Why do those who have already visited Koh Kood declare with fire burning in their eyes that they now know what a real paradise island looks like? Well, because Koh Kood is a real paradise island. Wanna snow-white sand beaches? They dot Koh Kood’s southern and western coasts. Looking for secluded bays? Graceful arcs of sand lure to spend a day soaking in a laidback, blissful island atmosphere. Dreaming of crystal-clear waters glittering with liquid silver under the sun? Their tender waves murmur sweet songs to slender palm trees bending over the sea. Lush jungles, endless marine vistas, gorgeous beaches galore on Koh Kood. There is little or no nightlife, true, so if you are after Phangan-like experience, Koh Kood is not your destination. But if you are longing for the ultimate beach experience, look no further. Koh Kood is a paradise island, and all that you are expected to do in a paradise like this is to relax and to enjoy. Relax and enjoy, then!
How to get from Bangkok to Koh Kood
The easiest and fastest way to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok is by van and ferry. Joint tickets are offered by a number of companies and the level of service is more or less the same. You can opt for a separate travel from Bangkok to Trat and from Trat to Koh Kood, but it will save you neither time nor money.
From Bangkok to Koh Kood by van and ferry
Boonsiri High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. offers direct transportation from their ticket office in Khao San Road area in Bangkok to Koh Kood. A joint ticket from Bangkok to Koh Kood includes a van ride from Bangkok to Trat, a ferry from Trat to Koh Kood and a taxi from Koh Kood pier to your hotel.
Note that opposite to larger car ferries linking the mainland and Koh Chang, Boonsiri high speed ferries do not take cars and vans on board. When travelling on a joint ticket from Bangkok to Koh Kood, you will have to take all your luggage from the van at Laem Sok and board the ferry to Koh Kood where you will be met at the pier and taxied to your hotel.
Joint tickets cost THB850, and the total travel time varies from six to 8 hours, depending not only on traffic between Bangkok and Trat, but on ferry route as well. Note that the first morning departure from Bangkok at 5.30am brings you to Laem Sok by 11am to catch the first Boonsiri ferry to the islands. This ferry first calls to Koh Kood and then to Koh Mak. The sea journey to Koh Kood lasts about 50 minutes; count to get to Koh Kood by noon.
Passengers leaving Bangkok by 8am van then board 2.30pm ferry at Laem Sok. This ferry first calls to Koh Mak and then goes to Koh Kood, what makes your sea journey to Koh Kood longer by half an hour. In this case you will reach Koh Kood by 4pm. In both cases it is a good idea to book your accommodation on Koh Kood in advance.
Tip: for a shorter travel time to Koh Kood from Bangkok opt for 5.30am van.
In Bangkok, the meeting point for Boonsiri vans is located in Tanee/Tani Road which runs parallel to Khao San Road and Soi Rambuttri. Note that some travellers report delays of departure of the vans due to passengers coming late – please plan your time accordingly and arrive to the meeting point at least some 15 minutes prior to departure.
From Bangkok to Trat and to Koh Kood
From Bangkok you can as well buy a van ticket to Trat and then a separate ferry ticket to Koh Kood. Trat is the nearest transfer point to Laem Sok, 22 km southeast of the city, from where ferries to Koh Kood depart.
There is van service from Morchit Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Trat Transport Station by T.T.T. company with tickets sold at THB300 and 8 departures throughout the day from 5am till 6.30pm (THB300). Vans take five hours to get to Trat where you will have to opt for a public songthaew going to Laem Sok Pier (THB50, one hour) or buy a ferry ticket with transfer to Laem Sok already included into the price (THB550), eg. that of Boonsiri.
Boonsiri picks up their passengers is Trat and transports them directly to the pier in Laem Sok to board the Koh Kood-bound ferry (50 min.). Separate tickets will not cost you less, but will take more time for sure.
Other islands to visit from Koh Kood
There is an inter-island ferry which connects the islands of the archipelago: Koh Kood, Koh Rayang, Koh Mak, Koh Kham, Koh Wai and Koh Chang. Tickets to the first three islands cost THB400 with travel time from 50 minutes to one hour and one hour and 10 minutes respectively; THB700 to Koh Wai (1½ hour) and THB900 to Koh Chang (two hours).
Once a day at 9am Boonsiri high speed ferry takes passengers from Koh Kood on its way to Koh Mak. The journey takes 50 minutes and tickets cost THB300.
There is no public transport on Koh Kood, so your choice of means of transport is limited to rented motorbikes or bicycles and taxis which tend to be rather pricy.
Motorbikes can be rented in many guesthouses and are nearly double as expensive as on the mainland (up to THB400 per day). While the main road going from the northern to the southern part of the island is sealed and generally in good condition, it is still very treacherous due to hilly terrain and sand which is often brought to the road with the rains. Be very, very cautious when riding a bike and think twice before renting one if you are not an experienced rider. Koh Kood is not the right place to learn how to ride a bike, we assure you.
Where to stay
Whichever beach you choose, you will not find really budget deals on Koh Kood. Even the cheapest affairs are offered at around THB1000 – and your home away from home is more likely to be away from the beach, too. The best backpacker options are normally found off Hat Khlong Chao some 5–15 minutes from the beach. Skip the resorts facing the sea in Hat Khlong Chao – they are rather overpriced – and for moderately priced midrange options head to Ao Ngam Kho instead. Smaller bays like Hat Sai Daeng are often occupied by a single resort, though you still can use the beach even being a non-guest.
Note that Koh Kood is a popular escape for the Bangkokians; if you are planning to happen on the island during the most busy periods, including public holidays (and especially New Year and Songkran) or weekend, book ahead.
Note that though today a fair share of guesthouses and resorts stay open all year round, Koh Kood remains a seasonal destination with many operations shutting their activity down from May to October.
It is a crime to spend all your time on Koh Kood in one and the same bay – do not stop until you explore at least a handful of them.
A number of operators on Koh Kood offer snorkelling and diving tours. And while even sheer swimming in beautiful waters of Koh Kood is fun, snorkelling and diving are not as great as you could have imagined. There is not much in terms of marine life, and the major part of corals in shallow waters are dead. Yet you can spend a relaxing day on the water with any of the operators – just do not expect too much.
When you get tired of the sea-sand-sun combo, take a short hike to a couple of waterfalls, Khlong Chao and Khlong Yai Ki for a nice cooling plunge in a pool surrounded by lush jungle.
There are good trekking and canoeing opportunities, too; but otherwise all you are supposed to do on Koh Kood is to relax and to enjoy this little paradise of an island – yes, we know that we are repeating ourselves!