Sang Arun bungalows – the one on the far left was ours
A hotel is not always the focal point of a trip for me. I prefer to focus on absorbing the city/town/island/beach I’m visiting and all it has to offer. A luxurious or boutique hotel room is an added bonus, but if it’s really good it can become a holiday highlight.
On other occasions, accommodation serves as exactly that – somewhere clean and comfortable to rest your head while travelling (or in the case of my backpacking days – somewhere cheap but well-located). Sometimes these crashpads can be hidden gems, offering an amazing view or surroundings despite their basic facilities.
Over the next few days I’ll be posting my top 5 favourite accommodation experiences in Asia, from the luxurious to the cheap and cheerful (in no particular order), starting with:
Sang Arun Bungalows – White Sands Beach, Koh Chang, Thailand
I’m not sure if these bungalows are still there or not, but we stayed at Sang Arun for a memorable 10 days or so back in October, 2003. These basic beach huts had a mattress and mosquito net inside and a little balcony at the front with some wicker chairs. It was right on the sand with an uninterrupted view of a wide expanse of clear, calm ocean. The sea was literally a couple of metres from our doorstep so we could wake up in the morning and wade out into the water – it was the kind of blissful beach experience people pay thousands of dollars for in the Maldives or Bora Bora, but for around $7 a night. Beach bar Tiger Den was a few bungalows along, and at sunset they’d set up cushion strewn mats on the sand for happy hour cocktails (and evil Thai whiskey buckets). Before this sojourn I didn’t really think of myself as a beach person, but became easily seduced by island life on this trip.
I love authentic beach bungalows (although I would also love to one day stay at one of those over-water bungalows in the Maldives)…yeah! it reminds me of my backing days…pre-baby, pre-9-to-5 job!
Best place I’ve been to was “The Seahorse Resort” in Mui Ne. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!