Koh Kood (AKA Koh Kut) is located 40 kilometres off the mainland of Thailand just to the north of the maritime border with Cambodia. It’s the second largest island in Trat Province after Koh Chang and the 5th largest in Thailand. Approximately 330 kilometres southeast from Bangkok, Koh Kood covers 105 square kilometres.
The island is one of the most beautiful in Thailand and perhaps the least developed large island in the country. If you want to know what islands such as Samui or Phuket were like when tourism was just beginning in the 1970s and 80s, a visit to Koh Kood will take you back to those times.
Koh Kood’s pristine white sand beaches which skirt the west and south of the island are home to resorts, hotels and bungalows; just not too many. The centre of the island is a mix of impenetrable jungle and rubber plantation. There are also waterfalls, the most famous of which is Klong Chao waterfall in the centre of the west coast. Koh Kood’s resorts run the gamut from the usual beach bungalows up to super expensive five star boutique resorts.
The beaches are pure white and the ocean waters a clear emerald green, similar to that in the Andaman Islands. The beaches run down the west of the island. There aren’t any on the inaccessible east coast. In the centre of this coastline Klong Chao beach; is a 500 metre long swathe of white sand dotted with a few boutique resorts. Close by is a small community and easily accessible shops and restaurants.
A little further south, Ngamkho Beach and Bang Bao Beach both offer a range of resorts and bungalows, but if you want to avoid eating in resorts you might find a scooter is required to get out and about.
Bang Bao beach is one of the most scenic on the island, a picture perfect horseshoe shaped bay with some good snorkelling off the beach. Whereas the longest beach on the island is the 1Km long Ao Prao beach on the south coast.
Heading north from Klong Chao, the beaches are quite isolated with access being along dirt tracks. The beach at Ao Noi is close to a temple and local community which is also where the island’s administrative centre and hospital are located, along with a bank and an ATM machine.
Situated in the northeast part of the island, Aow Salad Village (Baan Aow Salad) in the Aow Salad (Salad Bay) is the island’s biggest fishing village where fresh seafood is available for sale everyday.
Than Sanuk Waterfall, once visited by King Rama VI, is one of the most gorgeous attractions found on the island. The waterfall has three tiers, and great for bathing as the upper two are running streams and the lower one is a large pond.
Getting to Koh Kood has become easier as more boat services have come online and older slow boats are replaced with more modern vessels. Boats leave from Laem Sok Pier, about 30 minutes drive south of Trat town and 45 minutes drive form the ferry piers for boats to Koh Chang.
If you are coming from Koh Chang, speedboats run by Bangbao Boat and Kai Bae Hut run daily services via Koh Mak.
There are several ways to get to the island. Buying a package tour (transfer, food and accommodation) offered by hotels and resorts may be the most convenient option. Transport is provided from the pier on Koh Kood to your accommodation.
Speed boats leave from Koh Chang at Bang Bao pier and from the mainland piers at Lam Ngob and Navaree (Lam Sok). The boat trip takes about one hour to one and a half hours. Boat schedules vary depending on each operator and the season, so it’s best to first check with the resort you’re staying before traveling.
Getting around the island usually involves songtaew trips or relying on a resort’s transfer service. Motorbike rental is also available and is recommended only for short journey. Getting to the eastern side of Koh Kood can be a bit of a mission, so hiring a skilled (local) ‘songtaew’ driver to take you there is the most sensible option.
On Koh Kood there’s a sense of being a world away from civilisation. If the sun isn’t shining there isn’t much to keep you occupied; it’s for nature lovers, rather than those who need a wide choice of shops, bars and restaurants.