Koh Kood (aka Ko Kut) island is south of the more popular Ko Chang, and as you'd expect it's quieter, less spoilt, peaceful and much more about relaxing than the jet-ski disco culture of other Thai resorts.
The holiday didn't get off to a good start, with one of our friends getting shortchanged at Ekamai Bus Terminal and we had problems with the resort. We stayed at Away Resort, but I can't recommend it. We were told the kayaks are first-come-first-served, but when we wanted to use them, we were told the owners son and his friends had first call on them. We tried to book them for the next day, but even then the woman at the Spa was reluctant to let us use them... "what if the owners son wanted to use them again?"
Little things like this can really throw off a holiday.
The resort beach is man made, held in place by a line of rocks, which you cross to get to the sea... I kept my shoes on to avoid cutting my feet, but one of our party did get badly cut after slipping on the rocks. There is a real sandy beach across the bay, a short kayak trip away. Which is great if you're the son of the owner, but not much use for us mere paying guests!
Instead of kayaking to the waterfall, or to the beach, we walked, the waterfall was well worth the long walk. Cold clear water, filled with tiny fish that nibble your blistered cut-up feet. Rope swings on the trees bring out the primaeval monkey in people, the owner's son and his friends were here ahead of us, swinging from tree to tree and dropping into the water with a big whoop whoop whoop of enjoyment.
To get around the island, rent a scooter. These little motorbikes are automatic, twist and go type. A few minutes introduction and I quickly got the hang of it. If you've ridden a push-bike you can ride these easily, if I can do it, you can do it! They only cost 300 baht a day (more from the big resorts, but just walk a little and you can rent them everywhere), fuel is available in bottles, from most shops, just ask.
It's also worth just walking in the darkness, see the fireflies, and the stars are much brighter without all the ground light. We walked to a pizza place (website) in the dark, that was the first pizza I've had in Thailand that tasted like a pizza!
The best place to eat Thai food is Sabaidee, which was cheap, with fast service, and excellent tasting food. Find it just a little further down the road from the pizza place. We also ate at a seafood restaurant in the south side of the island, the price was high and the service slow, but the shrimp were large and fresh.
For accommodation, there are plenty of resorts on the islands, Peter Pan looked interesting across the bay from us with some sort of fire-show and music. But for the cheaper options: P.D. Guesthouse (tel 080-644-5233, or 081-750-5163), was only 300 Baht a night for a room, 1 month was 5000 Baht, a room can squeeze in 4-6 people in very basic accommodation and they speak English. Cozy House, a backpackers stay, again basic accommodation, but good enough for a stay and again they speak English. Kohkood Mangrove, this was more expensive (800 baht per room per night), but also more professional.
Getting there is a short bus journey from Ekamai Bus Station (next to the Skytrain station) to Trat bus station. The bus leaves at 6am, arrives at about noon, ignore them when they say it arrives at 11am, it doesn't. Once there, ferry-taxi-touts will quickly descend on you and sell you a trip to Koh Kood, prices are typically 600 baht one way per person.
You can also walk to stop 25, and call the telephone number posted there to arrange a pickup with an English speaking person. They'll take you to the boat, and off to the Island. If your resort has a pier, the speed boats can even drop you off directly at the resort, but for the cheaper backpacker places, you're going to have to catch the taxi next to the main boat pier.
This holiday is all about relaxing under a huge sun, in a tranquil setting. Is that spec on the sun Venus? Such a huge sun, such a small planet and an infinitesimally small island.
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