The Koh Chang, Koh Kood & Koh Mak Islands

If you are looking for a holiday off the beaten track Thailand, then head east of Bangkok and you’ll find islands covered in rainforest, idyllic unspoilt beaches and small boutique hotels surrounded by nothing but nature. Rachel Gleave, our Product Director recently returned from a trip to explore these islands.

Off the far eastern coast of Thailand in Trat province, close to the Cambodia border are 52 islands that make up the Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park. It is Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kood that are best known; many are untouched, and it is possible to visit them on an island snorkelling cruise. To get there you can fly from Bangkok to Trat, where on arrival your resort will meet you and transfer you to the pier for the boat trip to your island of choice. There are a number of different boats from public ferries, larger catamaran’s and small speedboats, all offering services directly to each of the islands or between the island’s if you would like to combine more than one. If you are heading to Koh Kood there is also a direct service with a private carrier.

Read on to discover the best places to stay on each of these stunning islands located in Eastern Thailand.

Where To Stay On Koh Chang Island

Koh Chang is Thailand’s second largest island, after Phuket and is the most developed of the three. This mountainous island is blanketed in verdant forests, making any development difficult so it is just the narrow strips of land behind the numerous beaches on the island’s west coast. Most are lined with beach huts, simple hotels, bars and restaurants. It is a lively but charming island with a few four-star options. Santhiya Tree was our top choice if you are heading to Koh Chang.

Where To Stay On Koh Mak Island

However, for true escapism I’d head over to much Koh Mak. A tiny island with very little development, much of it is covered by palm and rubber tree plantations, it is much flatter than its larger neighbour with a number of untouched beaches. A handful of simple hotels and homestays accommodate travellers. Our favourite is Seavana, a gorgeous beach hotel lining a narrow but lovely beach. This tiny resort has just 22 rooms in two rows. Our choice would be the beachfront Seavana Suite, with colourful Thai furnishings and an upstairs roof terrace, where you can sit and look straight out to sea. Beautiful tropical gardens, a cosy restaurant and the friendliest of staff are what made this resort special to me. It is not uber luxurious by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a real gem for those seeking an intimate hideaway.

Another lovely option on Koh Mak is Mira Montra, another gem with individual villas stretching along a serene stretch of unspoilt beach. The style is simple contemporary and possibly slightly more polished than Seavana and one thing we love is that you can walk to the Blue Pearl Café but Koh Mak Cococape, a lovely bar to chill and watch the sunset! Visitors to Koh Mak tend to hire a scooter of bicycle to discover the island It only takes a few hours to circumnavigate the island on the empty roads. There are very few cars and no traffic lights so it is very safe to explore. Or if you prefer, a taxi to anywhere on the island is just 50 bhat (approx. £1.30) per person. Untouched secret beaches, cafes and restaurants are scattered through the island, the main hub in the centre of the island, called ‘Walking Street’ by the locals, has one pharmacy, one ATM, a couple of bars, boutiques and restaurants and is a lovely area to stroll along in the day or evening – no late nights here! I went out at 9pm and most were closing! Overwater Koh Mak Seafood has the best reputation on the island for the freshest fish and delicious Thai food.

7 nights at Seavana starts from £1,770 per person including flights and all transfers.

The Best Places To Stay On Koh Kood Island

Neighbouring Koh Kood is an unspoilt island with mountains covered in untouched jungle, surrounded by iridescent waters, glistening beaches, small fishing villages and very little development. This is an island for those seeking nature and peace. Choose your resort and then just relax and unwind is pretty much the offering here on Koh Kood. Of course, the best-known resort is the inimitable Soneva Kiri, one of Thailand’s best beach resorts and we can see why. Incredible rustic style villas, built with recycled timbers with huge pools are the ultimate in beach living. Incredible dining experiences, including the famous treepod dining, a Six Senses Spa, one of the best kids clubs I’ve ever seen (with areas for babies up to teens) and a gorgeous new beach club make Soneva an incredible resort, however it comes with a price.

Koh Kood does have some special resorts. Shantaa is a collection of villas, built on a hillside with beautiful gardens and two small, but lovely beaches. This is simple living and a true escape from busy life. High Season Resort has prime position on one of Koh Kood’s best beaches and is in the middle of a number of restaurants and shops in the main hub of Koh Kood, but don’t worry, it is still very low key and not busy. 41 Pool Villas are neatly tucked into the tropical grounds of the property, most with garden views but three have a beachfront potion with uninterrupted views of the lapping shore. A beautiful beachfront pool, choice of restaurants, small kids club and spa complete this elegant beach resort, a great option for both couples and families wanting a few more facilities and the ability to walk to restaurants.

7 nights at High Season Resort starts from £1,995 per person in a Garden Pool Villa with flights and all transfers.

Combine the two in a 12-night package starting from £2,995 with a couple of nights in Bangkok before heading over for 5 nights on each of the islands and direct flights back to Bangkok from Koh Kood.

Contact our Asia specialists on 01494 678 400 to plan your next holiday in Thailand’s Eastern Islands!


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