From Penang, Malaysia we fly to Bangkok. From there we take a bus to Chanthaburi, where we explore the gem stone market. The next bus takes us to Trat, where we can get on the ferry to Koh Chang and Koh Kood. We choose to visit Koh Kood because of it’s nature and less tourists.
We fly out of George Town and leave Malaysia for Thailand. After one night in Bangkok (got that song in your head now too?) we pick up Riny’s phone that he accidentally forgot the last time we were here. He’s so happy to have his music back, but what we really needed, his drivers license, isn’t in the phone’s case. After some thinking he finds out that his drivers license has actually been in his backpack the whole time! It was just very well hidden and he forgot about it, whoops! So we basically went back to Bangkok for nothing but that’s okay because now we get to see some more of Thailand on our way to Cambodia and Vietnam.
Since Thailand is famous for it’s islands, we would love to visit Koh Kut (a.k.a. Ko Kood), which is next to Koh Chang but supposed to be a lot less touristic. It’s not too easy to get there though. First we take a bus to Chanthaburi, where we stay for 2 nights in a very nice but cheap hotel. This village has some charming sights, for example the typical wooden houses, beautiful temples and a nice view on the city from the river. The river is flooded because of the rainy season, which makes for some funny pictures of staircases leading you right into the brown water, accompanied by a fence of which you can only see the top. In the evening there’s quite a big night market where you can get some amazing Thai food.
Gem stone market
Chanthaburi is known for its gem stone markets, which take place every Friday and Saturday. On the day we leave we decide to visit this market quickly before we get to our bus. It’s a pretty spectacular sight to see these huge, valuable stones laying on a market stand in the middle of the street. They have some beautiful pieces and they are actually very affordable too. A real treat for gem stone lovers! There’s also a lot of Jewels to be found inside secured shops with bright, shiny showcases. Back at the hotel we call a taxi (unfortunately we’re no longer in the Uber or Grab zone) and at 11.30 am we get on the bus to Trat.
When we get off the bus we immediately get a lot of attention from the taxi drivers. They ask where we want to go and offer rides to Koh Chang, Koh Mai or Koh Kood. I ask for the price to Koh Kood, which is 300 Baht. Not bad, I think, because on the internet the price for the boat was 350 Baht with taxi included. We hop on quickly, because the taxi driver is in a hurry to get us on the last boat. Unfortunately we arrive 5 minutes too late, and it turns out that the taxi driver wasn’t talking about the boat when giving us a price. That was just for the taxi! Unfortunately we don’t get go to Koh Kood today, but luckily we get to go on the 350 Baht boat tomorrow at 12.30 pm.
POP Guesthouse, Trat
We go back to Trat where we find a very nice and affordable place to sleep; POP Guesthouse. They really deserve a recommendation because it’s a very comfortable place with clean houses, beds and bathrooms and friendly, helpful staff. We even got a 50 Baht discount without even asking, so make sure not to book online in rainy season. If you do book online, you can use this link for a 15 euro discount. You can book all boats to the islands here and even transport to Cambodia. There’s a huge night market nearby with very tasty food, sweet and savoury, where we spend our whole evening trying local Thai delicacies.
The next morning we take the Koh Kood Princess Ferry, which is very comfortable, even in this rough sea. Luckily it’s nothing like our speed boat ride from Bali to the Gili islands! Probably because it’s a lot bigger. We also feel very safe, surrounded by so many life jackets. We arrive in less than two hours and hop on the free taxi that will take us to our first guesthouse: Kama Siri.
We get a very warm welcome at Kama Siri by hostess Aoy with a nice cold towel to fresh up and a tasty drink. She is very concerned about her guests and really does everything in her power to make your stay perfect. You can really see her as your ‘holiday mom’ in this home away from home. She tells us about the island and the many things we can do here. They even have all of the information printed out for you to read because it’s really too much to remember all at once. We also receive a map of the island, that comes in handy!
Our room is the first one on the right when you enter the house. It’s actually a 4 person bedroom with a double bed and a bunk bed, which makes it perfect for a family of four. If you’re a couple it’s a very spacious room and you can use the bunk bed to store your suitcase or backpack. The room is equipped with all the luxury you need: air-conditioning, fan, drinking water, towels, toilet paper (no this isn’t standard in Asia, haha) and a very comfortable bed with soft pillows. The bathroom is enormous and has free shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower gel, shower caps, cotton buds, hair blower and so on. Oh and of course warm water showers! Very important. I love that the shower and toilet are separated by a one-metre-high-wall, so the toilet seat doesn’t get wet when you shower. A piece of luxury I really missed the last months in Asia. It’s quite funny, the things you appreciate here while you take them for granted at home.
Want to see some great pictures of this place? Check out our photo blog on Kama Siri Guesthouse!
This beautiful accommodation is available from 600 Thai Baht (low season) per room per night. If you book online, you can use this link for a 15 euro discount.
Huang Num Keaw waterfall
On the motorbike we get to borrow from our accommodations we drive across the whole island. First up is Huang Num Keaw waterfall. The road is under construction, so half of the way we’re driving on asphalt and the other half on gravel, dirt and trying to avoid huge holes. Quite the challenge, but luckily Riny has some experience by now on these kind of roads. The path to the waterfall is easy, even on flip flops. It’s sometimes a bit slippery because of the rain. It’s rainy season here now, so it rains everyday and sometimes the whole day. Not ideal for the beaches, but perfect for seeing the waterfalls since they are at their best. This waterfall is amazing, with multiple stories. It’s incredible to see the strength of the water coming down. The top one seems unreal because it’s so straight. On the way back we stop at a beautiful 300 year old Makka tree and see the sunset from the Nam Leuk Pier.
Khlong Chao waterfall & Khlong Yai Kee waterfall
We also visit the other two well known waterfalls on the island. The best thing about rainy season is that you have all the great sight to yourself. I think we only saw 4 other people in total at the waterfalls and the beaches. Of course you see more tourists on the road. Both waterfalls are again incredible, but we have to be careful not to get dragged along with the water. Sometimes it’s hard to get a good view on the falls since the pathway there is flooded. Every time we see the ‘wear a life vest before swimming’ signs we laugh, because it’s impossible to swim anywhere in the waterfalls right now and if you would do it anyway, a life vest isn’t going to save you. Even for rafting the water is too wild. Of course that sign isn’t meant for this season but still.
Ban Ao Yai
Another nice spot on the island is Ao Yai on the east coast. It’s a fisherman’s village built above the sea. The cute wooden houses are built on high poles and attached to a sort of pier. So on one side of this pier you find the houses, but on the other side there’s small and huge fisherman boats. In between the boats, little kids jump in and climb out of the water continuessly, having great fun. In between the houses there’s a lot of nets, set up in a square, containing the catches of the day. Here you can pick the fish you want to eat at one of the many seafood restaurants. Not my idea of a good time, but oh well…
Ao Prao Beach & Bang Bao Beach
We visit some popular beaches and abandoned resorts with the accompanying abandoned beaches. Many resorts are closed for maintenance in this season, since there are so few tourists. At the Neverland Resort (there’s many resorts with the Peter Pan theme here, quite funny) we find coconuts all over the place. It’s actually quite scary to walk around here because there’s a high chance of getting a coconut on your head. Of course we can’t help ourselves for taking a few and after 45 minutes Riny finally got one open. Nothing’s better than enjoying a fresh, young coconut at the beach while watching the sunset. We even get some company from a very cute stray dog, who looks very sad when we leave because there’s a big storm coming.
There are many stray dogs here. From old, disabled dogs to lazy dogs sleeping in the middle of the road, and puppies playing together and running in front of passing cars. We would love to take them with us to save them from being run over one day, but the backpacker life probably won’t make them happier.
Half way our stay on the island we move to another accommodation, since we’ve booked that already. It’s quite the difference with our current one. Big Dreams Resort is closer to the beach and in a more popular area. I can imagine it can be very crowded here in high season and its a good place to meet other travellers. The owners are an Italian man and his Thai wife and they are very friendly and helpful. The huge restaurant that’s also in the resort serves brilliant Italian and Thai food, but is (logically) more pricey than on the main land. The resort feels a lot less ‘homey’ than Kama Siri, which is more for families and people that like peace and quiet. But Big Dreams sure is nice and the rooms are comfortable and have everything you need. We have a really nice stay here. A big plus is the superfast WiFi, especially when you need to get some work done on your laptop while travelling. This seriously is the best internet we’ve had during our travels in Asia, didn’t expect that on a small island!
This beautiful accommodation is available from 760 Thai Baht per room per night. If you book online, you can use this link for a 15 euro discount.
Our time on the island unfortunately has already come to an end. Since the weather forecast isn’t showing sun anytime soon we decide to keep it to 4 nights. For us it was great being here during the rainy season with the beautiful waterfalls and few tourists. Even though it can be quite a challenge driving on the scooter when you can’t even see the dirt road any more because it’s just a big water pool, or when there’s a river crossing in the middle of the main road. But it sure is an adventure! We would love to come back one day to see the island in summer, because the beaches probably can look a lot better than they do now. Don’t skip this island if you’re in Bangkok, it’s really not that far. We hope you can make up your mind on where to stay, at least pick one of the two we mentioned, they are both amazing and run by lovely people.