Koh Kut is a great island to visit and probably the best in Thailand for lovers of beaches, jungles, waterfalls and deserted roads – which are ideal for cruising along. As with Koh Mak there isn’t a vehicle ferry to the island. So, along with the stunning scenery and crystal clear water, expect it to be quiet, even in High Season.
Koh Kood is far too large for you to be able to walk from beach to beach easily, it’s around 25 Kms long and 12 Kms wide, making it the fifth largest island in Thailand.
It’s appearance is that of a smaller less developed Koh Chang. With jungle clad mountains inland and beaches dotted along the west coast. But despite the size, there isn’t much in the way of public transport. Many resorts are located down dirt tracks, well off the main road and when you get to the main road you’ll find there are very few shops, bars or restaurants anywhere. You won’t find any 7-eleven minimarts, beer bars, tailors shops or other trappings of mass tourism here.
Because there is hardly infrastructure, it is not easy to move around on this island. No problem for us as we cruising around this breathtaking island. We reach each spot we want to enjoy from the sea. You get the chance to see and take pictures of locations only very few people have seen before.
In 2014, The Guardian called Koh Kood ‘Thailand’s Last Unspoilt Island‘ and it still is as you can see from this video of some of the highlights that was taken in mid 2017.
The local population is estimated at under 2,500, so there aren’t any towns on the island. But there are four main built up areas. These are the fishing communities in Ao Salat, in the northeast and Ao Noi, in the south east. The hospital, police and local government offices are all located in the Klong Hin Dam area, on the west coast. The east of the island is inaccessible and inhabited. Dotted around the centre of the island are a handful of waterfalls which are all free to visit and great for a cooling dip.
The main beaches are spread out along the west and south coasts of the island and there are now over 50 places to stay. These range from Soneva Kiri, a super luxury 100,000 Baht/ night six star resort to homestays in fishing communities.
The area around Klong Chao beach and river estuary has become one of the busiest on the island for visitors. There’s a good choice of locally owned, mid-price bungalows by the river here. Plus mini-marts and cheap restaurants etc nearby. And it’s only 5 minutes walk to the beach which is home to some of the island’s high end resorts.
Klong Chao Waterfall
The most famous waterfall on Koh Kood and the easiest to reach. Just follow the road inland from Klong Chao beach. Keep going after the road becomes a dirst track heading into the jungle and you’ll come to a parking area at the trail head. Most resorts will also run day trips here for guests as it’s one of the most famous sights on the island. Well worth a visit.
Klong Yai Kee Waterfall
Located on the way north to Soneva Kiri and Baan Makok. Look for the sign on the right hand side of the road. The access track leads to a car park from where it’s a short walk to the river and waterfall. This is a medium size waterfall but with a large pool for swimming. A great spot to cool off and always quieter than Klong Chao.
Huang Nam Keaw Waterfall
This was known as the secret waterfall, as until 2012 access was only possible by an arduous walk through the jungle and along the riverbed. However, in 2012 a road was built and also parking area with toilets for visitors. Then there is just a steep 100 metres walk down to the river. And then a short walk up the riverbed, scrambling over and around huge boulders, until you reach the falls. There are road signs in English to the falls. Basically you head towards the big trees and keep going
Makka tree ( The Big Tree )
You’ll see this marked on maps, in the centre of the island, and probably won’t be too excited about going there. After all, it’s just a tree. But the Makka tree, which you’ll also see called The Big Trees, 500 Year Old Tree or ‘Sai Yai’ on roadsigns, is definitely worth a visit.
Deep in the jungle there are are two massive banyan trees in close proximity to each other. One estimated at 500 years old, the other around 200 years old. You won’t see the trees through the dense jungle until you are 20 metres from them. It’s only when you are up close that you can appreciate the sheer size of them. Very impressive and kids will love scrambling around the massive buttress roots.
Ao Yai Viewpoint
There’s a great viewpoint overlooking Ao Yai village. This is also another of the postcard views you see on most travel blogs about the island. There’s nothing other than a covered seating area where you can sit in silence and enjoy the panorama. You can also often see a few monkeys playing in the trees nearby.
Big Buddha Statue
If you’re arriving direct form the mainland, keep an eye out when your boat approaches Koh Kood for the gleaming, golden Buddha statue at Ao Salad temple. The seated Buddha is around 20 metres tall and watches over the fisherman in the village below.
Snorkelling and Diving
There are three dive companies on the island BB Divers, Koh Kood Divers and Paradise Divers – which was the first diving school on the island. All offer similar PADI courses plus fun dives and snorkelling trips. Expect to pay around 14,500 Baht for the PADI open Watrer course; 3,000 – 3,500 Baht for a dive trip with two dives. And 1,200 Baht or so for a snorkelling trip. Prices include all equipment and lunch on the boat.