Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island) is a small isle (2.5 km x 1.5 km) located 500 metres off Phuket’s east coast. Facing Leam Hin, a popular seafood dining area just north of Phuket Town, Koh Maphrao is still rather undeveloped due to the fact that there’s no electricity on the island apart from private generators. The local powers that be have been discussing whether to connect the island to the power grid for years, which is at the same time a good and a bad situation.
Bad, because the 500 or so islanders would surely be happy to enjoy the basics of modern comfort without having to pay extortionist private electricity rates; good because Koh Maphrao retains a genuine charm, and is light years away from nearby Phuket.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
It takes only 5 minutes by long-tail boat to reach Koh Maphrao’s main pier, situated on the northern part of its west coast, facing Phuket. On the way, you will pass several famous floating restaurants between Laem Hin and Koh Maphrao’s jetty. The island is roughly rectangular, and a good quarter of its southwestern part is covered with mangrove forests, home to long-tailed macaques. A road goes through the island from west to east, starting at the pier and finishing at a viewpoint in the east-coast jungle.
The main village is located on the northern coast, right next to the first resort built on Koh Maphrao – The Village Coconut Island. Fishing and farming are the 2 main occupations on the island: rubber trees, local fruits and vegetables are grown in the central part of the island. There are only 3 easily reachable beaches on Koh Maphrao: the longest one is on the northern coast, in front of The Village Coconut Village; the second one is on the southern coast at the Jindarin Beach Club & Resort, and the third one is on the east coast. The latter two beaches are rather tiny and have mangroves.
The northeastern part of the island is wild with mountainous rainforest. The road gradually degenerates into a dirt track which follows the east coast up to its central part, where you'll find a closed-up small bungalow resort. Still, for all that, there are some people living in this part of the island – retired Europeans living the dream in peace, far from it all. Getting around this hilly part of the island is quite exhausting, but the view to the east is rewarding. On clear days you can see the Phi Phi Islands and even the Krabi coastline.
Koh Maphrao is a nice place to visit if you’re looking to discover authentic local life. You can rent a bicycle at The Village Coconut Island Resort and follow the unique road through nature and past typical wooden stilt houses. Koh Maphrao offers a glimpse of the past as, apart from the resort, the modern world has not yet reached its shores. Things may change in the coming years as a few large resort projects are ready to start – Burasari Resort, for instance – and they will, as soon as electricity is available at Koh Maphrao. Until then, you can still enjoy the tranquillity of this idyllic place.