With the most amazing news in mind (click here if you don’t know what i’m talking about), we depart to our scheduled snorkeling trip to the 3 Khai Islands.
The Khai islands are located very near Koh Yao Yai, a long tail boat is enough for the trip. There are tours coming from other islands by speed boat but that is not necessary if you’re staying in Koh Yao Yai.
They are pretty white sand tinny islands counting with bars and limited food and snacks.
Sunbath chairs placed in the shadow are rented for overpriced fees at all the 3 islands, depending on the day and time of your visit you’ll understand how hot it gets in the otherwise shadeless islands and may even agree to pay the price for the desired sun relieve.
The water is crystal clear for swimming yet not as clear for snorkeling, the visibility is compromised and there’s not much to see underwater apart from some small fish (this may change with time and season) and mostly hard coral.
It is a nice time out for those staying in Koh Yao Yai but i would not recommend the trip if you’re staying further away.
White sand and clear water, perfect for sunbathing and swimming at the shallow sandy bottom shore.
Price-wise, you’ll see many advertisements for this tour around the island, mostly offering a 4 hour trip for 1500 baht per person. We found a nicer deal in Glow Elixir Beach with the boatmen that stay by a tour sign by the beach. Unlimited time for 2000 baht per boat.
An important reminder is to bring water, they sell it for three times its price on the islands and it will be really needed. It was a hot day when we did our tour and sunblock and hydrating were essential.
If you are vegan, bringing your own meal from Yao Yai will be a must as they sell mostly seafood on the 3 islands and the grilled corn is made side-by-side with the lobster. Still, you can find drinks and some always welcomed fresh coconut water on the stalls.
Here all addresses and extra info from everything you saw on the video:
Loh Jark Beach South West Of The Island GPS: 7.933772,98.574445
Our hotel was located at this beach.
It is a quiet and beautiful stretch of sand, only disturbed by a unfortunate pier construction right in the middle of the bay.
Glow Elixir Beach South West Of The Island GPS: 7.925620,98.577111 (copy and paste in map’s search bar for exact location) Website: http://elixir.glowhotels.com/
One of the top beaches to visit while on the island.
We chose to depart from this location to our snorkeling trip due finding a better deal with the boatmen from this beach.
Sareefah Seafood Restaurant South West Of The Island GPS: 7.925885,98.579632 (copy and paste in map’s search bar for exact location)
Open from 9 am to 10 pm.
With good English and clear understanding of Jie(vegan food), they were able to cook us delicious vegan food even though it was not listed on the menu.
After our meal, our boatman approached the restaurant and we discovered it is owned by his family. Cool coincidence.
More of amazing Thailand is coming soon! Stay connected!💙
How amazing is our world, how lucky we are to be able to go through such experiences!
They are one attitude away, free yourself, spread your wings and fly!
Divine Redang is one of these gifts from the universe, just waiting for you.😉
Grab it, manifest, live it!✨
Where To Stay
As I mentioned in the previous post, unfortunately, there are no backpacker prices available on the island.
There are still a big variety of hotels, from mid-range to high-end prices.
My advice is to stay beachfront, Redang is not an easy/cheap place to move around, and there’s not much to see apart from the main reason you’re there.
No night markets, pubs, nice restaurants, or whatsoever out of the beachfront.
There’s only one road on the island and it doesn’t access many of the bays, it is a mistake not to stay beachfront, there’s no reason too.
We wanted to get our diving certification done, packages were the best/cheapest/value option.
If you are planning on doing snorkeling trips, it may be the best choice to go with a package too.
We are usually not prone to buying packages but in Pulau Redang, it was what worked the best for us.
If you are on a tight budget and choose one of the small hotels that are not in front of the beach(and are still expensive), paying for trips/ snorkeling trips/taxis/dives to visit the places you wish, can end up costing you the same as the package deals or more.
I know that’s not the case in many places, but it is in Redang.
Asking around the pier or in the village won’t put the price much down, you will either end up isolated and not experiencing the island as much or spending a whole more then you expected.
We had an amazing time and recommend staying at the main beach, Pasir Panjang.
Redang interior is quite undeveloped and at this bay, you have the opportunity to walk the long beach, look at small shops, have some massage, and restaurants options.
Also, it is magnificent and not crowded at all, the peaceful feeling remains even though it is the most concentrated area.
Fantastic snorkeling can be done out of the shore.
Chin-dropping Redang is today’s destination, with beauty from another world, pleasing just about anyone.
When traveling in Terengganu, every local you chat with will advise you to visit Redang. Words of knowledge my friends.
We had it in our plans and just got reassured by the endless compliments people had to the place.
The paradisiacal island, unfortunately, doesn’t cater for backpacker prices, but if you are going to choose somewhere to splurge, this is most definitely a great choice.
Still, prices are not high as the Maldives per say, and the packages are value for money, you end up not spending much(or nothing at all) out of it.
But first you have to find your way to this magnificent place:
How To Get There
From Kuala Lumpur:
From Kuala Lumpur, you have to fly to Kuala Terengganu, where is located the nearest airport to Redang.
Fares are usually cheap, costing even the same as a bus ticket when bought in advance or during promotions.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport – Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur Address: 64000 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia ERL: Express Rail Link connects the airport to the city center.Full schedule here: http://www.kliaekspres.com/plan-buy/schedule/ Bus: http://www.klia.com.my/index.php?m=airport&c=getting_around&id=1&aid=1 Website: http://www.klia.com.my
The trip to Kuala Terengganu takes 7-8 hours, costing around rm40-45.
Checking the flight tickets are advisable as great deals for this trajectory are often available.
Kuala Lumpur Bus Station – TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) Address: Jalan Terminal Selatan, Bandar Tasek Selatan, Kuala Lumpur Website: http://www.tbsbts.com.my/
From Kuala Terengganu:
Boats to Redang depart from 2 different piers, in 2 different cities, is really important to have this information in hands before deciding the next step of your trip.
If your boat departs from Kuala Terengganu, you can take a taxi (or call it by an app) to Kuala Terengganu Jetty or to your hotel depending on your arrival time.
It will cost you around rm20 and take 20-30min.
If your boat departs from Merang Jetty, look for taxi stalls, there you can book your trip.
It will cost rm55 and take around 45min, usually, there’s no waiting line.
If you are arriving late, and can’t take the boat on the same day, check the “From Merang” section below.
Kuala Terengganu Airport – Sultan Mahmud Airport Address: Jala Lapangan Terbang, Kuala Terengganu Website: http://www.malaysiaairports.com.my/index.php/component/content/article/15
Boats to Redang depart from 2 different piers, in 2 different cities, is really important to have this information in hands before deciding the next step of your trip.
After arriving in Kuala Terengganu bus station, if your boat departs from Kuala Terengganu Jetty, you can walk to the pier.
Walking will take 10min, if you are too tired, there are taxis waiting in front of the station that will charge rm10.
If it departs from Merang, you can either grab another bus(rm10) or a taxi(rm50), it will take around 50min.
If your boat departs from Merang check the section below.
Kuala Terengganu Bus Station – Hentian Bas Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Terengganu Address: Jalan Syed Hussin, Kuala Terengganu
SP Bumi Bus Company (Bus From Kuala Terengganu to Merang) Website: http://www.spbumi.com.my/Main/Main.asp?pageID=002 Phone: +60377288789 (call for latest schedule)
If your boat departs from Merang, there are 3 possible scenarios: 1️⃣ Your plane/bus arrive in time to catch your boat to Redang on the same day.
2️⃣ You arrive late, stay over-night in Merang(not tourist-oriented city, just a small fisherman village) and catch the first boat to Redang in the morning.
3️⃣ Stay in Kuala Terengganu due to facilities available and catch an early bus/van/taxi to Merang in the next morning.
Most of Redang hotels offer pickup service to the pier for reasonable prices.
The choice will depend on schedule and/or taste.
Make sure to contact your hotel(if you have pre-booked) to advise you about the right pier.
The Final Destination:
Breathtaking Redang is one of the most beautiful islands in Malaysia.
If we had to pick only one island to visit during our trip, it would be it for sure.
Rich marine life, powdery white sand, turquoise crystal clear sea, and lush greens are waiting for you.
It is time to put Malaysia on your map!
Stunned by Redang? Stay tuned because there’s more to come!🏝
Stunning Gemia Island is one of Malaysia’s secrets, that most have never heard of.
Luckily, we are putting the word on the streets, paradisiacal Gemia is gorgeous and is waiting for you!
Located 800 meters from Kapas Island, it fits perfectly on an island hopping vacation, but can also be the one and only star of your holidays.
Paradisiacal setting awaits lucky travelers that make their way to the small, yet enchanting island.
Great snorkeling, crystal clear water, white sand beach, and exotic scenery will be your sweet reality.
Where To Stay
There’s only one hotel located in Gemia Island, luckily it’s a nice one, you can check everything about it on the link below.
Gem Island Resort & Spa Website: http://www.gemisland.com.my *A dive center is available at the hotel. **The hotel is closed for monsoon season, it will open again on March 1st, 2018.
For vegans, some of the hotel staff speaks good English, you can explain your diet preferences.
If staying at the hotel, we recommend talking about it before booking to make sure it suits your needs, as buffet style meals are served(you have the option to order a la carte but it is not included in the package prices).
What To Do
Great barracudas, blacktip reef sharks, magnificent sea anemone, crown-of-thorns starfish, and many other beautiful fishes and coral can be found around the island.
The hotel offers guided snorkeling packages, if you have any experience, you can definitely do it by yourself.
The resort has a dive center where you can book different styles of courses or dives.
Contact the hotel to check latest prices and schedule.
The crystal clear water makes for a beautiful kayaking experience.
Going around the island, or all the way to Kapas is easy and doable even for those without experience(if you are not a skilled swimmer, please, use a life jacket).
⚫Chill On The Beach/ Hammock Time
It is a paradisiacal island, no explanation needed.😜
A turtle conservation project takes places at the hotel premises.
There’s a protected space where the eggs laid in the sand are cataloged and safe to hatch.
Also, a small pool(nearby the hotel swimming pool), where the baby turtles stay until they’re ready to be released into the sea.
There are rock formations and a few beaches to be explored around the island, there’s not an actual trek per say, but you can create your own route.
Unfortunately, as it was very near to the hotel closing date for monsoon season, the spa wasn’t working when we visited.
If this is something important to you, make sure to check with the hotel beforehand.
The majority of the time though, you’ll be able to get a massage to further extend your relaxation.
Boats to neighbor Kapas cost only rm30 round trip, I would recommend staying at least a night in Kapas as well, if you have time.
In case you don’t want/can’t stay in Kapas, but budget is a matter, still you can come to Kapas Island first and then a smaller boat from Gem hotel can pick you up for free on a 5min ride(make sure to schedule this with the hotel, free for guests only).
If coming from Kapas, but not a guest at Gem Resort, still you can visit the island.
A short boat ride can be arranged with your hotel, or you can rent a kayak and go by yourself.
If kayaking, sea conditions should be noted and it’s advisable to wear a life jacket.
The hotel arranges private boats by request, costing rm160 one-way between 8:00-9:00am and rm198 one-way between 3:00-6:00pm.
The boat fits max 12 passengers.
If renting a private boat is something you would like/need to do, asking around Marang pier is a way to probably find lower rates on a more flexible schedule.
Where To Next
Going South you can find Redang, Lang Tengah, and Perhentian Islands.
North there’s Tenggol Island.
To the north, Kenyir Lake, and nearby waterfalls.
South there’s Kuala Terengganu, the capital city of Terengganu state.
We adored Gemia! What about you? Share with us in the comments below!💗
Surprised by Malaysia’s beauty? Stay tuned for more!
Last day of our special encounter with this place.
Salty skin, salty soul.
Interaction with a new culture and again our world becomes bigger! It’s true, the universe is always expanding.✨
Teluk Kerma, mostly called D’lagoon due the long-running hotel at its bay, is an amazing beach in Perhentian Kecil (small island).
The island is gorgeous, just looking at it is enough!🌴
If you want to do something else though, there’s a dive shop, ATV’s, snorkeling equipment, banana boat, kayaks, and a free zip-line available at the hotel to further entertain yourself.
Hammocks and beach chairs are also placed around the beach with even a simple checkers with sea view.=]
There’s a turtle hatchery project being done by the hotel, you can see the baby turtles and eventually the mom! If the big turtle comes to the beach at night-time they will wake everyone up to see it (without interfering).🐢
There’s a jungle trek departing from behind the hotel leading to 3 different destinations: Turtle Beach (10 min walk), Adam and Eve( 20 min walk) and Long Beach(1 hour walk, steep way up, beautiful view though).
It’s perfect to explore different locations using D’Lagoon as a base.
If you are not into trekking, skip the Long Beach pathway (that can be done by boat), but don’t even consider skipping pristine Adam and Eve and Turtle Beach!
The restaurant here is short on options for vegans, if possible bring some fruits along.
Other choice is visiting the neighbor bays and have something to eat there (still short on fruits but there’s much more meal options).
The boat will cost rm 15 to Long Beach where there’s nicer food options than Coral Bay for example.
D’Lagoon Chalet and Restaurant Perhentian Kecil Website: http://www.dlagoon.my
Only one hotel located at this bay* *Can’t be booked in advance.We called few days before arrival to ask whether they thought there would be free places in our dates, we suggest you to do the same.
Kota Bahru Airport
There’s a stall selling traditional Malay sweets at Kota Bahru airport.
Many of them are vegan and delicious, definitely worth the try.🍬
They can be a great souvenir as well, exotic new tastes are always a hit with my family.
Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Kota Bharu – Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra Address: Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, Kota Bharu, Malaysia Website: https://www.sultanismailpetra.com
It is always hard to say goodbye.☀️
I try not to overthink on whether we are going to be back one day or not and let the universe work its magic.
There’s of course the melancholy of saying goodbye and the very human urge of wanting to be back, but even after that I reflect on the whole situation and come to the conclusion that moment was manifested, it existed beautifully, it was there, forever imprinted on my mind, on our superconscious in form of a delicate mandala of love.
Which reminds me that now is all that exists, so there’s no more melancholy or urges, just the universe, dancing!❤️
Our first time in Malaysia couldn’t be better with Perhentians as our opening place!
It’s a closed deal our return to see more of this enchanting country.
And these are part of the reason why:
At first we arrived in Teluk Dalam, the sun was up and the shiny crystal water put a spell on everyone on the boat.
First impression was gold and it was there to stay.
Our hotel was a budget beach front bungalow, with the perfect view to wakeup for.
If you are used to budget hotels in Thailand, be prepared to lower your expectations, around here things are simpler.
That being said, the location was sublime enough to any detailed about the room be forgiven, specially for such prices.
It’s not a must see if you are staying somewhere else, it is beautiful, but so is everywhere else on the island.
Recommended for people looking for a well located base to explore Besar island, with accommodation options suiting every budget.
PIR stands for Perhentian Island Resort, the hotel which the bay is named after.
If it fits your pocket, this is a very nice location to stay in Besar, otherwise Teluk Dalam is a short walk away (see more about that below).
It has a long stretch of sand, plenty of space to enjoy the beach in privacy.
The hotel restaurant is handy to have the chance to spend more time around.
A 20 min walk separates the two beauties.
If coming from Teluk Dalam trails starts behind Arwana Resort, if from PIR it starts behind Perhentian Island Resort.
The path near by Arwana is covered with knee/thigh high weeds, but it clears up in about 5min.
The trek level is easy and beginners, children and elderly can do it.
Just besides Sun Island Eco Village Resort in Saracen Bay there’s a sign showing the direction for lazy beach trail that takes 20-25 min.
The walk is easy on an open, mostly shadowed pathway.
On the way you can hear the sounds of nature and nothing else, breathe fresh air and enjoy the landscape.
If you’re not feeling like walking, renting a boat to get you there is possible.
However the trail is really simple and pleasant, we recommend you to do it by land.
An inviting, basically empty stretch of sand, to relax as you wish.
Distinguishing from Saracen and its blues and whites, with clear light jade water and golden sand.
There’s only one hotel available, where you can find something to eat in order to spend the day over there.
Their passion fruit and mint juice was delicious, I suggest you to give it a try.😉
We tried both sides of the bay, we’ve been told that the sea was a little shaky that day and usually it’s even more clear.
Facing the ocean, the right side had more marine life and the left was deeper with more corals.
We saw many sea urchins, but the ones that got my attention were the white ones, something you will sure encounter as well if snorkeling in Lazy Beach.🐠
How to get to Koh Rong Samloem, Where to Stay and What To Do
For us, there’s nothing in the world like being at a pristine beach.It’s the ultimate experience, one we definitely look for.
What about you, do you agree with our vision?Share with us at the comments below!💜
If your goal is to party every night, this is definitely not a good choice.
Having a drink looking at the sea is sure possible, but nothing even near to a party is available around.
If a paradisiacal island, unspoiled, with peace and quiet is your goal: Bingo!
With the great balance of having enough hotel and restaurant options and even massage and small shops.
What To Do
Waterfalls – There are 3 well-known waterfalls that are the most visited but if you are an explorer you may find a new one yourself.😉
We’ve been to the main Klong Chao Waterfall. I felt like my soul was being washed when I seated under the falling, refreshing water.
There’s great energy in that place, take the opportunity to refill your batteries.
Mangroves – To complete the exotic atmosphere, the island is doted with imposing mangroves.If you don’t have extra time to tour them specifically, just keep an eye on your way between bays and you probably will peek at mother nature art.
Kayaking – Usually restricted to the sea, here you have the option of kayaking as well through the river near by the mangroves until a waterfall.🐒
Snorkeling – If compared to famous snorkeling spots, Koh Kood won’t make to the top, mostly due sandy bottom.
The water is a crystal clear lagoon, but as there’s no big reefs the biodiversity is quite low compared to other Thai destinations.
Diving – From taking your Padi to advanced dives, all available for a good price compared to other countries.There’s a few companies at the island, giving you a bit of flexibility at your choice.
Chilling – Is relaxation your thing?Ok, no problem! Find a comfy spot at the empty sand and fill your eyes(and spirit!) with joy.
Treepod Dining With Zipline Waitress – Treepod restaurant at Soneva Kiri Resort counts with picturesque setting, even the way you food is served is surprising.
But this treat is not to everyone due to the high price (around 400 usd per person).
Massage – One thing we learned is, unlike other Thai islands, here if you don’t schedule a massage you may see yourself waiting in the line or having to leave it to the other day. It’s probably not an issue at low season.
Trekking – The island is developing quickly, but still there’s a lot of unexplored places.If you’re a trek lover you’ll delight yourself with the diversity that can be found around.
Ancient Makka Trees – Ancient trees are all around untouched Koh Kood rainforest, but some of them are at the spotlight because age and size.
There’s signs at the main road leading to their location, a nice site to connect with the island.
What To Eat
As if you aren’t already lucky enough, not only the island shines but also the delicious Thai food.
Take advantage on each meal to try out exotic, flavorful dishes.
Some of our favorites are Green/Red/Massaman Curry, Vegetable Pad Thai(fried rice noodle) and Veggie Tom Yam (spice soup).
A fresh young coconut to drink and sticky rice with mango for dessert, is a must at least once!😋
Also along the roads you’ll find yummy cashew, banana, mango and more produced at the island.It’s definitely worth a try.
Where To Stay
As the place is yet not target by mass tourism, finding accommodation can be a little harder.
Conventional hotel booking websites won’t have much options as they do for other destinations in Thailand.
There’s one website where you can check most of the available hotels there plus some more info about the island:
(Disclaimer:Be aware that this is a third part website and we do not hold responsibility for any sale or claim they may do, neither we get any kind of commission)
Personally, after checking the website above, we selected our hotel and found their phone number in google.
Then we just called and booked by ourselves.Everything worked out just fine, we had a great stay.🌴
This is the kind of place i like to add (and check off) my bucket list.What about you?Are you a hidden scape kind of person?Share with us at the comments below!💚
Blinding white sand with calm light turquoise water.Just like heaven might look, but right here on earth for you to enjoy.
This is Rong Samloem island setting, one not easy to forget.
There’s no roads, cars or such.Only a dozen of simple beach front hotels(and unfortunately couple of piers).
With two trails departing from the main Saracen Bay, one heading to Lazy Beach(20 min walk) and the other to Sunset Beach(45 min walk).Any other transportation is done by small boats you can easily rent along the beach.
But first, as you know, you have to get there:
How To Get There
The way from Sihanouk to Koh Rong Samloem (not to be confused with the neighbor Koh Rong) is easy.
You just have to buy the fast boat tickets, available at most hotels, as well at small tour shops around the city.
Transportation from your hotel to Serendipity Beach pier is included at ticket price.
The available schedule includes boats at 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00.The ride takes 45 min and costs 10 usd one way.
There’s more then one company traveling this route, timetables are known for changing frequently and late boat departures are common.
The boat will stop at 3 piers in Koh Rong Samloem: Saracen Bay, Ecosea Resort and M’Pay Bay(11:00am boat doesn’t stop at M’Pay Bay) .
Be aware that when you buy an open return ticket, the company may keep available space at the boat for new buyers and leave you without option but to wait for other times or dates.
We had a bad experience with that.Unless you already know the exactly time and date you want to be back and leave it scheduled, you better of buying the return when you have your dates later on.
Saracen Bay is our recommendation due to convenience and looks.
As far as beach quality, I’m sure you’ll have no complaints (aside from not wanting to leave).It is paradisiacal, literally.
From Saracen Bay still you have 2 tracking trails available, amplifying your visit options without counting on a boat.
Comfort talking, food options are quite limited at the island, alternating restaurants can be a big deal when facing poor menu choices, and this will be only an option when staying in Saracen.
The food struggle is even worse for vegans, not many fruits and veggies are available, eating a fried rice with only one veggie on it is likely to happen until you find better options elsewhere.
Accommodation-wise, there’s no high-end resorts at the island.
Most of hotels are simple bungalows, some with limited electricity.
We booked two different hotels, but due to work emergency we left without actually staying at the second one.
In the other hand, if you’re looking for privacy and isolated feeling staying at Lazy Beach may be the best choice for you.
The fast boat don’t stop at this beach though, a boat ride or 20 min walk will be needed.
The golden sand beach and greenish ocean are a total different look from Saracen, making these 2 must see spots.
Things To Do
If you’re after some water fun ➡️ snorkeling, diving(even getting your padi ) and kayaking are available(and recommended!) at the island.
Feet on the sand is your vibe? Chilling at the beach and trekking to explore the island are great options!
What about night time? You can rent a boat for 40 usd (boat price, can be shared by a group) to swim with magical looking bioluminescent plankton contrasting with the dark sea.
If you ask my opinion I would say go on and do it all!Enjoy every aspect of this beautiful place!🌴
Getting to Koh Kood is easy! Just follow the 2 steps below and prepare to be sun kissed!😉
1- Bus from Bangkok to Trat
There’s more then one departure point, we bought our ticket from Ekkamai as it was closer to our location.
The other options would be from Khao San Road or Mo Chit Bus Terminal(addresses below).
The route will take around 5.5-6 hours and will cost 236 baht per person one way, with the possibility of buying a discounted open return ticket.
It’s highly advisable to buy the ticket before the travel day, specially when aiming for the last or first bus.
Address: Ekamai Bus Terminal (Eastern Bus Terminal) – สถานีขนส่งสายตะวันออก (เอกมัย)
Also spelled Ekkamai Bus Terminal
BTS(skytrain): Ekkamai station – Sukhumvit line, exit 2
Mo Chit Bus Terminal – สถานีขนส่งหมอชิต
(Also known as Northern Bus Station or Chatuchak Bus Terminal)
*Not to be confused with Mo Chit BTS skytrain station.
BTS(skytrain): Mo Chit Station – Sukhumvit line, THEN TAKE A TAXI.
Best way to get there from Bangkok is by taxi.
Khaosan Road – ถนนข้าวสาร
(Can also be spelled Khao San Road)
Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok
Tip: All taxi drivers will understand “Khaosan Road” without need to show the address in Thai.
2- Boat from Trat to Koh Kood
Soon as you arrive at Trat Bus Station, there will be free taxi service to bring you to the pier.
Most of people will head to Koh Chang, be careful to embark to Laem Sok Pier that is the one going to Koh Kood.
There’s more then one company offering the ferry service, your choice will mostly depend on the time you are arriving in Trat.
You can call to the companies to confirm if there will be an available boat at the day of your arrival.
When we’ve been there, the 9:00am boat won’t be riding that day, we took the 10:00am one.
Boats depart usually from 9:00am to 2:20pm, with prices ranging from 200-950 baht depending on the company and/or travel time.
Private speed boats are available as well.
The taxi will leave you right at a small restaurant at the pier where you will wait for few minutes until the departing time of your boat.
The boat is a big high-speed catamaran(unless you chose the slow boat) with comfy seat and air-con, the ride lasts around 75-90 min.
From Koh Kood’s pier there’s a free taxi service that brings you to your accommodation.
Just inform your hotel name and they will lead you to the right vehicle.
And this is it!You are at the paradise!Enjoy your time!🌴
Times and Tips:
We took the last bus of the night and the first boat in the morning.
There’s quiet a wait time between them at the bus station(around 3-4 hours depending on available ferry schedule).
Another option is taking the first bus leaving Bangkok at dawn, then there’s no wait, but you may have to take the noon or afternoon boat depending on you bus schedule.
Be aware that the last boat to Koh Kood is at 2:20pm and we don’t recommend staying the night in Trat, it’s a waste of time.
The way back to Bangkok:
Everything the same but in reverse!
Free taxi from your hotel to the pier – free taxi from the pier to Trat Bus Station – buy your ticket to Bangkok(if you don’t have one yet) – arrive in Bangkok 6 hours later.
All hotels and some stores around the island sell the boat tickets back to Trat.
Another good choice would be visiting neighbor islands like Koh Mak, Koh Chang, Koh Wai.All just a ferry boat trip away from Koh Kooh lasting from 30 min to 2 hours.
The trip till the destination is always highly enjoyable for me, doesn’t matter where i’m going, there’s the expectation going on, i just love it!
What about you? Do you feel the same?Share with us tin the comment below!💚
Koh Tao( เกาะเต่า ) means Turtle Island, dedicated to the island shape, and yes you can find turtles there as well!😉
Located at Chumphon Archipelago on the Gulf of Thailand, near by famous neighbors Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Spotting a turtle is considered a luck charm by Thai people, we saw one and they must definitely be right, because we felt blessed by that encounter.
If you’re a fan of snorkeling or/and diving there’s no way you won’t love this place!
But first you have to get there:
By Train + Ferry Boat
At Hua Lamphong Train Station you can buy a combo train+ferry ticket (Bangkok-Chumphon by train, Chumphon-Koh Tao by ferry).
I certainly recommend buying the ferry in advance(at Hua Lamphong) to avoid overcharge(very likely to happen) and/or losing the ferry and time once in Chumphon.
Soon as you arrive at Chumphon (nearest coastal city to Koh Tao) there’s still a half hour bus ride until the pier, the bus will be waiting for you and it is a free service included at the ticket price, it will bring you directly to the pier.
Enjoy your bus ride, it’s a beautiful way down the pier.
Ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours.
There are 2nd class seats, 2nd class beds(air-con and fan fares) and 1st class cabin options available at the train, the trip will take around 8 hours.Best will be choosing an overnight train and enjoy your sleep until the destination, it also matches the morning boat assuring you won’t have to spend the night in Chumphon.
If you’re not short on time and don’t mind an adventure, train would be my recommendation.This is the way we’ve done it and we would definitely do it again!👍 Address: Hua Lamphong – หัวลำโพง
(Officially “Bangkok Railway Station” – สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ) Address: Hua Lamphong, Rama 4 Road, Mahaphruttharam, Bangrak, Bangkok Address in Thai: ที่อยู่: หัวลำโพง ถ.พระราม 4 แขวง มหาพฤฒาราม เขต บางรัก กทม MRT: Hua Lamphong station – Blue line, exit 2 BTS(skytrain): *Interchange with MRT needed- Asoke station – Sukhumvit line, interchange with MRT blue line Website(Thailand Railway): http://www.railway.co.th/home *In this website you can check all timetables, fares and seating options with pictures of all trains in Thailand.
By Flight + Ferry Boat
There’s 3 airports nearby: Surat Thani, Koh Samui and Chumphon.
From the chosen one you will have to take a bus/taxi/tuk tuk until the pier and then a ferry to Koh Tao.
Note that flights directly to Koh Samui are usually extremely more expensive than other destinations in Thailand, the reason is a private(and beautiful!) owned airport with a route done by only one company(Bangkok Airways).
If there’s availability from your departure point, Chumphon is the best choice.
By Bus + Ferry Boat
Multiple buses to Chumphon depart from Southern Bus Terminal during the day.The trip will take around 8 hours. BE AWARE that private buses from Khao San Road are NOT a good choice as multiple THEFT are occurring on those trips.
After arrival, you have to catch the next boat to Koh Tao.Ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours(there’s slower boats, if possible plan to arrive in time for the fast one).
I personally would rather use the train, as you will have a bed to sleep all the way and guaranty to board the fast boat on time. Address: Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) – สถานีขนส่งสายใต้ใหม่ตลิ่งชัน Address: Borommaratchachonnani Road, Chim Phli, Taling Chan, Bangkok Address in Thai: ที่อยู่: ถนน บรมราชชนนี แขวง ฉิมพลี เขต ตลิ่งชัน กรุงเทพมหานคร
Best way to get there is by taxi.
*For very short budgets, there’s a night-time ferry that leaves Chumphon 23:00 and arrives 5:00 for 300 baht(day time 1.5 hour trip will cost 550 baht).
Where to Stay/Where to Explore
There’s definitely more than one option when it comes to choosing a location, and it will depend on what you’re looking for:
The main beach in Koh Tao.
The two occasions i advise you to stay here is if you came specially to party or are on a strict budget.Don’t get me wrong, Saree is cute(with reasonable snorkeling!), but there’s other chin dropping locations that are just the whole package.
Saree is a place to visit after the sunset, walk around the shops, have something to eat and enjoy beach parties.
The main pier is located just besides Saree at Mae Had Beach.
*If you choose any of the options below, bear in mind that you will need some kind of transportation every time you wish to leave your hotel (see more about that in “Transportation” section below). It may sound like a bummer to you, but on my point of view the fun of Koh Tao is exactly exploring the Island beautiful landscapes. The distance between the bays is quite short(not enough to explore by walk), this is a small Island. It will guarantee you paradisiacal looks and snorkeling right in front of your hotel. If you rather stay right in the middle of the buzz, where most of the restaurants and parties are going on then “Saree” or “Mae Haad”(located besides Saree) are better options for you.
We were misled to believe we were booking a hotel at Jansom Bay. The beach front hotel we stayed was cute, we have no complains about it, but when we spend the day at actual Janson Bay we could confirm that it would have been the right choice for us.
The small bay offers stunning snorkeling, beautiful setting, quiet surroundings and is not far from city center.
There’s just one hotel there however, limiting a little for budget travelers.
If not staying at Jansom, visiting their private beach(200 baht per person until 17:00), even paying a fee is worth it.If on a budget you can arrive near 17:00 to enjoy the waters for free, still you have great visibility.😄
Beautiful snorkeling and for the fearless(and experienced swimmers in nice weather please!) the option to swim to the famous Shark Island(can be done by boat otherwise).
If you’re on a budget and is not an experienced motorcycle driver, it may not be the best option for you to pick a hotel here due the steep way down the beach(for experienced drivers it isn’t a problem).
Much wider than Jansom and Banana Rock, great for spending a day.
Unless something changed(the island is growing fast!), the path there by land is a truly hard one.Totaly worth it though(one more time, only for experienced drivers).
Another way to get here is by long tail boat(see more at “Transportation” section below).
There are only a bar and a restaurant there, placed in a way on this tiny bay, that makes you feel like you are in a secret place, everyone else there is silently sharing with you.
Again, great snorkeling, here we spotted a turtle and heard about many seeing sharks.
Large stretch of sand, quiet and peaceful vibe, over again enchanting snorkeling.
Yet another tough road, but much easier than Banana Rock one.
Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan is a small island just about 10 minutes far from Koh Tao, and is also a fantastic choice.
Although the access is only by boat i would recommend to stay 1-2 days there(depending on your taste) and then in Koh Tao. For that, you have to book in fair advance, we’ve tried around 3 weeks before our travel date and the hotel was already fully booked(there’s just one hotel at Koh Nang Yuan).
Another options is doing a day trip to Nang Yuan, for 400 baht(price for the boat, not per person) you can rent a private long tail boat for 2 ways.In this case there’s a 100 baht entrance fee per person.
This is a must see, make sure to save some time on your schedule! *No plastic is allowed at the island, don’t even bother bringing bottles of water because you gonna have to leave it at the entrance.
Other Locations (Mango Beach, Sai Nuan, Chalok Ban, Ao Thian, etc)
There was some sites we didn’t have time to see, that were greatly recommended as well, if you get the chance to explore Mango Beach, Sai Nuan, Chalok Bay, Ao Thian (or any other lovely place) let us know how do you like it.✨
→Long Tail Boat- Great private and yet cheap option to explore on your rhythm.
You can ask at your reception desk for one, or find it yourself around Mae Haad pier for quite good prices(bargain in both cases).
→Motorcycle- Renting a motorcycle is easy(even if you don’t have a license) and pretty cheap compared to other Thai islands.
Is advisable to take pictures of your vehicle state to avoid damage charges not caused by you.If possible rent from the hotel you’re staying it will ensure more credibility.
→Taxi- If you don’t know/want to drive a motorcycle, you still can move around by grabbing a taxi(that are actually trucks you embark and seat at the trunk).This is an expensive alternative, specially if used frequently.
*We rented a motorcycle to better explore the island.It wouldn’t have been the same without it.
What to do
*Known as a diver’s paradise, Koh tao is one of the cheapest places in the world to take a Padi course (diving certification).🐳
*Snorkeling is another star at the paradisiacal island, including group snorkeling trips, snorkeling off the beach or even renting a boat to explore on your pace.🐠
*Beach parties are big at the main beach area, with acrobatic fire shows, relaxing Thai cushions placed at the sand, everything while facing the sea.🎉
*Chilling at the beach, enjoying the most delicious coconut water with THE view, what better to do?🌴
*Shopping for us have always been part of vocation experience, I adore to ramble around the local craft shops and buy some souvenirs, Koh Tao has plenty of little shops to please that desire.🎁
*Thai Massage is a must!Preferably overlooking the sea.🏖
*Delicious Thai food, as I mentioned before, is one of the things that make Thailand special.Is not only the beautiful nature, but the people, the food, the vibe.Thailand got it all!🌞
*Check the View Point and enjoy a drink while admiring the breath-taking scenery.
Please, do not step at the corals!It may seem obvious, but I noticed many people forgetting this detail when excited about the whole situation.Let’s upkeep the beauty that attract us to the place!💙
Would you like to explore Koh Tao? Share with us in the comments below!💙
Similan Islands – หมู่เกาะสิมิลัน
Our FAVORITE place in Thailand! A real paradise on earth with the whitest sand and the clearest water!
Amazing snorkeling experience with giant fishes, sharks, rays, and turtles.A top priority must see!🐠
This beauty is a group of 11 islands located at the Andaman Sea belonging to Phang Nga province.
Islands number 1, 2 and 3 are closed due to turtle hatching program and reef conservation.
While having lunch at the island 4 we got the chance to see hundreds of fruit bats at the trees just behind the seafront sand stretch.
Other wild animals you may see at the islands are the hairy-legged mountain crabs, lizards, snakes and multiple species of birds.
But first, you need to get there!
To Reach Similan
From Khao Lak:
All around the city, you will find tour booths and they all offer trips to Similan Islands.
Boats depart daily during high season(November-May).
Few companies get this trip done, they have from a full day to 2 nights tour options.
We bought the full day trip and deeply regretted.We highly recommend spending at least 1 night at the island.
Staying overnight here is not as simple compared to the other Thai destinations.For more info on how to stay at the island check “Accommodation” segment below.
Tip: When buying your tours don’t forget to bargain.Prices can and will be reduced.
The nearest airport is Phuket International Airport.
From there you have few different options in how to continue your way to Similan Islands: 1-Getting to Khao Lak, then taking a speedboat to Similan. 2-Take a speedboat from Phuket.
2-Take a speedboat from Phuket- Group and private speedboat can be booked to Similan Islands in travel agencies around Phuket.
We bought the full day trip and deeply regretted.We highly recommend spending at least 1 night at the island.
Be aware though that there’s just camping tents and 20 basic bungalows with no hot water and electricity only at night time.Is a secluded paradise with a simple setting and only one small restaurant where the food is served at a community table between palm trees with sand in your feet.
If you looking for a luxury stay that’s not for you, in this case, the full day trip will fit you better.
For stay at the tents(available on island 4 and 8), the only way is booking your trip with a travel agent.That will be easily and much cheaper done in Khao Lak then other options.
If you plan on staying at the bungalow(available on island 4) that has to be booked thru Similan Islands National Park website for 1.000 to 2.000 baht, some travel agencies are able to book it as well but they will charge extra for that.Booking a bungalow has proved to be troublesome for times as the method is a little outdated.(Some things just worth the trouble😉) *Similan Islands National Park website: http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp?npid=212&lg=2
Another option would be sleeping at an overnight boat tour more focused on divers(can be found at tour stalls in Khao Lak and Phuket).
And finally staying in Khao Lak and booking day trips are perfect for those who don’t want open hands of some comforts.
Similan Islands are closed during low season(middle May – middle October).
Enchanted with this paradise?Share with us in the comments below!💛
Phi Phi Islands – หมู่เกาะพีพี
Going to the paradise?Make sure you have all the details on hands to enjoy your trip without any unpleasant surprises!
Here all you need to get there and have fun on your dream trip!
Getting to Phi Phi
There’s no straight flight to Phi Phi so you need to get to one of the nearest cities and then reach the island by ferry boat.
The ferry boats are spacious enough with seats for everyone and air-con.It also counts with a deck for those who want to admire the view or sunbathe.
Another option is hiring a private speedboat that takes around 45 min(from Phuket) for a more tailored private trip.
Bangkok To Phuket
One of the best ways is getting to Phuket and then to Phi Phi.The reason this is my favorite route is that Phuket is such nice place to know as well, so if you have time why not to spend some time here before Koh Phi Phi?! Click here for all information you need to get to Phuket.
Ferry to Phi Phi
The easiest way to acquire your ferry tickets to PhiPhi is buying it directly from your hotel, they will have a nice price and will arrange the van service (that’s included on the ticket price) to pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the pier.
Bear in mind that the pier is around 1 hour away from central beach area (Patong/Karon,etc.), plane well to don’t miss your boat.
You can also buy it from tour stalls around the city, but be prepared to bargain as the price is usually higher compared to the hotels.
Boats depart from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
From Koh Lanta:
Koh Lanta’s ferry only works during high season (November-April).
Similar to Phuket method, the best 2 options are buying from your hotel or at tour stalls around the city.
The practical and cheapest way in Lanta is buying from your accommodation as well.Don’t forget to arrange the pickup time from your hotel to the pier.
Only 2 boats depart per day one at 8:00 am and other at 13:00 pm.
Free hotel pickup is also included at the ferry ticket price in Krabi.
Boats run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Island Divisions + Must See Areas
Phi Phi consists in a group of 6 Islands, the largest one is Phi Phi Don where the boats arrive and where most of the hotels are.This is the place you will probably be staying (exception is sleeping aboard a boat in Maya Bay).
Phi Phi Don has no cars, motorbikes or any kind of inland transportation apart from bicycles.As it is a quite small place everywhere is reachable by walk or by boat.
But is big enough to amuse, that’s for sure.😃
The famous Maya Bay is located in Phi Phi Leh(the second biggest island in the group) where “The Beach” movie was filmed.This is a wonderful spot for snorkeling, diving, chilling at the beach, exploring the untouched island interior and view.A must go while in Phi Phi.
On your way to Maya Bay you can stop by the Viking Cave, for us, a quick look was enough and we moved on to Phi Ley Bay(also in Phi Phi Leh) for some snorkeling.
Another famous snorkeling and diving spot is Loh Samah Bay located in Phi Phi Leh as well.
Koh Bida Nai, Koh Bida Nok are some of the smaller less visited islands of the group, mostly frequented by diver groups due to beautiful fish diversity located south from Phi Phi Leh.
Mosquito Island is situated north from Phi Phi Don and is one of the smaller islands known for great snorkeling.
Nearby Mosquito Island stands Bamboo Island where again chilling at a desert beach and snorkeling are the highlights.
Everywhere you’re going to find crystal clear water and mostly white sand, one of the main reasons the love story begins with this beautiful islands.
Arriving on Phi Phi + Hotel
Did you book accommodation ahead?If yes, be sure to let your hotel know what time you are arriving and they will pick you up at the pier, show you the way and help you out with your luggage.
If not, at the arriving pier you will find a lot of hotel options, be sure to ask prices before following them to the place.
If you don’t like any, you can go around and find a place yourself, but this will take you sometime I advise you to save your time to enjoy the site.Phi Phi is not an expensive place to stay and 100 baths may not be worth losing few hours, especially if you got heavy luggage.
If you want to book a hotel in advance I recommend www.agoda.com to do so, they are the booking website with bigger variety in Thailand, is the one I mostly use.
Things To Do In Phi Phi
If you didn’t bring your gear, you can find some on the island.However, if snorkeling is the main interest you have, bringing some professional equipment is advised.
All over the islands, you have sites to explore, just walking into the sea or taking a long tail boat around.
There’s a lot of snorkeling trip offers, but this can be not as fun due to crowded boats, schedule, etc.
The best option is renting a long tail boat privately, the prices are reasonable and you get the best from your tour. If you really enjoy a place you can choose to stay more in it; if not you can just move on, choosing your own time is also great to avoid meeting crowded tourist boats and finally been picked at your hotel(if you staying seafront).
We had dinner once and came back for some drinks in another night at “Reggae Bar” a bar and restaurant with a Muay Thai ring right in the middle.
Customer fights are arranged with all equipment provided and local kids fight as well.Is just some fun demonstration of Thai boxing that proved entertaining for us.
They have a burger eating challenge, both of times we’ve been there someone was trying to win it, and that just added to the play atmosphere.
If you’re a party animal you don’t need my tips, just enjoy it!
But even if you are not much into nightlife Phi Phi has this huge party scene starting in quite early time.
After your perfect day at the beach spending few hours listening to some music, watching fire acrobatics, and maybe even dancing a little bit won’t hurt once in a while.
Everything looking to the waves.🎉
Breathtaking view awaits you if you’re willing to leave your beach chair.=p
Choosing the right time to climb up is important because burning noon sun is not something you want when going up the oblique path.
The view definitely worth the walk.Enjoy it!
Kayaking to Monkey Beach:
Don’t want to the kayaking part?That’s fine you can rent a long tail boat to get you there.
We did it the sporty way and noticed the kayak parking at Monkey Beach I could see many others did it too.
But I have to say it was harder than I imagined and thanks God hubby was there to help, two of myself wouldn’t get there.
How beautiful is it to appreciate animals in their natural environment?!A big monkey family came to say hi to all of us!
This may sound cliché but please remember wild animal shouldn’t eat artificial snacks, unless you offering water or fruits you better just appreciated they appearance.
Also, monkeys can be aggressive and the right thing is to avoid any contact and just look from a safe distance.
No one lives in this stretch of sand, please do not leave your trash there, let’s keep it the paradise it is.
Souvenirs, clothing and craft stalls and stores can be found everywhere in Phi Phi Don.
“I Love Phi Phi” shirts are a souvenir I recommend as in the future every time you wear it the memories come back.🌅
Nice to do on the evening or night after enjoying the day activities.
Plenty of Padi courses and diving trips signs were distributed around the main island with multilingual instructors offered.
We personally choose not to take the course in Phi Phi as it would take time and we wanted to enjoy all aspects of the island, but I’m sure it would be a beautiful spot to do so.
If you’re a diving lover or want to get your Padi, Phi Phi has fair amount of company options with world-class diving sites.
Thai Food at Sea View Restaurants:
Oh, the food! As I mentioned before, Thai food is part of the experience.
Try out a new dish every day and prepare to miss them when you get back home.
And for some ambience, a nice choice of restaurant facing the sea will surely do.🏖
Tips: *If you are staying at a seafront hotel you absolutely must bring earplugs if you’re hoping to sleep.At night most of the restaurants turn into a beach party and the sound echoes into the bay.The pros are waking up with wave sounds and having your breakfast with your feet in the sand.
*Phi Phi is a very small Island that in many times of the year is crowded. When walking in one of the tinny streets if a baggage/goods carrier boy seems impatient or get your way, be gentle and remember that is holidays for you but its hard-working for them in a jammed place all day long that sure can be very stressing.Remember to always look from another perspective and I’m sure you gonna enjoy your trip even more.😉
That being said, Thai people are extremely friendly, respectful and good-hearted so make sure to reciprocate their treatment.❤
Ps: The websites and air company recommendations are made by personal experience and I don’t get any kind of remuneration for that.
Is Phi Phi on your bucket list yet?Share with us in the comments below!