After having traveled extensively over a dozen of expat years to each and every possible holiday destination in South East Asia, I had a stroke and start recouping from it. Stepping back from the task of exploring new frontiers and places for me, I began repeated visits to places I did like before. One of the places within easy reach from my residence south of Ayutthaya is Koh Chang in the province of Trat.. My last trip there dates back to 2004. to my surprise, even during monsoon season, there was a boatload full of happy faces on the ferry that arrived for us - and I boarded it in good spirit for the 30 minute journey there.
Without a pre-arranged accommodation due to the low season, I took my chances and went in blind and without a booking.
The public transport (a songtheauw) took us to Hat Sai Khao (a.k.a. White Sand Beach), a short trip around the northern tip of the island, all pristine beaches face west on the island. We entered the holiday village from the north and I remembered a cliff on the southern end marked the end of the civilized area on my former trip. My female companion was very excited, when she caught glimpses of the unspoiled lengthy beach between the developments here. A newer development on the cliff-side of the village proved to be only a quarter of a mile in distance from the sandy away, a short walk saves big bucks, because prime locations demand prime prices all over the southeastern asian paradises.
The "Top Resort" had a street-side reception and their prices were indeed much lower than what those beachside-resorts charge! 1490 Baht /night landed us a gorgeous garden bungalow further up the cliff.
We found out that it was a good choice, besides the queen bed, there were plenty of furnitures inside, a full-blown mini-kitchen with fridge, toaster, stove - they even featured a washing machine and the obvious TV-set with a multitude of English channels, both movie and news style. They feature a total of 3 of these bungalows.
There are approx. 8 hotel style rooms as well plus some fantastic chalets over the top of the cliff, facing the gulf. Unfortunately those were taken, but we'll keep those prime jewels in mind for return visits soon. The whole resort hugs the cliff and natural vegetation provides plenty of shadow on a tropical hot day.
A neat, oddly shaped pool for guests on the cliffs top provides refreshment for guests and has shady as well as sunny areas. A nearby pool-bar was our favorite hangout in the evenings, picturesque sundowns are a dime a dozen here. Don't forget to bring your cam.
The family-run resort sports a little strip-mall by the roadside. Great wine selection and tasty meat products plus a bakery guaranteed us that we were never hungry or thirsty. A gourmet deli attracts customers from a wide radius, but it was convenient for us to have it all on site.
Their restaurant features indoor and outdoor dining, the outdoor terrace overlooks the sea. Dreams of sunsets will linger long in our memories, the food is being prepared by a New York experienced European chef. Servings are of the diet-breaker-variety and the service was excellent. Wines bought in the deli may be consumed here as well, we had plenty of dinner-feasts here. All in all, our budget wasn't stressed as much as we expected, so we enjoyed the elephant trekking and a highly recommended swim-with-dolphins-adventure plus several other budget-minded activities as well.
Great place for first-timers, the staff speaks excellent English and the management seemed to be well informed about the abundance of things to do here. We were never bored and the monsoon-showers,which pelted us this time of the year on occasion will be non-existent, when we return to Koh Chang.
The White Sand Beach, that put Koh Chang on tourist's maps, is nearby and matches the top-beaches around the gulf with ease. Swimming and any beach activity will keep you busy. Great Spas and Thai-massages are to be had within a couple hundred yards, bars and nightlife can be had further down the road, but we were well out of reach of the acoustic disturbances there. Top Resort is also a good choice for families, as they have a few family rooms and a studio with a great view on top of the restaurant building.
A little stair climbing is involved here, as the entire resort hugs a natural cliff. A steep, but manageable path down to the sea generates true bounties for beachcombers, but the small beach here is rocky.
Very good choices were made by the owner family on the mattress and bedsheets, technical features were well maintained and the room was spotless clean, which is a rarity in Thailand.
Due to it's relatively small size, advance reservation will be executed by us, because we definitely want to return to this resort.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC