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Koh Kood

Located in eastern Thailand close to the Cambodia border, Koh Kood, sometimes written as Koh Kut, is a stunning island of lush green interior, surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters. Although Koh Kood is Thailand’s fourth largest island, it is remarkably undeveloped compared to some of the more well-known Thai islands. Koh Chang, meaning ‘Elephant Island’ is the most well-known nearby island, that although receives a reasonable number of tourists, is still relatively off-the-beaten path, if compared with Phuket or Samui islands. This eastern area of the country is not quite as easily accessible, with only a small airport at Trat, and being a five-hour drive from Bangkok, most visitors prefer to head south. This leaves the islands of the east nicely tranquil without crowds of visitors.

The clear, warm turquoise waters surrounding Koh Kood are teeming with colourful fish, swimming amongst the corals. The beaches are white and sandy, and beyond the sand is plenty of lush green tropical vegetation. There are coconut and other tropical fruit plantations stretching into the island’s interior, where thick jungle covers the hills, and a range of wildlife can be spotted. For those keen to explore the islands interior, there are many stunning waterfalls dotted around, surrounded by rain forest, creating a picture-perfect adventurer’s playground.

The island’s population is low, and most inhabitants work in fishing, agriculture or tourism. The main centre of Ao Salat is a fascinating fishing village with stilted wooden buildings over the sea, and a few local shops selling everyday items. It is very pleasant to visit and watch the fishing boats come in.

Much of the accommodation on the island is fairly basic, small and family run. The island also has a luxury resort, the Soneva Kiri, a villa resort that as well as offering the ultimate in luxury experiences, ensures that all its buildings are made from natural materials that blend well into the surrounding environment, creating minimal impact. Soneva Kiri grow their produce locally, as well as buying from local farmers and fishermen.

Koh Kood is accessible via the mainland town of Trat, about an hour away by boat. For the ultimate luxurious arrival, Soneva Kiri has a landing strip on a tiny adjacent island, and its own small aircraft for flights to and from Bangkok.

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My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.
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