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Ko Muk

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Way Better Value than Kradan or Ngai
I got back to Muk in early March 2013 for my 4th visit since the late 90s. Having stayed on ...

By tezza


The island of Ko Muk (also spelt Ko Mook and Ko Muuk) sits relatively close to the mainland between Ko Kradan and Ko Ngai. A quintessential white sand and turquoise water getaway it is not, but it is a good place to get a feel for Thai island village life, and there are some decent beaches and worthwhile daytrips on and around the island.

The island's largest beach, Ao Kham, stretches to the pier's east side before turning sharply to the south at Ko Muk's finest stretch of white sand, known as "The Wing". A traditional Thai beach village lies to the west of the pier, complete with rickety homes built on stilts over the water. It's not the cleanest spot, but a walk through the beach village provides a unique peek into a laidback island lifestlyle. Continuing to the east along the beach just past a couple lacklustre resorts lies Sabai Beach, which even in high season is often deserted.

While there is one good budget accommodation option near Ao Kham Beach, the majority of tourists head straight across the island's only road to Haad Farang (Foreigner Beach), which boasts the island's most popular bungalows. It's not the most serene beach we've seen, but Haad Farang is perfectly conducive to a day or two of lounging. With plenty of karst cliffs nearby it's also a good spot for launching a kayak, and because it sits on the west side of the island it sees spectacular sunsets over Ko Kradan and the Andaman Sea.

For activities, the island's top draw is the famed Emerald Cave, a somewhat captivating quirk of nature. A sinkhole rather than a cave, the Emerald Cave (we assume that sounded better than Emerald Sinkhole) was formed when the roof of a partly underwater cave collapsed, allowing light to flood in and jungle to develop. It's reached by swimming through an access tunnel that becomes submerged at high tide, so if not visiting with a guide it's vital to ask the locals about the right time to go. Even at low tide, the tunnel is often full of fish and it can be a bit of a freaky experience.


People have been known to react badly -– that is, totally freak out -- while trying to get into, or out of, the cave/sinkhole. If you are the claustrophobic type, or just happen to find the idea of swimming through a tunnel full of fish kind of revolting, then we'd suggest passing on this attraction. Also note that while the travel posters hint that the cave will be deserted, it very rarely actually is and it's not unusual to see boats waiting in queue to herd people through, especially during high season.

Many travellers take day trips from Ko Muk to Ko Kradan for the better beach and snorkelling, and there is also some good hiking along Ko Muk's northern rocky coast.

The island now has 24-hour, year-round electricity and there is a small health centre along the road not far from the pier, but there is no ATM on Ko Muk so make sure to pack enough cash for your stay.

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Text and/or map last updated on 28th December, 2011.

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