The Emerald Cave is a spectacular natural attraction located on the tropical Koh Muk (also known as Pearl Island) in the Trang province of southern Thailand. Koh Muk is a pristine island located within the southern Andaman Sea (about 1 hour south of Lanta Island) and is one of a seemingly endless number of islands that exist off the Thai coast within the provinces of Trang and Krabi.
Koh Muk, like many other Thai islands including Koh Kradan, Koh Hong, and Koh Lanta Yai has become a popular destination due to its lovely beaches including Hat Farang Beach on the west coast, and Ao Kham Beach on the east coast. In addition, this site has a number of beautiful coral reefs which provide an abundance of excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities along with the usual beach activities such as swimming and boating.
The island also features the traditional Chao Lay Village which is situated on the east coast near Ao Kham and Garden Beach. The Muslim population that live here derive their income from fishing and growing rubber and coconut trees
However, Koh Muk has one very special feature which draws large numbers of visitors each day and that is the Emerald Cave. This feature which is located on the west coast of Koh Muk (which is also where the majority of the tourist resorts are situated) is actually divided into two sections.
The first section is the actual cave (which gets its name from the emerald colored water which constantly flows through it-see image below), while the second section is a large open area which includes a small sandy beach. Both of these sections can only be accessed at low tide via Hat Farang Beach. During the high tide the cave or narrow passage way is totally submerged.
To enter the first section of the Emerald Cave visitors must swim or canoe through the narrow and darkened 70 metre long section, although life jackets are provided and there is a rope to hold onto as you paddle along in single file.
Once you pass through this section the area opens up to resembles a large room with a lovely sandy beach floor. There is no roof over the area and the walls which surround the 40 metre long site are but sheer limestone cliffs which are densely vegetated with small plants and trees.
Traveling through the cave can feel a little daunting, although this is a very popular attraction and there are always plenty of other visitors here who are able to assist you on your journey.
Once inside the large area you can simply walk up onto the small sandy beach and take a deep breath and enjoy the moment as you contemplate your achievement on reaching this site. This is a great area just to lay back and share the experience with friends, family or other guests who have also just arrived.
DIVING AND KAYAKING
Besides this attraction, as noted Koh Muk is a popular destination for divers and snorkelers who come to take advantage of the coral reefs off Hat Farang Beach (see image below) while other dive sites further out such as Hin Nok (where the sunken WW2 Japanese destroyer is situated) cater to the more experienced divers.
It is along Hat Farang Beach where you can also hire kayaks and paddle out and around the island. Motorbikes and mountain bikes can also be hired for those wishing to explore more of the island.
ACCOMMODATION AND SHOPPING
There are a number of resorts on Koh Muk which offer visitors a variety of accommodation and dining options including beach side bungalows and chalets.
The Charlie Beach Resort (see image below) for example is a simple resort which offers natural looking bungalows and beach front dining options at the Charlie Restaurant. Like most resorts other services such as Thai massage are also available for around 350 Thai baht per hour while yoga is also available on the island.
There are a number of restaurants, bars, shops and convenience stores also located on Koh Muk and most of these are located at the main village called Farmville, although most of the resorts also have their own little stores as well.
best way to travel to Koh Muk is by boat from the Kuan Tungku Pier at Trang . Boats including ferries leave for
Koh Muk between 8.30 AM and 11 AM each day. The boat journey takes around 45 minutes.
The best way to travel to Trang province in southern Thailand is by plane train, or bus. Trang airport is located approximately 7 kilometres from the town centre and flights occur daily from Bangkok. A number of airlines fly to Trang including Nok Air and Air Asia.
Trains run between Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station and the Kan Tang Station inTrang via Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
Daily bus services depart from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal on a regular basis and the journey takes approximately 13 hours.