need only head to this cluster of bars which all follow the tried and tested beer bar formula of a square bar with stool seating on all sides and comely maidens serving up bottled beer and games of Jenga and ‘Connect 4’ until they get whisked away by lobster tanned tourists for a night of unbridled, wallet-emptying, simulated passion. No flesh on show at the bars though, that would be immoral.
So, if you’re feeling charitable and want to help improve the lives of ladies hailing from the rice farming communities of Isaan, they will all willingly accept cash donations in return for their valuable time. In fact, why not do your bit and stimulate the local economy further by barfining “Sister me” too? As charitable donations go, this is far more fun than buying a ‘Big Issue’ and more satisfying than sticking a folded banknote in a Unicef collection box at Christmas time. But it’s probably not tax deductible.
Behind these bars is a rundown apartment block with pokey studio rooms to rent cheaply. Why anyone would stay here is a mystery to me. But I guess there is a certain lazy, hardcore whoremonging demographic to whom it holds a unique allure.
Reluctantly drag yourself away from the smut and sleaze of the bars ( Having first taken a couple of dozen photos of cute girls smiling & waving at you in order to illustrate the unholy godlessness to friends, family, co-workers, Facebook acquaintances etc) and head further south, up the hill and you’ll find Koh Chang’s best, and only, Irish pub, ‘Paddy’s Palms‘.
It’s Irish in so much as the exterior is green & it has leather sofas and black and white photos of the old country inside. But if you are dying for a pint of draught Guinness then it’s worth popping in. The food is the usual average pub stodge but the fish and chips are good and a bit of batter on your snapper makes a nice change from chili and lemongrass once in a while.
Adjacent is the White Elephant, a large Scandinavian sports bar with the largest selection of beers on the island. Their Wednesday & Sunday evening buffets are always packed. This is the place to go if you are missing any live sporting event. They have pretty much every major football, cricket, rugby or tennis tournament from around the world.
A little closer to the beer bars, but on the opposite side of the road are a couple of quality places to eat ‘Invito Al Cibo’ , where the chefs were trained at the original Invito restaurant, now closed, which was, for many years , the best of its kind on the island and ‘Restaurant by Jensen’, a small Danish restaurant by a Danish chef called, you guessed it, Jensen.
At Top Resort, ‘Paul’s Restaurant ‘ also gets very good reviews for its Thai and Western food but the founder , Paul, has now moved on. Also by the roadside at Top Resort you’ll find ‘The Bavarian’, Koh Chang’s best, and only, Bavarian restaurant.
Large resorts in this area include Plaloma Resort, Top Resort and Koh Chang Hut, all on the cliff overlooking the sea. All relatively inexpensive 2 star places to stay and all with good sunset views from the clifftop. Plus Keereeele Resort (Yes, six ‘e’s) and Paddy’s Palms Resort, behind the pub of the same name, both of which have rooms on the inland side of the main road. And both of which are better value for money than many beachfront hotels of the same standard. A new addition to this budget price crowd is the White Elephant Resort, from the pub of the same name.
Moving further up the hill the roadside is dotted with small guesthouses and bungalow resorts, many of which will do good deals on long term rentals. There are also a few more small beer bars, the names seem to change regularly , as this area doesn’t attract too many visitors in the evening.
Moving further on, there isn’t much of interest, Anna Store is a popular stop for expats as they stock a pretty good selection of imported and hard to find foodstuffs. Another 400 metres further on, we’re at the southern end of the built up area of White Sand beach. Here you’ll find Bangkok International Clinic. This isn’t a cheap place to get medical treatment. It’s set up solely to cater to visitors with medical insurance.
They don’t care what they charge you and you don’t care as the insurance is paying. A win-win situation for everyone except those without insurance.
So prices are far higher than you’d pay at a private hospital run by the same company – Bangkok Hospital Group – on the mainland in Trat, Chantaburi or Bangkok. But they do provide as good a medical service as you would get at home, with English speaking doctors, translators and all the shiny bits of hi-tech equipment you’d expect a private clinic to have.
You’ll also pass by a large monkey statue, this marks the entrance to what was a Monkey School. Fortunately it’s now closed.
100 metres past the International Clinic is Koh Chang Choppers where you can rent a pimped out Honda Steed for around 600 – 800 Baht/day. The concept is similar to the aforementioned beer bars. The bikes, like the girls, appear to have seen far better days and have probably been well ridden in Pattaya, but despite of – or maybe because of – their dubious history and the fact you know they might not be safe; you just can’t help giving in to the urge to try one to see how well it handles compared to yours back home.
Directly opposite the Clinic and Chopper rental, is the last of the attractions in southern White Sand beach – the Naval shrine. The Thai Navy own this part of coastline and also have their own small, private (unsignposted) resort here.
Take the steps up the hillside opposite the International Clinic and you’ll come to a small shrine to the founder of the Thai Navy. This looks out over the ocean from the clifftop. If you are dragging reluctant kids along with you, there are also a couple of WW2 era anti-aircraft guns on display as part of the shrine, which they can play with. It’s a great spot for a panoramic sunset view.
The video below takes you through the southern section of the beach. Sit back, crank up the volume and enjoy two minutes of top scooter cam action showcasing the best of roadside life at the south end of the beach.
Hotels on the southern half of White Sand beach
These resorts and bungalows are towards the south end of the beach and on the road leading up the hill towards Pearl beach. All are bookable on booking.com. The price shown is a typical high season nightly rate. It may well vary and expect it to be higher at holiday weekends and during peak season.
Grand View Resort – Older bungalows plus new hotel rooms by the sea ( no beach ) – 2,200 Baht
Changburi Resort – Cheaper hillside rooms plus pricier pool villas by the sea – 2,400 Baht
Du Talay Hotel – Modern beachfront hotel popular with Chinese guests- 2,400 Baht
Keereeele Resort – Hotel rooms with all facilities, but no pool, 1,800 Baht
White Elephant Resort – Good budget choice. New AC bungalows, pool and bar 5 mins walk to the beach – 1,200 Baht
Paddy’s Palms Resort – Apartment style rooms with pool behind the Irish pub – 1,400 Baht
Chill Paradise Guesthouse – Modern AC rooms for budget conscious visitors – 1,200 Baht
Koh Chang Hut Hotel – Older fan and AC rooms on the clifftop – 550 Baht
Chang Cliff Resort – Cosy AC bungalows and rooms on the clifftop – 1,200 Baht
Para Resort – More budget bungalows with AC, cable TV etc 10 minutes walk up the hill form the beach – 1,200 Baht
Giant Bungalow – Spacious, no frills, AC bungalows on the roadside south of the beach – 1,400 Baht