Koh Kood is an island in southeast Thailand, in the Trat Region, near Koh Chang. Don’t get confused when you see the spelling Koh Kut, as it’s the same island as Koh Kood. There are three islands in this group, which are often called the Trat islands, as that’s the closest town on the mainland. Koh Chang, Koh Mak, and this one Koh Kood. The most visited island of the chain is Koh Chang, which we’ll head to soon, but our first island is Koh Kood. Unlike the neighboring island of Koh Chang, Koh Kood is more laid back and has fewer foreign visitors. The island is known and loved for its beach life, and Bangkokians head here for weekends. It’s also quiet and laid back, and for me, it’s the perfect island life. Here are 9 glorious things to do in Koh Kood.
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After we had such a fabulous time on Koh Yao Noi island, we decided that we’d head to another island after spending a week in Bangkok. And so, as we are leaving Thailand and heading towards Cambodia, we picked the Trat Islands and decided to visit all of them. We started with Koh Kood.
Want to know how to get there? Here’s how to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok
Koh Kood is the largest undeveloped island in Thailand. In years gone by it was a haunt for wealthy Thai tourist groups who arrived here in private boats. Because of the proximity to Cambodia, there was (allegedly) a lot of smuggling here and it wasn’t until they built the road that linked Ao Salat and Ao Yai that western tourists started arriving. It appears the piracy has stopped because tourism is more lucrative and the pirates make more money from the restaurants in Ao Yai.
Again because of the proximity to Cambodia, much of the eastern coast of the island is controlled by the Thai armed forces and you can’t access it.
Koh Kood is a fantastic island to visit if you want to escape the usual tourist trail and busy crowd. You can enjoy the same charming Thai beaches, culture, incredible food, and beautiful scenery, but at the same time, you can get away from the noise of vehicles and people. It’s also more affordable than the trendy islands such as Phuket, Koh Chang, and Koh Samui. You can spend two to three days here and see the top-rated locations, but you can easily spend a week doing nothing but relaxing.
Where to Stay in Koh Kood
Although it’s a pretty laidback and quiet island, Koh Kood has ample accommodation (but book ahead at weekends and holidays) to choose from, depending on your budget and what you’re looking for. This is the most expensive of the three Trat islands to stay on. You will NEED to book in advance, especially if you’re traveling at weekends and during Thai holidays. There are fewer budget options, but there are also some fabulous beach places to stay!
High Season Pool Villa is an incredible choice if you want a place to stay on the beachfront. Apart from the private beach, it has an outdoor pool, sunbeds by the shoreline, and beautiful and spacious bungalows. Check rates and availability for beachfront Koh Kood villas here.
A great mid-range option is Bann Klong Jao. This homestay option has bungalows along the sleepy Koh Kood River. The rooms have a balcony for your own private river view and you can borrow kayaks from the owners to explore the river. It also has a great on-site restaurant serving food from breakfast to dinner. Bungalows sell out quickly here so reserve well in advance.
For a more basic stay, but close to one of Koh Kood’s best beaches (Koh Chedi Beach), Chor Chaba is a fab budget option in Koh Kood. This is the only Koh Kood dorm option, and the owners are great fun and helpful too. Enjoy a game of pool, and watch international sports, and it’s also a fun place to socialize. Check rates and availability here.
9 Fabulous Things to do in Koh Kood
Like any of your typical Thai destinations, the best things to do in Koh Kood include water activities such as snorkeling, boat tours, hiking, biking to waterfalls, and enjoying the fabulous beaches here. You can also explore Thai cuisine with fresh seafood and fruits.
1. Rent a motorbike and explore Koh Kood
One of the best ways to explore the island of Koh Kood is by renting a motorbike and driving around on your own. While there are plenty of motorbike rental places around the island (just look for the signs), getting one from your accommodation is much better to avoid the hassle of picking up and returning the bike.
The rental cost of a motorbike on Koh Kood is around 150 to 250 THB daily/24 hours and should include a helmet. Getting gas for your motorbike is different from what you might have at home. When you need to fill up, look for a stand on the road with plastic water bottles filled with colored liquid. The cost is about 40 to 50 THB for a liter bottle.
If renting a motorbike is not something you’re interested in doing, the other option is to rent a bicycle, the island is hilly, so keep that in mind. While there are taxis available, they are few and far between and they’re not cheap. If you need a taxi ask your accommodation provider and confirm the price before you get in. There are songthaews, but they only usually provide transports between the ferries and the fisherman’s villages.
2. Relax on Koh Kood
The main thing to do in Koh Kood is to chill out and enjoy the peace and quiet and the beaches. Most accommodations here have hammocks where you can just relax, order a fresh coconut, and appreciate the views and quiet atmosphere. The popular High Season Pool Villa and Spa is where you can completely chill out and enjoy the slow-paced island life.
If you’re by the river, you can go to Mangrove Bungalow & Restaurant. It’s a favorite spot because of the gorgeous view of the river, which you can admire while lying down on a hammock and sipping a coffee, fresh fruit smoothie, or, of course, a cold beer.
3. Go diving from Koh Kood
This is Thailand, so diving is a top thing to do in Koh Kood. Koh Kood is less touristy and visited than many other islands and the diving is more peaceful and enjoyable. There are three great dive shops on the island. You’ll find them by Ao Tapao Beach and Bang Bao Beach. All of the dive schools here have English-speaking dive masters.
- Koh Kood Divers located at the Garden View Resort on the island has a great reputation and is also a fabulous restaurant and homestay too.
- BB Divers has been around since 2003 (they’re on Koh Chang too) and comes with a great rep and also some freediving courses too.
- Paradise Divers – another shop with a great rep, they’re located next to the Chor Chaba homestay and hostel.
Diving here is in the glorious Koh Rang National Park and you should bear in mind that there’s a National Park fee to pay for any dives you do.
The cost of a dive trip depends on the diving you want to do. A discovery dive (no experience needed) is the most affordable, between 2,500 THB to 4,000 THB. This is a great way to check out if you actually like diving without the expense of a certified course, although Thailand is one of the cheapest places to learn to dive in the world! Try this package of two discovery dives on Koh Kood.
If you decide to get your certification – the dive schools on Koh Kood work to the PADI certification standard and this is a great and cost-effective place to get a certification. You can sign up for a PADI course on Koh Kood here.The cost can be up to 14,500 THB if you want a course to get your PADI license.
If you’re already certified, then a dive trip costs around 3,000 THB to 10,000 THB – and you can pre-book diving trips to Koh Rang National Marine Park here.
4. Go snorkeling from Koh Kood
The number one thing to do in Koh Kood is to take a snorkeling trip. There’s no need to be licensed like diving, and snorkeling at Koh Kood is another fantastic option to enjoy the incredible waters and marine life here. The waters near the beaches are crystal clear, but there’s not much to see near the beaches and the best way to go snorkeling is by booking a boat tour for the day. You’ll be taken to three snorkeling spots for the best chance of seeing marine life and coral. Book a snorkeling day trip here.
5. Visit the Fisherman’s Village for lunch or dinner
As a famous fishing island, it’s no surprise that one of the attractions in Koh Kood is visiting the fisherman’s villages of Koh Kood. It’s easiest to get to them if you’ve rented a bike, and you can either have lunch or dinner in houses built on stilts over the water. The villages here on the island are Ao Yai, Ao Salad, and Bang Bao Bay. It’s better to come out earlier than your intended time to eat, good food at the best spots tends to go early, so aim closer to noon than 2 pm and 6:30 pm rather than 8 pm!
6. Find your Private Beach on Koh Kood
I loved our time on Koh Kood. It was laidback and quiet. There were hardly any folks around and it was possible easily find your own private beach. Sunset at the Million Beach Bar near Chor Chaba was glorious too.
If you want an isolated beach, go to Khlong Hin Beach. Although it’s not too far from the busy area of Koh Kood, you’ll definitely be able to find your own little spot.
For another great sunset spot head to Ao Jak Beach, where the bay is covered with white sand and surrounded by coconut trees, and it is beautiful. You can also check out Ao Phrao Beach in the southern part of the island. The beach is long but narrow. It’s also deserted, so bring your own drinks and snacks if you plan to stay for a few hours.
7. Watch the Sunset on Koh Kood
Secret Sunset Beach is located on the northern part of Koh Kood island, it’s even quieter and perfect for admiring the sunset. But remember to check that your motorbike’s light works because the drive back to Koh Kood town center or the river area is bumpy with no lighting on the road.
View Point Cafe is located by the river facing the beach. It’s a nice place to watch the sunset in Koh Kood since there are plenty of places to sit and even tables on the sand. Get here around 4 PM and order cocktails, dessert, or food while waiting for the sun to set. They also play music, and the prices are reasonable for such a fantastic location.
If you don’t want to go too far, Ao Tapao Beach is another fantastic sunset spot. The water is clear with a shade of dreamy blue-green and shallow, the ideal place to sunbathe and then go for a quick swim to cool off.
8. Bike, Walk, or Take a Tour of the Waterfalls of Koh Kood
Koh Kood also has its fair share of waterfalls, although the amount of water flowing over them will depend on the time of year. When we visited only Khlong Chao had water in it.
Some of Koh Kood’s waterfalls can be reached on foot, and the others require a trip by motorbike or a push bike. The most popular and easiest to get to is Khlong Chao. The entrance is free and it’s easy to walk to from the main beach at the High Season Villa area.
If you want more waterfalls, then you can also go to Khlong Yai, a bit further north, about a 20-minute ride from the center of the island, and it’s free of admission as well. Finally, Huang Nam Khiao Waterfall is east of Khlong Chao. You can visit both waterfalls on the same day if you start exploring early in the morning.
9. Go Kayaking up the river on Koh Kood
The river on Koh Kood is pretty peaceful and quiet and it’s a great place to go kayaking, especially if you’re staying nearby (most accommodation here either has free or for rent kayaks). If you’ve never tried stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), this is your chance to try it, as it’s pretty calm here. If your accommodation is by the river, you can rent your kayak and SUP from them, if not, you can simply head to the river, where you’ll find places to rent one. The price is usually 300 THB for a 2-person kayak for 3 hours of rent.
Where to Eat on Koh Kood
The food at Chor Chaba is excellent and Cherry cooks both excellent western style breakfasts and Thai food. For something unique, head to the Fisherman’s village of Ao Yai and eat in one of the stilt houses. For a great budget lunch go to the Ta Yai Homestay. They only serve food until 4 PM, and the bestsellers, such as roast pork noodle, usually gets sold out by 1 PM. Chill Out Koh Kood is a fabulous option for lunch, dinner, and drinks with mostly locals propping up the bar – food is tasty and you get a lot for your money too.
There is no airport in Koh Kood, so there are limited options to get here.
Most people come to Koh Kood from Bangkok – and the easiest way to do this is to book a through ticket that includes the bus, transfers to the boat, and a transfer to your accommodation on the island. Book the through ticket here.
However, there are other ways to get here…
You can take different routes, but it will always end up with traveling by land or air, then taking the boat from either the mainland or one of the other islands in the group. You can fly to Trat from Bangkok, then transfer from the airport to Laem Sok Ferry Pier, and then take the boat.
You can also take a bus from Bangkok directly to Laem Sok Ferry Pier and then get the boat. It’s a bit more affordable but will take nearly 7 hours.
We wrote a more extensive guide on how to get from Bangkok to Koh Kood to help you with planning.
When you’re leaving the island, just book your onward transport with your accommodation provider and pay them. All boat tickets include a transfer from your accommodation to the ferry pier and you’ll be told what time you’re collected. Transfers are in Songthaews. (there’s more on transport types in Thailand in our guide here)
How to get around Koh Kood
Walking is the best option for going around the area around the river or along the river, but to get further afield you will want to rent a motorbike as mentioned before.
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Map of Things to Do on Koh Kood
You can also see the Koh Kood things to do map here
Travel Essentials for Koh Kood
Need to know more before coming to the island? Here’s what we looked up before coming and confirmed when we arrived.
Is there an ATM on Koh Kood?
Yes, you’ll find ATMs on Koh Kood. They’re marked on Google Maps and easy to find, and I’ve marked them on our map of things to do on Koh Kood. As a foreign debit card holder, it will cost you 220 THB for each withdrawal. (AEON Bank is the only ATM in Thailand that has cheaper withdrawal fees (at 150 THB per withdrawal) but there aren’t any of those on Koh Kood).
Is there a supermarket on Koh Kood?
No, but there are mini-markets around where you’ll be able to buy snacks.
Is there a gas station on Koh Kood?
Yes. You can buy gas for your motorbike /scooter pretty much anywhere on the island you’ll easily spot the plastic bottles full of gas, just pull over and the owner will come out and top you up.
Can you get laundry done on Koh Kood
Yes. You’ll spot the signs around the island, where laundry is done. Costs are by the kilo and the service is usually for washing, drying, and folding. You’ll pay around 60THB a kilo. It’s best to try and get laundry done where you’re staying, in case there are any problems.
Safety on Koh Kood
Koh Kood is a pretty safe place to travel to. Follow all the usual precautions that you would when traveling.
- Keep valuables out of sight
- Always lock your valuables away when they’re not with you (read how we use a portable travel safe here)
- Use a VPN when utilizing public WiFi networks in hotels, hostels, and guesthouses (read about VPNs here)
- Tap water is NOT potable in Thailand. Consider taking a refillable water bottle to reduce the use of single-use plastic. We always travel with a filter water bottle, which I wrote about here.
Travel Insurance for Thailand
Koh Kood and Thailand are pretty safe locations to travel to, but accidents can happen. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip to Thailand, then you can get a quote from World Nomads for your travel insurance for Thailand
Final Words on Things to Do in Koh Kood
Koh Kood is an idyllic place where life is slow-paced, everyone knows everyone, and choices are limited but ample. If you have extra time in Thailand to burn or decide to redo your itinerary and go for a more relaxing island, check out Koh Kood. It’s the best place to go if you want to chill out but at the same time with enough things to do to keep you occupied. Koh Kood is a great choice to take a break from the busy city scene, or you’re probably looking for a place to wrap up your Thailand trip in a more calming setting.
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