Want to head to the beach from Bangkok but don’t fancy a busy and touristy beach resort full of loud music? We did, so we headed back to Koh Kood dreaming of blue skies, pristine rainforest, crystal clear waters and lots of mouth watering vegan food. Here’s our vegan guide to Koh Kood to help you with your own Thai vegan travel adventure, including the sublime Soneva Kiri which as one of the leading luxury resorts in Thailand, isn’t cheap but oh my it’s amazing and perfect for a special occasion.
How to get there
The main transport hub for Koh Kood is the nearby town of Trat and below we’ve got the best suggestion for where you can stay before heading to Koh Kood, we love ‘slow travel’ and would rather spend time in each location we pass through rather than immediately heading to our next destination. You can travel to Trat from Bangkok by private taxi or minivan in around 5 hours and then head to the pristine and deserted beach resort 40 minutes east of town towards the Cambodian border, this is also the perfect option for those of you crossing the border into Thailand from Koh Kong in Cambodia. There are also direct ferries from Koh Chang for anyone already in the region and planning on ‘island hopping’ between these two Thailand tourism favourites.
What to expect
The one thing you can expect when you get to Koh Kood is peace and quiet. Resorts and homestays are fairly spread out from each other, so once you are checked in to wherever you are staying, there won’t be much to disturb you. If you want to venture out, then rent a scooter and explore the island; you can walk between some places but if you really want to explore any distance then you’ll need wheels. The pace of life is slow, there are still traditional working fishing villages and the vibe is laid back and friendly. Expect beaches, white sand, opportunities to dive, wild jungle and rainforest and fresh coconuts at every turn.
Where to stay in Koh Kood
Soneva Kiri 4 Tambon Ko Kut Chang Wat Trat 23000 Thailand
Soneva Kiri is widely recognised as one of the finest resorts in the world. So there was no doubt in our mind that our stay would be good, but little did we know quite how good it would be; from our incredible ‘playground by the sea’ (complete with giant pool, it’s very own private beach and golf buggy) to the superb plant based food (including a vegan tasting menu in their expansive organic garden) we will never forget our time at Soneva Kiri.
We sampled so much delicious vegan food it is hard to know where to start but perhaps the complimentary chocolate room filled with handmade vegan chocolates and the ice cream parlour with a long list of vegan sorbets to choose from, would be as good a place as any. Everywhere we looked there were vegan and plant based options (or vegetarian options that could be easily veganised) and enjoyed whilst taking in the most awesome view. Read more about our stay at Soneva Kiri but be prepared for serious amounts of vegan luxury!
If you don’t want to head straight to Koh Kood and wish to enjoy some affordable luxury on a pristine and deserted beach then Centara Chaan Talay Resort & Villas Trat offers the perfect option. Situated between the Cambodian border and the town of Trat, this beachside resort boasts an idyllic setting surrounded by nature with the rolling hills of Cambodia behind you and the gulf of Thailand in front of you. The 44 suites and villas, many of which are ocean facing, are spacious and well appointed whilst the pool area, and seemingly never ending beach, are an ever present reminder to kick back and chill out! With prior arrangement the team are happy to arrange vegan food including specially prepared noodles, vegetable and tofu for breakfast to accompany the selection of fresh fruit, juices and salad bar, but don’t miss the chance to take a cooking course in the evening where we created (with the help of the chef) a delicious vegan Thai banquet.
SeaFar Resort is on the West coast of the island where we were stayed in converted shipping container placed right next to the beach. Our home town of Southampton in England has a huge container port, so we’re used to seeing these big metal boxes all the time but have never slept in one! They were simply decorated, with air con and an en-suite bathroom but the best part of staying in them was definitely their location overlooking a deserted and beautiful beach, fully equipped with sun loungers, swings and warm turquoise sea (perfect for swimming). We had no problem with vegan food at SeaFar as the manager spoke good English and made the waiting staff aware of our dietary needs meaning we enjoyed tasty vegan food every day.
We loved our relaxing stay at Koh Kood Beach Resort which offers a choice of accommodation that all have far reaching views of the ocean. We stayed in one of the ‘Bali Bungalows’ which had a large decking area at the front and an open air bathroom at the back. One of the best things about this resort are the amazing views from the salt water pool, where you can soak up the beautiful sunset whilst enjoying a cold beer or a glass of something chilled. The staff were more than happy to adapt the existing menu for vegan guests like us and we got to enjoy flavour packed curries, various noodle dishes and some nice vegetable tempura. For breakfast they prepared rice, tofu and vegetables which although not on the menu they were happy to arrange; we also enjoyed the tropical fresh fruit platter which was prepared daily with love. Now that’s our kinda fruit plate!
This family run resort which is owned and managed by Go Beyond Asia provides a great mid range option on the island; Our vegan requests were no problem at all meaning we certainly didn’t go without; we also liked the fact that a 5 minute walk took you to a small fishing village complete with small cafes, shops and a way to experience real life on a Thai island.
Chams House 5 Moo 5 Klong Hin Beach Tambon Koh Kood Trat 23000 Thailand
Our final stop on Koh Kood was at Chams House set in tropical gardens overlooking another beautiful beach (the beaches on Koh Kood really are very good). With a number of accommodation types, all affording ocean views and some with private plunge pool there is something for everyone. Our ‘Deluxe Ocean View Room was modern and welcoming with simple but stylish furnishings; we were impressed with the ‘Thann’ amenities which were free from animal products and also not tested on animals. Hooray! We enjoyed a number of walks along the deserted beach but most of our relaxing was done next to the pool on giant orange beanbags.
The Chef and his team at Chams House went out of their way to make us amazing vegan food and we enjoyed a couple of tasty vegan items from the existing menu on our first day. On the second day of our stay they prepared the most delicious vegan tasting menu for us to showcase just how well they could look after their vegan guests (you can read more details about what we ate here). Every dish was expertly presented and we were overwhelmed by the variety of flavours and textures that our plant based dining extravaganza offered; we love it when vegan food is this exciting.