Koh Kradan Island Full Guide – The Maldives of Thailand

Hammock on Koh Kradan Beach

If you’re dreaming of turquoise waters and white beaches like those in the Maldives, but on a laid-back island in Thailand, Koh Kradan is the right answer. It is the perfect beach and snorkeling destination.

This still-hidden gem in southern Thailand is a tropical paradise with a beach consistently ranking as one of the best in the world. Welcome to the Maldives of Thailand.

In this travel guide to Koh Kradan, you’ll find everything you need to know, from how to get to this island to the best resorts and the top things to do on Koh Kradan.

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Is Koh Kradan Worth Visiting?

Beautiful Beach on Koh Kradan

On Koh Kradan, you’ll find a postcard-perfect beach with turquoise blue sea, soft white sand, and an intact underwater world, with jungle behind the beach and limestone karst island formations in front.

Far from mass tourism, Koh Kradan is not only a peaceful and laid-back island but also one of the most beautiful.

Who Should Visit Koh Kradan?

Koh Kood is ideal for couples, families with children, and anyone looking for a relaxing beach and snorkeling holiday.

Where is Koh Kradan Located?

Koh Kradan is located on the west coast of southern Thailand in the Trang province and is part of the Had Chao Mai National Park. The island is 4 km long and 800 meters wide, with an area of 2.5 square kilometers.

Koh Kradan has almost no infrastructure, no streets, no vehicles, and no local village, it’s a resort island reachable by Taxi and Longtail Boat from Trang airport with in 2 hours.

Koh Kradan on Map

Best Time to Visit Koh Kradan

The best time to visit Koh Kradan is during the dry season from November to April, with perfect beach weather and ideal conditions for snorkeling. You can expect sunny days, calm water, and temperatures around 30 degrees. The peak season is from January to March.

During the rainy season, boat transport is limited, and some accommodations are closed. As there is no local life on the island, it’s best not to visit during the rainy season.

How Long to Stay in Koh Kradan?

Beautiful Koh Kradan Beach in Thailand

We highly recommend staying here for a minimum of 3 nights to enjoy and experience this island fully.

We suggest visiting Koh Kradan as part of an island-hopping trip in South Thailand. If you visit after staying at a neighboring island like Koh Mak or Koh Ngai, you could consider staying for only 2 nights, as it’s just a short transfer.

How to Get to Koh Kradan?

Getting to Koh Kradan is easy, and there are different options available.

If you want to fly to the nearest domestic airport, there are very affordable flights from Bangkok to Trang Airport. From there, it’s a 2-hour transfer, which includes a minivan ride to Pak Meng Pier and a long-tail boat ride to Koh Kradan.

If you’re staying on a neighboring island such as Koh Mook or Koh Ngai, you can take a short long-tail boat ride.

If you’re island hopping from somewhere in South Thailand, there are speedboat connections from Krabi, Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe.

The boat journeys are part of the experience, offering stunning views of the surrounding islands and limestone formations. Check 12go for schedules and prices.

Koh Kradan is known as The Island of Love because of the famous underwater weddings, which have been held every year since 1919, 12 meters deep on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

Koh Kradan is a hidden gem with no party scene and no shopping: it’s just nature and some of the best resorts to stay. The island consists of jungle, plantations, and one main beach that resembles the Maldives, with most accommodations right on it. Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it?

Koh Kradan Island is the perfect addition to your island-hopping itinerary. Located near Koh Mook and Koh Ngai, you can visit these three islands on a 10-day itinerary without long transfers needed.

Infrastructure in Koh Kradan

As mentioned above, Koh Kradan has almost no infrastructure: no streets, no vehicles, and no local village; it’s a nature-covered resort island with a peaceful atmosphere.

  • Visitors can find limited accommodations and a few delicious restaurants right on the beach.
  • A small shop has essentials like snacks, cold drinks, and hygiene products.
  • You won’t find any ATMs on the island, so bring enough cash. The nearest ATM is on Koh Mook island. In bigger resorts, it is possible to pay by card, but it’s best to ask in advance.
  • Unlike Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lipe, there is no nightlife or shopping.
  • There are no pharmacies or doctors on Koh Kradan. We highly recommend bringing essential travel medicine. The nearest medical help is found on Koh Mook or in the hospital on Koh Trang. 

10 Best Things to Do in Koh Kradan

Despite being an undeveloped small natural island, Koh Kradan offers 10 best best things to do.

1. Paradise Beach

koh kradan tree trunk
Best Beach on Koh Kradan

The best thing to do in Koh Kradan is to enjoy the main beach, called Paradise or Sunrise Beach, while sunbathing and relaxing. There are many shaded spots under the trees right on the beach.

Paradise beach on Koh Kradan, resembling the Maldives, consistently ranks as one of the best in the world.

2. House Reef Snorkeling

The second-best thing to do in Koh Kradan is also free: go snorkeling in the house reef right in front of the main beach with colorful fish and intact corals.

The southern end of Paradise Beach has the best part of the coral reef. Another great spot is right in front of Mali Kradan Resort, which has its own reef.

3. Kayak around the Island

Rent a kayak to navigate the lush green island and explore independently. You’ll discover some small remote beaches, which are almost impossible to reach by land. Paddleboarding (SUP) is a relaxing alternative to kayaking. Check out The Reef Resort, which offers free SUP and kayak for there guests.

4. Island Hopping

Excursions to neighboring islands like laid-back Koh Ngai and beautiful Koh Mook are another great thing to do when staying in Koh Kradan. You can easily hire a long-tail boat for a private trip or try to find more people to join a shared island hopping tour.

5. Emerald Cave in Koh Mook

One attraction we want to highlight is the stunning Emerald Cave in Koh Mook. This natural wonder is only accessible from the water, so you’ll have to swim or kayak through a half-submerged dark cave, ending in a beautiful lagoon surrounded by high limestone walls.

Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this incredibly beautiful place. While group tours visit this place, they always leave shortly, which means if you have a little time and patience, you’ll have this place to yourself.

Emerald Cave at Koh Mook

6. Koh Rok National Park

Another best thing to do in Koh Kradan we highly recommend is visiting Koh Rok for a beach and snorkel day. The prices to visit this place by boat are slightly higher, as it’s quite remote and requires a longer boat ride. The costs range between 1500 and 4000 THB depending on duration and inclusions such as food, drinks, national park fees, and snorkeling. Consider finding more people to share the tour and split the cost.

Check out this top-rated Koh Rok Speedboat tour on Google Maps for only 1800 THB, including an early morning visit to the Emerald Cave and arrival at Koh Rong National Park around 9 or 10 am.

7. Beach Bar with Panorama

Thailand Beach Bar

Visit one of the beach bars and enjoy a drink while having the best panorama. Koh Kradan offers breathtaking views of the limestone cliffs of surrounding islands, such as Koh Mak.

8. Spa Massage

Local Islands Maldives Spa

You’re already in paradise, now consider spoiling yourself with a massage to get that paradise feeling.

9. Beachfront Bungalow

There’s something magical about falling asleep to the sound of the sea in a cozy beachfront bungalow and waking up early to enjoy sunrise on one of the world’s best beaches just in front of your bungalow, with breathtaking views of limestone cliffs.

Wake Up Right in Front
of the Beach

Enjoy Mali Resort’s beachfront bungalows in various price ranges.

10. Scuba Diving

Maldives Sea Turtle

Contact the top-rated diving school, Trang Pro Dive, on Koh Mook if you want to dive.

Best Beaches on Koh Kradan

Swing on Koh Kradan Beach

1. Paradise Beach

Undoubtedly the best beach on Koh Kradan, Paradise Beach, also known as Sunrise Beach, lives up to its name. With powdery white sand, crystal-clear water, and limestone cliff islands in the backdrop, this beach resembles the Maldives.

You can stroll along its length or find a shaded spot under the trees to relax for the day. Besides sunbathing, Paradise Beach offers an amazing snorkeling experience in the house reef.

As the main beach of the island, it’s where you’ll arrive by boat, find accommodations, and spend most of your time on Koh Kradan. Despite some day tourists visiting from neighboring islands, the beach remains peaceful and calm.

2. Ao Niang Beach

Located in the south of Koh Kradan, Ao Niang Beach is another beautiful spot known for snorkeling. During low tide, it connects to the main beach, while during high tide, you can swim, kayak, or follow a 10-minute trail through the jungle.

3. Sunset Beach

The second most popular beach on Koh Kradan after Paradise Beach is Sunset Beach, which is perfect for watching the sunset. Surrounded by jungle, it typically has fewer visitors and features a viewpoint on the left side of the beach. You can reach it via a 20-minute marked trail through the jungle, take a taxi boat, or kayak.

4. Ewu Beach

Ewu Beach, accessible via a 10-minute trail from Mali Resort, is a beautiful spot. However, depending on the season, it may be affected by trash washed ashore from the sea.

5. Koh Mook Beaches

Hammock on Paradise Beach, Koh Kradan

Though not on Koh Kradan, the beaches of Koh Mook, the nearest island, are worth mentioning. Koh Mook offers beautiful beaches like Garnet Beach (Charlie Beach) and Sivalai Beach.

Best Tours to Koh Kradan

Short on time? Want to visit Koh Kradan on a day island-hopping tour from Koh Lanta? These two top-rated tours offer exactly that and more…

  • Discover Koh Kradan, Koh Mook & Koh Ngai from Koh Lanta with this Getyourguide Tour

  • Explore Koh Kradan, nearby Islands & the Emerald Cave from Koh Lanta with this Viator Tour

Where to Stay in Koh Kradan?

Koh Kradan offers accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From rustic beach bungalows to luxurious resorts, you’ll find something that fits your style. Most accommodations on Koh Kradan have amazing locations directly on or very close to the main beach, Paradise Beach. This is one of those places where you should consider getting a room with a sea view or directly on the beach to feel like you’re in paradise.

Accommodations on Koh Kradan are very limited, with less than 10 places to stay available. This is why we can’t stress enough how important it is to book your preferred hotel in advance, as they sell out fast, especially during the high season.

Check out top-rated and handpicked accommodations in Koh Kradan in different price ranges.

Best Accommodations in Koh Kradan

Where to Eat in Koh Kradan?

While Koh Kradan Island may be small, there are quite a few options for dining. From freshly caught seafood to authentic Thai curries and Italian cuisine, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Costs on Koh Kradan

The prices of accommodations, drinks, and food on this island are higher than on others. This is obvious because of the remoteness, limited accessibility, and the paradise feeling that you can only experience in a place like this. Electricity is challenging to produce here. However, this place is worth the extra pennies, and if you’re still hesitating, consider staying just for 2 or 3 nights, as you won’t want to miss this place.

Packing for Koh Kradan

Girl enjoying Koh Kradan beach in Thailand

Things you don’t want to forget while packing for Koh Kradan are mosquito repellent, a dry bag for kayaking and boat tours. Also, remember that on this tiny island, everything is limited, has to be brought from the mainland, and costs more than usual prices in Thailand. Don’t forget to pack enough of whatever you need for your beach holiday.

We always travel with our Deuter 40+10 liter backpack, which is light, usually accepted as hand luggage, and perfect for adventurous trips.

We love to travel light. Check out our highly recommended travel essentials you should consider packing for your trip to Thailand.

Where to Go After Koh Kradan?

Krabi Railay Beach

We prefer travel plans that don’t rush from one place to another with numerous big transfers and limited time to relax and enjoy. That’s why we highly recommend visiting more islands in the surrounding area. In our opinion, a good travel itinerary would include exploring these 3 islands in the Trang province: Koh Kradan, Koh Mak, and Koh Ngai.

However, if you’re looking for some still hidden gems in Thailand and some more of the best beaches in Thailand, we suggest visiting our favorite islands in southeast Thailand near the Cambodian border: Koh Kood and Koh Mak.

If you’re island hopping in the south of Thailand, chances are high you’ll visit Krabi and Phuket. Check out the hidden gems in Phuket and the best things to do in Krabi.

Conclusion

Shell on Koh Kradan Beach

Koh Kradan has one of the best beaches in Thailand, with amazing resorts and a relaxing, romantic atmosphere.

This Thai island holds a special place in our hearts, it was the first time we landed in a place that instantly reminded us of the Maldives. With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, Koh Kradan is a paradise island that we’ll never forget.

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