This guest post has been contributed by my friend, Ravi Rana, a photography and solo travel enthusiast. You can follow his travels on Instagram at @theobservatory1
Off the Cambodian border, to the south-west of Bangkok, lie 3 relatively remote islands of Thailand: Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kood (also called Koh Kut). Of them, Koh Chang is as busy as a remote island can get, while Koh Kood is the kind of quiet that you rarely experience anymore.
Where in Thailand is Koh Kood?
The isolation lends itself well to the Crusoe-esque mood of Koh Kood, which is almost 400 km south of Bangkok. There is only one way to get to this Thai island: by boat. You will travel 4-5 hours by road from Bangkok to Laem Sok, and another 2 hours by ferry from Laem Sok to Koh Kood. More details at the end of the post.
Why should I visit the island of Koh Kood?
The island of Koh Kood is large and rambling, with thick vegetation. Most of its white sandy beaches face west. The eastern face of the island is more or less unexplored and untouched.
Traveling around the island you are taken back through time to an era sans 7Elevens – are you even in Thailand anymore? One moody ATM stands sentinel to your material world and there is very little by way of entertainment. This is probably what the other now-famous islands of Thailand were like 15-20 years ago.
What do I do in Koh Kood?
A paved road connects the top of the island (Ao Salat) to the gorgeous village of Ao Yai in the South East. The ride is peppered with stunning virgin beaches and small home style restaurants. There are no restaurant chains here so go ahead and indulge in authentically local food that hasn’t been manipulated to suit other palates. For those who want to explore the underwater world, there are a few dive shops that offer courses and trips.
There are 2 waterfalls on the islands. Klong Chao is the more interesting of the two with a big pool of water to paddle about in.
The airport comes up in the next 2 years, so I suggest you get there before others do.
I would highly recommend you go there with no plans. Find your private beach and frolick in its warm blue waters. If you are the adventurous type, rent a bike (approx 150 THB a day, or USD 4) and explore this stunning island. At night there are a few bars and cafes one can visit. I would recommend Tawan Eco bar if you like live music.
Where should I eat in Koh Kood?
Pizza & Pasta Restaurant aka The Real Italian Restaurant: Run by an Italian by the name of Alex. Great place to eat if you want a break from the local fare.
Noochy in Ao Yai village for stunning local Thai food.
Castaway Pub for drinks
The Fisherman Hut for local Thai food and drinks.
View Point Cafe for a strong cuppa.
Where should I stay in Koh Kood?
Koh Kood has great options to suit all budgets. I stayed at A Na Lay Resort (doubles start at USD 40).
How do I get to Koh Kood?
Barring the private speed boat services, the only economical option is the ferry that departs from Laem Sok pier in the Trat province (south of Thailand). Laem Sok ferry point is approximately 4-5 hours by road from Bangkok, and can be accessed by bus or car. From Laem Sok, the ferry to Koh Kood departs twice a day, takes about 2 hours and costs approximately USD 10. The total time of the entire journey (Bangkok to Koh Kood) was approximately 8 hours. I booked my passage to Koh Kood via www.boonsiriferry.com. This fare (approximately 1700 THB or USD 50 for a return trip) included the bus ride from Bangkok to Laem Sok, catamaran from Laem Sok to Koh Kood (at Ao Salat, a docking point in the north of the island) and shared pickup and drop to/from the hotel.
You can also choose to fly from Bangkok to Trat, take a taxi from Trat airport to Laem Sok ferry point, and embark upon the ferry to Koh Kood. Bangkok Airways flies its twin propeller aircraft the ATR 72 into the scenic Trat airport.