Koh Kood & Koh Mak
Koh Kood or Koh Kut is a relatively large island in the east of the Gulf of Thailand close to Cambodia. Despite its size Koh Kood is wonderfully undeveloped compared with well know islands like Koh Samui and Phuket and has pristine deserted beaches and an interior still covered by thick rainforest offering a natural island escape. One of Asia’s most desirable hideaways is tucked away on this secret little gem of an island, the sublime, barefoot luxury retreat Soneva Kiri.
Neighbouring island, Koh Mak is tiny in comparison (just 16 square kilometers), with quite a different feel to it. It is less mountainous making it much easier to explore by bike or scooter and with very few cars it is very safe. Much of the island is covered in palm and rubber tree plantation with a scattering of local restaurants, simple accommodation and deserted ‘secret’ beaches. With a laid-back vibe, this is the island for those seeking an off-the-beaten track, quiet hideaway, a stark contrast to the many busy beach resorts in other areas of the country.
Guests at these islands can experience Thai culture as it once was before tourism changed the face of many of Thailand’s islands. On Koh Kood, visit Ao Salad village on the northeastern coast, one of the oldest settlements on the island, this Thai fishing village built on stilts offers glimpses of life as it is lived day to day. Meet fishermen unloading the day's catch from colourful boats. Stroll through the trees of a rubber plantation. Visit a local school where your children can enjoy a fun cultural exchange with Thai students their own age, or taste honey straight from the comb with a beekeeper on Koh Mai Si.
If you are in search of the underwater world Koh Chang National Park offers two-dozen dive sites down to 30 metres though much of the more colourful coral thrives closer to the surface, around 12 metres. Experienced dive masters lead the way underwater to blue spotted sting rays, angelfish, fusiliers, sweet lips, moral eels, turtles and schools of banner of fish.
Where to stay in Koh Kood & Koh Mak
Best time to visit Koh Kood & Koh Mak
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