There’s more to Bangbao than the very touristy fishing village. For a start there’s a very nice beach, Klong Kloi, about 1Km away which is now a very popular spot with visitors for a day trip as it has a good selection of beach restaurants and great views south towards the outlying islands. And then you have the peninsula which juts out forming the southwest tip of Koh Chang. Not that many people bother to take a look down here but it is now getting more popular as a place to stay.
A paved road leads off the main road, about 400 metres before the turning to Bangbao village. You’ll see signs for Nirvana Resort and other bungalow places by the roadside. Follow this and the roads winds past the never to be completed luxury ‘Edge village’ project, to the shore of the bay. Hugging the shore the road runs past Bangbao Cliff View bungalows which are pretty nice but devoid of character and then to Cliff Cottage, a longstanding backpacker favourite. They have newer AC rooms overlooking the bay and older Fan huts perched atop the hill with sunset views. The restaurant is also tucked away on the opposite side of the peninsula, which at its narrowest point is barely 50 metres wide. The cove in front of the restaurant is also a popular spot for snorkelling. It’s shallow, sheltered and the rocks attract far more sea-life than the sandy west coast beaches.
Immediately after Cliff Cottage is the entrance to Nirvana Resort, a lovely 3* boutique resort for people looking to get away from it all. Take time to wander along their wooden cliffside walkway, then up, over the hill back to the resort. On top of the hill there are also narrow paths that lead along the hillside, following the spine of the peninsula. These can be followed for a few hundred metres and, in places, afford great panoramic ocean views.
It almost appears as the road ends at Nirvana as you have to drive through their manicured bungalows in order to explore further. But it doesn’t, it is a public road which immediately after exiting Nirvana becomes a track again. And in front of you, you’ll see a small beach with some bungalows Home Stay Beach / Pai Im Homestay ( depending on what it’s being called now) You’ll get some nice views from the pier here. Wander further along the shoreline and the new Rock Beach Homestay, which is more construction site than homestay at the moment as the hillside above it is being dismantled and tiered ready for building.
In the past it was possible to continue along a track by the beach, however this has been blocked by buildings and so access is via the road which loops up onto the hillside and along the back of the plots of land that face onto the shore. Along here you’ll come to first, Bhuvarin Resort, then the swankier Resolution Resort and finally the longstanding Khao Nok Homestay, which now has a couple of dozen bungalows and appears to be planning to build more.
A footpath from here leads another 200 metres along the shoreline, behind the bungalows, to a shrine for the sailors who died in the WW2 battle of Koh Chang. You’ll get great views from here as you are now at the head of the bay.
The peninsula isn’t a spot for anyone looking for a beach holiday, but ( construction work aside ) it’s a quiet spot, which has great views and good value accommodation. if you are staying any further than Cliff Cottage or Nirvana, then you’ll probably want to rent a scooter as it’s a bit of a trek to get to the village.