Category Archives: Diving Asia

Koh Kood Island Thailand

My always honest Thailand island reviews. I wrote this Koh Kood review after visiting the island in February 2022 as I know this is important information to be aware of if you are visiting Thailand in the pandemic.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a booking I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Is Koh Kood worth visiting?

Absolutely. Koh Kood is worth visiting because it has some of the best beaches in Thailand and is a lovely, quiet island, not too far from Bangkok. You can pair visiting Koh Kood with Koh Chang or Koh Mak.

Koh Kood or Koh Kut? You will see various different spellings of English words in Thai as there is no standardised way of spelling words. Therefore you will sometime see the word for island as ‘ko’ or ‘koh’.

Where is Koh Kood?

Koh Kood is an island towards Cambodia, found near Koh Chang and Koh Mak.

How to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok?

Boonsiri offer a package deal from Khao San or Latkrabang (near Suvarnabhumi airport) which includes a bus ticket to the pier Laem Ngop, ferry ticket from the pier to Koh Kood and it also includes the transfer to your hotel. The cost of getting to Koh Kood was 1000 baht per person. To find a cheaper ticket you can book a government bus, then pay transfer to the pier and then approx. 400-600 baht for the ferry or speedboat. From Koh Kood back to Bangkok you can also do the same deal with Boonsiri. The bus journey from Bangkok is approximately 5 hours. Buses do a stop in the middle and have a toilet onboard. They also provide food/snacks and water.

There is also an airport at Trat which is the nearest airport to Koh Kood. However, I personally feel by the time you have flown it is the same time it takes to get on a bus and it’s better for the environment!

Koh Mak vs Koh Kood

I visited both these islands during a one week trip from Bangkok and recommend doing the same. Koh Mak is smaller and has more of a chilled, island vibe. Koh Kood is bigger, has more resorts and stunning beaches.

Is Koh Kood open?

Yes, as of 2022, Koh Kood in Thailand is open and ferries are running. Restaurants and bars are open but at the time of writing still closing early at 11pm. I visited Koh Kood in February 2022.

Where to stay in Koh Kood: Accommodation Koh kood

Koh Kood has resorts and hotels but few budget hostels. I stayed at mid-range accommodation and one of the best Koh Kood hotels at Pink Kangaroo Bungalows run by Dick and Wan and would definitely recommend staying there. I paid approximately 450 baht a night and this was a covid price in February 2022. They have clean, well equipped Koh Kood bungalows surrounded by a lot of nature. There was a mango tree just outside by terrace. I stayed at the one bedroom chalet and would definitely recommend as it had a kitchenette, fridge and outdoor seating area. Wan cooks a great breakfast (coconut pancakes anyone?) and Dick arranged a scooter for me and even gave me a mini lesson because he knew I was nervous.

My friends stayed at one of Koh Kood’s resorts Sunshine on the Rocks, which is a great Koh Kood beach resort as it has a stunning beach, Ao Phrao beach, just in front of it. This resort is also called Sunshine Koh Kood. I snorkelled there and spotted an octopus! I recommend getting a motorbike as the area is a little far from the more ‘central’ beaches and restaurants.

For luxury resorts on Koh Kood, consider Soneva Kiri in the North which is Koh Kood’s most expensive resort and probably the best resort in Koh Kood if you can afford it! Just check it out for some luxury travel inspiration if you are more into budget to mid-range accommodation like me!

Koh Kood Resort booking: I always use Agoda to book accommodation or I go directly with the hotel. I often compare with the hotel prices on but find that Agoda is very often cheaper.

Where to eat: Koh Kood restaurants and bars

A lot of Koh Kood restaurants are on the road near Bangbao beach, also a few restaurants are near Peter Pan resort Koh Kood. I recommend eating at Black Banana which does yummy Thai food, beers and smoothies. I also had delicious Italian food at Heaven Sense and recommend their pizza and pasta. I also recommend Pizza and Pasta further in the North across the bridge. Both places are run by Italians. Ngamkho Restaurant did a really good fried rice and I stopped there on my surface interval when scuba diving nearby. Kood Vibes Bakery also does yummy bread and sandwiches. Viewpoint Café I would recommend for a drink with an ocean view and the waves just under your dangling feet. Please note at the time of writing (February 2022) many of the restaurants and bars near Viewpoint Café were closed.

Koh Kood restaurants on the beach

What to do in Koh Kood: Best beaches in Koh Kood

Does Koh Kood have the best beaches in Thailand? Yes, potentially. I went in February so dry season and the sand is white, the water pretty clear and calm.

Ao Phrao Beach Koh Kood – long stretch of beach, where the jungle meets the sand. Lovely and calm when I was there and had a snorkel. Bad visibility but I still spotted an octopus!

Bang Bao Beach Koh Kood – Definitely recommend this beach, a few restaurants and bars to eat and drink on it which is perfect. It’s still very green with white sand and clear water.

Million Beach Koh Kood – Million beach is a smaller beach with two resorts on it. At the time I went it was extremely quiet. It has a little pier and a small rock island nearby which has some decent snorkelling and you can dive a bit deeper. We had the best sunset view here.

Beach in front of Peter Pan resort near the river – lovely long stretch of beach and mangroves nearby, busy in the evening with people taking sunset photos

What to do in Koh Kood Thailand?

Visit some of the best beaches in Thailand, experience a quiet island, snorkel some nice reefs, go scuba diving, visit the waterfalls (I did not do this as it was dry season and they will always be better in rainy season!)

Scuba Diving in Koh Kood

I did two scuba dives with Koh Kood divers and really enjoyed the scuba diving experience. The reef was much healthier than I imagined (as someone who has seen a lot of dead and damaged coral reefs in Thailand). I saw a decent diversity of marine life and spotted the usual tropical fish, nudibranchs and was lucky enough to have a private dive instructor, Jessie! I strongly recommend diving with Koh Kood Divers as they really tailored the dives to me as an experienced diver.

Koh Kood Weather

Writing this in the year 2022, the weather in Koh Kood and also the weather in Thailand is being more unpredictable than usual. Usually we have a dry season from October – April and rainy season from May-September. However, it has still been raining in dry season in Bangkok lately and the same for some of the islands!

For a complete island guide, check out my quick summaries for each Thai island here

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Scuba Diving Packing List: What to Take on a Dive Boat

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything from Amazon I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

My Scuba Diving Obsession

I became obsessed with scuba diving when I completed my Open Water course in Koh Tao in Thailand. Having spent the last 5 years living and working in Asia I have now scuba dived all over Thailand, in Indonesia including Bali and Komodo National Park, across the Maldives and also in Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines and I am a qualified divemaster.

The following scuba diving packing list is a guide for useful items to take on a dive boat in tropical waters. This includes what to pack for diving liveaboard trips and scuba diving day trips.

Scuba Diving Packing List: GoPro or Underwater Camera

There are many other similar video cameras for diving but the Gopro is still a popular, small and useful item for diving. It took me too long to get mine and I missed out on some great footage of diving with turtles in the Gili islands in Indonesia. Scuba Diving Tip: When learning to do your Open Water or Advanced qualification and doing other dive courses you are, generally speaking, not permitted to use cameras. Compare prices for GoPros on Amazon here. I recommend one with a screen so you can see what you are videoing or taking photos of underwater. Make sure your Gopro has a protective dive housing to 30 metres or more.

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Turtles and Stunning Coral in Komodo National Park: GoPro – a must for scuba diving trips

Scuba Diving Packing Guide : GoPro Accessories for diving: A red filter

A red filter for the GoPro is an absolute must for my diving holiday packing list. In different waters, the sea is different colours but a red filter will suit most tropical diving. See the below underwater photo with no red filter! They are all blue or green and you lose the colour the deeper you dive. See which red filter fits your underwater camera here. 

what to take on a dive boat
How my photos looked before I bought a red filter!

Packing for Diving Holiday: GoPro essentials for diving – floating stick

I have been on so many dive boats where divers have dropped their gopros over the side of the boat and without a floating device they sink. A floating stick or handle is ideal and I never go on a boat without this floating device. You can also use orange floating devices to stick onto the back of your Gopro but these will cover the screen portion of the GoPro. Compare different floating sticks on Amazon here. Be aware that the floating selfie sticks that extend often have air in the middle so will not be suitable for scuba diving.

Liveaboard Packing List: Best swimwear for diving trip

I have tried diving with a variety of different swimwear and I also wear a wetsuit because I get cold even in 29C water. I always choose a bikini because it is easier to wear under a wetsuit for going to the toilet on the boat. I also make sure I don’t have any ties on the bikini bottoms or a halterneck tie on the bikini top so that it doesn’t irritate me when my wetsuit is zipped up. A bikini like the one I am wearing below is best for under a wetsuit.

what to take on a dive boat

Diving Wetsuits: Best women’s wetsuit on a budget for warm waters

This is my exact wetsuit below on Amazon which I actually ordered from (the Asian Amazon)  as I was living in Thailand at the time. I’m a UK size 8 and it fits like a glove. It’s 5mm which keeps me warm as I am a wimp and get cold easily! If I get cold underwater I shiver a lot and I go through my air so much quicker so I definitely recommend keeping warm.

Take a warm wetsuit on a dive boat
See my exact wetsuit on Amazon which won’t break the bank!

Scuba Checklist: Rash Vest and Leggings

If you feel a wetsuit is a bit extreme for warm water diving then I definitely recommend taking a rash vest instead. It’s a very useful item that I always take on diving or snorkelling trips.  I recommend rash vests with a zip up the middle to make it easier to get on and off. Browse brand name rash vests here.

For leggings for diving or snorkelling,  I am obsessed with Waterlust leggings, all made from recycled plastic packaging.

what to take on a dive boat
My favourite Billabong rash vest with a zip up the middle – my dive boat essential!

Diving Packing Essentials: Decongestant to help equalise ears

Tiger balm is a useful item to pack for a dive boat. You cannot equalise with a cold or blocked nose so these are useful for keeping your sinuses open, especially if you are on a liveaboard dive boat or are doing multiple dives in one day. Buy from Amazon here or if you are diving in Asia wait until you are there to get it much cheaper.

I have  previously used Actifed as a very strong decongestant which always helps me equalise my ears but you shouldn’t use it for diving consecutive days. There is also a risk of reverse block so after consulting with an ENT specialist I was recommend this nose spray which I use every day for the week leading up to diving and it really helps with ear equalisation problems of which I used to have many!

Scuba Packing List – Socks

You might not look like the coolest diver out there but if you’re wearing fins without booties for days on end then socks will stop them from rubbing (and protect my nail varnish!) Also very useful for liveaboard diving packing lists because of diving multiple dives a day.

Dive Trip Packing List: Dry Bag

I am forever a fan of these dry bags for keeping everything safe from waves, water and rain. I love the 5l bags. Buy yours here for a reasonable price.

what to take on a dive boat
Dry Bag – it goes everywhere with me from dive boats to hiking National Parks

Scuba Diving Packing List: Daily contact lenses

Spare contact lenses – if like me you need to wear contacts to actually see the fish or sharks or mantas then make sure you take a spare pair with you. I find that clearing your mask underwater particularly stings when wearing contacts and changing them between two dives can help. I use daily contacts for diving but monthlies normally. I prefer to use daily contact lenses when diving. Please note, according to my optician, only soft contact lens can be used for scuba diving.

What to take on a liveaboard boat: Some warm clothes

A hoody or a jumper – maybe just for people who feel the cold but multiple dives lowers your body temperature so at the end of the diving day I’m often feeling the cold.

Scuba Diving Checklist: Reef friendly suncream

I am still always looking out for reef friendly suncream with a high SPF and so far I can recommend Sunbum brands and the Cerave suncream.

Diving Packing List:  Log Book

Make sure to take your log book to log all your fun dives as well as dive courses. Recently I’ve made sure I write in my log book in between dives – especially when doing three or four dives a day, to help me remember and write about the moment.

Packing for a dive trip: A sarong

A sarong – I never bother with heavy beach towels nowadays and I prefer to travel with lightweight, quick drying sarongs instead. I might not always head straight home after a dive and I don’t want to be carrying around a wet, heavy towel to the bar for post diving beers. I love a turtle themed one like this one 

Diving Packing Checklist: Dive Computer

I’ve found the best dive equipment for a low budget which includes an affordable dive computer that I’ve been using for years. I use this budget dive computer, brand Cressi Leonardo because I thought it was a great value dive computer. I bought it from Amazon after a recommendation from a friend. It is very basic and doesn’t have a free diving mode but it suits scuba diving very well. I know instructors who use it and it has a long battery life. I haven’t had to replace mine in 2 years of fairly regular diving trips. One thing to note is that this cheap dive computer is very conservative in that it will flash “no fly” for 24 hours after only one dive. It comes in a range of colours with slightly different price tags. I have the white one.

Scuba Diving Checklist: The best mask for a small face

I bought my Oceanic Ice Mini last year and I absolutely love it. It has a wide range of vision and I love that the mask is all one piece of glass rather than divided into two. I would definitely buy this again and I am very happy. I put toothpaste overnight a couple of times at the beginning to make sure it doesn’t fog and now I have no problems with it. I also love mask strap at the back as my hair never gets stuck in it. I bought my clear one from Simply Scuba in the UK but there is an Amazon version only in black.

For more about diving in Asia, read more of my blog posts:

Click here to find out more about the best dive sites in Thailand. 

For the best dive destinations in South East Asia check out my countries list

For diving in the Maldives, (and the best diving in the world in my opinion!) check out the little known island of Fuvahmulah

And if you are obsessed with manta rays consider a holiday to Baa Atoll for the best manta ray experience in the world.


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