Discovering Koh Mook, Thailand’s Stunning Tropical Paradise
Picture in your mind an island paradise that features sprawling sheer rock cliffs, dense tropical jungles, and pristine white sand beaches.
What you are picturing is the reality in Koh Mook, an island off the coast of Thailand, just a stone’s throw away from the popular tourist islands of Koh Kradang and Koh Ngai.
While there are dozens of wonderful islands off the coastlines of Thailand, perhaps none is as special as Koh Mook. It’s a magical, mysterious place where every trip will bring you different wild and wonderful experiences. Locals say that you can visit Koh Mook a dozen times and never see the same island twice.
Experiencing Koh Mook
Koh Mook literally has something for everybody, from the world weary traveler who has seen and done it all to the adrenaline-junkie adventurer who is looking for the next breathtaking thrill.
The island also offers world-class dining, a surprisingly robust and cosmopolitan nightlife scene, and posh and cozy resorts where the staff will pamper you graciously and tend to your every whim. But there’s also ample options of for the budget traveler, with plenty of camping spaces where you can drop your backpack for the night and cheap but delicious food stands that feature freshly caught and prepared seafood that is unlike anything else in the world.
While you are there, check out some of Koh Mook’s scenic beaches and rustic seafront villages. But the real reason most people come to the island is to see some of its amazing sightseeing spots.
While there are countless things to see and do there, here are five of the most popular to get you started:
- The Emerald Cave
By far, the number one tourist destination on Koh Mook is the Emerald Cave. The name is perhaps a little misleading. The Emerald Cave, known locally as Tham Morakot, isn’t actually a cave at all. It’s actually a collapsed sinkhole that can only be accessed through a single narrow passage during low tide or by boat or kayak when the water is higher.
But once you get inside, you will discover a magical interior space that features white sand beaches, incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, and sights and sounds that can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world. Swim, kayak or boat in the crystal clear blue waters of the Emerald Cave for an experience you will never forget.
- Diving the Coral Channels
Due to its unique natural coral reef formations, Koh Mook offers snorkelers and scuba diving enthusiasts an experience that can only be described as life-changing. The famous corral channels near Farang Beach and the underwater landscapes of Emerald Cave have been featured in many international magazines, including National Geographic, Adventure, and Conde Nast World Traveler.
And justifiably so because they offer a stunning array of natural sea life, colorful coral reef structures and cathedral-like underwater rock formations. Keep an eye open for such diverse sea creatures as leopard sharks, octopus, giant sea horse, zebra moray eels, manta rays, sea turtles and even whale sharks.
- Had Sabai
Had Sabai is perhaps Koh Mook’s best-kept secret. It’s a remote beach located on the north shore of the island that can only be accessed via a rugged hiking trail that prevents all but the most determined tourists from seeing it. But for those who survive the trek, the hard work is definitely worth it.
If you’ve ever wanted to have an entire tropical beach framed by sheer rock faces and a backdrop of tropical jungle all to yourself, Had Sabai is the destination for you. In reality, locals exaggerate the difficulty of the hike to keep the isolated beach from becoming too popular, so if you are in even passing physical shape you can make it there with very little effort. And any sore muscles you do have can be quickly relieved with a dip in the cool, refreshing tropical ocean.
- Hat Farang
Definitely Koh Mook’s most popular beach, Hat Farang literally translates to “Foreigner’s Beach” for the number of international tourists it attracts. Here you will find most of the island’s biggest resorts, dive shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other typical tourist attractions.
Measuring only about 200 yards long, the soft sands of Had Farang are surprisingly unspoiled for the amount of visitors they attract. The water is calm, the swimming is easy, and the sun is warm and comforting, making Hat Farang a must-visit destination during your visit to Koh Mook.
- Ao Kham Beach
If you want to experience a slightly less crowded beach but don’t want to hike all the way to Had Sabai, then check out Ao Kham on the island’s eastern shore. It’s a one-of-a-kind white sand beach that actually follows a long southern point that stretches out into the oceans’ waters.
Regardless of the type of adventure you are searching for, Koh Mook offers an experience you will never forget.
About the Author – Peter Brown, the author of this guest piece, is an occasional writer for Phuket Ferry, a sought after travel company for ferries from Krabi to Phi Phi islands.