Ban Chuen, Klong Yai Region

Ban Chuen is a relaxed beach in the Klong Yai Region with fine sand. If you want to get away from touristy Thailand, this is a good place to go. Here you will find several hotels with their own private beaches. The water is not super clear but good for swimming all day. Note that along the shoreline you will encounter more rubbish compared to neighboring beaches on any of the islands. All the stays we listed clean the beach daily.

Ban Chuen is a beautiful place to relax and sunbathe. Choose this beach if you want to be part of local customs, away from Western demands. Take a day trip to the village of Mai Rut to enjoy local atmosphere.

Alicia Beach Resort and De Veranio Resort are more upper-range resorts. As an additional perk Alicia Beach Resort provides free bicycles for their guests and is one of the only hotels that rents scooters. We found the mid-range Orada Resort to be a good stay with value for money. The rooms are all originally designed, surrounded by a green garden, and located on a small private beach.

Although these places have restaurants, you can also drive 6 kilometers to Mai Rut for alternative small restaurants.

The Klong Yai Region is located in the south-eastern part of Thailand, bordering Cambodia. The region is known for its lush green hills and small fishing villages and is still largely undiscovered by tourists. The beaches are usually empty, even on weekends. This is a great part of Thailand if you want to get off the main roads. The area has beautiful, varied nature, so definitely go explore it!

A nice excursion in the Klong Yai Region is a visit to the Ban Mai Rut fishing community. It is a good place to witness the daily life of the villagers. Here, many houses are built on stilts above the river. We found it an experience riding our scooter on the wooden paths above the river, especially when an oncoming scooter passes by. Take a boat ride on the river in the dark and hopefully you will spot the fireflies and fluorescent plankton.

The capital of this region is also called Klong Yai, a small town with a pleasant harbor and a daily market. When we are in the area, we will definitely visit the night market and enjoy the tasty dishes.

Trat is an alternative excursion with a more varied night market. There are dozens of stalls on the site with all kinds of delicious food. Trat has several beautiful wooden residential buildings. The Trat History Museum is located in one of those buildings; the texts are in English and in Thai. A beautiful pagoda is Wat Phai Lom, about 1 kilometer from the center.

From Bangkok are several good bus and minibus connections to Trat, a journey of 5 hours. In Trat, you can take a minibus or pick-up truck to Klong Yai and Hat Lek, where you will be dropped off near your hotel. Depending on the beach, the walk from the drop-off point to your hotel can range from 100 meter to 2 kilometers. Make sure to arrange a final pick up with your hotel!

We recommend renting a car in Bangkok or at one of the airports. It saves time and it’s much easier to get around. It is difficult to rent scooters at the resorts. We ended up renting one from an employee. The best option is to rent a scooter in Trat or arrange a scooter over the phone before booking your hotel.