After visiting both Koh Mook and Koh Libong, we had our hopes up for great snorkeling when arriving to Koh Kradan, the last island on our island hopping trip. We found the best snorkeling in Thailand!
It was almost like swimming inside an aquarium with all the beautiful fish and amazing colors of the corals. Reef fish everywhere you looked. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a go-pro camera with us this time, I would have loved to show you some photos.
- Longtail transfer to Koh Kradan
- Koh Kradan – pure paradise!
- The Reef Resort
- Italian food in faraway Thailand
- The National Park
- Best snorkeling in Thailand off the beach
- Top tips for Koh Kradan snorkeling
- Transfer back to reality
- Frequently asked questions & answers
- Read more on other sites
- Your opinions please!
After a couple of relaxing days at Koh Libong, it was finally time to leave for our last island on this island hopping tour, Koh Kradan (also refereed to as Ko Kradan). We looked around for a transfer the day before our departure and asked both at the hotel reception and in the local village for alternatives. Right outside the resort, we found out that the transfer was way cheaper (1500 bath) arranged by the locals in the village. We weren’t surprised, it’s generally a good tip to always look outside the expensive resorts for services and transports. It’s all about bargaining.
Arriving at the Reef Resort
Longtail transfer to Koh Kradan
As the boat arrived to the amazing Koh Kradan beach, there was a significant difference in the color of the waters. The water was turquoise and absolutely clear. We loved it!
Koh Kradan had no pier, so we were prepared to hop off into the water when we arrived at the most amazing beach you had ever seen. The hotel staff of our new hotel, met up and took care of our bags and put them on a trolley for transportation to our room. That’s great service!
Oh, and just to let you know: There are daily ferries directly here from Trang if you decide to go here first or skip Koh Mook and Koh Libong on your trip. There are also ferries and boats from Phuket, Krabi and Koh Lanta you could look into. If you stay in Koh Mook, you could easily go to this beautiful island for a day trip as well.
Koh Kradan – pure paradise!
Koh Kradan is by far the closest to a paradise island we get on this island hopping tour. It’s a small island in the Trang Province, not too many resorts here at all. The island is named from its oblong shape and has an area of approximately 600 acres or 2.4 square kilometers.
This is also a calm and relaxed island (as the other ones in this itinerary). No crowds, party people or disturbance of any kind. People come here for the great snorkeling and beaches. And to relax, far away from their stressful lives back home. The Paradise Beach (the main beach) has been voted as one of the top beaches in all of Thailand several times. I can assure you it’s well worth that title! Add to that, the Sunset Beach on the other side of the island.
This is definitely a place I could recommend when travelling with children, the beach is perfectly suited for families.
Make sure to bring cash when you come here though, there are no ATM on the island. You can pay with credit card in most resorts, but they seem to add on a percentage on the amount. You should avoid that in my opinion.
The Reef Resort
We booked the Koh Kradan Reef Resort using Agoda six months in advance to get the best price. The hotel had good reviews from other guests and seemed to be a good match for us. It’s generally a good recommendation to make all your booking of accommodations well in advance. That way, you will not only get the best price, but rooms are also limited and the best ones tend to get booked pretty fast.
The staff at the resort were extremely helpful and nice. There were fantastic snorkeling just off the beach and at low tide, you could walk some hundred meters right out through the shallow waters to the coral reef. The rooms were pretty simple but ok with air conditioning and outdoors bathrooms in the back. There were a pool in the hotel area, but it was rarely used. The breakfast offered complimentary was ok, but not at all that extensive as it was at the resort on Koh Libong.
The Reef Resort is a popular site for both weddings and honeymoons. In the reception, all couples who married here have made a plaque out of driftwood with the dates and names. A nice idea and very decorative.
Italian food in faraway Thailand
In my opinion, the food was better on Koh Mook and Koh Libong and so were the prices. There was a slightly higher price level on Koh Kradan as well. We were very surprised to find a couple of italian restaurants side-by-side at the end of the beach. It turned out to be several italian families running resorts and restaurants here. A bit jealous of them I have to admit. Imagine being able to live their lives here full time!
No matter how good tasting and affordable the Thai cuisine is, it is a welcome change to have a delicious pizza in the shadow right beside the beach. We even finished one meal with some shots of good tasting Limoncello. Not every day you get that in Thailand, I promise you that.
The National Park
Most of Koh Kradan is controlled by Hat Chao Mai National Park. They offer a campground to go with a few spartan rooms overlooking the beach. You could also go for a park-issued tent or set up your own for 30 baht a night while using shared cold-water bathrooms. If you’re on a budget, this could be an option for you. The walk along the beach of the National Park is beautiful. Just pass the Seven Seas Resort on the way and go on as far south as you can. The place is called Sunrise Beach, make sure to come here early and you’ll know why.
Best snorkeling in Thailand off the beach
So it was finally time for some snorkeling, and I can tell you, it was worth waiting for. It was really, really good. Some of the people we spoke with that have been around other islands (Koh Phi Phi for instance), say it’s one of the best snorkeling in the Andaman Sea. A couple of years ago, I went for some Koh Lipe snorkeling, and Koh Kradan is better in my opinion. It is definitely one of the most popular as well. The low tide makes it possible to walk almost the whole way out to the coral reef. No need for snorkeling trips when you have it right in front of you at the beach. This was the best snorkeling I have done since my visit to the Similan Islands many years ago.
The marine life and underwater activity was amazing. It was almost like swimming inside an aquarium with all the beautiful fish and amazing colors of the corals. Small sharks, reef fish and parrot fish everywhere you look. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a go-pro camera with us this time, I would have loved to show you photos of the colorful fish and coral reefs.
Top tips for Koh Kradan snorkeling
You can borrow all the snorkeling equipment (snorkel, mask, fins, whatever you need) at most hotels and resorts, but we brought with us our own masks from home. I recommend fins even though you can do without. If you’re not an excellent swimmer, you can stay out longer with some help from the fins.
Wait until the tide is low. It’s easiest just to walk out to the reef and start to swim from there. If you plan to stay out there for a long time (you tend to do that, I promise you), make sure to have sufficient sunscreen or a t-shirt. We saw some tourist that missed this piece of advice during our days at Koh Kradan, resulting in red and sunburned backs and shoulders.
Transfer back to reality
After just over two weeks in warm and relaxing Thailand, it was finally time to go home. The last island on our trip stood out as one of our absolute favorites. Koh Kradan offered a good mix of possibilities to explore the underwater life and time to stretch out in the shadow under the palm trees. It was a paradise lost with not too many tourists, no roads and traffic.
The tide moved extremely fast at the reef, as a result, the longtail boat that we were supposed to leave with got stuck in the sand and couldn’t move an inch. Finally, we managed to get on another boat just in time to reach our flight in Trang later that day.
How would it have looked if we had got stuck in paradise for some more days? 😊
Frequently asked questions & answers
Is it mandatory to know swimming for snorkeling or scuba diving?
No. If you wear a life jacket (and you should), you will be fine as long as you use fins as well. If you are new to snorkeling, it can be a bit tricky to use the mask, snorkel and fins at the same time in open water. A good tip is to go together with someone who CAN swim and to practice in pool before you go into the ocean.
Is snorkeling dangerous?
No, snorkeling is safe if you take into account som basic security measures. Wear a life west, don’t go too far away from the beach, stay out of the largest waves and underwater streams and you’ll be fine. The sun can be quite dangerous, wearing a t-shirt under water could also be a great tip to avoid a red back.
How do fins help in snorkeling?
Imagine how far you can swip in 1 minute, then triple that! That’s how fins can help you to move faster in the water and to explore larger areas in the same time. They also makes you last longer as you won’t need to put in that much effort as without. You can snorkel without fins, but if you have the chance, use fins.
How do I put on snorkelling fins?
Fins are designed to be used in the water only. You should avoid to walk around in your fins, they could even be damaged. Carry the fins until you’re in the water and put them on there. Make sure you wear the correct size, if the fins are to large, you’ll most likely drop them in the water when you start to swim
Read more on other sites
- Swimming with sharks: Advanced scuba diving in Koh Phi Phi
- Just like the islands: 2-day trip to Koh Kradan
- Dive In: Top dive sites in the world
- Dive o’clock: Search dive courses on Dive o’clock PRO
- Hopping Feet: Borocay in The Philippines
- Cycloscope: 21 best beaches in Southeast Asia.
Your opinions please!
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