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Is Koh Kradan the Best Island in Thailand?

Koh Kradan will always hold a special place in my heart. When I brought my sister to Thailand in 2012, it was the first place we traveled together outside of Bangkok.

Now, looking back this wasn’t necessarily sensible—and not just because we were there during the rainy season. Koh Kradan was an extremely bare-bones destination back then; my sister was (and still is) more of a five-star hotel girl than one to stay in a spartan beach bungalow.

Thankfully, the island has changed a lot in the past 12 years, as my most recent trip confirmed. Is Koh Kradan worth visiting? Oh, let me count the ways why this is so!

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How to Get to Koh Kradan

One thing that makes Koh Kradan worth visiting, even if you aren’t planning to go just yet, is that it’s pretty easy to reach. If you’re already island hopping in the Andaman, you can stop here on your way between Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe. Personally, I love using booking sites like Direct Ferries and buying in advance, though you can of course purchase tickets in person on a give island.

Another option is to fly directly to Trang Airport from Don Mueang in Bangkok, get a van to Hat Yao Pier and a long-tail or speed boat to Koh Kradan from there. Here too, you have options. Some companies (such as offer all-in-one-booking services, or you can just haggle and book à la carte upon arrival at the airport in Trang.

Why Koh Kradan Stands Out

The beach is like a swimming pool


Koh Kradan Beach is named as such because it’s the only notable beach on the island. There are others, but they aren’t accessible by foot from any of the hotels and resorts. The good news is that here, it’s about quality, not quantity. And as lower tides, the shallow, clear waters of this beach are practically like your own swimming pool.

It’s along a popular island hopping route


A major reason I think Koh Kradan is worth visiting is that it’s “on the way” for many travelers. Namely, if you plan to travel by boat from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe, Koh Kradan (along with nearby Koh Mook and Koh Ngai) is one of the islands where most speedboats and ferries stop.

But it’s (still) not crowded


As I’ll explain in a few paragraphs, there aren’t a lot of hotels on Koh Kradan. This means that if you can manage to snag a room, you’re unlikely to encounter many other travelers there, apart from the peak daytime hours when they’re visiting on day trips.

Koh Mook and Koh Ngai are easy day trips


Speaking of day trips, Koh Kradan is worth visiting not just because of the island itself, but because of all the other islands within easy day trip distance of it. While Koh Ngai (which is pretty similar to Koh Kradan) might not be worth the trouble, larger Koh Mook and its Emerald Cave are definitely worth a trip across the water.

You don’t need very long there


Whether you come for the day from Koh Mook or Koh Ngai, or stay a few nights in a hotel, you don’t need long to enjoy Koh Mook—or indeed, to explore the entire Trang archipelago. On the other hand, if you have time and can find a room with several nights of availability, you may just decide to hunker down for a while!

Where to Stay in Koh Kradan

When I first visited Koh Kradan in 2012, there were only two places to stay. Some beach bungalows owned by a local family; and the day-visit outpost of a resort from the mainland. The good news? There are many more options today, from mid-range properties like Paradise Lost Bungalows to higher-end ones like The Seven Seas Resort, both of which are on Koh Kradan Beach.

The bad news? These places tend to book out quickly, especially during the high season between about late November and early April. If you think you will want to come to Koh Kradan during your next Thailand trip, I recommend reserving your room soon. Otherwise, the question of whether Koh Kradan is worth visiting might end up being irrelevant!

Other FAQ About Visiting Koh Kradan

How many days do you need in Koh Kradan?

Koh Kradan is quite a small island; only the main beach is of interest to most travelers. As a result, you really don’t “need” more than a day or two here, although you may opt to stay for several if you want to be able to relax for an extended period of time.

How big is Koh Kradan?

Koh Kradan is one of the smallest islands in the Trang archipelago, and indeed in the entire Andaman Sea. And most of the island is inaccessible to people on foot; unless you want to take a boat trip to its western and southern coasts, you’re really limited to Koh Kradan Beach on the east coast; you can walk up and down it in less than an hour.

How to go from Krabi to Koh Kradan?

The best way to get from Krabi to Koh Kradan is to take a ferry or speedboat from either Ao Nang, Railay or Khlong Jilad to Koh Lanta, then transfer there to a southbound ferry or speedboat. You can either buy your tickets in Krabi the day of (or, ideally, the day before) departure, or online somewhere such as Direct Ferries.

The Bottom Line

Is Koh Kradan worth visiting? More than perhaps any other island in Thailand. If you can manage to score a room at one of the hotels on the island, I’d suggest staying a couple of days, so that you can relax on its superlative main beach before all the day trippers arrive and after they leave. If not, then I’d suggest booking a private longtail from nearby Koh Mook or Koh Ngai—this will allow you to come at your leisure, and also ideally avoid group tourists who come around mid-day. Need personalized help putting your Thailand itinerary together? Consider hiring me to plan it!


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