Running them down from north to south, Khlong Yai Ki is remote amid the mangroves while Khlong Mat attracts families. Lengthy Ao Tapao begins the island’s more developed area anchored at centrally located Khlong Chao. A little further south, Ao Ngam Kho, Haad Sai Daeng and Ao Bang Bao are all quiet and beautiful beaches. Do also consider Ao Ta Khian, Khlong Hin, Ao Jak and Khlong Prao if you could go for seclusion in the south.
We have 22 places to stay in and around Ko Kut.
Starting with Ko Kut’s northern beaches, Khlong Yai Ki flows through mangrove forest before emptying into the sea at a short but wide and stunning white-sand beach. On the coast sits the pricey Captain Hook Resort, which is only reachable by boat, but we’re partial to the boutique-style Bann Makok tucked a little further back along the canal and accessible by road. This is a quiet haven for kayakers and birders.
Most backpackers look to this central area for its cheapish bungalow joints and cheaper guesthouses set along the namesake river, where many spend their days kayaking amid the mangroves or swimming at Khlong Chao Waterfall. On Khlong Chao Beach itself you’ll find only midrange to high-end resorts; from the budget spots it’s a five- to 20-minute walk to the sand.
This is a small and narrow beach stretching just south of the more popular Haad Khlong Chao. Backpackers and flashpackers who are willing to put a little more coin down for a room close to the beach will most likely be comfortable here. Do wander up to the southern headland for the view.
Wedged between Ao Ngam Kho and Ao Bang Bao, just the one resort has access to this small, sheltered beach and the headland with its scenic wooden pier and footpath. Budget travellers after a longer stay may want to try and haggle down one of the basic huts here to arrange some bargain beach access.
Home to a few quality midrange resorts and a backpacker joint in the corner, this is one of Kut’s most reliably beautiful beaches thanks to its sheltered position and long wooden piers reaching over the clear water. Popular with families, Bang Bao is around four kilometres south of Khlong Chao but is not as isolated as the beaches found further south.
Turn off the main drag in the south of Ko Kut to find the long and bumpy dirt road that ends at Ao Ta Khian, a sensational beach hosting only two resorts right on the sand. On the main road in this vicinity you’ll also find a few cheap bungalow spots that are worth considering as alternatives to those found up in Khlong Chao.
This beautiful south-facing beach is almost entirely occupied by Khlong Hin Beach Resort, which draws Russian package tourists and pretty much no one else. Independent travellers could check out one small flashpacker resort overlooking an estuary at the eastern end of the beach, which also places you around the corner from Ao Jak via an easy headland trail.
As the southernmost of Ko Kut’s developed beaches, Khlong Phrao takes its name from the canal flowing through a wide tract of coconut trees that still backs most of the sand. Two resorts to the east focus mainly on Russian tour groups, but a couple of interesting spots are worth a look near the river at the western end of this sweeping kilometre-long beach.