Ko Chang’s package-tour industry has distorted accommodation pricing. In general, rates have risen while quality has not, partly because hotels catering to group tours are guaranteed occupancy and don’t have to maintain standards to woo repeat visitors or walk-ins. There is also a lot of copy-cat pricing, giving value-oriented visitors little choice.
During the wet season (May to October) rates drop precipitously, although many places close altogether. Consider booking ahead and shopping for online discounts during peak season (November to March), weekends and holidays.
Northern Interior & East Coast
The northern and eastern parts of the island are less developed than the west coast and more isolated. You will likely need your own transport to not feel lonely out here, but you’ll be rewarded with a quieter, calmer experience.
A handful of accommodation options exist on the east coast at Ao Salak Kok and Ao Dan Kao.
On the west coast, Lonely Beach is still the best budget option, Hat Kaibae is the best-value option and Hat Sai Khao is the most overpriced.
Ao Khlong Prao
Ao Khlong Prao is dominated by high-end resorts, with a few budget spots peppered in between. There are a handful of cheapies on the main road that are within walking distance of the beach.
Ban Bang Bao
Despite its touristy veneer, Ban Bang Bao is still a charming place to stay. Accommodation options are mainly converted pier houses overlooking the sea, with easy access to departing interisland ferries. The lovely Khlong Kloi beach is just to the east. Night owls should either hire a motorbike or stay elsewhere, as sŏrng·tăa·ou become rare and expensive after dinnertime.
Hat Kaibae has some of the island’s best variety of accommodation, from boutique hotels to budget huts and midrange bungalows. The trade-off is that the beach is only sandy in parts.
White Sand Beach
The island’s prettiest beach is also its most expensive. The northern and southern extremities have some budget and midrange options worth considering if you need proximity to the finest sand. The southern end of the beach is rocky and lacks sand during high tide. There’s a groovy backpacker enclave north of KC Grande Resort, accessible only via the beach.
A backpacker fave, Lonely Beach is one of the cheapest places to sleep on the island, though budget spots smack on the beach are harder to find. Having been ignored by the flashy resorts, the streets are filled with grungy bars and cheap guesthouses rather than spas and salons.