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Koh Kradan – The Perfect Beach?

Koh Kradan, Thailand

February 19, 2015 – February 22, 2015

Full Koh Kradan Photo Gallery Here.

Koh Kradan, our last destination in Thailand before heading for Malaysia, and our last chance to find Thailand’s perfect beach.  Sitting just across the water from Koh Mook, for once our travel day was quite short and easy and hardly interrupted our busy schedule of relaxing on the beach at all.  Thirty minutes by longtail and we found ourselves standing on a long gorgeous white sand beach.  Uninterrupted sand stretching as far as we could see in either direction and the brightest blue green water either of us had ever seen.  Could this finally be the perfect beach?

Arriving on Koh Kradan.
Arriving on Koh Kradan.
The perfect beach?
Could this be the perfect beach?

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After jumping off the longtail and sinking our toes in the sand we grabbed our stuff and headed inland a bit to our guesthouse.  Koh Kradan is a small island with only a few guesthouses, and a single road, which is really more of a trail, that goes from one side of the island to other.   Some of the resorts have gotten wifi, but don’t expect much.  Most guesthouses are accessible via the beach, and when getting there via longtail they will drop you off right in front of your hotel.  As ours was inland a bit we were dropped off at the trailhead and walked a few minutes, until we arrived at Paradise Lost.  Another tiki style jungle bungalow just a short walk from the beach.

Our bungalow at Paradise Lost.  Unfortunately no bathroom inside.
Our bungalow at Paradise Lost. Unfortunately no bathroom inside.

We checked into our bungalow, which happened to be one of the nicest inside than any of the others we had stayed in so far.  And also I am happy to report it was wildlife free and remained so for the duration of our stay.  The guesthouse restaurant did however have a snake on the table, but that’s another story.  We dropped off our things and went out to explore the island.

I've never seen such bright blue green water.
I’ve never seen such bright blue green water.

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The water was also super clear and great for snorkeling.
The water was also super clear and great for snorkeling.

Along the north side of the island you will find a long continuous bright white sand beach and super bright turquoise water.  The beach is one of the most beautiful around and is popular for day trippers coming from other islands.  The beach at midday can be filled with hundreds of sunbathing visitors coming on dozens of tour boats, but after a few hours they run back up the gangplank and head back to the island they came from, leaving the beaches to the handful of tourists who are actually staying on the island’s half dozen resorts and guesthouses.

One strike against the beach, at low tide it turns into a mud flat and at very high tide, your beach towel will get pushed back into the trees.
One strike against the beach, at low tide it turns into a mud flat and at very high tide, your beach towel will get pushed back against the trees.
The reef extends around much of the island and is the most vibrant, colorful and populated reef we've ever snorkeled.
The reef extends around much of the island and is the most vibrant, colorful and populated reef we’ve ever snorkeled.  Further offshore where its always covered in water is even better.

Offshore the island is surrounded by a long perfect reef from the northeastern shore to the south.  The reef and the fish were the best we had ever seen.  The southern reef in particular was the best snorkeling I’ve done in my life by far! And I’ve snorkeled at nearly a half dozen places!  Our limited snorkeling experience aside the southern reef is really quite fantastic.

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The water was also super clear and great for snorkeling.
The water was also super clear and great for snorkeling.

One day we walked across the island to investigate the other side and to see if the beach wraps all the way around the entire island.  So we packed up our day packs and prepared for a long trek.   Five minutes later, we popped out on the other side to find some rocky cliffs and small bay.  So no the beach doesn’t wrap all the way around, there is not much to see on the other side except the little rocky bay, but it does have a secluded feel if you want to escape the midday crowds, we only saw a couple other people the whole time we were there.

The steep rock coast of the southwestern shore.
The steep rock coast of the southwestern shore.

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Just a short walk across the island and almost no one is there.
Just a short walk across the island and almost no one is there.

In all we spent four nights on the island soaking up the rays, relaxing on the beach and in the water, taking in the gorgeous views.  Was this the perfect beach? Well that really depends on what you’re looking for, but for us a long sandy beach, a few overhanging palm trees and beautiful super clear water was exactly what we were looking for.  If not the perfect beach it was pretty close, and probably the most beautiful that either of us had ever seen.  Finally satisfied that we had found our perfect beach before leaving Thailand, we boarded our last longtail for the ride to the mainland and hopped on the next bus to Malaysia, our 20th country.

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