The Beaches

Remembering the Treehouse on Lonely Beach

All good things must come to an end and I just realised that I hadn’t mentioned that the establishment that was solely responsible for putting Koh Chang on the backpacker’s map had closed for good.

When I first came to Thailand I stayed in a 50 baht/night dorm room off Khao San Road and met a guy who told me stories of a beautiful beach on Koh Chang, totally undeveloped apart from one place to stay at it’s southern end. To get to the beach you had to walk over a hill and then gingerly down a steep slope, with the help of ropes as there was no road. Neither was there any electricity. He’d buy gunpowder in Bangkok take it down there and spend the evenings getting stoned and making rockets to fire across the bay. That was the night’s entertainment. No music, no parties, no movies, no live football.

This was over 15 years ago and the huts were the Treehouse on Lonely Beach. The original huts went under the bulldozer about 3 years ago but the bar and restaurant over the sea survived until a couple of months ago. The building is still there but now deserted. Nearby the landlord is building new, sterile concrete bungalows on the site of the original 100 baht a night bamboo huts on Lonely Beach.

No doubt there are a few thirty somethings with fond memories of the Treehouse in its prime. Time to light up a herbal cigarette and down a bucket of Mekhong whisky & Redbull in memory.

Some photos I’ve ripped off from Flickr and elsewhere of The Treehouse in its former glory plus some taken in late Oct 2010.

28 Comments

  • I stayed there in 1999, and I am quite sure that it was the only place to stay, ie there was nothing else at lonely beach at all. I remember the road finishing and trekking up & down for a while until hitting the northern end of lonely beach and walking through the pristine sand with backpack until arriving at the Treehouse. From my memory most of the rooms were different shapes and sizes, some had x2 floors, some bamboo and square, and mine was circular brickwork with a thatched type roof!! [I think!!] It was a wonderful place in the days when backpacking was backpacking. Reading, lying in a hammock, telling travel stories and spirituality was the norm which is much better than getting drunk on buckets every night!! Anyway I went back there 3 years ago [2016] and just recently Feb 2019, this time with children and in my 40’s!!!…and it’s still a nice place but not so lonely anymore!! From my memory the Treehouse was where Siam Hut is now, although after looking at those pictures I don’t think that it is, I think it may have been a few hundred meters further north!……Shortly after visiting lonely beach in 1999 I ended up living in the south of Thailand for 11 years and I remember Ko Lanta had a place called the Treehouse in about 2002, so maybe that was where the German lady went!!!

  • Originally they did. The owners of the Treehouse on Lonely beach moved to Long beach and set up there. However that was later taken over by their landlord, the original owners left to go to the south of Thailand. The Treehouse that’s there now only has the same name. No connection at all to the original owners or place on Lonely beach.

  • Just came across this page – I spent three weeks at Siam Hut and spent every night at the treehouse in June 2005 – some of the best of my life. For me it was my memory of paradise, seeing the photos of it deserted is just devastating. Tempus Fugit. The spirit of the place and everybody there was just so special. It was the amazing green curry and treehouse buckets! So glad to hear everybody else’s memories of this little gem!

  • I had the great pleasure to stay there in November 1998 for 2 fantastic weeks, when Lonely Beach was still a lonely, lovely and natural place without a road. I found it to be the best guesthouse I came across in a 3-year trip around the world. It was Pamela, who took care of the place and its friendly vibe. She made it such an outstanding place for backpackers. Best host ever !!!
    Hoffentlich schaffe ich es in den nächsten Jahren doch nocheinmal aus dem kalten Franken in das tropische Thailand zum neuen Tree House auf Koh Samui zu reisen.

  • My son (then 10) and I had a great time there in 2000, very fond memories, hung out with Johan and Dao and played Pass the Pigs. Atit was the same age as my son Ryan, so it was nice he had someone to hang out with.

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