Hidden Treasures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Far from the maddening crowds…peace and quiet…outstanding scenery…fresh air…exclaiming paradise! Aren’t we all wishing to find this picture perfect place for our vacation? A place that is out of tourist trail but has the comfort we are looking for. There are still some ideal secluded spots where you can enjoy your holidays in relative anonymity. If you’d like to relax on the beach, on a tropical island or commune with nature,  there are plenty of them to choose from and these are some of the most hidden gems in Thailand.

 

KOH MAK in Trat Province

Koh Mak is a small island of Trat Province , is a fine spot for those who enjoy tranquility and no crowds. Kho Mak is home to about 10,000 palm trees, a temple, a rubber plantation, three fishing villages, and two secluded beaches. Koh Mak is one of Thailand’s secret treasures, situated in the Marine National Park in eastern Thailand . The island is just 16 km² and is located in the Gulf of Siam it is approximately 10 kilometers by 5 kilometers with a costal perimeter of 27 Kilometers. This is a Family Island so if your looking for nightlife and partying Koh Mak is not for you. Surrounded by 50 additional small islands, in the marine national park Koh Mak is an ideal destination for all travelers who desire beautiful tropical surroundings unspoiled by mass tourism.

Although as secluded as they come, there is plenty to enjoy on the island besides the standard beach worshiping and hammock sleeping. From water sport activities to elephant treks to visiting the pearl farm at Koh Maisee Lek to watching the sunset whilst enjoying some fine seafood dishes, there is never a dull moment to be had. And, in the unlikely event of boredom, visitors can always wait for low tide and wade across to Koh Kam or kayak over to Koh Phi Phi, both islands off the northern coast.

There is one way and only way of arriving on Koh Mak and that is by water. Depending on budget, there is either a 3-hour ferry or 30-minute speedboat which both depart daily from Laem Ngop pier in Trat. The best way to get around the island is on a leisurely stroll or by renting a bike, available at most resorts.

How to get to Koh Mak

Koh Mak is located in the Gulf of Thailand, 60 km from Trat and 20 km from Koh Chang. There are hourly busses from Ekamai and Morchit bus stations in Bangkok and daily minivans from Kao San Rd. taking approximately 5 hours. From Trat bus station you take a 20 minutes songtaew share taxi to the pier at Laem Ngop where you can choose between slow or speed boats.

From the Laem Ngop pier near Trat: Leelawadee Speedboats sail all year round between Laem Ngop on the mainland near Trat and their home base at the makathanee pier on Koh Mak. Once a day during the low season and two or three times per day in the high and peak seasons. 10:00 and 14:00 are the times to remember.

From the Laem Sok pier near Trat: Siriwhite speedboats in partnership with CP Laem Sok group also make regular stops on Koh Mak’s largest pier in Ao Nid bay, before they continue to Koh Kood. Departures at 09:00 and 13:00 and a free shuttle from Trat city to the pier is available one hour prior. Service only available in the high season and small parts of the low season.

From Koh Chang: during the high season there is a twice daily speedboat transfer from Kai Bae beach at 09:00 and 11:00 to the Makathanee pier on Koh Mak. First boat is a sure bet, the 2nd only if there are enough passengers. In the low season this service won’t run.

From Koh Kood: same service running in opposite direction departing from most resorts own private piers at 09:30 and 12:00 and arriving to Koh Mak about 45 minutes later. This boat will typically continue to Koh Chang after docking at the Makathanee pier or there is the service from Laem Sok that stops at the much bigger Ao Nid pier and continues on to Laem Sok on the mainland.

By Air:

There is only one airline flying from Bangkok to Trat, which is Bangkok Airways, from Suvarnabhumi Airport, leaving daily 2 flights during low seasons and 3 flights during high seasons.


Things to do in Koh Mak

Koh Mak Beaches

With miles of unspoilt white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, Koh Mak is the ideal place from where to get lost in its beautiful surroundings, recharge the batteries and let all your cares run free. Soak up the sun, take a dip or indulge in a rejuvenating Thai massage.

Koh Mak Elephant Ranch

Explore the natural jungle surroundings of the island and amble along the fantastic beaches whilst sat atop a majestic elephant. The ranch is open daily from 8am to 5pm for both those wishing to take a ride and anyone just wanting to watch the animals at play.

Learn to Cook Thai in Koh Mak

Learn to cook the Thai way at Smile Koh Mak located at Pano Resort. Enjoy preparing your favourite Thai dish and then sample the results whilst watching the sun go down.

Scuba Diving Koh Mak

With clean warm waters and a wealth of well-preserved reefs, Ko Mak is a superb snorkelling and diving destination, where you will find a rainbow of colours together with a myriad of ocean life. Most resorts provide snorkelling equipment and both Paradise Divers and Ploy Scuba Divers are long established diving specialists.

Koh Mak Trekking

Possessing a mountainous landscape, covered by jungle and dense forest, the island has some great hiking trails leading to lookout points offering breathtaking views of the bays and, on clear days, across to Ko Chang and Ko Kut. Trails can be walked alone, but check with resorts for a map or directions.

 

KOH KUT in Trat Province

The peaceful island of Koh Kut (or Koh Kood), just off the Cambodian border and on the easternmost region of Thailand, is yet another of the country’s wonderfully unspoilt paradises, blessed with soft golden sands and clear turquoise waters. Without a bar in sight, a good share of idyllic palm-fringed beaches and the stunning surroundings of coconut and rubber tree plantations it is a favored spot with families and nature enthusiasts.

As with the majority of Thailand’s islands, the only way to reach Koh Kut is by boat, with services running from both Koh Chang and Laem Sok. Boats rides, from both destinations, take between 2 to 4 hours depending on the amount of stops and drop-offs required. Once landed, for those who want to see more than sun, sand, sea and a book, motorcycles are available to rent and offer a fun and free way to explore what the island has to offer. Travelers will also find speedboats at the beaches willing to ferry them from one bay to another and see the island glowing in the sparkling sunshine.

 


How to get to Koh Kut

As with the majority of Thailand’s islands, the only way to reach Koh Kut is by boat, with services running from both Koh Chang and Laem Sok.
By Air  from Don Muang airport in Bangkok to Trat:
  • Bangkok Airways flies from Bangkok to Trat and from Trat to Bangkok (10.20 am – 11.10 am) and (5.00 pm – 5.50 pm).

By bus from Bangkok to Trat Province:

Right now, taking a bus to Trat is convenient.  There are both private and state buses available.  Bus types ranged from ordinary to V.I.P ones.  Which one to choose is depended on your pocket.

  • Bangkok (Mochit) – Trat Provonce.1 Bus leaves at 06.00 a.m., 09.30 a.m., 00.30 p.m., 03.30 p.m., and 11.00 p.m.  Bus fare 194 Baht.
  • Bangkok (Ekamai) – Trat V.I.P Bus leaves at 07.30 a.m., 09.30 a.m., 00.30 p.m., 04.00 p.m., and 11.30 p.m.  Bus fare 197 Baht.
  • Trat – Bangkok (Mochit) P.1 Bus leaves at 07.30 a.m., 09.30 a.m., 00.30 p.m., 04.00 p.m., and 11.30 p.m.  Bus fare 194 Baht.
  • Trat – Bangkok (Ekamai) V.I.P Bus leaves at 08.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m., 00.00 p.m., 02.30 p.m., 05.00 p.m., and 11.00 p.m.  Bus fare 197 Baht.

How to go to Laem Ngob pier:

From Trat town, visitors can continue by share taxi transports to Leam Ngob pier where services are operated all day and parks at Robinson Department Store . Distance from town to Leam Ngob pier is 17 kilometers.

Laem Ngob pier – Koh Kut:

Passengers of Koh Kut Seatran usually leave from Leam Ngob pier to to Koh Kut on Friday and Saturday one time only at 9.00 am. (Ferry operation are subject to change without notice due to climate condition). For “Island hopper” ferry service, it operates on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday only. It starts at Koh Chang in the morning and then goes to Koh Wai, Koh Kham, Koh Mak, Koh Rayang and Koh Kood. The boat returns, calling at all the islands to Koh Chang in the afternoon.

Things to do in Koh Kut

Take It Easy – In all fairness, if you haven’t come to Ko Kut to relax then you are in the wrong place, as besides swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling and getting your nose into a good book, there is little else on offer. Ko Kut provides the perfect destination to recharge the batteries before heading north into mainland Thailand or across the border into Cambodia.

Scuba Diving Koh Kut – There are a wealth of untouched and colourful coral reefs off the coast of Ko Kut allowing visitors to explore the fascinating sea life of the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Kood Divers offer excursions and, for those planning to stay around for a few extra days, the chance to take a PADI diving course.

Nam Tok Khlong Chao – Beautiful waterfall and one of the most serene spots on the island. The waterfall itself consists of three levels, with the upper 2 being streams and the lower a large pond, which is ideal for a leisurely dip.

Ao Salat – For an interesting daytrip, rent a motorcycle and visit this traditional fishing settlement in the northeast of the island. The village, built on stilts in the water, is a captivating example of how local islander life still prevails.speedboats at the beaches willing to ferry them from one bay to another and see the island glowing in the sparkling sunshine.

 

KOH JUMis between Koh Lanta & Krabi Town

Koh Jum, Koh Jam, or Koh Pu depending on local pride, is every bit the unspoilt island paradise travelers yearn for when the throng of Thailand becomes too much. The charm of Koh Jum is besides its beautiful landscapes the fact that there is no disturbing tourist business. No souvenir shops, discos or peddlers and only a handful of travelers. The atmosphere is very homely and intimate. There is only sea, sandy beach, sun and good food. Therefore it is the perfect place to relax for a few days or longer, read books, enjoy the sunshine and taste delicious sea-food.

Once setting foot upon this ever so tranquil island, visitors have two choices to get around, on foot or with the rent of a motorcycle. At times, the roads between the beaches can be a little uneven and haphazard, however, with little traffic to worry about, navigating the island should come hassle free.

Koh Jum is on the western coast of Thailand, between Krabi and Ko Lanta. The best way to get there is by the boat that travels between Krabi and Ko Lanta from October to May. The boat stops in front of Ko Jam and long tail boats of the cottage villages pick up the travelers. Another option is to hire a long tail boat to take you directly to Ko Jam.

How to get to Koh Jum

Most travelers arrive via the ferries that connect Ko Lanta and Krabi, which charge about 350 baht (the same price as for the entire crossing, even though Ko Jum is at the half way point). The fare can be paid on board, but pre-booking is recommended as the ferry is often full. Tickets can be bought from travel agencies in Krabi or at the main ferry offices at the old pier on Thanon Khong Ka, and with resorts on Ko Jum.

Ko Jum has no jetty or dock – the ferry stops offshore and is met by longtail boats. If you’ve pre-booked, then a boat from your resort should be there to pick you up; otherwise simply choose one and ask for a lift to shore.

Getting Around

Ko Jum is a relatively small island and most of the population gets around on small 100-125cc motorbikes, which can be rented easily. There is also a local taxi service, comprising a motorbike and sidecar! The roads between the villages are narrow, unsealed, and frequently pot-holed and wet, and can be very challenging for inexperienced riders. There is now a concrete road surface in the three villages and on the stretch between Ban Ting Rai and Ban Koh Jum.

Things to do in Koh Jam

Beach Life – With 6 stunning beaches and bays to choose from it is no wonder that the prime activity on Ko Jam is soaking up the sun whilst laying upon the pristine sand with the warmwaters lapping at your toes. Renting a motorcycle is the best way to explore the delights and individuality of each beach.

Water Sports – There is also plenty on offer for those with higher energy levels. Cruise the waters on a leisurely kayak trip or get down below and see what lies beneath the warm crystal waters. Snorkeling and scuba diving equipment is available from all resorts.

Boat and Fishing Trips – Jump on a boat and visit one of the nearby islands for a day of exploring and snorkeling. Bamboo Island, Mosquito Island and Ko Phi Phi are all within an hours ride. Whilst aboard the boat, try your hand at fishing and take any catch back to the resort to be prepared deliciously.

Hiking – Make the walk through the jungle to the top of Koh Pu Mountain, which rises out from the island at 422m and offers breathtaking panoramic views and stunning sunsets over Koh Phi Phi.

 


KOH BULON LEH in Satun Province

Koh Bulon Leh is a relatively undiscovered tourist destination that has lots to offer. Blessed with amazing nature, it boasts of soda-white beaches, turquoise waters, coral reefs, and formations lying enticingly out of reach out in the seas. As such, it presents a wonderful haven for some spectacular swimming and kayaking opportunities. Snorkeling in particular is very much popular in the area, offering a dazzling display of colorful fishes and other marine creatures. Its allure rests on its laid-back atmosphere that is neither too secluded nor too crowded: the right mix for an ideal dream vacation.

Koh Bulon Leh is a small island, and the surrounding waters are neither the cleanest nor the greenest in the Andaman Sea. Yet, while under the radar for many, Koh Bulon Leh remains popular with returning vacationers year after year.

Koh Bulon Leh offers a peaceful tropical hideaway marked by cozy palm-studded beaches, thick virgin forests and rustic, thatch-roofed bungalows. The island has no roads, but its beautiful hiking trails, which carve through the lush greenery, are easily navigable. White-sand beaches stretch along the eastern and southern coasts, while a small fishing community resides along the island’s northern coast, where the shoreline is rocky. In recent years, erosion has occurred on some beaches, with high tide at times swallowing entire stretches of sand and uprooting trees in the process. However, the turquoise waters and laid-back atmosphere continue to attract a loyal following among foreign visitors, many of whom return annually to Koh Bulon-Leh during high season (November to May). Located in the general vicinity of Koh Tarutao and Koh Lipe.

Koh Bulon Leh is located 22 kms. from Pak Bara Pier. The beach is white and the water here is suitable for swimming. Diving and snorkeling can be done around Koh Ayam and Koh Hin Khao, where one can get a great view of the sunset. At night a group of hermit crabs and smaller crabs populate the beach.It’s a short ride (1.5 to 2 hours, depending on weather conditions) from Pakbara pier, as long as waters are calm. Passengers are typically dropped off on the beach near Bulon Leh Resort, which has the nicest white sand beach on the island. Long-tail boats meet the ferry and charge 50Baht per person. This is a rare and important income for Chao Lay drivers, and must be paid. There are NO banks on Koh Bulon Leh. Be sure to bring enough cash with you.

How to get to Koh Bulon Leh

You can get the boat direct from Pak Bara (400 Baht) on the mainland or Koh Lipe on the journey back to Pak Bara (600 baht).

You will need to pay 50 baht per person for a longtail boat transfer to the beach and back again to the speedboat.

Getting around

There are no cars and even roads on the island and transport is very much two legged. If you want to walk through the forest (which is highly recommended) wear long sleeved clothes again the mosquitos, wear proper shoes and don’t do it at night.

 

KHO ROK in Krabi Province

Koh Rok is a pair of twin islands that are frequented by visitors for the amazing coral reefs, in a perfect setting for snorkeling and diving. Koh Rok Nok ( Nok means outside ) and Koh Rok Nai ( Nai means inside) are 2 Islands next to each other, separated by a narrow channel about 15 metres deep. The islands lie within the protective boundaries of the Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park.  They are located forty-seven kilometers from Koh Lanta which makes for a perfect speed boat day trip.A great choice here is camping; you can find most supplies you need on the island and you’ll take pleasure in peaceful, quiet nights adorned by both stunning sunsets and sunrises.

 

Koh Rok comprises two islands namely Koh Rok and Nok and Koh Rok Nai. The distance between the two islands is about 250 m cut across by the water channel while the two sandy beaches of each island confront each other.

Koh Rok NoK: Located at Mu Koh Lanta National Park Ranger Unit I. The long white and clean beach lies in front of Koh Rok Nok stretching towards the island’s tip. This is a fine swimming area while coral reef is found at the south. From the National Park Ranger Unit is a walkway that leads to Thalu Bay behind the island. Thalu Bay is a stone beach with curved shape like horseshore. Strange colorful stones scatter around the area under the sea. There is a path to the viewpoint on Samet Daeng Cliff. From the place, the scenery of Trang’s island are seen at far distance including Koh Lanta.

Man Sai Bay is another bay located next to the front beach curving to the back of the island. Anyone can walk to Man Sai Bay at low tide. A very large Banyan Tree on the beach spreads its roots downwards covering the area below looking like a curtain.

It is remarkable that the forests here are of mangroves and tropical rain forest. Man sai’s beach has white sand and has moderate slope which is good for swimming in private atmosphere. Tourists prefer to relax only at the front beach.

Koh Rok Nai: The island at the east of Koh Rok Nok having only one beach called San Chao Beach. Along the water chanel between the two islands is a diving area of wonderful coral reef. At the beach, you will find a Shrine of Chao Mae Thapthim built by the fisherman.

Laem Siam is a cape located south of Koh Rok Nai. There is the ancient city pillar constructed in the reign of King Rama V at this cape to indicate the boundary of Thailand. Not far from this area is the bay of coral reef, on of Koh Rok Nai’s outstanding attractions.

Facilities: Koh Rok Nok has 5 lodges and a camping ground with bathrooms, toilets and welfare restaurants. Electricity is by a motor generator. Reservations can be made though intenet at www.dnp.co.th or contact for more details at Mu Koh Lanta National Park Tel: 0 7562 9018-9.

Ko Rok There are miles of near-blinding white beaches that are relatively quiet. A great choice here is camping; you can find most supplies you need on the island and you’ll take pleasure in peaceful, quiet nights adorned by both stunning sunsets and sunrises.

 

KHO NGAI in Krabi province

Ko Ngai is an island district in Krabi Province, and is  where the National Park Guard Unit of Mu Koh Lanta located in Ao Ko Tong area but actually it can better be reached via Trang in the Southern Andaman Coast. Like many other coastal destinations in Southern Thailand, it is known for its diving and long white beaches.

Koh Ngai is not a big island in Krabis sea on the Krabi-Trangs Water border line about 15 kilometers away only from Pak Meng Pier, convenient to travel from both provinces. Koh Ngai has natural beauty including sandy beaches, clear water and nice diving spot. The sand on Koh Ngais beach is so white worth taking a walk. Apart from the diving an snorkeling in the vacinity, the hills on Koh Ngai offer some spectacular jungle trekking amongst virgin jungles. Camping is allowed but tourists need to bring their stuff including food and drinks. Tourist prefers staying at a resort in a package tour that includes travel, accommodation, and boat for touring nearby islands. Package tours by agencies at Pak Meng Pier are also available and more convenient.

How to get to Koh Ngai

Ko Ngai or Ko Hai is an island that is actually in Amphoe Ko Lanta of Krabi but it is classified as a tourist destination in the Trang Sea because it is easier to get there from Trang. From Pak Meng pier, located 15 kilometres away on the mainland opposite, in Trang Province. Standard ferry takes about one hour. A boat can be rented for 1,500 baht (10 people) and 6,000-10,000 baht (for 20-40 people). A faster speedboat connection from Pak Meng Pier is also available, departing around the same time. It takes just 20 minutes.