Located just South of the better known Koh Chang and Koh Maak, Koh Kood is a largely untamed, jungle clad island whose western coasts has been blessed with several spectacular laid back beaches. I’ll even go out on a limb and declare Koh Kut is one of the most beautiful islands I’ve had the chance to discover during the decade and a half of traveling in Thailand and hands-down my favorite on it’s Eastern seaboard. This is one of the places I always long to return when I’ve spent too much time in big cities like Bangkok or Pattaya and need to take a break from civilization to relax, chill-out and do absolutely nothing for a few days.
If you’ve only discovered Thailand recently but still would like to catch a glimpse of just how different islands like Samui or Phuket must have been two decades ago before over-development and mass tourism hit the kingdom, then a visit to Koh Kood should be high up on your bucket list.
Round-up of the best beaches of Koh Kood
Centrally located on the island’s western coast and stretching for over a kilometre, Ao Tapao is Koh Kood’s longest and most popular beach. Lined by five tastefully designed and unobtrusive resorts, the coastline runs from the old concrete jetty of Nam Leuk down to a wide and sandy point in the south. The sand here is soft and golden, and the clear and calm waters are ideal for swimming, a bit of snorkeling is also possible as the rocks formations around the pier attract a multitude of tropical fish.
Luckily so far development seems to have been handled in a smart way and there’s been an effort to preserve as much as possible the natural beauty of the area, all five beachfront resorts have taken the small footprint approach. Buildings are spread out and hidden among the trees in the back and do not directly encroach on the beach in any way. The only sore eye on this beautiful beach, although it offers some nice photo opportunities from it, is the old concrete pier which used to be the main arrival and departure for the travelers to the island before it was moved on it’s eastern coast.
Koh Kood Paradise Beach Resort
Paradise Beach is one of the newer Ao Tapao resort that’s been completed only a few years ago, strong point is it’s amazing beachfront location, one of the best of the island. Set along a wide palm grove garden, accommodations come in two types: Premium free-standing bungalows close to the beach or a less expensive hotel rooms in a building at the back where I was staying, about a 3-4 minutes walk from the beach. Standards were surprisingly nice, even for their cheaper superior category came with decently sized bedrooms, comfy bed, flat-screen-TV, good air-conditioning with large bathroom and shower. Facilities include: Pool, fitness center, beach bar and restaurant. The Koh Kood Paradise Beach Resort will particularly please those who enjoy having long beachfront area with plenty of beach-chairs & hammocks just steps away has from the sea and not be confined in a smaller area.
You can look at the pictures of the room and resort in the gallery above.
Ngamkho is an area of great beauty and in my opinion the most picturesque bay of Koh Kood, you will find nestled on a rocky and palm covered headland nested between three gorgeous looking beaches. Accommodations here are more of the Robinson Crusoe type and less upmarket than in Ao Tapao or Khlong Chao, ranging mostly between budget to mid-range category. Travelers who favor raw tropical beauty and tranquility should definitely give this area a visit.
Northern Ngam Kho
Ngamkho Beach is nothing short of stunning and looks like something taken right out of a movie set, at high tide only a thin sweep of powdery white sand remains bordered by a nature so dense, some of the coconut tress grow right out onto the sea from the beach. The long established Dusita Resort with it’s mid-range bungalows and immaculately tended garden occupies most of the space, it’s mid-range bungalows are hidden way back in the coconut grove so well that they are almost invisible from the beachfront, helping to preserve a untamed feel of the bay. At at the very southern end just before Horizon Resort lies the backpacker hang-out Koh Kood Ngamkho Resort, offering reasonably priced budget bungalows (800 to 1500 THB range) sitting under coconut trees. Although beautiful, this is definitely not the best beach for swimming, only it’s middle portion around the Dusita Resort‘s jetty is good barefoot, the rest can be tricky as it’s mix of either mudflats, rocks or coral in the water. Some decent snorkeling is possible in front of the resort and off the southern headland.
Dusita Koh Kood
The Dusita Koh Kood has beautiful lush grounds are set in a very natural environment. They have a strict “no trespassing” policy as you can see the sign plastered everywhere although the staff that I encountered, who were busy cleaning the beach were very friendly. The impression it left was of a very family-friendly and quiet place altogether, bungalows looked in the mid-range category. No package tourist vibe found, probably great for those in need of a beachfront location with a little extra comfort compared to the Koh Kood Ngam Kho Resort that shares the same beach.
Koh Kood Ngam Kho Resort
The Koh Kood Ngam Kho Resort is the cheapest of the four beachfront option you’ll find in the Ngamkho Bay. This backpacker hangout is comprised of a number of small, rustic bungalows located on a gentle hill overlooking the beach. The huts are generally very basic, those with fan vary from 800 to 1000 THB and the ones with AC are at 1500 THB. All come with a little porch and hammock for lazing out. The grounds are well maintained, restaurant is pretty good and often visited by guests of neighboring resorts. Not a bad option for those on a budget looking for a relaxing, laid back right fan hut right next to the beach. Although if you plan on getting an AC bungalow at around 1500 THB, Horizon Resort next door are better. The NgamKho Resort is a little off the radar and bookings can only be made via their Facebook page, they do not have a website nor are they found on any of the conventional online booking websites.
Sitting just after Ngam Kho Beach, is a cute little strip of sand bordered by rocks that is home to the S-Beach Resort. Sand is very soft and the sea is safe for swimming during high tide but just like the rest of the bay gets very shallow in the afternoon. Didn’t stay here but just stopped for a drink after a bit of paddling on the kayak.
Beachfront is quite pleasant in S-Beach Resort
Southern Ngam Kho
Sai Daeng Beach
Just after the headland lays the tiny cove of Ao Tuom and it’s beautiful 80 meters long Sai Daeng beach. The emerald colored waters are particularly attractive and perfect for both swimming or snorkeling. This little golden strip of sand is home to only one resort, the 3-star A-Na-Lay. A long boardwalk, attractively sculptured along it’s rocky shore connects the beach to the resort’s pool, bar and restaurant. Sadly, unless you chose the higher tier bungalows it’s hard to recommend the place for anything else than grabbing some food or a drink at the bar. You can see there has been some neglect over the years at what could be otherwise a fantastic resort due to the exceptional location, some of the common areas and especially the cheaper wooden bungalows seemed like they were in need of some TLC. Personally I find the Horizon Resort next door much better value for accommodations, where you can easily walk to the beach during the day in just a few minutes.
The pathway leading to Horizon Resort
Central Ngam Kho
The Horizon Resort
Perched on a grass covered hill between two beautiful beaches, the 3-star Horizon Resort is my favorite place to stay in the Ngam Kho Bay. What it lacks in the luxury department, such as pools with swim-up bars it easily makes up with it’s super chilled atmosphere and fabulous views over the NgamKho beach and sea. Grounds are well kept, staff is extremely friendly and the bungalows, which don’t look like much from the outside are in fact very nice and cozy. Have a look below for pics.
Perfect place to have a sun-downer
Klong Chao Beach
Klong Chao is another of the best-known beaches of Koh Kood, this gorgeous 750 meters long stretch of powdered white sand is home to four upscale beachfront resorts that attract mostly wealthier foreigners. Oddly enough three out of four were named after characters in the Peter Pan novel: You have the TinkerBell Resort, Wendy The Poo & Peter Pan Resort. At it’s northern end, opposite to the Away Resort occupying the headland, a deep narrow bay a river surrounded by mangrove trees flows into the sea. The Khlong Chao beachfront resorts are great option for those who want to splurge out a bit for a few days and be pampered but you can just as easily find guesthouses 5 mins away or just kayak your way from neighboring Ngam Kho bay.
This is what a busy beach looks like in Koh Kood
Bang Bao Beach
Set in an enclosed bay and surrounded by lush green hills covered with thick vegetation, Bang Bao beach is another one of Ko Kut’s superstars. Due to it’s long-reaching headlands on both end, this approximately 800 meters long strip of powdery white sand is caressed by exceptionally calm crystal clear waters. Separated by a small rocky patch at it’s center, Bang Bao’s better beachfront area is located in it’s southern half, along Siam Beach Resort. The Northern area, home to more upscale Beach Natural Resort, To The Sea & Koh Kood Resort is more rocky and offers only a slim beachfront areas that almost completely disappears at high tide.
Siam Beach Resort
The Siam Beach Resort has enormous potential but for now it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The prime location and grounds sitting along 450 meters of Bang Bao best part of this stunning beach is greatest asset. All of the huts are decently spread out for privacy and within 20 metres of the beach, wide laws filled with coconut trees give the property a very Robinson Crusoe vibe. The accommodation part are a little disappointing, the ‘A’ type fan huts, conveniently just a few steps from the beach are old and a little too basic for the price. The newer C type bungalows located just behind them are bigger, equipped with air conditioning and nicer inside but the concrete construction looks god awful from the outside.
In the end/TLDR : 5-Stars Location with only 2.5-Stars accommodations