Thailand, an island getaway, Koh Sukorn
I’d never heard of Koh Sukorn either. It is not one of those places that is promoted to the tourist hoards which is exactly why I wanted to go there, especially after recently witnessing the cess pool that Phuket has become. Getting there was a long drive, the departure point, Ta Sae pier is around 50km south of Trang city. There are virtually no cars on the island so we left it in someone’s front yard and chartered a longtail boat to take us over for 240 baht.
The island is only 8km long and 4 wide so very easy to get around, the lack of cars, cops, traffic lights and buildings gives it a timeless ambiance. Koh Sukorn is also 90% Muslim so it actually feels more like Malaysia than Thailand, the locals are very friendly. The added bonus of this religious predominance is that there were no dogs, not one, it was probably the first beach in Thailand I had been on that didn’t have a pack of feral mutts roaming around.
Our accommodation, the Sukorn Andaman Resort, was basic and a little rustic but that was fine, a beach bungalow it was and that is what we wanted. Food and drink at the two secluded resorts on this beach was a little expensive but that was to be expected for an island, it was the first time I’d kayaked to a restaurant for lunch and I didn’t mind the markup! There were a lot fewer people that I’d expected for the busiest week of the year, occupancy was around 40%, mainly Scandinavian couples and families.
The view from the terrace was pretty special; an ocean as flat as glass only broken by the looming rocky shapes of outlying islands, there were 20 visible from our beach. The Gulf side of Thailand is nice but you can’t beat the Andaman for clarity of water and those spectacular sunsets. I found it quite easy to slip into a routine of doing nothing but chilling out on the beach with a good book, in fact doing nothing is quite tiring!
Without wheels you were literally stranded so it was time to grab a couple of bikes and tour the island. Rubber is the primary source of income here and each house had its own plantation to tend to, on the flatter southern end of the island buffalo, goats and geese roamed the fields among the rice paddies. There are no gas stations here so to fill up you visited an automated petrol booth than people had in their yards.
Koh Sukorn is a perfect little hideaway for those looking to get off the beaten track and see a bit of Thailand that has yet to be tarnished with SUVs, 7-Elevens, fast food outlets, hi-so bars, and shopping malls. The only downside was the plastic and trash that was strewn on the roadside and some of the beaches, a common site across the region sadly where the people still are oblivious of the fact that they’re destroying their own paradise.