Where to Eat on Koh Chang?
One thing you won’t have to worry about is going hungry. There are good restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets on Koh Chang. Although you might not get the sheer number or variety of restaurants you do in busier islands or in cities, you will find that the island has something for everyone, regardless of their budget.
Obviously Thai food and seafood are ubiquitous. You could spend your holiday just eating delicious Thai food, everything from noodles and streetfood through to freshly caught seafood. But there is an ever growing selection of cuisines from around the world. And, more surprisingly, some are excellent.
When I wrote the first incarnation of this Koh Chang restaurant guide over a decade ago the choice for anyone wanting a good Western meal was limited to a handful of Italian restaurants. Nowadays you’ll find restaurants specialising in cuisine from countries as diverse as Mexico, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, India and Russia. Plus good old British pub grub.
The original plan was to add a place every week. But I quickly ran out of places and got bored of having crap meals. But you shouldn’t go wrong with the hand picked selection here. I’ll add new places from time to time when I find a restaurant that is consistently good.
But they aren’t easy to find.
Nowadays many places seem to have given up trying to make proper Thai food and make a more tourist friendly equivalent. By which I mean ketchup is used in curries and any hint of strong flavour has been removed. Basically the same as you get on Samui or Phuket.
After having the same single page of recommendations for restaurants for the past few years I decided that it was time to expand. A lot of people read the old page and followed my recommendations and in most cases enjoyed the handful of restaurants that I mentioned which, to my mind, stood out from the rest. In this new guide, there are far more restaurants listed and also photos of them and the food.
Not everywhere I eat will be included as there’s no point listing places where you have a mediocre or bad meal. The idea is to have a list of places where you’ll have a pretty good feed and know what to expect in advance.
I’ll try to include some cheaper places, some for an evening meal, some on the roadside, some by the beach etc. In addition they should be places that have been open a year or so, as there is no point posting info and then people finding it has closed when they come here.
I should point out that I always pay for meals, none of the places I recommend are there because they give me freebies or pay to advertise and if people email me asking to go to their restaurant, I rarely do. Or if I do, then I don’t tell them who I am. However, I do occasionally get a 10% discount at the places I go to regularly. :-)
I don’t like bland Thai food, I want flavours the zing & pop in the mouth and a texture that isn’t generic mush. Not a dish that looks very nice but once you’ve eaten it, fades from memory faster than it took to cook it. If you are new to Thai food then you may prefer this type of more touristy / toned down meal. In which case you will be happy in any restaurant that has a display of neatly labelled seafood on a bed of melting ice and a sea of European faces inside.
As mentioned above, the chances are you won’t have a really bad meal. But you aren’t going to have a great one either.
Most of the places listed here feature dead animals in some form. If that isn’t your thing and you prefer plant based foods, the you’ll find a selection of good vegetarian restaurants, plus other eateries with veggie sections in this Vegetarian Restaurant guide.
Koh Chang Restaurant Prices
Price isn’t really an issue in most restaurants as unless you are eating in luxury hotel restaurants or having stodgy, Western meals in Westernised surroundings every day. For example, thin crust pizzas are a popular menu item in many restaurants due to the very high profit margins on a ready-made base covered in tomato puree, with a few bits of meat, veggies and cheese scattered on top. You’re looking at 300 Baht or so in many places for this.
Your Thai lunch & dinner will be far cheaper than eating the equivalent meal in your home country. Stick to cheaper places for lunch and splash out on a few cocktails and a more extravagant meal in the evening.
If you’re on a budget you can easily find a simple plate of Thai curry and rice or bowl of noodles from 40 – 70 Baht. If you’re ordering ‘Thai style’ and having a few different Thai dishes that the table will all share, then figure on 100 – 200 Baht / dish. Anything with seafood in it will be at the higher end of that price range.
A whole fish, usually a snapper, will be from 200 – 350 Baht, depending on weight.
Generic pizza in a beach restaurant will run from 200 – 300 Baht. Better quality pizzas, using handmade base and imported cheese / ham etc will be from 250 – 350 Baht at specialist Italian restaurants. It’s a similar story with burgers. From 100 Baht for a basic beef burger, up to 300 Baht for one which you’ll want to put on Instagram.
Any dish that requires imported meat will be quite expensive. For example, Lamb dishes are always more expensive than pork or chicken as you don’t see herds of sheep wandering around Thailand. Similar with beef, it can be cheap. But if you want a steak you’ll enjoy eating then that’s 400 Baht minimum for a good locally sourced meat and up to 1,500 Baht for the best imported cuts.
If you’re eating at a seafood restaurant then the bill will probably end up being 300 – 400 Baht per head excluding drinks.
Drinks can easily double the cost of your meal. Especially if you have penchant for good wine, cocktails or craft beer. Drinkable wine is from around 900 Baht / bottle. Good cocktails, not those made with ‘no-name’ alcohol, are around 180 Baht upwards. Sticking to water, soft drinks and the local beers – Chang, Leo, Singha etc will keep the bills down.
A small beer is from 60 – 80 Baht in most restaurants. Coke or water, 10 – 30 Baht. Stalls selling fruitshakes can be found roadside in all the main beach areas. 40 – 60 Baht will get you a refreshing shake or smoothie. A whole coconut is around 40 – 50 Baht roadside or some crazy price in your fancy hotel, I’ve seen 5* star resorts sell them for 150 Baht ++ which is ridiculous.
And if you want an imported craft beer, figure on 250 – 450 Baht for a bottle or can. Yep, I have to pay a small fortune for my Brewdog Punk. Thai craft beer is a little cheaper, but not much as it can’t be brewed legally in Thailand. So that too is brewed aborad and imported. Thus subject to the same high taxes.
Recommended Restaurants on Koh Chang
Some ideas for places to try on different beaches are below. There are also links to some reviews of individual restaurants.
White Sand Beach Restaurants
You’ll find some decent food on White Sand beach. But that’s mainly western food. As a rule all those beachfront Thai restaurants are pretty same-y. And the food is rather bland. That doesn’t mean they should be avoided, they’re good value and it’s always nice to dine on the beach whilst on holiday. The food is safe and a bit mass market – rather like the area.
For the best Thai food there are a couple of good options on the inland side of the main road. Boogie Chicken – opposite the entrance to Banpu Resort and the adjacent Nong Bua are both good options for spicy Thai food. Boogie Chicken specialises in rotisserie chicken and somtam. You’ll see the chickens rotating roadside over the charcoal grill. But there’s also an extensive menu of popular Thai dishes on offer. Nong Bua is primarily a seafood restaurant but is also a good option for authentic Thai food. The only downside is that there’s not as much attention to the interior as there is to the food. It you like your restaurants to be shiny and spotless then plastic chairs, dingy toilets and cracked tiles might not be your thing.
On the beachfront, the restaurants aim to appeal to everyone. Menus are extensive and include everything from Thai dishes to seafood, pasta and pizzas. There’s no specialisation, just a desire to feed families who have a diverse range of tastes. A couple to try – Sun and Soul, at Cookies Resort and 15 Palms, near KC Grande both have decent cocktails and a bit better service and food than most beachfront places.
On the plus side, there’s some decent Western options. If pub grub is your thing then Monkey’s, Paddy’s Palms and White Elephant will sate your desire for a pie and chips and a pint or a slap up Sunday roast dinner.
And there are of course numerous Italian restaurants. A couple of good ones to try are Invito Al Cibo, located on the clifftop at Koh Chang Hut Resort just south of the beach. And Ciao – also away from the beach, about 500 metres up the hill leading south from the beach – near the International Clinic. You have to make a bit of an effort to get to both and if you do you will be rewarded with great food.
For lovers of Indian food, make a beeline for A Taste of India, roadside in the centre of the beach. A long standing favourite. And, for something a bit different, the recently opened (2018) Alaturka has been getting rave reviews for their mouth-watering Turkish dishes. That’s not so surprising, given that the owner previously ran a restaurant of the same name that was conferred ‘Bib Gourmand’ status in the 2016 Michelin Guide Singapore.
For cheap eats , there is a nightly street food market in the centre of White Sand beach, roadside at the rear of Apple Resort and Bamboo Resort. Prices are low and it’s a popular spot to grab some snacks or take away food. You’ll find all manner of BBQ meats on sticks, seafood, somtam, pad thai etc for sale plus numerous smoothie, fruit and juice stalls. Again, it’s streetfood aimed specifically at tourists, rather than the local workers or residents.
A little way south of White Sand beach you’ll also pass the excellent Le JaoJom. A beachfront bistro and coffeeshop which is a favourite of instagrammers. Excellent smoothies, coffee and cakes by the sea in a very nicely designed bamboo coffeeshop. Ideal for a sunset cocktail too.
Klong Prao Beach Restaurants
What Klong Prao lacks in western pub food it more than makes up for in Thai and seafood.
If you want to eat on the beach, as many people do, despite rarely getting good food there, some options. . . . At the north end of the beach the restaurant at Flora I-Talay Resort is a safe choice. Very pleasant location, wide range of food and occasionally some excellent dishes. And on the southern section of beach, there’s a bit more choice.
Palm Beach is a simple wooden beach restaurant, they type that you don’t see much nowadays. Bamboo tables, extensive menu and cheap drinks right on the sand. And just 100 metres to the south Tiger Hut has some very good Thai dishes and large portions. It’s a backpacker place but don’t let that put you off. You won’t find any fireshows, DJs, cocktails in buckets or loud parties. It’s very laid back. And at the far southern end Family restaurant, Pilot Bar and Mandalay all vie for your attention. Pilot bar is probably the most popular but if you are staying down there it’s worth sampling a couple and coming to your own decision.
If seafood is your thing then the river estuary in the middle of the beach is home to a couple of well know eateries – Iyara and Phu Talay. Both feature riverside dining and offer a free firefly tour to diners. On the main road nearby, Jae Eiw Seafood is one of the oldest on the island. It has an excellent reputation as one of the best places to go for seafood. It’s a large, but nondescript place, and doesn’t promote itself on social media or Tripadvisor. Which is why diners are mainly Thais or people who enjoy good food.
However, for a hidden gem seafood spots you have to forget about the idea of dining by the sea or in a large, well established restaurant. Instead, head to the foodstalls at the north end of Klong Prao village. 20 metres north of the turning for Santhiya tree Resort lies Heatree Seafood. ( There’s no sign – but recognizable by red plastic chairs and graffiti on the walls. ) Out front is a fresh seafood stall and inside a handful of tables. Choose your own prawns, scallops etc, priced by weight and they’ll cook them for an extra 50 Baht. There’s also a full menu of seafood and some Thai dishes. Fresh seafood, no frills, cold beer, cheap prices – you don’t need more than that.
There are a lot of locals and hotel staff living and working around Klong Prao , so it’s not surprising that you’ll find some pretty good, inexpensive Thai food too. Jae Kloi is a small roadside restaurant near Kerdmanee Resort in Chai Chet, just north of Klong Prao beach. And Chumnan is an open-sided eatery on the main road opposite the gas station in the centre of the village. You’ll get a plate of Thai food here for 50 – 70 Baht and it will be some of the best you’ll have had anywhere. Obviously this isn’t fine dining. It’s cheap and cheerful . . . . and delicious.
Or, a bit more upmarket, either Kati Culinary, Blue Lagoon or Tonsai. All near the south end of the village. All been establish a long time and have a reputation for quality. Kati is probably my favourite. You can definitely taste the difference when a restaurant makes all their own curry pastes from family recipes and prepares everything fresh. But Blue Lagoon takes presentation of Thai dishes to a new level. Check the Facebook page of their cooking school for some examples of the type of dishes you can enjoy.
Roadside at the south end of the village lies Noren Resort which is now home to El Greco (This was previously located in Bangbao.) This Greek restaurant is rightly acclaimed. Along with the usual selection of gyros, moussaka and mezze platters you’ll also find a wide range of steaks plus some harder to find Greek dishes. These come and go from the menu depending on availability. Perfect, if you want a pleasant change from Thai or seafood.
Finally, if time is of the essence you’ll need some fast food. ‘Khao Gaeng’ is a type of restaurant that sells pre-cooked curries. You pick 2 or 3 from a selection of 10 – 15 and sit down and eat. No waiting around. Nong Anat is located roadside at the north end of the village is by far the most popular of these on the island. It serves mostly southern Thai style food and also featured in foodie Mark Wiens trip to the island.
Almost forgot, if you’re missing Euro food . . . Pizza King Express, near the beer bars in Chai Chet. Probably the best pizza on the island. Not far away, Max’s Bistro is famed for their weekly Mexican, BBQ and Pasta nights. Excellent value all you can eat buffets and a good place to meet an expat crowd.
Moley’s on the estuary or Annie P’s near Bhu Tarn Resort for small places with homemade English and American fare and friendly expat owners.
For Italian, Marco in VJ Plaza, opposite the turning to Coconut Beach Resort, is well established and has a loyal following. Or in Klong Prao village lookout for the pizza oven by the roadside at Toscana Italian. Worth trying too.
One thing missing . . . some dessert. Or something to cool you down on a hot day. If you’re bored with fruitshakes and a scoop of ice cream doesn’t contain enough calories, then you need to go to Cafe De Flora at Flora I Talay Resort. They make excellent Bingsu.
Bingsu is a Korean style shaved ice dessert. Flavoured, shaved ice plus numerous toppings. If you want something refreshing try mango, if you want to put on weight then chocolate or caramel. Order one between two people, that’s usually enough. Until you get addicted to them and have to work your way through the menu. :-) Anyway, here are some photos of Koh Chang’s best dessert cafe
Kai Bae Beach restaurants
The narrow main road in Kai Bae is home to a wide variety of restaurants. And probably has the best selection of Western restos on the island.
Cheap Thai food can be found at the small foodcourt located behind Morgan Restaurant in the centre of Kai Bae. This is where you’ll find a good, inexpensive Pad Thai, bowl of noodles or rice and curry dish. Picture menus make ordering easy and there are a dozen adjacent restaurants to choose from. On the opposite side of the main road, 50 metres north, is the large Took Ka Ta Kai Moon restaurant. You’ll see the rotisserie chickens grilling outside. They have a huge menu of Isaan and Thai dishes and is another good option for a cheap, authentic Thai meal.
And if you prefer your Thai food without MSG, O2 restaurant, just south of Chang Park Resort, have been making it this way since the early 2000’s. Worth visiting even if it’s a bit of a walk from the south end of the beach where most people stay.
However, without a doubt the best Thai food in Kai Bae, can be found at Khao Kwan restaurant. This is fine Thai dining, not your usual wok friend dishes. Try it, you wont regret it.
There’s not much n the way of seafood restaurants in Kai Bae. The main one being Friend Seafood, near the northernmost 7-eleven. This locally owned eatery has been in the same location for many years. As with the seafood restaurants on White Sand beach, you’ll see an array of prawns, squid, scallops and fish priced and on display by the roadside.
In the centre of Kai Bae, just south of AWA Resort, lies one of the busiest restaurants on the island Goong Ka Ta, an all you can eat for 239 Baht buffet. The catch is that you cook the food yourself at your table. You’ll get a clay pot filled with hot charcoal and that’s topped with a metal dome. You pile up a plate with raw prawns, beef, pork and chicken and then can either BBQ it on the dome. Or boil it in a moat of soup that runs around the base of the dome. There is a wide choice of meats with different marinades. Plus plenty of veggies and other dishes from simple pizza to fries and some dim sum. It’s communal dining at it’s best and a great place for people watching. It’s packed most evenings so go early.
For Italian food, the stand out is Mordi e Fuggi. Located 100 metres north of Gajapuri Resort. This is an excellent little place. Just a 4 metre wide shop unit with a handful of tables. Plus a larger private room at the back for groups. They serve up simple Italian pizza and pasta dishes. Nothing pretentious. Just delicious homemade Italian cooking.
For other European options Papa’s Greek Diner, roadside opposite Tesco Lotus, makes a refreshing change if you’re looking for a healthy salad or nice bit of lamb. Nearby, Sharky’s has a good selection of European food. As does Morgan restaurant which is also in the vicinity and is a popular spot for watching live sports. Mostly English style pub grub, good enough to keep kids happy whilst Dad watches the football.
Similarly, Filou Lounge, on the main road near Kai Bae Hut, is very popular with theme nights, including all you can eat ribs / dirt cheap mojitos/ offers on imported beers etc. All your Euro favorites are covered from German pork knuckle, to Italian pasta and English fish and chips. There’s also a live band a weekends. Recommended if you’re a family or group who enjoys a lively atmosphere whilst dining on food you recognise from home.
A few minutes walk away, down by the sea at Coral Resort, you’ll find Cabana Bistro. They have a great location by the sea and with a pool that diners can use – making it a ideal spot to hang out during the day. Sunbathe, drink and swim the day away. Well presented Euro and Asian food. Good choice for a quiet meal in the evening, as it’s hidden away from the masses.
But the pick of Kai Bae’s Western restaurants has to be El Barrio (formerly Barrio Bonito), opposite the aforementioned Filou Lounge. They have been serving up excellent Mexican food and awesome cocktails for over a decade. It’s one of the few places where reservations are required during High Season. And probably my favourite western restaurant on the island. Plus, in my opinion, also has the best cocktails. Full review of Barrio Bonito .
And a close runner up is The Wine Gallery, opposite Mordi e Fuggi, where you’ll find delicious tapas, plus well presented European dishes, a good selection of imported beers and an entire shop full of wine to choose from. This is another of my ‘go to’ places. As if I’m going to pay to eat western food, it might as well be great food and not the mediocre stuff sold in most places.
If meat, potatoes and simplicity are what you require then you’ll love Burger Station. Koh Chang’s only specialist burger restaurant. They keep things simple and serve up nothing but excellent beef, chicken and pork burgers plus homemade fries. The small shop unit with just a handful of tables is located at the north end of the village, roadside around 100 metres north of Cliff Beach Resort. Eat in or take away.
Finally, for a healthy meal, coffee or somewhere to sit and do your digital nomading, Fig Cafe, 200 metres inland along the road inland opposite AWA Resort, is the place to go place. This stylish wooden building is where you’ll get your smashed avocado on toast and fair trade flat white. The menu offers plenty of vegan and clean food options. And they also offer drinks with plant-based milks, Pistachio, Almond, Soya etc instead of cow juice.
There’s a small garden area in addition to the indoor seating and it’s a little haven of tranquility. Prices are higher than most coffeeshops, but again, you’re paying for better quality food and drinks than the average place on the island.
Lonely Beach, Bailan and Bangbao Restaurants
Lonely Beach is where travellers and backpackers tend to congregate and as such, most restaurants offer up inexpensive Thai and western comfort food. If you are staying elsewhere on the island, there aren’t really any restaurants that are worth making a special trip there to eat at.
As such you aren’t short of small roadside eateries where you can grab an inexpensive Pad Thai, fresh coconut smoothie or banana pancake. And you’ll more than likely be satisfied with your meal or drink. So will then slap it on social media and proclaim ‘OMG. Just had the best < insert name of dish / drink > in Thailand.‘ Plus a dozen hashtags.
But if your budget is over 100 Baht for a meal, then there some good options. On the beach, Nature Beach Resort has completed it’s reinvention from budget backpacker hangout to mid-price family friendly resort. And the restaurant has also upped its game. They have a varied menu of Thai and western dishes and the best location in the beach. Deservedly the most popular spot to eat on the sand and always packed during high season. Pricier than the roadside joints, but cheaper and better, than the majority of beach restaurants on the island.
Also by the sea, but on the rocky shoreline, the restaurant at Warapura Resort is a laid back spot to enjoy a sunset cocktail and some delicious food.
On the main road . . . choose Sleepy Owl – for coffee, smoothies and pizza in air-conditioning. Dang Seafood, for spicy Thai dishes and seafood. BB Tapas (at BB Divers) for a range European snacks, salads and tapas. Plus a selection of Belgian Beers. There’s also a small pool that guests can use to cool off in.
If you prefer some live music with your dinner, then the best spot by far is Stone Free, on the side street leading from the main road to Warapura Resort. Run by aging Thai hippies, it’s a welcome alternative to the bars that pump out generic dance music. You’ll get great food, cheap cocktails, a mellow atmosphere and the chance to see some excellent musicians playing a bit of blues and soul.
Away from the hustle and bustle, along the inland road heading up the hill opposite Kachapura Resort, you’ll find Little Eden and Oasis bungalows. Both have excellent small restaurants with Thai and popular western dishes. Oasis also has a cool treehouse which is a great spot for a sunset drink.
A kilometre or so south of Lonely beach lies Bailan, a much quieter hamlet with inexpensive bungalows. You’ll find numerous, locally owned, inexpensive eateries on the main road. There’s a small cluster of mini-marts and roadside restaurants in the centre of the village. This is where you’ll find your 40 Baht noodles, somtam and BBQ chicken plus all the usual Thai dishes.
If you want to eat by the beach then the best option is Lisca Beach, adjacent to Mercure Hideaway, that prides itself on the quality of the pizza and pasta on offer. Not cheap, but cheaper than the hotel food next door and a great spot for a sundowner.
There are a couple of seafood restaurants. If no frills seafood in a shack by the sea is your thing, then you’ll like ‘No Name’ seafood. adjacent to Koh Chang 7 Bungalows. The owners catch a lot of the fish on offer. You’ll see their boats moored at the rickety wooden pier adjacent to the restaurant.
The road from Bailan meanders towards Bangbao fishing village. Home of dive companies, souvenir shops and seafood restaurants. The majority of the seafood restaurants have been there for years and feature very similar menus and prices. Prices are higher than in many places on the island, as these restaurants have a captive audience of day trippers and hungry tour groups. Chowlay Seafood, midway along the pier, has long been one of the most consistent. Not the best seafood on the island but always good and outside weekends it’s usually not too busy. Live seafood is displayed in tanks at the front of the restaurant and there’s a huge open kitchen where you can watch the chefs do their thing.
For simpler, cheaper, Thai food plus vegetarian options, the homely Barracuda is another very good restaurant that has been on Koh Chang for years. First on Klong Prao beach and then for the past decade in Bangbao. Located on the right hand side of the pier, just past ‘Peace Moon’ handmade leather goods.
Back on the main road and heading towards Klong Kloi beach. As you pass Tranquility Bay Residence, you’ll no doubt be awed by the views across the bay owners here have. But you too can enjoy them without having to spend several million Baht. Simply stop off at the Rasta View restaurant next door. Same stunning panoramic views but with Bob Marley and cheap food and drinks. Great spot to take a break and escape the heat during the daytime.
Just before you reach Klong Kloi beach the road runs along the back of the tiny Hat Sai Noi beach. There are a handful of budget bungalows here plus the popular Ido Ido restaurant. Good food and drinks right by the sand. But you eat here more for the location than anything else. Better, cheaper Thai food can be found at many roadside restaurants elsewhere.
Another couple of hundred metres along the main road and you arrive at the start of Klong Kloi beach ( Bangbao Beach) . The beachfront is now lined with small restaurants which all have deckchairs and umbrellas on the sand. A very chilled spot with views south towards Koh Wai, Koh Mak and, on a clear day, Koh Kood. Pick any of the beach restaurants for your lunch, ice cold beer or fruit shake. There’s not much to differentiate between them.
However if you are staying in the area, a journey to The Journey should be on your itinerary. Set back from the beach, The Journey, is easily to spot, as it’s a couple of shipping containers with covered outdoor seating. This is where you’ll find some great artisan burgers, paninis and steaks. Probably not the place you’ll go to every day. But it should be on the list of places to eat when you tire of Thai food and just need a beautifully plated meal or massive burger. ( Note they are only open during the High Season – mid November to mid April. )
Restaurants elsewhere on Koh Chang
There are numerous restaurants away from the main beach areas. So there’s no danger of going hungry when you are exploring the island.
Klong Son is the village situated midway between the ferry piers and White Sand beach. It’s a place that the majority of visitors just pass through on their way to the beach resorts further south. But there are some inexpensive resorts here and you’ll find numerous local restaurants, noodle stalls plus the ubiquitous somtam and bbq meats on sticks for sale. The best place to eat though is located along the inland road leading to the elephant camp. Follow this for 1km and you’ll come to the quirky Blues Blues – a restaurant housed in an artist’s home. All the paintings, sculptures and other pieces of artwork were made by the owner who will also be cooking your food.
Dan Kao Beach
Dan Kao is the area a kilometre or so south of Centrepoint ferry pier. It’s home to a small beach that is occupied by three excellent small resorts plus a great stand alone restaurant. Amber Sands Beach Resort and Serenity Resort both offer excellent western and Thai dishes. Making them a good spot to stop for lunch. The Souk has been there for years and the Thai owner Ed is well known for not only his food but also excellent cocktails, local knowledge and all around helpfulness.
As you near the south east of the island, pass the shooting range and keep an eye out for a roadside fruit shake shack. Ronny’s Coconut Organic Garden, has developed a cult following. Not just for having great shakes and delicious food but also for the friendliness of the Thai owner, Ronny. You’ll order a drink and the next thing you know you’ll be charged with going and picking a coconut to put in it. Or he’ll be busy in the kitchen so will ask you to help cook your own food. You’ll order and find there’s other dishes on your table – because he decided you might like them so made gave for you to try for free. It’s all a bit haphazard. But excellent fruit shakes, great food and you’ll leave with a smile on your face.
Also in the vicinity is The Spa Koh Chang. This resort is aimed at people who want to spend a week or two detoxing or on a yoga retreat. And, as such, prefer to isolate themselves away from temptations such as real food. What they do have instead is a rather good veggie and raw food restaurant. Whilst I wouldn’t want to eat this food daily, it is a great spot for lunch. The restaurant has views across the mangroves and serves delicious, fresh food. In hot weather you probably won’t feel like a big lunch. As such, a salad and refreshing herbal drink in pleasant surroundings are a welcome alternative to a coke and bowl of noodles on a busy roadside.
The fishing community in Salakkok is home to one small seafood restaurant, Salakkok Seafood. This is where you can enjoy seafood caught by the neighbours. It’s a very traditional part of the island. The locals still live in simple houses by canals in the mangroves and have their small fishing boats moored outside. You can see the boatyard, where there’s always a couple of boats under repair plus get a glimpse into the life of a modern day subsistence fisherman. It’s an area of the island that hasn’t really been affected by tourism. The money hasn’t flowed in, so life hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s also possible to hire a canoe or get a boat trip on an old fashioned gondola through the mangroves.
One of the most famous seafood restaurants on the island is Salakphet Seafood. You can’t really miss it if you are driving around the island as the road on the western side of Salakphet Bay ends in the restaurant car park. It’s a beautiful location. Even if you aren’t eating there, take time to walk out onto the deck by the bay where you’ll find keep nets full of fish. From here you’re rewarded with panoramic views across the bay and south towards Koh Laoya.
It’s a large restaurant, used to catering to Thai tour groups, and so is best avoided around midday or any time at weekends. But visit earlier in the day or mid afternoon and it’ll be relatively quiet. The seafood is always fresh and the servings large but it is a bit pricey. However, it’s also consistently good.
More ideas for where to eat on Koh Chang . . .
You’ll find lots of tips, from expats and visitors, for restaurants in the Koh Chang on a Plate Facebook group https://m.facebook.com/groups/KCPlate/
And Thailand’s most enthusiastic expat foodie, Mark Wiens, visited the island and made a great video. You’ll see that he visited some of the places mentioned above. ( Nong Anant for a rice and curry breakfast; Ronny’s Organic Coconut Garden and Salakkok Seafood ) Recommended viewing – as are most of his videos.
Koh Chang Restaurant Map
A work in progress. Not all the restaurants mentioned above are on here. Just those that I’ve added a review page for. Mouse over for the names of individual restaurants and use the controls to zoom in for exact location . More info on each restaurant when you click the red marker.