BigDummyKenny

No Something. No Another Thing. No Something Else.

Koh Kood Island Adventure – Part I – Getting There

Posted by RealDaffyDuck on March 23, 2011

On my last trip in September, I brought my assistant along, who in turn brought along her 7 year old along (stories for another trip report) – which was a great reason to explore some new destinations.

Aside from the usual couple of days in Bangkok, and hanging out with my friends, it was time to decide which new locales to explore — preferably something a bit off the beaten track, with a lot less tourists.

Granted, it was already the rainy low season, so not too much going on, but there’s always room for improvement – in an odd twist, I wanted to find some kind of minimalist destination, with beaches out of Jurassic Park and challenges out of Survivor (the TV show).

Then I quickly came to my senses, realizing that I covet at least a minimal amount of civilization – namely, hot water, electricity, and WiFi/internet. Hey, I’m crazy, but not *that* crazy.

With that in mind, tourist traps like Phuket, Samui or Samet were off the list, and I started looking at the island of Koh Kood, just to the south of Koh Chang (my other favorite island destination).

There it is (Google needs to get localized spelling fixed)

Getting There
Unlike Phuket, which has an international airport, or Koh Chang with frequent ferries, Koh Kood is Thailand’s second largest island (see map above) and can only be reached via speed boat or an express boat that leaves once a day during the low season (twice daily during high season). This additional layer of inconvenience makes it a less popular destination, which I hope will translate into near empty beaches. Woohoo!

So, the itinerary to get there is as follows:

  • Bangkok Air from Bangkok to Trat.
  • ‘taxi’ from Trat Airport to ‘taxi’ going to boat pier.
  • Express boat from Trat to Koh Kood.
  • ‘taxi’ truck to resort pick up
  • resort ‘taxi’ to actual resort.

Whew!

No wonder it’s not overrun by tourists – but, hey, after all, that’s what I am after.

(I did make sure that the various resorts on Koh Kood offered internet access (“yes, hab’ Wifi!”) making sure to ask twice (“yes, yes, sure, hab’ wifi, for sure!”). My past experience with Thai resorts and hotels when it comes to internet access has been less than stellar (“yes, hab'”, only to find out “sorry, no hab'”) – but hey, checking twice, and getting assured several times — what can possibly go wrong…

Bangkok Air out of Suvarnabhumi

Arriving in Trat as expected

Trat airport is one of those rarely well executed “just nice” airports – laid out amongst lush, green verdure, it reminds you more of a resort lobby than an actual airport. Transportation to and from the arriving planes is via Universal Studios Tour style carts (“keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times”) and it’s all open air.

Trat Airport - Feels like Jurassic Park already...

It’s really a nice experience, and a wonderful Hi-Touch environment compared to the all steel and concrete monstrosity that is Suvarnabhumi (pronounced “Sue Wanna Boom” – I kid you not) International Airport in Bangkok.

Trat is located on the mainland, and is an airport pretty much administered by Bangkok Airways, seeing as how they are the only airline flying in and out from there — this exclusivity results in higher prices for the flights, compared to mass-transit flights of the same distance to other destinations within Thailand – with whiners invariably complaining about ‘extortion prices’, but to be honest, I do feel that I am getting a quality product from Bangkok Airways.

To place things in perspective — the flight Bangkok – Trat – Bangkok costs about 5,500 Thai Baht, or roughly $130.

Back to our trip – Once at Trat, we took a shared van to some kind of Trat town center main transportation terminal – in other words, a huge marketplace with motorcycles, trucks and truck-taxis passing for transportation and taxis.

Here, we transited to our next mode of transportation — a covered truck, with seats, and obviously no restriction on the number of passengers that it can carry.

Luxurious Transportation

This was *before* I got in 🙂 my assistant's still smiling. The kid just goes with the flow

Onwards to Laem Sokh pier, to catch the Express Boat — we are driving along at break neck speed, only to come to a rushed …. stop … at some place in the middle of nowhere, who’s main purpose appears to be to offer various snacks and nick nacks to buy.

We had the seven year old along for the ride -- so, deep fried hot dogs, it was. Yummy

We finally get to the pier, we board to Express Boat, and we are off.

(I need to add it wasn’t exactly *that* quick — arriving at the pier, the only boarding on board to boat was provided … by plank. The plank is a boat accessory that I have a respectful love / hate relationship with, especially when I carry two large pieces of luggage. Fortunately, the crew realized my predicament, and assisted me by carrying the luggage on board — and I quickly scurried aboard)

Yay - we're on the 'express' boat (I hesitate to ask what the 'slow boat' is like)

The trip lasted roughly 2 hours to get there — so, really, not that long — and as you can see, we rode in the lap of luxury on the sun deck.

Lounging

Lounging in the Chaises Longues

While on the boat, I have been having consistently 5 bars / EDGE via TRUE. This bodes well. At least I would be able to stay connected via the cellular connection.

The 3-5 bars of EDGE provided by TRUEmove ("the AT&T of Thailand" -- take that as you will) are holding steady.

The boat arrived safely after an uneventful 2 hour trip across the Gulf of Siam. The waters were a bit rough, as expected with the rains, and it was interesting seeing Thai people sea sick. Damn landlubbers !!

Here's the pier on Koh Kood

Arriving at Koh Kood, we transferred into yet another luxury limo for courtesy transportation to the secret pick up location, for additional courtesy transportation to our resort (the word “courtesy transportation” and “limousine” was used a lot).

Here's our limousine transportation -- open air, you might call it 'cabriolet' -- if you live in denial.

I took some great video of the actual drive and the ‘experience’. I’ll supplement this with links in a separate email to the YouTube links once I upload those.

Finally — we are *THAT* close — we arrived at the ‘secret pick up location’ (really, just the station where the resort’s courtesy shuttle can pick us up from — which was nowhere to be seen).

Instructions to weary travelers, printed on the pavement.

Relax – a couple of phone calls later, the courtesy shuttle (another truck) showed up, and took us to one of our destinations – Koh Kood Resort.

(continued in part II)

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7 Responses to “Koh Kood Island Adventure – Part I – Getting There”

  1. Wombat said

    Are we there yet?

  2. adman said

    Looks like a relaxing boat trip. You say it was 2 hours? No scantily clad ladies with cocktails?

  3. I’ll have Part 2 up and ready as soon as SBDOTKU… oh, wait…. as soon as Gulliver’s Part 3… no, wait.

    Let me think about this.

  4. SBDOTKU said

    Eat me, I’m Danish. Sent you my part 2 – short as it is. ;-D

    What again is the appeal? What does this place have that Karon or Kata or Koh Chang doesn’t have? Or rather what does it not have that the others do?

    • “What does this place have that Karon or Kata or Koh Chang doesn’t have?”

      Human garbage.

      Or rather what does it not have that the others do?”

      Human garbage.

      This applies particularly to any Phuket destinations. Phuket is crap.

  5. Dalia Dary said

    Dalia
    Can u send me part 2?
    Is it worth the trouble?
    What do u do there for fun in the evenings?
    Where to stay?
    thanks
    Dalia

    • Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 have all been posted subsequently.

      Look at subsequent articles, or use the search field at the top right to look for “Koh Kood”.

      Glad you like it.

      It’s DEFINITELY worth the trouble. There’s not much to do there for fun, except to enjoy empty beaches that you are the only person on, and enjoying starry skies during pristine nights.

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