Holiday in Ko Muk
A little distance off the coasts of the islands of Ko Ngai and Ko Kradan is the island of Ko Muk, also known as Ko Mook and Ko Muuk. It is not as breathtakingly beautiful though as your run of the mill white sand beach and crystal clear blue waters vacation islands common and numerous in Thailand. This island’s allure, however, lies in the appeal of its authentically Thai village life with modern amenities like reliable electricity and health centre (near the pier). The surrounding beaches and available daytrips are just icing on the cake.
Ao Kham is Ko Muk’s largest beach, stretching from its pier’s eastern side all the way south to the renowned beach area called The Wing. You will find one economical place to stay at Ao Kham Beach while a humble Thai village can be found west of the pier composed of the traditional houses on stilts scattered over the area’s waterways. As can be expected though, this is not the island’s most hygienic location but walking through the village will definitely give you that rare glimpse of what island life is all about. Heading off to the east side, past the common types of resorts, you will find yourself at Sabai Beach, the most isolated area on the island even during peak season.
Most visitors prefer to stay around the Haad Farang area, which roughly translates to Foreigner Beach. The island’s lone roadway lead to this beach where you will find majority of the bungalows located. Again, it’s not your typical exquisite tropical beach scene but the area offers the best places to lounge your day away. The karst cliffs close by are perfect for kayaking and we highly recommend heading over the west part of the island for the magnificent view of the sun setting with Ko Kradan island at the backdrop sitting majestically on the Andaman Sea.
While at Ko Muk, you have to visit or partake of what Emerald Cave has to offer. Not so much as a cave as it is really an oddity of Mother Nature, Emerald Cave is really a sinkhole, formed after the roof of a semi-underwater cave crumpled letting in light from above and creating flora and fauna to exist. You can reach the cave by swimming across the access tunnel, which during high tide gets completely filled in with water. If you decide to conquer this place on your own, it is very wise that you ask the locals for the right timing for your swimming expedition because high or low tide, the tunnel gets flooded with numerous fish which to some, especially for newcomers, is a very trying experience.
As a matter of fact, most report this particular experience as more uncomfortable than exciting especially if you have fear of tight spaces or slimy and wriggly creatures. If you do have these phobias, then we highly recommend against this activity for you while in Ko Muk. Plus, contrary to what the travel agency advertisements will tell you, the cave rarely get deserted for at all times, there are visitors and lines of boats readily waiting to transport people around, reaching the most in numbers during high season.
Kayaking and cave exploring aside, Ko Muk is also a favourite for day trippers going to Ko Kradan where the snorkelling and swimming is a little better. You should also check out the exceptional hiking trails of the island’s rocky north coast. Note that there are no ATM machines or banks on the island, so it’s still best to just bring enough cash to last through your whole stay.