In October, we had a public holiday which made for an easy long 4-day weekend. So I took the opportunity to do a quick get-away to a new place I’ve never been before. In fact, it’s an island that I’ve heard very little about, and only know 1 person that has ever been there. It’s called Koh Kood, and it’s in the northeastern part of the Gulf of Thailand.
To get there, I took a short 45-minute flight from Bangkok to Trat. The Trat airport is a tiny airport in the middle of nowhere, with a runway cut out of vast expanses of palm and rubber tree plantations. The airport buildings are all open-air structures, so it’s about as far from feeling like an “airport” as you can get.
From there, I took a 45-minute taxi ride to a ferry dock, and then took a 90-minute ferry to Koh Kood island. At the island dock, the hotel that I was staying at had a driver meet me and others that were staying there. We all climbed in the back of a pickup truck and headed off for a 20-minute ride along a narrow, palm tree-lined concrete road to get to the hotel.
Koh Kood is a pretty undeveloped island. There is a mix of a few high-end, very expensive and remote resorts for well-to-do clientele that want to get away from the typical tourist beaches and crowds, along with other cheap but clean bungalows and guesthouses for people who want a cheap and quiet getaway or just need a place to sleep while doing diving during the days.
Other than a few dive shops and small roadside restaurants, there isn’t much of any kind of central “town” on the island, no bars or clubs, no ATM machines, and shockingly… no 7-Eleven stores or Starbucks! The vast majority of the island is covered by jungles of palm, coconut and rubber trees, with just a small road running along part of the island.
The hotel I stayed at was nice place, but since it was the off season the price was very reasonable. It has a building of about 25 large rooms with balconies all looking out over a palm-lined sandy beach. It also has about a dozen or so standalone villas with their own individual plunge pools and sort-of outdoor bathrooms – the tubs/showers are in round concrete tube-like structures so they’re open to the sky but still private. Looking down on the villas from my balcony, they look kind of like the little houses in a Dr. Seuss book – kind of quirky oblong-shaped with funky concrete tubes sticking out from them.
The hotel is literally in the middle of nowhere, with a small beach in front of it and another large beach to the side of it with no other hotels, houses or anything else around it. Needless to say, even if the hotel was fully booked, you’d have plenty of beach space to call your own. Two of the days that I walked along the beach and hung out there, I literally had the entire .5km beach to myself.
One of the days, I rented a scooter from the hotel and rode around the island. At the end of the road on one end of the island is a small fishing village. Everyone there lives in small homes on stilts in the water, with boardwalks between the homes and fishing boats tied up next to them. I’ve been to other fishing villages around Thailand before, but it’s always interesting to see how they live.
In March, we had another long weekend and I went back to Koh Kood again for 3 days. It was just as beautiful and quiet as when I was there in October. I spent most of the 3 days riding on my scooter, exploring different dirt roads through coconut plantations that lead down to beaches around the island. Nearly every beach I went to, I was either the only one on it, or at most maybe 5 or so other people.
I can see Koh Kood being my getaway place every few months. At least until it gets more discovered and overrun with tourists…