In a nutshell
The small island of Koh Kradan looks exactly like that paradise piece of eaeth that comes to our mind when we think about the beauty of the southern islands in the Andaman Sea.
Why go to Koh Kradan
Attr: Alessandro Caproni (cc by)
Located 10 km off the Trang coast and part of the Hat Cha Mai marine national park, it features one of the most spectacular beaches in Southeast Asia, constantly listed as a not-to-be-missed destination for beach lovers in all the specialized magazines. The combination of the white soft sand and the wonderful colour of the sea is simply as good as it can get, and the coconut palm trees on the backdrop add that final touch to make the picture-perfect scenery even more ideal. Add to all this the absence of roads, traffic, bars and stores and you’ll have all the ingredients needed for a holiday in a paradise.
Top class snorkelling and diving spots are reachable via short rides on long tail boats, but swimming just off the shore will give you the chance to spot some fishes and corals, too. All this beauty comes with a price – Koh Kradan is indeed quite expensive like most of the neighbouring islands, but a few affordable places still give backpackers and solo travellers looking for a quiet getaway a chance to travel there without too much impact on their budget.
When to go to Koh Kradan
Koh Kradan is a seasonal destination, with most of the resorts open only during the high season between November and April when reservation is highly recommended (and absolutely necessary during Christmas holidays). During the rainy season only few places will offer you a room to stay and connection with the mainland is more problematic.
Where to stay in Koh Kradan
Out of the 10 resorts available on Koh Kradan, 8 are located on the main (eastern) Paradise Beach. The majority of them aim at mid-range travellers offering wooden bungalows right on the sand. The most affordable rooms in this category come with a fan, private bathroom and cold water at the price of roughly THB1000, but be ready to spend more than double than that for a beachfront air-con room with hot water.
A couple of high-end resorts with a swimming pool offer wonderfully designed bungalows and better facilities with prices starting from THB4000.
Travellers on a shoestring budget can have a look at the natural park centre where tents are available for rent for THB300 or get a fan room in a concrete block for THB600.
Backpackers will feel at home at the southern Ao Nieang beach, where Ao Nieang Resort features basic huts with nothing more than a thin mattress and a fan with shared bathrooms for THB400.
Where to eat on Koh Kradan
All the resorts have attached restaurants where you will enjoy decent meals with a fantastic view. Like almost on every island we’ve been to, prices seem excessive at the first sight but the good quality of food, prime location and the fact that everything has to be transported from the main land somewhat justify them.
The good news is that if you want to save some money, or just to have a simple and tasty Thai dish for lunch head to the national park visitor centre where fried rice, pad kaprao (stir-fried pork or chicken with rice) and few other choices are served at just THB50/THB80.
Western food is largely available at all the restaurants. Expect to find delicious pizzas and pastas since many of the managers and owners of the resorts are Italians.
How to get around Koh Kradan
Koh Kradan is only 2,5 square km and has no paved roads so there’s not really a lot where you can go.
During low tide the only place you can swim is the southern part of Paradise Beach. A 10-minute walk in the other direction lets you see how much the landscape changes without the sea.
A short trail starting close to the national park centre will take you to the Sunset Beach on the western side of the island. The beach itself is not as good as the main one, but as you already guessed from the name it’s a spectacular spot to watch the sunset with your loved one.
For a snorkelling day trip, long tail boats are available for rent for THB1500 and they will take you to some of the nearby islands.
How to get to and from Koh Kradan
There are direct ferries to Kh Kradang from Hat Yao pier in Trang with Tigerline Ferry (THB1000, 1 hour). The boat departs daily at 12.30pm. Ift is also possible to buy a combination ticket from Trang which will include the transfer to Hat Yao (THB1200).
Another option is to book a combined ticket with a travel agency in Trang to bring you to Kuan Thung Khu Pier and then to the island in a shared long tail boat (THB450).
If you’re a big group or if you want a private transfer head to the pier by yourself (a minivan will ask you THB1000) and get a boat that can accommodate up to 10 passengers for THB2000. The trip will take roughly an hour.
In low season your only option is to get Kuan Thung Khu Pier and bargain for private transportation, hoping that the sea condition will make the transfer possible.
In high season Koh Kradan is daily connected by several speedboats to many other islands. Ask at your resort for schedules and prices if your next destination is Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Krabi, Koh Lipe, Koh Muk, Koh Libong or Koh Ngai.
For more information on how to reach Trang check our dedicated article.
Is Koh Kradan a safe place to visit?
Koh Kradan is an extremely safe place to visit and your common sense will be more than enough to keep you away from any problem. Just keep in mind that there is neither hospital nor pharmacy on the island, so bring your first-aid kit with you and for anything serious be ready to get back to Trang.
Bring enough cash for the whole holiday since there are no ATMs on the island. In case of emergency it’s possible to get money at some of the resorts from your credit card but the fees are really ripping off.