Island hopping in Thailand is a dream of many people, and that’s why most of the islands are always buzzing with tourists. There are still some islands in Thailand that are not overcrowded yet though, and one of them is Koh Kood. You can find this tranquil island on the eastern part of Thailand close to Cambodia. White sands, clear water, waterfalls, forests of coconut trees. This is the most beautiful undeveloped island we have explored in Thailand.
Koh Kood Island (Ko Kut) although it is the fourth largest island in Thailand, it is not known to many tourists. The island of Koh Kood is located in Trat province and is one of about 52 islands, most of them uninhabited and the most famous of which are Koh Chang (the third largest island in Thailand), Koh Mak, and of course Koh Kood.
Koh Kood is the southernmost island of this group of islands and is right on the sea border separating Thailand and Cambodia.
Koh Kood is the fourth largest island in Thailand and the second largest in the Koh Chang archipelago. But despite its size, the island is sparsely populated with around 2,000 permanent residents.
Similar to Koh Chang, the island's terrain is very mountainous and covered in jungle. One of Koh Kood’s prominent features is the Klong Chao waterfall, and while the waterfall's height is nothing spectacular waterfall descends into a massive plunge pool surrounded by lush green jungle, making it a very pretty setting.
The waters surrounding the island are crystal clear, with some vibrant coral reefs just off the beaches along the West coast. While on the subject of beaches, Koh Kood plays host to some amazing white sand beaches found along the western and southern coasts.
The biggest place on the island is the fishing village of Ao Salat, in the Northeast. If you can, it’s definitely worth the visit to experience local life and to witness the daily fresh catch of seafood being landed on the pier.
In the past, Koh Kood was mainly visited by tour groups, but the last few years have seen an increase in independent travelers reaching the island. Despite this, public transport is non-existent on the island. You will either need to hire a Songthaew or rent a motorbike to get around and explore the island, which although some hassle, you will be rewarded with some stunning views and lovely beaches.
A lot of the resorts on the island are high-end developments aimed toward tour package groups, but more accommodation is appearing on the island to suit all types of travelers with different budgets.
Klong Chao is the main tourist area in Koh Kood, this is where you will find a range of varying accommodations. The majority of the island's restaurants, bars, and touristy shops are also situated in the Klong Chao area. If you’re wanting nightlife, this isn’t the place to be, only a few bars stay open late, and usually, you won’t have much company.
Koh Kood is the place to come to relax on beautiful sandy beaches and swim in the turquoise waters.
Tourism at Koh Kood is affected by the seasons, during the rainy season, some of the accommodation and local amenities close. This is due to the very heavy and unrelenting rain the island receives. During our last visit at the start of October still, many resorts are closed or just opened, also the small boats operating between Koh Mak and Koh Chang all start mid-October or November. So be aware if you visited Koh Kood, and you plan to go Island hopping.
There is always a direct connection to the mainland with Koh Kood express and Boonsiri ferry.
In contrast, if you’re visiting during the high season around Christmas, New Year, and Songkran, reserving accommodation is highly recommended.
All the beaches on Koh Kood are public, even in front of the exclusive resorts of Khlong Chao Beach. I prefer to stroll along the waterline and enjoy a sunset gin and tonic from a beachfront resort.
There are three beautiful waterfalls on the island, including Khlong Chao waterfall, famous because of a visit by King Rama VI in 1911 that was interpreted as a stand for national identity in the face of European colonial expansion. Climb to the top tier for a soak in the natural plunge pool in the rocks
WHEN TO VISIT KOH KOOD?
Thailand is a relatively tropical and rainy country but the days of rain and the amounts of rain are not evenly distributed between the months of the year but are mainly concentrated in certain months.
Most of the rain on Koh Kood is from May until October. Therefore, this is the low season for Koh Kood and Ko Chang, and also some businesses are closed during this season - despite this, even in the less favorable seasons, you can find quite a few sunny days.
The appropriate season for Koh Chang (as well as the nearby islands Koh Kood and Koh Mak) is from the beginning of November to the beginning of May - and this is the best time to visit the islands!!
HOW TO GET TO KOH KOOD?
Koh Kood is one of the few remaining virgin islands in Thailand. An island where the tourism industry has not yet become mass and commercialized - a magical island with untouched nature, beaches with soft sand, crystal clear waters, and a peaceful and calm atmosphere which is hard to find on other islands.
Koh Kood Island is located in Trat Province, about 350 km from Bangkok.
The island is about 40 km from the land, on the sea border between Thailand and Cambodia. To experience it yourself and not just look at the pictures - of course, you have to get there physically.
As in most Thai islands, there is no airport on the island itself, but on the land (in Trat province) - About 30 km from Laem Sok Pier is the main pier from which you sail to Koh Kood.
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Options To Get To Koh Kood:
• Flight (to Trat) + shuttle (to the pier) + cruise
• Drive (to the city of Trat and from there to the pier or directly to the pier) + ferry
• Ferry from Koh Chang or Koh Mak to Koh Kood ( Only from October from Koh Mak or from Koh Chang in November )
For those who are interested, you can also reach Koh Kood directly from Bangkok. You can order a travel ticket from Bangkok to Trat that includes the cruise from Trat to Koh Kood + a taxi from the port where you will get off in Koh Kood to the hotel entrance. Koh Kood express and Boonsiri ferry are offering those transfers.
We booked the transfer from Pattaya to Koh Mak with Trat Ferries and we the transfer between Koh Mak and Koh Kood and back to Koh Chang we booked directly with Koh Kood Express I don't know how fast email contact is with Koh Kood express as we booked it with the Thai messenger app similar then Whatsapp, the number for Line ID is wiexpress
HOW TO GET AROUND KOH KOOD?
The best way to get around the island is by renting a scooter for about 200 Bath a day as taxis are much more expensive than on the mainland. A Simple transfer for 20 minute drive will cost you about 400 Bath.
Klong Chao Beach is the main beach of Koh Kood.
This is the most popular and populated beach among the other beaches of Koh Kood. Here you will find restaurants, cafes, shops, and even an ATM - but you will not find souvenir shops, tattoos, tailors, and the like, as you will find on all the tourist beaches on other islands.
Klong Chao beach is excellent - stretches for about 600 meters, with soft white sand that laps into crystal clear sea water and turquoise shades - simply a little piece of paradise, and no wonder it has become a popular beach over the years.
Klong Chao Beach has a wide variety of the finest resorts on the island located right on the beach. You will find hostels and homestays located in the back of the beach and along the banks of the river that flows to the beach on the northern side.
Ao Tapao Beach South of Klong Mad Beach stretches the longest stretch of beach in Koh Kood, about 1 kilometer long - Ao Tapao Beach.
Ao Tapao beach is undoubtedly one of the prettiest beaches on Koh Kood - a long and wide strip of beach with soft and pleasant sand and clear sea water in many shades of turquoise.
The wide beach is decorated along its entire length with rich vegetation - various palms, coconuts, and other trees that provide shade and great beauty.
There are 5 resorts scattered along this long beach - 2 old resorts and 3 new resorts have been added to them in recent years.
Right on the beach, you will not find luxury resorts but mid-range resorts. At the back of the beach (not really on the beach), you will find several resorts and homestays.
Along the road stretching along the back of the beach are several restaurants (including pizza, pancakes, and more), cafes, simple shops, and also a rather rare commodity in Koh Kood - a small bank with one of the few ATMs on the island.
Bang Bao Beach South of Klong Chao Beach is Bang Bao Bay.
Bang Bao beach is one of the most popular Koh Kood beaches. There is the possibility of good snorkeling right close to the beach. Here you will find several mid-range resorts.
A small disadvantage of Bang Bao beach is that at high tide, only a narrow strip of the beach remains in some of the bay - but the resorts in the area prepared large areas for sitting near the water line at high tide.
Even if you are not staying at one of the resorts on Bang Bao beach - I recommend stopping by for an hour or two, enjoying food or drink on the beach along with the pleasant atmosphere and the spectacular view of the bay.
Ao Takhian Beach is located southwest of Koh Kood. You will need to take the road heading towards the south of the island where you will eventually reach a fork in the road, left towards Khlong Hin Beach, and right towards Ao Takhian Beach. The small route on the right leads you past the two resorts; Charm’s House, and Pa Hin Sai before taking you onto the beach. Ao Takhain has some rocks scattered around the sand, however still perfect for swimming.
Khlong Hin Beach is a fairly small beach located midway between Ao Takhian Beach and Ao Phrao Beach on the southwest of Koh Kood. This small bay has just a couple of rustic bungalow-type accommodations. Apart from this accommodation, you will not find any other restaurants around here. It is worth noting that during low tide the water tends to recede a fair way out, so consider what time of the day you visit.
Ao Phrao Beach is the southernmost beach on Koh Kood’s west coast, beyond this the island is a largely inaccessible jungle and rocky shores. Ao Phrao Beach has a wide white sandy beach, and with only four small guesthouses here it feels totally secluded from the tourist hub. The northern end of the beach, along the canal, has a small fishing village where you can find some restaurants. To get to Ao Phrao Beach you will need to take the main road to the far south, then continue around to the east towards Ao Yai Beach on the east coast.
Khlong Chao Waterfall is the most popular waterfall in Koh Kood. This waterfall has a deep freshwater pool with running water all year round, so is always great for a swim. Even in the middle of the day, the Khlong Chao Waterfall doesn’t get too crowded. You can easily get to Khlong Chao Waterfall by motorbike or songtaew, followed by a fairly easy 15-minute walk through the jungle to the waterfall itself.
Khlong Yai Kee Waterfall is the less popular option. The stream is quite dry for most of the year and is only worth visiting closer to the wet season. I suggest asking the locals if Khlong Yai Kee waterfall actually has any water before you go, because in the dry season, you may find little more than a collection of stones.
Huang Nam Kaew Waterfall was formerly known as the secret waterfall. The access track has recently been upgraded and is now much more accessible. There is also a small guesthouse run by locals right by the waterfall.
Koh Kood Resorts
There is a wide range of resorts and hotels on Koh Kood from rustic fan bungalows to fully equipped luxury resorts.
Most of the beachfront accommodation falls in the Mid to Luxury range of hotels. For proper budget bungalows, you will need to head back off the coast and slightly into the island’s interior.
Koh Kood Paradise beach resort
located next to the pier of Ao Ta Pao Bay. The boutique resort, owned by a local Thai family renowned for the perfect hideaway on Koh Kood, later became a private villa resort with the longest beachfront on Koh Kood with pristine clear water and white sandy beach, yet preserved its natural beauty decades ago. Book Now
They have a crazy orange pool like the colors of the sunset and the sunsets really pop there.
The beachfront room had also a coffee machine which I really loved as sometimes you get so bored of the Nescafe instant coffee you really appreciate a good coffee in the room.
We really recommended this resort as it had some of the best Thai food you can find on the Island with a real Thai taste.
Boutique resort located right on the most beautiful coral bay of Koh Kood.
4 Luxury bungalows settled in a beautiful tropical garden, just a quiet area full of birds and giant multicolored butterflies. All bungalows are decorated in different styles like Japan, China, Thailand, and China which makes it a very colorful setting.
All bungalows are equipped with modern comfort to feel at home, you have a lounge area on the terrace and a private garden. Breakfast is included, and the restaurant area will welcome you with its magnificent view over the ocean and garden. There, you will have your breakfast prepared. It's just a few steps to the ocean from your bungalow, where a beautiful terrace waiting for you. In the evening you can order your dinner here or lay back during sunset with a cocktail. Book Now
One of the top-rated hotels on Koh Kood, spread out across 6 hectares of tropical land fronting the Gulf of Thailand, making it feel quite secluded while still being convenient. It is located just north of Ao Tapao Beach, mid-way along Koh Kood’s west coast. The resort is located a short walk from the Nam Leuk Ferry Pier, and 4 km from Huang Nam Keaw Waterfall. The villas offer minibars, open-air bathrooms, and terraces with ocean views. Book Now
The Beach Natural resort
The resort has a series of 27 Balinese-style villas with thatched roofs, wooden furnishings, and balconies. The villas also include free Wi-Fi, flat screens and minifridges, and tea and coffee machines. Some villas have bay views, while hillside villas have garden areas with sun loungers and hot tubs. Upgraded villas offer whirlpool tubs on the waterfront.
The Beach Natural Resort also offers a restaurant with views of the bay, a beach bar, a Thai massage, a BBQ area, and a playground. Minimum-stay rules apply. Book Now
Siam Beach resort
From simple fan huts on the beach to luxury aircon bungalows, and since our last visit we saw they are just where building beautiful new beach bungalows so its definitely a place to consider as the beach is very beautiful here Book Now
To The Sea Resort
Nice hotel right on the beach of Bang Bao.Very quiet. Best for relaxing. Beautiful beach, the water is very clean and clear