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The Truth About Trang

I first visited Trang much earlier than you might’ve expected. It was just two years after my first time in Thailand; the province was barely known at all to foreigners. I only even thought to go there because of a slick ad that AirAsia placed on Khao San Road in Bangkok.

I enjoyed the trip, but it had been the rainy season, so I didn’t get to enjoy the full island package—there was surf, but not a lot of sun. Additionally, while the islands were certainly “authentic,” there wasn’t a lot in the way of creature comfort (let along convenient transport to get there).

Is Trang worth visiting? I’ve been back much more recently, now, so I feel confident answering this question. Spoiler alert: You’ll probably want to pack your bags soon.

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A Tale of Two Trangs

I won’t deny, at any point in this article, that Trang is worth visiting. What I will say is that there are two sides to Trang—and I’m only going to talk about one of them. That’s the islands—basically, Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, Koh Ngai and Koh Libong. The mainland of Trang is charming and authentic, but not enough so that the vast majority of foreign travelers would want to spend any time there.

The beauty of the aforementioned islands really belies the ambiance of onshore Trang. Which is authentic, certainly, but not entirely dissimilar from what you find in other southern provinces like Songkhla or Nakhon Si Thammarat. If you do want to spend some time in this part of Trang, please wait patiently, as I’ll be writing a future article about that.

The Pros and Cons of Visiting Trang

Pro: Trang’s islands are still not tourist traps


Maybe because of a lack of promotion, or maybe since they’re not especially easy to reach, the Trang Islands lack the panicked feel of Phuket and Krabi, and even of Koh Lipe just to the south. Even at their most crowded, places like Koh Kradan Beach and Charlie Beach on Koh Mook don’t really feel very busy at all.

Con: They’re also not cheap anymore


The quality of beaches and lack of crowds may make Trang worth visiting, but unfortunately, these islands are not easy on the wallet. I suppose this is a case of supply and demand—with the exception of Koh Mook, none of the islands has more than a handful of hotels. This may also be partially responsible for minimizing crowds, however.

Pro: Many of Trang’s beaches are among the best in Thailand


Let’s talk, again, about the quality of beaches. In particular, I find the main beaches of Koh Kradan and Koh Ngai to be among Thailand’s very best. At low tide, they resemble saltwater, sand-bottomed swimming pools more than beaches, if we’re being honest.

Con: Many are not


Look, I think Trang is worth visiting even if you only visit Koh Mook or Koh Libong, but these two islands are not really “beach” islands, with the exception of Mook’s Charlie Beach. Its Emerald Cave is hard to reach and filled with jellyfish; Koh Libong is great for spotting dugongs. Getting a tan or catching a wave? Not so much.

Pro: It’s extremely easy to change your location


The journey from Bangkok to any of Trang’s islands is long and cumbersome. But getting between the main four islands—Ngai, Kradan, Mook and Libong—is easy, and typically direct. The speed depends upon whether you hire a speedboat or a longtail, though it will usually take no more than an hour one-way.

How to Break Up Your Time in Trang

There are basically two ways to go about seeing Trang’s islands. The simplest is to base yourself on just one island. Koh Mook has the largest number of hotels out of the Trang islands; it’s also probably my least favorite among them. If you can, I’d suggest trying to get a hotel on Koh Ngai or Koh Kradan, maybe Paradise Lost Bungalows in Kradan if you can snag one. Stay on one island; see the others on day trips.

The other option (which, according to some travelers, serves more to make Trang worth visiting) would be to split your time. If you have a week or longer, you could stay on three or even four Trang islands. If you only have 3-5 days, meanwhile, it will probably make more sense to choose just two, and likely a nearby pier, like Koh Kradan and Koh Mook, or Koh Ngai and Koh Kradan.

Other FAQs About Visiting Trang

Is Trang worth it?

Trang is definitely worth visiting if you plan to visit its paradise islands, which include Koh Mook, Koh Kradan and Koh Libong. The case is less clear when it comes to the mainland—it’s charming and authentic, but maybe not very interesting to foreign tourists.

Does Trang have a beach?

Trang has among the highest quantity (and quality) of beaches anywhere in Thailand. This is especially the case on the islands (Koh Kradan and Koh Ngai are particularly high quality in this regard), but even on the mainland is a perfectly good place for sun and surf.

Where to stay in Trang islands?

For my money, the islands of Koh Kradan and Koh Ngai make for the best bases in Trang. The hotels and resorts here aren’t much to write home about, but their beaches are outstanding. If you’re seeking outright luxury, Sivalai Beach Resort on Koh Mook might be the best bet, though Koh Mook itself underwhelms.

The Bottom Line

Is Trang worth visiting? Yes, but it’s not that simple. While it’s difficult to deny the beauty of beaches on Koh Kradan or Koh Ngai, or how authentic (for better or for worse) the local culture is on Koh Mook, these islands aren’t necessarily for everyone. There’s somewhat difficult to access (which makes them impractical for very short trip); there’s also a limited number of hotels and resorts, many of which are not up to par with what you find on other islands. Want personalized advice about whether a trip to Trang is a good idea for you? I hope you’ll consider hiring me to plan your Thailand itinerary!


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