Millions of tourists flock to Thailand’s islands each year seeking a tiny slice of paradise. While many are drawn by famous islands like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, more and more travellers seek out islands in Thailand that draw lesser crowds and retain their unspoiled beauty. During our last visit to Thailand, we found one of these paradise islands — we found Koh Kood (Koh Kut).
Located off the eastern coast of Thailand, close to the Cambodian border, a 6 hour bus ride and 1-2 hour boat ride away from Bangkok, Koh Kood is home to lush coconut trees, white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Koh Kood is Thailand’s fourth largest island with a population of merely 2000 people. During our visit, we saw very few other tourists and even the best beaches on Koh Kood were nearly deserted.
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Koh Kood (Koh Kut) definitely has what it takes to be called the best island in Thailand (It’s definitely on top of our list). Not just one but at least three stunning beaches make Koh Kood a top island destination in Thailand. Most of the nice beaches lie on the island’s western coast and we took our time to explore most of them (apart from the northwest ones which are private beaches).
Here are the best beaches on Koh Kood:
Bang Bao Bay
Bang Bao Bay is possibly number one among the best beaches on Koh Kood. Located in the southwest of Koh Kood, Bang Bao Bay is a postcard-worthy paradise. With its turquoise blue waters and fine white sand, it’s hard not to fall in love with this beach. The water was the calmest we saw on the island and the seafloor is smooth – ideal for swimming. Adding to the idyllic setting are rows of coconut trees which cast beautiful shadows upon the water.
A series of wooden docks mark the different resorts at Bang Bao Bay. We stayed at Koh Kood Resort, located at the far end of the bay. Here is our review of Koh Kood Resort. Other resorts located in Bang Bao Bay include: The Beach Natural Resort , To The Sea Resort, Siam Beach Resort and Sand and Sea.
Ao Noi Beach
A lovely beach in an isolated spot, Ao Noi Beach is where art meets nature. With its carefully placed wooden piers and crystal clear waters, the scene is reminiscent of The Maldives. There are so many picture-perfect spots here. While it would seem that the beach is private with its sole resort, Ao Noi Resort — it isn’t. The beach accessible to the public from either the main road or by kayak from Khlong Chao Beach.
Ao Noi Beach is one of our favourite beaches in Koh Kood. The beach was so serene and the open air water bungalow was perfect for reading a book or writing. If you plan to spend a whole day at Ao Noi Beach, the food at the resort restaurant was good and reasonably priced.
Khlong Chao Beach
The centrally located Khlong Chao Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Koh Kood and certainly one of the best. Don’t worry, it’s not crowded either. With almost 800m stretch of powder white sand, it’s not difficult to find a good spot on this beach. There are also plenty of trees to provide natural shade.
The sunsets are great at Khlong Chao Beach. Some of the best sunset spots include along the beach, at the beachfront bar of High Season Resort (they offer 2 for 1 drinks from late afternoon to night time), Good View Café located uphill at the southern headland or View Point Café located at Khlong Chao river (go there early as it is quite a small and very popular place).
While it is home to some of Koh Kood’s high end resorts such as Peter Pan Resort, High Season Resort, Wendy The Pool Resort and Tinkerbell Privacy Resort, the beach area remains free for public use and access from the main road is very easy in case you choose to stay in the budget-friendly accommodations that aren’t on the beachfront.
If you plan to stay on Koh Kood for a while, Khlong Chao is a great base to explore the island. We stayed at Mark House Bungalow and Khlong Chao Garden View during separate visits. Plenty of cheap restaurants and shops are also located around Khlong Chao Village. The Khlong Chao Waterfall is also just a few minutes’ walk from this beach.
These are not among our top picks for the best beaches on Koh Kood but may be worth a visit:
Khlong Hin Beach
With its long stretch of white sand, Khlong Hin Beach is favored by Russian tourists. From afar, the beach was really beautiful. While it wasn’t particularly untidy, we saw a few debris (left by strong tides) on the shore (however, I read somewhere the beach is usually cleaned by the resorts). Two resorts separated by an estuary share this beach: Khlong Hin Beach Resort and Montana Hut.
Ao Tapao Beach
Located further north of Ao Noi Beach is Ao Tapao Beach, shared by Koh Kood Cabana, Medee Resort and Sea Far Resort. While the resorts offered great accommodation options — modern bungalows and unique recycled shipping containers, I wasn’t a huge fan of the beach. We went there during high tide and a huge stretch of beach had disappeared (and there was some trash lying around).
Sai Daeng Beach
In between Khlong Chao Beach and Bang Bao Bay is the golden sand beach, Sai Daeng Beach. This beach was a happy accident as we were really en route to Bang Bao Bay.
Upon our arrival at Sae Daeng Beach, tourists throwing bread into the water immediately caught our eyes. What were they doing? We looked below the wooden pier and saw what the bread was for fish! There were so many of them and the water was so clear that you don’t even need to get wet to see them. Sai Daeng Beach is quite secluded and mainly used by guests of A-Na-Lay Resort and Horizon Resort.
Ao Ta Khian Beach
We remember this beach as the beach where you can find Cham’s House. Why? The resort building was enormous and coming from the back road, it really dominated the whole scene. We didn’t really want to hang around though as we saw plenty of debris (plastic and styrofoam) on the beach and it didn’t seem like any of the expensive resorts were interested in cleaning it up. It is a great beach though and hopefully it is usually cleaner than when we saw it.
Ao Jak Beach
We went along a jungle path from Khlong Hin Beach and saw what looked like an amazing beach lined with coconut trees. As we went closer, reality failed to meet our expectations. Ao Jak Beach was no beach paradise. Instead, we saw lots of rubbish on the shore. We quickly headed away from it.
Ao Phrao Beach
Ao Phrao Beach is located at the southernmost tip of Koh Kood. Since we were already disappointed with Ao Jak, we didn’t bother to go any further and find a way to get to Ao Phrao Beach. Apparently, Ao Phrao Beach and Ao Jak Beach used to be connected by a small path but this path hasn’t been maintained for years. Have you been to Ao Phra Beach? What was it like?
How to Get to Koh Kood
Getting to Trat from Bangkok: Air-conditioned buses depart frequently from the Morchit Bus Station (Northern) and Ekamai (Eastern) Bus Station in Bangkok (it takes 6 hours). Mini-vans to Trat are also available from the Victory Monument in Bangkok (5 hours).
Getting from Trat to Koh Kood: If you take the night bus or very early morning minibuses, you should make the connections for the free transport which waits at the Trat Bus Station. Leave much later and you will need to pay for your own transport to the pier (200-300 baht). There are two types of ferries (350 Baht for the slow ferry and 500 Baht for the fast one). We took the fast ferry because it left a couple of hours earlier (10.45 am) than the slow one.
Transfer to your hotel in Koh Kood is included in the ferry ticket. If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, ask to get dropped off at Khlong Chao Beach where there are many options for hotels.
Have you been to Koh Kood (Koh Kut)? What do you think are the best beaches on Koh Kood? Let us know.
Do you have plans to visit Koh Kood? Let us know.
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