Where the land and ocean meet, just south of the hustle and bustle, and at the gateway to meaningful rest, that’s where you’ll find Indie Beach Bungalows and Café. A personal project that resonated so well with others that it grew into a beach bungalow escape, Indie Beach is the creation of Gus and Zoo & Christine. You’ll spend time with them and as you do, you’ll better understand this amazing spot. With a love of reggae, healthy food, and wellness, it all comes together to create a space where you can breathe a little deeper.
Before we arrived, our Canadian brains couldn’t envision the esthetics of Christine’s native Norway mixed with tropical Thailand. Now that we’ve experienced it, we really love the way the feeling comes together. It’s not boho chic with a tropical twist, but rather two seemingly different cultures that share a love for the beach and water. You’ll feel at home and, if you want, you can fill your feed with endless Instagramable charm. More than flooding your socials with cute pics, Indie Beach is a place to fill-up yourself – whether that’s rest, re-connection, or rejuvenation.
Sitting on Koh Chang’s southern end, Indie Beach is a 10 minute stroll from the fishing village of Bang Bao. Though not geographically far from the busier beaches of Koh Chang, you’ll feel worlds apart. There are restaurants, shops, and ATM’s along the beach and in the village so you’ll have everything you’ll need. More than that, you should take some time to stroll and soak-in the pace of life in this seaside enclave.
Indie Beach is a series of 12 bungalows nestled along a path which traces it’s way down the slope from the main road (think smaller island road) to the beach. The jungle is part of Indie Beach and walking this path is a mini nature stroll. Before putting your toes in the sand you’ll come to the original beach house where the Indie Beach dream began, which is also available to rent. Cozied next to the beach house is the welcoming space of the Beach Cafe (we’ll talk more about the eats later). The cafe is the perfect outdoor living room. With seating options of every style, you can relax in a hammock, read on the beach, snuggle with your kid, eat at a table, or sit-up and get some work done (but we know you’re actually watching the waves). This is the heart of Indie Beach and you’ll quickly come to understand why.
There are several bungalow options and our family of 6 stayed in Jammin’. Located at the top of the path, it was easy to nip to the car when needed, there is never traffic to disturb you, and we had one of those ocean views that caused you to pause – whether you meant to or not. Each bungalow has outdoor space and so we could drop sandy shoes outside and use the tap to rinse off our feet (there are showers and taps by the beach too). You enter into a living room with a ceiling that is covered, but open to the world outside. There’s a ceiling fan here and it made for a great spot to chat on the couch once the kiddos were asleep.
On this floor there is also an enclosed bedroom with AC where our two oldest slept. Beyond this room there was a generously-sized bathroom with a walk-in shower. It was great for power cycling our kids through bath time. There’s also a kitchenette and medium-sized fridge. You could easily make meals here but we tended to snack well in this space.
Heading up the turquoise stairs, you arrive on a large landing with a desk and lounge chairs. From here you look over the tree tops and bungalow roofs to the ocean beyond. We tried to count all the shades of blue we could see in the waters but often lost count and just enjoyed the panorama. Through a set of sliding glass doors, you enter the larger bedroom. The staff, who were incredibly attentive to getting everything set-up just right for us, brought in a single mattress for our 3 year old and a crib for our 1 year old. Like the indoor / outdoor spaces of Indie beach, the vibe in our bungalow was tropical-scandi in a simple, not spartan, way. It’s everything you need without squishing you under things you don’t. It will have you feeling light – maybe even weightless.
If you’ve driven yourself, there is parking along the street and scooter rentals are available from a nearby shop. There are laundry services nearby and the ever-helpful Indie Beach staff can help you get that sorted. In every way imaginable, the staff here embody the warm vibes of Indie Beach. From making check-in and check-out incredibly easy, to chats at the bar, and fielding our random questions, we truly enjoyed getting to know them.
In a stroke of serendipity, upon our arrival we found not one, but two, other families that we know from Bangkok already at Indie Beach. It had us wondering if we’re the last ones to discover this gem. Christine told us this happens often as people bump into friends on the southern sands of Koh Chang. As we all sat in hammocks, beach loungers, and plush cushion chairs, we were amongst other families, couples enjoying time together, and people working remotely (we even got to practice our dwindling Polish).
The sands at Indie Beach are soft and welcoming. Our kids spent hours playing in the sand and the trees. We of course parented vigilantly from the comfort of our beach chairs while nursing cold drinks. There are a number of rocks in the water off the beach, so water shoes might be helpful. For our kids, these rocks were imagination fuel as they explored them.
Even if you’re not staying at Indie Beach, you can come and enjoy the eats at Indie Cafe (and by “can” please understand “must”). Fresh, simple, and local ingredients are brought together in delicious and beautiful ways. It’s the kind of food that is looks so amazing you almost feel badly for eating it…almost. Let’s be honest, anytime is a great time for a smoothie bowl, and there wasn’t a single dish at the Indie Cafe that we did not gush about.
If you’re in the Kai Bae area of Koh Chang, do yourself a favour and go to Indie Sushi and Bowls where the offerings are just as wonderful and the atmosphere is playful.
Whether you’re looking to create family memories, relax with someone you love, chill with a group of friends, or recharge solo, Indie Beach is beautiful, simple, and tranquil.