Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ko Kradan Trip Reports

Julie's Ko Kradan trip report - visited December 2012

Koh Kradan is another island very popular with day-trippers arriving by ferries. long tails and speedboats from places such as the mainland or Koh Lanta. The area where these boats park has the best swimming, even at low tide –warm, clear, clean water, sandy bottom, and lots of very tame fish, particularly inside the swimming enclosure behind camera which is free from boats.

We chose to stay at Kradan Island Resort, on the beach at the northern end furthest from the day-tripper boats and the deeper water. The big disadvantage was our ferry, which made 3 stops along the beach at Koh Ngai when we boarded, only made the one stop on Kradan, towards the far southern end of the beach. Not that a long tail could have come out to pick us up from our resort, the water was ankle deep extending about 80 metres from shore at the time. The beach is a similar length to Ko Ngai, a fairly long walk. Have to learn to pack more lightly.

Our resort and the next 3 or so along all suffered from very shallow water at low tide, but once the water came in a bit, swimming was wonderful, and the beach almost deserted. The walk up to the deeper end of the beach was quite pleasant without luggage.

The accommodation was primitive – thatched hut, mattress on the floor, mosquito net, cold water shower, fan, and 2 plastic seats on the verandah, plus a hammock. But it was absolute beachfront, and at high tide, literally 3 metres from the water. Wet season erosion can’t be a problem here or the bungalow wouldn’t exist.

The only thing spoiling an idyllic stay on Kradan was the food. Expensive, bland, tiny servings in our restaurant, and not much better at Kradan Beach Resort where we and our fellow guests fled in search of a decent meal (Beach Blogger tells me their restaurant above is relatively new). The one place that serves delicious meals, (and huge proportions), is Wally’s Paradise Lost. Great for lunch but too far in the dark at high tide with storms about. Wally’s booze is cheap too, and his wife makes a great mug of tea.

Koh Kradan is an easy long tail ride to Koh Muk (middle-background), and to Koh Ngai – you could spend 2 nights on each and have a great time.
Boleslav's Ko Kradan Revisit - December 2011

The main eastern beach from the rocks further north. All bungalow places/resorts except Paradise Lost and Ao Niang are located at this beach.

Here is an update on the Paradise Lost.

Wally's walking and eye sight is not as good as was last year, now he is using the walker to get between the restaurant and the bungalow. Yet his mid is still very sharp.

There is a free wifi at the Paradise Lost now and although Wally has an email, it is still more reliable to send him a text message then an email.

He started to build this hut where there will be a small minimart and a travel agency, it is located behind his restaurant toward the jungle. He said that many guests are asking him and Nook to organize transport to other islands and other trips, so he may as well have an agency to do it. Wally said that Sai from KK travel started her own agency, he was not too impressed with their service as they were not always answering their phones.

Wally partnered up with a friend who used some of the space behind the main restaurant to open an Italian restaurant there called Oasis, serving purely Italian food, pizzazz, calzone, spaghetti etc. The prices there for the main meal started at 250TB per dish.

The main restaurant at Paradise Lost.

We walked once along The main beach, it is getting build up more and more. Seven Seas added more bungalows and toward the northern end there is another guy building another resort.

Note that Wally has a three legged dog called Tripod, many people take pity on him, but be aware, he is the head of the pack and not friendly, do not try to pet him.

Below are some of Paradise Lost's bungalows.

Our Approach to Ko Kradan.
We arrived on Freedom Adventures' Boat from a multiday visit to Ko Rok - we asked them to drop us off on Ko Kradan.

Less seen view - Ko Kradan from the west

Rounding the south-west corner - that is the beach just west of Ao Niang resort mid-background

Ao Niang's beach on the south coast - this is the best snorkelling beach

The south-east corner

Part of the main eastern beach - the northern track to Paradise Lost in the jungle starts behind that fence.


Ko Kradan, revisited by BOLESLAV - late November 2010Kradan from Ko Muk (tezza note - boleslav's camera malfunctioned this trip but I had some spare shots from my June 2010 visit)

Wally's health is much better then last year, he can walk better and his mood was glowing. His hospitality remains wonderful, meal portions large. He remains opened all year long.
This year he built two new bungalows with large room and huge bathroom, remodeled one bungalow and the kitchen, which has more open feel. Nook threatened him if he keeps building more bungalows, she'll quit, so I think that there will be no more new bungalows in the future.
He had landscaper working on his garden in the low season, there are more plants separating some bungalows growing up.
Wally remains self appointed protector of the island's nature and had to call in the authorities in the past month as there was illegal logging going on behind the Ao Nang resort.
Nook now has her own motorcycle so that she does not have to walk from the Paradise Lost to the beach :)

Main eastern beach o n Kradan.

We were staying there in the end of November and Wally was happy to report he is fully booked, mostly by Europeans.

The rundown on the accommodation options at the Paradise Lost:
All the beds have mosquito nests
5 dorm beds, 250TB each, can use 5 outside toilets and 2 showers
3 Bungalows have double bed, are using the toilet and shower outside near the kitchen, the cost 600 TB per night
1 bungalow has private bathroom (huge) and queen size bed, the cost 1200 TB per night (newly rebuilt in 2010)
3 bungalows have private bathroom and king size bed, the cost 1200 TB per night
2 bungalows are luxury, have larger room, larger bathroom and king size bed, the cost 1500 TB per night (those are newly built in 2010)
2 rooms in one larger cabin, so called family bungalow, can be rented by large family, share the bathroom and shower, can be rented separately, the cost 1000 per room per night.

Some of Paradise Lost's older bungalows. The newer bungalows are behind camera, up the gentle slope from the restaurant. The ones in shot are 20m east of the restaurant.

The pack of his dogs is much smaller than last year as 5 of his dogs were poisoned by a Muslim neighbour.

We organized the transportation from Trang to Ko Kradan via KK Travel, Wally recommended agent there named Sai who speaks very good English. tel 075-211198, 223664, 081-8945955
There is regular transportation leaving Trang at 11am, costs 450 TB to get you to Ko Kradan, if you can not make this departure time, the private transport is 1200TB per boat and 800TB for the van.
We called the KK Travel from Krabi and upon arrival to Trang town, they picked us up, free of charge, from the bus station.
KK Travel pushed us a little to organize the return transportation with them, which is not necessary as either Wally can organize it or there are fixed departures scheduled at 9 am and 12:30 for 450 TB per person.

Leaving Kradan with Wally's regular mainland boatie.


Ko Kradan by VOO888DOO (napster) - Visited December 09

On the way to Ko Kradan, passing by Ko Mook

Finally reaching Ko Kradan, luckily we choose Ko kradan over Ko Mook, fantastic seaview. Beachfront of Kradan Beach Resort.

Fan room, thb900 per day per room during high season.

Restaurant of kradan beach resort.

Most resorts located on east coast, facing Ko Mook. Very nice seaview.

Crab can be seen easily. Can you do so in Patong or Ao Nang?

Free kayaking ride provided from Kradan Beach Resort to all their customers.

I would rank Kradan Island as my top island that i been to in thailand, followed by Bamboo Island, Krabi.

Sunset Beach, west coast of Ko kradan facing Indian Ocean. Best for sunbathing and swimming since the whole world here belongs to you (no people here).

Napster has a heap more nice shots and text on his own travel site HERE.
He also has another site with Asian travel info HERE.

Boleslav's Kradan Trip Report - visited December 09
Just back from Paradise Lost, spent a week there, loved it, it was not that easy to find much info, so hope this can help to others:

The owner, Wally can be reached at +66-89 587 2409, either call him, the connection is bad sometimes or send him a text message, he does not have internet hooked up, so do not send him an email.

Wally will reserve the space for and his reservation system is reliable(I booked in September for December stay),had our bungalow ready for us no problems.
His resort is 5 minutes walk into the heart of the island , if you have lots of luggage, Wally will pick it up by the small motorcycle with side car.

image - Paradise Lost website
There are 9 bungalows there
the bungalows are either without shower (for 700TB/night)
smaller with shower (900TB/night)
larger with shower (1200TB/night)
all have mosquito nets,
there are 4 dorm beds in the open verandah for 250tb/night)

Wally can help with the transportation to the island from Trang or other places. We used Tigerline ferry, but there are cheaper options

The cost of food:
(note that the portions are generous)
breakfast : from TB 80-150 (selection of american breakfast, sandviches, omelette, mussli,fruit...)

average price 120-200TB per meal, beverages extra, selection of Thai meals or spagetti, french fries hamburger...
or if you are really hungry, you can get New Zealand steak either 1 kilo for gents (1800TB)
or 1/2 kilo for ladies (1200TB)

cost of the rent:
snorkeling gear- 100tb per day (note that the selection is very limited)
kayak: 150tb/hour or 400tb/half day

Wally can organize 4 island snorkeling tour visiting: Emerald cave (the best time to go there is around 8:30 before the hordes from day boats get there and you have the pirates cave for yourself)
Ko Chuk, Ko Ma and Ko Ngai, 2400TB/ longboat, so if you get more people together, it'll be cheaper.

The activities:
kayak around the island -took us 3 hours with the stops on some lonely beaches

The main eastern beach - image Paradise Lost website

Snorkeling from the beach - the best is in from of the national park, when looking into the sea, there is orange buoy, swim right from there
snorkeling from the South beach (access via path from Paradise lost)
from anywhere really, just a bit more difficult when the tide is low

Sunset watching-
heavenly from the Sunset beach or the viewpont above Sunset beach, access to the beach from Paradise lost

Sunrise -
from the main beach in front of the resorts

Other note:
Wally has 9 Thai ridgeback dogs, who will greet anyone with nice bark, but are friendly, some shy.

Wally looks like he does not pay attention but that's very deceiving, he knows what's going on, will ask you every morning if everything is OK, make sure his manager books anything you requested, just the perfect manager, not in your face, but making sure all's running smoothly.

He runs generators 24hrs, so there's TV, very cold beer, water, homemade ice cream and lights around the resort.

Ko Kradan by Rachael - visited Dec09

Andy and I are agreed that this was the most stunning place we visited – it really is picture perfect with blindingly white sand and the most turquoise water you’ve ever seen!

From what we could see there are just 4 places to stay on Kradan. Two high end resorts called Seven Seas and Anantara which were well out of our budget, Paradise Lost and the Kradan Beach Resort. We stayed at the latter which was ok but nothing special if I’m honest. We had a concrete bungalow in a longhouse which was a row back from the beachfront ones and cost 900 baht (£18). Breakfast is included but was a bit manky (a buffet of cold fried eggs and frankfurters which the local birds seemed to enjoy – let’s just say we stuck to toast). The staff were a bit moody too although on an island as beautiful as Kradan its easy to forget the negatives!

Sunset at the western beach.

Paradise Lost was unfortunately full when we visited. Run by an American chap Wally and his Thai wife plus their dozen dogs for company, it’s a 5 minute walk into the forest and consists of maybe half a dozen bungalows in a clearing. We ate dinner there a couple of times and the food was great – rumour has it that their Pad Thai has won awards and make sure you try the garlic bread and homemade ice cream with a shot of baileys poured over the top!
Dinner at Wally's

We spent 5 lazy days on Kradan doing very little although our second day there was a little more eventful when I managed to cut my foot open on a rock in the sea. It was like a scene from jaws but Andy came to the rescue by whipping off his t-shirt and wrapping it around my foot before giving me a fireman’s lift back up the beach (thanks my hero – I still owe you a new top :P ) A trip back to Koh Mook’s clinic and 2 stitches followed which meant no more paddling for me.

Rachael has a bunch of other island reports which she graciously is allowing me to shorten and present here, plus some extra pix on her own blog A DATE AT THE TATE.
She has a good section on PACKING, including WHAT TO TAKE - FOOD - COSTS - GETTING AROUND.
-------------------------Sessa has some Kradan stuff on her Multi-Island trip report Jan-Feb 2011 HERE

And wonderingstar has a March 2011 trip report with a lot of updated info HERE

If you want to submit a trip report on Kradan or any other location please send text and any pix to lajolla22@hotmail.com

Lots more info and pix on the main Kradan blog page.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you nice article.
    your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.