Koh Mook Island in Trang Thailand

Koh Mook - the (almost) perfect island

Koh Mook (Muk) is a small island in Trang province that has an incredible vibe and charm. Here, the traditional life of the locals blends in harmony with the touristy scene and time goes at a slower pace. On top of this, Koh Mook is really an island of surprises. Here you will find dugongs (sea cows), hornbills, a starfish beach and the true natural wonder of Emerald Cave.

But before Koh Mook totally enchanted us, we experienced a small disappointment. We arrived on the island from a gorgeous Koh Ngai. Although we knew that Koh Ngai was hard to compete with, we had quite high expectations of Mook. Meanwhile, our first encounter with Mook looked like this: we got off at a long concrete pier and drove to the other side of the island on a road with visible litter on the sides. 

Not a good start for an island that was supposed to thrill. But as we spent time there, we began to see the nicer sides of the island until we finally experienced its incredible atmosphere.

What to do on Koh Mook - the most interesting attractions

The island is not very big, but there is no shortage of attractions and places of interest, including one of the most unusual and best beaches in Thailand. See how you can spend your time on Koh Mook.

Enjoying the sunsets on Charlie Beach

Charlie Beach Koh Mook in Thailand

Charlie Beach, which also has the local name of Farang Beach, is located in the west of the island. So it is the perfect place to enjoy the sunsets. 

Charlie Beach is truly beautiful, tucked away in a cove accessed by a path through a forest of tall palm trees. The sand is light and fine and the sea is clear and calm. There are quite a few food stalls along the beach, as well as kayaks and sun loungers. To the left of the beach entrance you can eat in a restaurant with a view of the bay.

You can get to and from the beach by taxi (saleng taxi). There is always one waiting in readiness for customers.

Admiring starfish on Sivalai Beach

Sivalai Beach forms a long cape on the east of the island and is gorgeous with its white, flour-like sand and green palm trees. You can walk along it for hours or swing on one of the many swings. At low tide, you will find hundreds of starfish on it.

There are several interesting hotels with cottages along this beach. This place is made for leisure. 

Sivalai Beach on Koh Mook Island

A glimpse into local life

Wyspa Koh Muk (Koh Mook)

The people of Koh Mook make their living from fishing, rubber plantations and tourism. What particularly struck me was that tourism does not (yet) dominate this small island.

Thus, walking around the island, you can see how the local community lives and how they spend their free time. In the afternoons, fishermen repair their boats, children play around recklessly on the beach and youngsters play football on the school playground. 

Wyspa Koh Mook

Hiking through the jungle

A large part of the island is covered in dense jungle, through which trails lead trekkers to viewpoints and beaches. We didn't actually go hiking, as we had already had a decent portion of activity in Khao Sok Park. 

Dugongs and hornbills on Koh Mook

Koh Mook has a fascinating wildlife. Around the island, dugongs (sea cows) swim regularly every morning. Dugongs are plant-eating marine mammals that feed on sea grass. If you come to the pier in the morning, you should be able to see them. We saw one in the distance.

These are not the only interesting animals on the island. Near Sivalai Beach, you can find a great number of hornbills.

Searching for a hidden beach in Emerald Cave

Emerald Cave is one of the more interesting attractions that shelters the best concealed beach in all of Thailand. The beach can only be reached from the sea by swimming through a dark cave about 80m long. It is an amazing adventure and well worth the effort. 

Where to stay on Koh Mook island

There is a good choice of very charming hotels on the island, by the beaches as well as in the village itself. At Sivalai Beach you will find the fancier resorts with great views. By contrast, there are quite a few bungalows near Charlie Beach. We were tempted by the bungalows at Nature Hill. 

Nature Hill Koh Muk

Nature Hill is a guest house run by a Thai-French couple. It is about 5 mins from the beach and is delightfully arranged and the breakfast served there is excellent. The hosts, Nile and Sue are friendly, chatty but not intrusive. A water dispenser was available for guests to use.

You need to be aware, that the bungalows are partially open to the surrounding nature, hence it is better to use a mosquito net because some uninvited insect may happen. This is how life is in the tropics. There is no air conditioning in the bungalows, only fans. 

Where to eat on the island

Koh Mook has some great places to eat well. One is the Miss Island restaurant in the centre of the village with a great selection of Thai and Western dishes and good bread.

A very pleasant place to have a cold drink and look at a nice view is Sugar's Coffee Restaurant on Sivalai beach.

On Charlie Beach, on the other hand, you can eat quite deliciously at Koyao, which has a fantastic view of the bay. 10 minutes from Charlie Beach is Hilltop Restaurant serving good Thai food. Meanwhile, you can enjoy delicious coconut ice cream at Forever Koh Muk.

When to come to Koh Mook

Koh Muk, unlike neighbouring Koh Ngai, operates all year round, but the best time to come is between December and April. We were there in mid-April, which is when it was at its hottest and we had beautiful weather. You can read more about the weather in Thailand in the post Best Time to Visit Thailand. Weather in Thailand

Best time to visit Trang

How to get to Koh Mook

The island can be accessed by ferries and speed boats between Phuket-Koh Lipe and from Trang airport. This route is served by Bundhaya and Tigerline (Sirirlanta). Private transport can also be hired.

Note! Tigerline does not run on Muk during the so-called green season (01.05.23 - 16.10.23).

We arrived on Koh Mook from the island of Koh Ngai by Bundhaya Speed Boat in about 10 minutes, while on the way back we travelled from Koh Mook to Koh Lanta and the journey took about an hour.

The cost of a transfer to Koh Mook:

  • Koh Lanta – Koh Mook: 900 THB per adult (and children over 9 years old), 540 THB (child 3 - 9 years old), children under 3 years old do not pay for the ticket
  • Koh Ngai – Koh Mook: 350 THB per adult (and children over 9 years old), 210 THB (child 3 - 9 years old), children under 3 years old do not pay for the ticket

All you should know about Koh Mook

Koh Mook Island (เกาะมุก) appears under several notations: Koh Mook, Koh Muuk, Koh Muk.

Compared to the laid-back Koh Ngai, Mook is much more developed, which has its disadvantages (e.g. litter) and benefits. However, the island still remains very peaceful and local life functions in balance with the tourist spots. 

There is a clinic on the island (Koh Muk Health Centre), a pharmacy, shops and a very well-stocked supermarket. Next to the supermarket there is an ATM. The shop has a pretty good selection of baby items even, although when it comes to ready-made food and swim nappies you'd better read the post Thailand with Baby

All this makes Koh Mook a suitable island for a family trip to Thailand with children.

 

Getting around Koh Mook

A paved footpath runs across most of the island, which can be used by scooters and saleng taxis. In other places the paths are made of dirt. Traffic on the island is fairly quiet as there are no cars. As a result, it is very pleasant to walk around Koh Mook.

If you are going with small children, you may want to bring a baby pushchair because there will definitely be places to ride.
Among other things, I wrote about getting around Thailand with a pushchair in the post Baby carrier or pushchair for a trip to Thailand?

Where we stayed, the roads were lit up with lanterns. In terms of pavements and lighting, it is definitely better on Koh Mook than on the much larger Lanta.

Wyspa Koh Muk

There are salengs, which are motorbikes with a side basket and usually a canopy, that run around the island. The cost of a ride is 50 THB per person, but not once were we charged as if we were 5 people. You can also rent a scooter.

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