Koh Kradat, a private island off the northwest coast of Koh Mak, doesn’t attract many visitors. It’s a relatively flat island whose claim to fame is that it was the first island in Thailand to have a Chanote land title deed. There’s one run down resort that has three basic bungalows plus some pretty unattractive rooms in what look like converted army barracks. So far, so not so good.
But if you are on Koh Mak then it’s definitely worth a visit. Even more so if you have kids. There are two main reasons, firstly a long swathe of untouched white sand beach along the east coast of the island. Secondly, it’s home to a large herds of deer. Some of which are very tame and spend their time around the restaurant and resort area. Although most are scattered in herds of varying sizes across the island.
The tame deer are wary of people at first but once they see you with some leaves or seeds from the nearby trees in your hand they’ll quickly become very friendly. It’s good fun hand feeding the deer who are more than happy to pose for photos. There’s a small restaurant with no menu. The staff will make whatever you want providing they have the ingredients. So, basically it’s a choice of a handful of simple Thai dishes on rice. But it is very good food.
The island is privately owned and visitors have to pay 100 Baht ‘entry fee’. This includes a deer spotting tractor tour of the island which also stops off half way at the beach for 30 minutes.
– Head to Laem Son, at the far northeast of the island and there’s usually a boatman with a longtail there. If not ask at the small drinks stall. They should be able to arrange one for you.
– Little Moon Villa have a speedboat & they’ll take you over to the island. 350 Baht or so per person. Not including 100 Baht/person entry fee to island
– Cinnamon Resort will provide a boat & soft drinks plus entry fee to the island for 250 Baht per person. ( This is what we did.)
– Koh Kradat Resort will send a boat over to Laem Son or Cinnamon Resort pier for 150 baht per person + 100 Baht/person entry fee to the island.
Do ask about the history of the island. The wooden houses where your boat will moor is over 100 years old. Near the shady, rear entrance of the main house you’ll see photos taken over 100 years ago of King Rama V visiting the island.
Don’t ask what happens to all the deer. Officially they only die of old age. Unofficially, you’d expect far more if this was the case, so don’t comment that your pork fried rice tastes like venison.