Koh Kut, Koh Kood, Koh Koot. Which ever way you just to spell it is one of our favourite places on Planet Earth. 

Koh Kood is one of Thailand’s last unspoiled islands. Most of the island remains wild jungle (take effective insect repellant and Afterbite) with only a few main roads. Even though the main industry on the island is tourism, getting here takes quite a bit of effort. Even the Thai nationals who visit on weekends – looking for a short getaway and a change of pace – have to be determined to get there.

Koh Koot attracts mostly international travellers rather than tourists – if you take our meaning. When we visited pre-pandemic, we heard Russian and French speakers more than other international travellers. This means that most of the local Thai people learn to speak broken English from those speaking it as a second language themselves, but most seem to manage to communicate clearly.

We also met a handful of people from the UK and US, and of course more than a few of the ubiquitous Aussies. These English speakers also help the locals polish up at least their basic English language skills. All that said, be prepared to deploy your best sign & body language skills while visiting, especially in the villages.


We felt remarkably safe on the island during both our visits. Even petty theft didn’t seem like much of a concern, though we took basic common sense precautions regardless.
Most of the small resorts have scooters available for rent, and they’re a wonderful way to explore the island, but drive cautiously. Accidents are not uncommon; some locals take the blind turns and steep hills for granted. In addition, the roads to some of the wonderful waterfalls are unpaved and often rutted with run-off, making them difficult to navigate with a small scooter.
We don’t recommend using the scooter at night as there is very little lighting on the roads. Nighttime is also more likely to have car and scooter drivers who have imbibed a bit too much, making their driving more erratic.
There is a taxi service, but we generally preferred to stay in walking distance of our resorts at night. We used our iPhone flashlights not only for sure footing, but to make sure drivers were aware of our presence, as there are very few areas with wide shoulders, let alone sidewalks.

The Vibe

An Australian expatriate running a coffee shop on the island described the vibe of Koh Kood as “Old Thailand”. As you explore the island you’ll see the very humble and minimalist lifestyles of those who live here. But as we explored and got to meet more people, we didn’t feel uncomfortable for their circumstances. Rather, we came to feel admiration for the sense of peace and contentment that everyone seemed to radiate. Everything on Koh Kood is done at a slow and casual pace. The relaxed and friendly vibe make this island feel like the Latin America of Asia. Thailand’s culture of smiling, shy politeness means they are sometimes embarrassed to admit they don’t understand you, leading to some odd moments. The appropriate reaction to all of the quirks you’ll experience is to shrug them off with a laugh and say “Ah, T.i.T.” (This Is Thailand) and go with the flow.

The Location Of The Island

The pace of life on Koh Kood is quiet.  Back when we visited there were no clubs or beach raves (thank goodness!), though a few bars stay open late for those looking for a rowdy night out. There are three beautiful waterfalls worth visiting, and a few natural oddities, such as a huge 500 year old tree and three rocks that give the impression of being marooned ships. There are great scuba diving and snorkeling options, and kayaks for rent. Ultimately, this is the sort of place where you can disconnect and just be present. Wifi is marvellously limited and reliability is spotty in over most the island.  Data is pretty much non-existent over large stretches of the island – which is quite frankly a blessing. We spent our days here in un-rushed, offline relaxation, with nothing particular to do. Though we always bring books to read, they mostly go untouched. When feeling particularly motivated we cruise around the island on a scooter, see what neat spots cross our path where we try to befriend some locals and travellers.


Or we might go for a swim on a quiet beach with soft, powdery white sand. A few of the most beautiful beaches are only accessible by long kayak paddles, so make sure you get in some upper arm workouts before your vacation! But really, our trips to Koh Kud were simply the joy of being alive, calm, safe, lost in our thoughts and the beauty of each sunset. Our souls always feel deeply at peace here.


The Food 

It was not only the tranquility that seeped pleasure into our souls; the food options deeply satisfied our foodie natures! The larger resorts offer restaurants with more Westernized experience and setting, with familiar foods and well as some authentic classics. That wasn’t what we came for, so we opted for the small family run spots, where no one spoke English, menus offered awkward translations and dishes were superb! Be warned, don’t go to any of the local spots starving – food often takes a while to arrive at your table. Sometimes the kitchens had only one elderly woman behind a single flame stove to cook for eager diners. Take a book, or a set of cards, get cozy, enjoy a few drinks, and let your appetite warm up as you wait for your order.

The language barrier can be particularly interesting at these small restaurants. The staff may not understand you and feel too abashed to admit it. Sometimes they may be out of the dish that you ordered, and too sheepish to say so (if they can), resulting in something unexpected – but always delicious – arriving at your table. Remember, you’re a guest in a different land and everyone is doing their best to make you comfortable, even if they can’t meet more rigid Western expectations. Give in to the island vibe; let go and enjoying each moment for what it is, as it unfolds, and you’ll never be disappointed. 

Finally, there’s a post-meal vibe that you should know about. When you’ve eaten yourself into a food coma, don’t expect your check to arrive promptly at the end of your meal. It’s considered rude to rush guests who might want to lounge a while. You if don’t ask for the the bill, it won’t come. 


Dusita Resort

Health Care

Worthy of note is Koh Kood’s small hospital. We had the singular experience of getting to know the island’s hospital when Anyes broke her arm while exploring at the base of the waterfall. We took ourselves to the hospital by scooter, Anyes stabilizing her arm against Vic’s back. When we arrived at the hospital it seemed eerily empty, but as soon as we found someone all the necessary staff seemed to materialize out of thin air. Two nurses, a radiologist and doctor expertly took control of the situation, exhibiting genuine empathy and professionalism. We learned from the doctor, who spoke English fluently, that Anyes had a step fracture in her forearm. This would require surgery to set properly. We were given the option of going to to nearest major hospital – in Trat on the mainland (i.e.: a boat ride away) – for immediate surgery, or having the arm set manually and set in a cast as best as possible. This would be followed-up with enough inflammatories and pain killers to last until our arrival home – which was only 3 days away. We decided on the latter.

They did a marvellous job setting the arm and provided a thick cast to assure it was as stable as possible until we got home. What was most astounding was the cost of our medical assistance. With staff, x-rays and medication included, the whole thing cost us CDN $64!!

With the help of medication, Anyes spent the remainder of the trip quit comfortable (OK, she was pretty buzzed most of the time – lol) and was even able to enjoy a walking tour of Bangkok on our last day. We’re happy to report surgery went well back in Canada and with some physical therapy, Anyes’ arm is good as new.


Thailand from the air.

Getting There:

Step One: Getting to Trat

To reach Koh Kood one must fist get to the nearest mainland city, Trat. 

By Air: Bangkok to Trat is a quick one hour flight. However, getting from the airport to the Laem Sok boat docks takes 30 – 40 minutes. Finding a cab there is easy and many of the resorts on Koh Kood can help arrange transportation from the Trat airport to the pier.

By Road: On one of our trips we had booked a van to get to Trat. It was a bit of an unsettling experience as the company we used was hard to reach and the pickup location, which was also their Bangkok office, seemed so obscure we weren’t sure if it was the right place. It turned out to be the right place, and after an hour of uncertainty we were on our way.

Theoretically, the drive should take about four and a half hours. However, it took nearly two hours just to break free from Bangkok traffic, making the whole trip over six  hours long. Honestly, it’s not an experience we would recommend. Our trip back was much easier, as we had booked a bus that picked up a number of people returning by ferry and drove us back to Bangkok.

Take a book, it's a long fairy ride.

Step Two: Trat to Koh Kood 

Once at the Laem Sok pier there are ferry and speed boat options to take you to the three main islands in the area: Koh Chang, Koh Kook, and Koh Mak. We opted for the ferry both times, which takes about an hour and a half to reach Koh Kood. enjoying the slow meandering pace.

Regardless of your choice, be sure you throw on some sun screen before you board. A number of people who skipped this step arrived at their destinations with a wicked sun burn! Also, while we booked our tickets in advance online, there were people buying their tickets at the dock. For more information, you can check out  Koh Kood Ferries

Koh Kood History in Brief:

Translated as best as possible from the tourist flyer:

A historian said that Koh Kood is a sandstone island which had been separated from the edge of Bantat range 65 million years ago. Even now, no one knows where the name “Koh Kood” comes from.

Koh Kood was mentioned in a historical record of China during the Ming dynasty in a book called “Jerngherhanghaithoo”. This was a book for sailors created by Jerng Her, who was a writer during this period. He mentions the island in map #13. During the era of Kin Narai (1600’s), a Hollander had created a map of the Thai Kingdom and the surrounding areas, including the island. Koh Kood was first recoded during in Thailand period of H.M. King Budda Yord Fah Julaloak, The King Rama 1, over 200 years ago

In 1188, the Ongsiagsue family escaped an army led by the city ruler of Gui Yern which was planning to take control of Sai Ngon. The family fled to Bangkok, but later decided they should relocate. Too afraid of saying goodbye to the King, the family left in secret leaving a letter for the King. It was in the Trat province that they found a relatively uninhabited island, with only a few settlers. It was here, in Koh Kood, that the family and friends made a home by the Klong Chao Waterfall.


Three Main Waterfalls:

Klong Chao – Most popular, Pretty three tiers; swimming hole

Huang Nam Kaew – A treacherous scooter drive, short hike, beautiful jungle setting.

Klong Yai Kee – Pretty, slightly challenging hike in, less visited, only occasionally are waters deep enough for swimming


Our Favourite Restaurants:


Chiang Mai

Shaanta Koh Kood

Ban Makok

Krue Suam

Thai Kitchen

Tanyong BBQ

The Pink Kangaroo – Best Coffee


Three Main Waterfalls:

Klong Chao – Most popular, Pretty three tiers; swimming hole

Huang Nam Kaew – A treacherous scooter drive, short hike, beautiful jungle setting.


Klong Yai Kee – Pretty, slightly challenging hike in, less visited, only occasionally are waters deep enough for swimming

A Tourist Map Of The Island


Resorts we stayed at:

Shaanta Koh KoodWestern Style Accomodation

DusitaAsian Style Accomodation

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