Koh Kood, Thailand

Most travellers still head south-west of capital Bangkok for island larks, but these secretive shores are 350 kilometres south-east on the Gulf of Thailand, a boat-hop from the Cambodian border. Part of pristine archipelago the Koh Chang Marine National Park, Koh Kood is home to less than 2,000 villagers and fishermen and an intimate clutch of hotels, including the jewel in its crown Soneva Kiri. Seductive white sands, secluded coves and hilly rainforest beckons, as well as that endless blue ocean. Spend your days snorkelling, diving, playing tennis or trekking (or just enjoying some quality spa and hammock time). Come evening, catch an open-air movie under the stars. Slow food is celebrated here, as is chilling out.

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When to go

For dryer, cooler weather aim for November to May; monsoon rains and humidity kick in from June to soggy September. Luckily, showers are usually short-lived, interspersed with sunshine. Year-round temperatures of 28 degrees centigrade keep things toasty, with March to May the hottest season. The sea can get choppy during the monsoon, making island access trickier.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Fly into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, serviced by a host of global carriers. From here, guests heading to Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood are met on arrival, whisked through customs and board a small private plane for the one-hour flight to the resort's own airport nearby. A five-minute speedboat trip then delivers you to the horseshoe-shaped bay that's home to the hotel. Koh Kood is 80 kilometres off the Thai mainland, and not far from the Cambodian coast.
  • Boats

    Speedboats from the mainland to Koh Kood depart from Lam Suk pier, 22 kilometres (or a one-hour drive) south-east of Trat, taking from around 45 minutes. There are regular domestic flights from Bangkok to Trat Airport. In high season, you may also find speedboats departing from Dan Kao pier, near Trat, for Koh Kood. A network of inter-island ferries connect Koh Kood with the other islands in the Koh Chang Archipelago, including Koh Chang and Koh Mak.
  • Automobiles

    Most of the resorts and villages on Koh Kood are on the island's west coast, connected by a dirt road. You can hire motorbikes or bikes, or request transfers from your hotel if you want to head out and about.

Thai temptations

Thai temptations

Criss-crossed with canals, a mighty river and a handy Skytrain, Bangkok is a city of mega-malls, historic royal temples and gold-leafed pagodas. It’s also surprisingly easy going and affordable: indulge in sumptuous day spas, exquisite dining and on-the-hoof street snacks. To the north, Chiang Mai (Burmese-style temples, boho-chic boutiques and lots of elephants) and Chiang Rai (sleepy backstreets, mist-shrouded hills and, yes, elephant-packed too) are gateways to densely packed jungle, glittering waterways and local hill communities. To the south, Thailand’s party beaches, sybaritic islands and crystal-clear waters beckon: hop on a long-tail boat to under-the-radar Koh Kood, carefree Koh Samui or spectacular Phang Nga bay.

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