If you’re reading our blog you know, that we’re searching for non-touristy places. We‘re not backpackers, we prefer to stay in guest houses, bed and breakfasts or in small hotels. We love unique places without crowds. We love food, wine and speaking with locals. When we’ve started to plan our trip to Thailand – Laos – Cambodia, we found small island. Is Koh Adang the real hidden gem of Thailand?
Koh Adang is situated in the Andaman Sea, off the west coast of Thailand, close to the Malaysian border. It’s part of the Koh Tarutao National Marine Park. Within this national park, there are two groups of islands: Tarutao and Adang-Rawi. The Adang-Rawi group consists of Koh Lipe, Koh Adang, Ko Rawi, Koh Butang and Koh Lek. Koh Lipe is the only island in this archipelago, that has been allowed to develop for mass tourism, with many restaurants, bar, hotels, resorts and more. Koh Adang, on the other hand, is the total opposite: peaceful and underdeveloped, only 10 minutes by tail boat from Koh Lipe. Most people travel from Koh Lipe to Koh Adang for a day trip. If you want to stay overnight, you should know, that Adang Island Resort is the only true resort on the island.
How to get to Koh Adang?
You can reach Koh Adang only by tail boat from Koh Lipe. We were travelling from Bangkok, which means:
Don Mueang Airport Bangkok – Hat Yai International Airport (by plane)
Hat Yai International Airport – Pakbara Pier Satun (by van)
Pakbara Pier Satun – Koh Lipe Sunrise Beach (by speed boat and tuk tuk)
Koh Lipe Sunrise Beach – Koh Adang (by tail boat)
Complete journey takes almost a whole day. We leaved Bangkok early in the morning and reached Koh Adang in the afternoon.
Entrance fee to Koh Adang
Foreigners have to pay 200 THB (6 USD/5 EUR) National Park fee. The ticket you receive is valid for 5 days across all islands in the Tarutao National Park.
What to do in Koh Adang?
Beaches: There are many beautiful beaches on Koh Adang. The main one is by the Ranger Station. Very nice beach has Adang Island Resort. To reach the more remote beaches around Koh Adang, you will need a tail boat to take you there.
Hiking: The highest point on Koh Adang is 690m. You will find the path near Adang Island Resort or Ranger Station. The path is not paved and takes around one hour each way. You can also hike to several waterfalls, like the Pirate’s Waterfall. Don’t forget to bring sun cream, repellent and a lot of water with you.
Snorkelling: Koh Adang is surrounded by corals with underwater life. You can rent snorkelling equipment near the Ranger Station, or if you stay in Adang Island Resort, equipment is free of charge.
Where to stay?
We stayed in 3 stars Adang Island Resort, the only resort on the island. We visited many 3 stars hotels around the world – small hotels in Colombia, Koh Yao Yai or boutique hotels in Zanzibar, so we can compare. What we think about Adang Island Resort?
+ Beachfront resort with a nice beach and swimming pool.
+ Free, but sometimes weak WiFi.
+ Bar and restaurant – close at 9 pm.
+ Free transport from/to Koh Lipe by tail boat.
+ Free canoe and snorkelling equipment.
+ Nice, but very simple accommodation with air conditioning.
+ Good price for accommodation, including breakfast, pick up and drop off on Koh Lipe.
– Every day the same breakfast – you have to choose from English breakfast, Stir-fried rice noodle with chicken, Stir-fried chicken garlic with rice, Chicken fried rice, American coffee or Cappucino. You will also get fruit.
– Evening entertainment – open-air cinema every day, which can be boring after a few days.
– Staff don’t speak very good English.
– You have to wait for everything – drinks, food, coffee, drinks. You have always table full of used glasses, plates, cutlerys and staff is just walking around. But it’s the problem almost in every Asian country:-)
– Menu is not big, which is very good. Food is tasty, but if you stay here more days it can be little bit boring. Food update from time to time would be a good idea.
Is Koh Adang the real hidden gem of Thailand?
Yes, it is. Unspoilt and untouched by mass tourism, Koh Adang is really beautiful. You can spend here a few days just swimming, snorkelling, hiking and if you want more fun, you can visit Koh Lipe with bars and restaurants. Adang Island Resort could be better and has great potential to do more interesting and even better quality services. It’s a pity that management not uses it. However, it is worth a visit for at least a few days.