Koh Kood Island
'A Remote Island Getaway'

Koh Kood Island (also known as Koh Kut Island) would have to be one of Thailand's best remote island getaway's.  While Thailand attracts around 23 million visitors to its shores annually, this island still remains one of the country's best kept secrets.  This island is actually located approximately 60 kilometres offshore from Trat, in eastern Thailand within the Gulf of Thailand.  It is one of about 52 islands which form part of an offshore archipelago and includes Koh Chang Island, and Koh Mak Island.

BACKGROUND

This remote island has been a tropical refuge to both Thai and Cambodian people for over a hundred years, especially during the period when the French were seeking to extend their territorial influence during the Indochina war around 1904.

Today the island is becoming well known due to its tropical rainforests, coconut and rubber tree plantations and picturesque streams and waterfalls (including the famous Klong Chao Waterfall which was viewed by King Rama VI in 1911).  Being a Thai island, it also has pristine white sandy beaches (including Klong Chao and Bang Bao) and crystal clear waters from the Gulf of Thailand.

While Koh Kood Island is said to be Thailand's fourth largest island its remoteness from the mainland and lack of western style development has meant that this island has managed to maintain its original Thai character.  Indeed, the island feels like a deserted tropical paradise but with the comfort and convenience of 21st century living.  However, there are no ATMs or banks on the island or 7-Eleven stores so make sure you bring plenty of cash with you.

LOCAL POPULATION

The local population of Kood Island which is less than 2,000 people derive their income from their coconut plantations and rubber trees especially within the Khlong Mad Village.  There is also a local fishing industry on the island and in recent years tourism has also added to the local economy.  The largest village which is called Ao Yai now  includes a police station, shops, a hospital and school.

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES

Their is a mixture of accommodation on Koh Kood Island ranging from budget type hotels and bungalows to the more expensive resort style villa's. However, the island is powered primarily by generators and some solar power so there is not a lot of electricity available. Hence, the atmosphere on Kood Island is somewhat relaxed.

The restaurants on the Island are by no means fancy but they still serve all the delicious Thai dishes that you would expect to find on the mainland. However, there is virtually no nightlife available on this island so you need to create your own fun once the evening comes.

ACTIVITIES

Swimming, fishing, diving, and snorkeling within the surrounding turquoise colored waters or diving among the coral reefs are among the more popular activities as is a dip at the 3 level Klong Chao Waterfall and pond. 

There are a couple of good dive shops on the island so they will have all the gear you will need if you want to view the wonderful marine life.

The island has a number of dirt and paved roads and you can hire a scooter (for approximately 300 baht per day) if you don't wish to walk everywhere. You can also visit some of the sleepy fishing villages located along the coast of the island or the small Buddhist temple which is serviced by several of the local monks.

GETTING THERE

The best way to travel to Koh Kood Island within eastern Thailand is by taking a public ferry, or private speedboat from Laem Ngop Pier in Trat. The island is about 60 kilometres from Trat.  You can travel on a minibus from Trat airport to the pier (approximately 18 kilometres and costs about 450 baht per person) and then transfer to a ferry service (which operate every 30 minutes during peak times) which costs 120 baht for the round trip.

From Bangkok, the best way to Trat is by plane, bus or taxi. The one runway Trat airport with its open-air terminal was built back in 2002 by Bangkok Airways. This company usually has around 4 flights a day to Trat with the flight time being around 45 minutes. The first flight is at 9 AM and the last is at 5.30 PM.

If traveling by bus bus, air-conditioned buses depart from the Bangkok Ekkamai Terminal. Buses almost every hour between the hours of 7 AM and 5.30 PM. The journey to Trat takes approximately six hours.

Return buses travel during similar times except there are night time buses which depart Trat at 11 PM and 11.30 PM. These buses arrive at Bangkok around 5 AM and 6 AM the following morning.

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