Set off the far eastern coast of Thailand, to the south of better known Ko Chang, lies glistening Ko Kut (also Kood). We’re just back from a week or so there and can happily report that not only does it have a lot of beaches, they’re some of the best we’ve seen anywhere in Thailand. But what makes a beach great for us may make it stink for you, so here’s the wrap on the 12 beaches we saw — decide for yourself which one is right for you. This list runs from north to south, starting with Soneva Kiri’s beach. Some beaches lie further north of here but we were told they were privately owned.
Soneva Kiri beach
Chances are you’d need to be staying at Soneva Kiri to actually make use of this beach, but we met some kayakers who made it to shore. It’s a beautiful off-white sand strip with a sand pinnacle jutting out to sea.
Yai Ki Cliff beach
Yai Ki Cliff beach sits to the south of the mouth of the same-named khlong and opposite Captain Hook Resort. It’s a pleasant enough spot with what looks to be the remnants of a bungalow operation, but this is not a beach that is worth traversing the island for. You can’t reach it by road; you have to kayak here — it’s five minutes from Bann Makok or visit by boat. Unfortunately we had overcast weather for this pic.
This is a sliver of a beach that you’ll most likely only get to know if you’re staying at Koh Kood Beach or Suanya resorts. It’s one of the smallest beaches that we saw, but we were told by a couple of guests that the snorkelling was quite good (for Ko Kut) off the rocks and headland to the northern end of the beach.
Haad Taphao is a broad, long beach running from Nam Leuk pier in the north to a sandy point to the south. At the far northern end (actually on the other side of the pier) you’ll find Shantaa Resort occupying the last bit of sand before the rocks. The sand is coarser than the average dusty white Ko Kut beach — and you know what that means — sand castles!
A crescent of white sand, backed by palms and a few hammocks, hemmed in by wooden piers to the north and south and absolutely crystal clear waters between. Yes, this is as close as you’ll get to the Maldives in Thailand.
One of Ko Kut’s prettiest beaches, Khlong Chao boasts powdery white sand along much of its length with plenty of shade and a couple of (resort) beach bars to make yourself comfortable at. Picture-postcard-esque, the accommodation on the beach here is decidedly upmarket, so if you’re on more of a budget you’ll be visiting here on a daytrip — we’d say it is worth it.
This is a crescent-shaped beach with an islet offshore, split by a small canal. The southern part of the beach, by Ngam Kho and Hin Dard, is quite crappy regardless of tide, with mudflats and rubble, but the central part (just north of Dusita) is very good.
This tightly ringed-in bay is next south from Ngam Kho and as it’s home to just a single resort — A-Na-Lay — so it is never too busy. There’s a lagoon back off the beach (behind the group houses) but it didn’t run into the ocean when we visited. Like many of Ko Kut’s beaches, the water is shallow — ideal for families with young kids — and the sand is squeaky underfoot.
After Sai Daeng, there’s a strip of fairly rugged coast till you reach the broad and very popular Bang Bao Bay. It’s home to a handful of popular resorts and each of the resorts has their own pier — ideal for sundowners and fish watching. Spectacular sunsets from here.
Ao Ta Khian
This is one of our favourite beaches on the island, with its super soft powdery white sand. Hit the beach and turn left, walk for about 100 metres and enjoy your Robinson Crusoe afternoon. Water is absolutely clear and there are a lot of fish out there — you can see them without even getting wet.
Southwest facing Khlong Hin beach is next off the rank moving south from Ao Ta Khian and it boasts shallow waters — ideal for just laying around in. It’s more of a grey, off-white sand though, but it’s still a very fine grain — perfect for sandcastles — and the tide has a very, very shallow run-off so this is a good beach for young kids. Popular with Russian tour groups.
Like Khlong Hin before it, Ao Jak is a shallow beach with a greyish to yellowish very fine-grained sand. We preferred it though for three reasons. Firstly, the resort was empty so there was literally not a soul on the beach. Secondly, the beach is backed by around 43 gazillion coconut palms — so it’s very photogenic. Thirdly, the eastern headland is quite jungle-y — which made it even more photogenic.
This is one of the southernmost beaches on Ko Kut and it can be reached via a very sandy road or by walking around the headland from Ao Jak. A long, broad beach, bisected by yet another one of those tremendously photogenic piers, Ao Phrao has three places to stay — none of which are especially noteworthy. Away from the resorts this was the dirtiest beach we saw on Ko Kut, with considerable flotsam. Away from the trash the beach is very pretty with soft, off-white sand underfoot and enough shade.
So what was our favourite?
Ao Ta Khian, with Ao Noi running a close second. The road to Ao Ta Khian isn’t too great, but it is well worth making the effort to get to. We’ll be covering in a future post what our picks for the best places to stay on Kut Kut are.
Note the above 13 beaches is not an exhaustive list — but these were the ones we were able to reach. Know another beach? Please add it in the comments!
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 10th December, 2014.