Bang Bao is located at the extreme south-west of the island is more known for its pier than its beaches. Nevertheless, there are 2 beaches, Sai Noi Beach and Klong Kloi Beach, more known and longer. Both are very quiet with a few businesses around and a hippies' vibe with peaceful pubs and cheap restaurants and bungalows like Sea You Place, Tree House Cottages, Tranquility Bay Residence, Tropical Beach Resort, and Koh Chang Boat Chalet to name a few of them.
They are the safest beaches too, there is almost no wave even during the rainy season, Bang Bao Bay is very calm.
Traditional bamboo tattoo by King is also located in Klong Kloi village and he is one of the tattooists I can recommend on Koh Chang, especially if you are looking for a bamboo tattooist.
There is also a good place where you can snorkel and see lots of fish, it's just nearby Cliff Cottage, Nirvana Resort.
Bang Bao was in the past a fishermen's village with stilts houses. Nowadays the fishermen's village is more like an indoor souvenirs gallery on a pier. There are still stilt houses but most of them are now shops selling clothes, all kinds of souvenirs you can find anywhere else and some snacks and drinks. In the past, those shops were more expensive than the others you can find on the island but it seems they understood that if they want to sell they needed to decrease their prices.
There are a few very good and fresh seafood restaurants right on the pier with a nice view of the bay. Avoid early in the morning and the end of the afternoon when tours and snorkelling/diving boats are leaving or coming back because the pier will be full of people. Between it will be very quiet.
It's also possible to stay overnight on the pier and rent a room. Bang Bao Paradise or Buddha View Guesthouse for example.
But my favourite is The Buddhaview which is a very nice guesthouse, restaurant and lounge bar. They serve food and drinks all day long and they have nice small rooms. Sunset views from the deck are fabulous.
Most of the tour and transfer boats going to the other islands or snorkelling and diving boats are moored at Bang Bao pier. Diving schools also have their main office at the pier. Boonsiri High-Speed Ferry is also now going from Trat to Bang Bao pier and from Bang Bao to Koh Mak and Koh Kood (more details: https://boonsiriferry.com/en/allroute). It's faster than wooden boats, cheaper, and more comfortable than speed boats.
If you walk up to the end of the pier, you can see typical fishing boats drying their last catch. You will not miss the lighthouse, it's in a better condition outside than inside but the entrance door is now closed to visitors.
In the evening, you can get stunning sunset pictures.
The pier is not very wide so the best time to visit it is when the tour boats have left and before they come back otherwise it may get a bit busy, especially during the high season. In high season it's quite easy to catch a taxi to go or to come from Bang Bao. In the low season, this is more difficult and they will over-charge you.
Where to stay?
There are good small resorts in this area like Bhuvarin Resort which is one of my favourites, located on the small peninsula. There are also Cliff Cottage, Nirvana Resort, Klong Kloi Cottage, Tranquility Bay Residence, and Sea You Place for example. Those resorts have nothing to do with the ones from the other beaches like White Sand beach, Kai Bae, or Lonely beach, they are more peaceful and very relaxing.
Best deals in Bang Bao:
Please note this map is copyright 2001-13 White Sand Publications Co. Ltd. and may not be reproduced or published either in print or electronically without the express written permission of White Sand Publications Co. Ltd.