Koh Kradan, Koh Mook, Koh Sukorn, Pak Beng0
Trang's superb beaches follow a coastline dotted with cosy coves and offshore islands. Pak Meng, with white powdery sand, is probably the most beautiful stretch of seaside on the coast followed by Had Chao Mai and Had Chang Lang. All are situated within a national park area which offers stunning scenery.
There are many offshore islands which can be visited on day trips operated by local tour companies. Some islands have simple bungalow accommodation and are perfect places to relax, snorkel and simply get away from it all.
The largest of Trang's islands, Koh Libong is part of the Petra Islands group and an ornithologist's paradise. The eastern part of the island and the Juhoi cape provide a stopover for thousands of migratory birds on route from their northern homes during November and December. Terns, waders, curlews and godwits among many others. Offshore Koh Linbong attracts natural wonders like green turtles.
The island is dominated by a mountain which rises to 311 metres and can be seen for miles. Inhabited by local Muslim fisherfolk, the three villages follow a traditional way of life living mainly through fishing and rubber-tapping.
Khao Mukda on the eastern side of Libong Island, is a limestone outcrop that rises to 200 metres, where it's sometimes possible to see dugongs, protected in this area.
Snorkeling enthusiasts should visit the coral reefs off the south west coast, opposite the Libong Beach Resort - the only hotel on the island. Diving equipment is available for hire at the resort.
To get there: Take a boat from Kantang to Ban Hin Khao - the main ferry point
Sukorn is a tiny island is 8 kilometres long and 4 kilometres wide, with about 2.500 people mostly fishermen or farmers living in four villages. Quiet and laid back with very friendly locals involved in fishing or rubber tapping, there are very few cars.
As well as enjoying lovely beaches you can go walking or take mountain-bike-tours, passing rubber tappers and visiting the small local crab-market. Every day fishermen land squid, shrimp and fresh fish. Most transport is by motorbike taxi (or walking!)
Where to Stay: Sukorn Beach Bungalows
To Get There: Take the ferry at Tha Kham Pier in Palian. Boats leave twice daily at 10.00 hrs. and 14.00 hrs. The trip takes 40 minutes.
Koh Mook is famous for its caves and the large number of swallows that congregate here. It's also one of the largest islands in Trang Province.
The western side of the island has high cliffs - which form a nesting ground for the swallows, while underneath the cliffs is a beautiful Tham (cave) which can be seen only when the tide is low. The entrance to the "Emerald Cave" is just high enough for boats to pass through at the right tide. The sun colours the water in a palette of green, emerald and turquoise shades at the entrance, gradually fading as the cave winds inwards approximately 80m leading to an interior beach with clean white sand, enclosed by high cliffs open to the sky. Known locally a "hong' or room, these caves are best viewed from sea-kayaks, an eco-friendly way to explore this unique environment. See PaddleAsia for info. on sea kayaking.
Most of Ko Mook is mountainous and home to a few local fishing families. The island has only one village between Ao Klang and Ao Huanon and has a police station, health centre, two schools and two mosques. Several resorts occupy neighbouring Ao Makham Beach.
To get there: Take a boat from Kantang which arrives in Ban Hin Khao - the main ferry point, or join an island tour.
Koh Kra Dan (Ko Kradan)
Probably Trang's most beautiful island. Designated National Park with a small portion converted to private rubber and coconut plantations, Koh Kra Dan is lovely. It has one of the finest white sand beaches in the south, with soft sand that resembles talcum powder.
The water off Koh Kradan plays host to hundreds of couples who tie the knot each year .. underwater! The famous mass underwater weddings are held here every year around Valentine's day. The first underwater wedding took place in 2000 and was recorded in ‘The Guinness Book of Records' as "the largest underwater wedding ceremony." Events traditionally start in Trang town with couples taking part in a "Khan Maak" or traditional parade through the town, followed by a high-speed speedboat procession to the underwater ceremony location. Organized by the Trang Chamber of Commerce, the Trang Underwater Wedding Festival is a variation of a traditional Thai ceremony and, incredibly is entirely legal!
Koh Kradan has crystal clear blue water and a beautiful coral reef on the north side of the island easily visible from the surface. A small basin on one side of the island where big rolling waves makes ideal surfing. Two sunken WW2 Japanese warships provide a popular and interesting dive site nearby. The island offers restaurants and accommodation for tourists.
To Get There: Take a boat from Pak Meng Pier to Ko Kradan or join an island tour.. The trip takes 1.30 hours.
Koh Ngai (Koh Hai)
"Koh Ngai" or Ngai (Hai) is a tiny mountainous island covered by moist evergreen forest, measuring just 4 x 2 kilometres. The coastline, fringed by rocky headlands, beautiful white sand beaches and coconut palms is completely unspoiled. It's the perfect place for scuba diving and snorkeling on some of the most beautiful untouched coral reefs. Daily boat trips to neighboring islands like Koh Mah, Koh Cheuk, Koh Wan, Koh Kradan, Koh Rok, koh Lanta & Koh Mook.
To Get There: Take a boat from Pak Meng Pier takes about an hour