Koh Kradan is with 4 square kilometres just a small island, basically undiscovered by tourism with empty sandy beaches. The island lies outside the coast of the province Trang and belongs to an island archipelago, which starts south of Koh Lanta and is a part of the Chao Mai National Park. In the same region are the islands of Koh Hai, Koh Mook and Koh Sukorn. Out of all islands, Koh Kradan is the most beautiful but also the most difficult to reach. The white and sandy beaches and the good snorkelling and diving opportunities make this spot and attractive place to visit. Every year at Valentine’s Day the world’s well-known underwater wedding takes place here in front of the coast.
The island got his name from the longish shape, Kradan means translated out of the Thai language "plank". The biggest part of the island belong as many other smaller islands around Koh Kradan since October 1981 to the Hat Chao Mai National Park. Therefore travellers who want to visit the island have to pay a National Park fee of 200 THB. The smaller part of the island, which is used predominantly for coconuts cultivation and rubber production, is still till today private property divided under a couple of families. The landscape of the island consists mainly of hilly terrain that stretches along the whole island.
The national park itself has a size of about 230 square kilometres and is on land and water home to many different species of animals, some of them are endangered. The area is compared to other islands in Thailand nearly untouched and unexplored, what keeps this national park in his natural beauty. Finally due to his difficult transport connection to the mainland, visitors who get onto the island will find secluded beaches and a quiet and personal ambience.
From Koh Kradan you can reach nearby islands and beaches easily or start diving expeditions around the region. For surfer the island is due to his good positioning and therefore high waves during the rainy season a real tip.
Koh Kradan can be reached from the airport in Krabi or from the province capital Trang. A flight from Bangkok to Trang is the fastest and cheaper solution, but with only two flights per day it is not always guaranteed that a ticket will be available. The alternative is to flight to Krabi and then with a land transfer further to the pier in Pak Meng. Other modes of transportation are the bus or the train heading regularly from Bangkok to Trang. When visitors get out at the terminal or train station, a land transfer to the pier will be necessary.
At the Kuan Tung Ku pier a long tail boat will bring passengers for about 1,000 THB to Koh Kradan. There are no regular ferries from Pak Meng or other nearby islands to Koh Kradan so travellers have to charter a long tail boat. The voyage will take about 80 minutes and it can get loud and annoying after a few minutes so we advise to bring some ear protection with you.
Snorkelling & diving
The visibility underwater is on good days comparable with the one at Koh Tao. Particular the many exceptional sea dwellers besides the many species of starfish and seahorses distinguish the diving spots from others in Thailand. Two sunken Japanese warships from the Second World War can be found not far from the coastline and offers a possibility for underwater expeditions.
Due to the positioning of the island at the edge of the Andaman Sea the isle is exposed to strong winds and high waves. Especially during March and Mai surfer can find regularly good waves along the coast and many bays. The place is well established by locals who come to this island for its good surfing conditions.
With the boat tourists can easily reach the other nearby islands as Koh Mook, Koh Hai, Koh Sukorn and Koh Rawk. The different islands offer many nice beaches and diving spots. On the bigger one there are shopping opportunities which are limited on Koh Kradan.
Especially due to his white and very fine sand beaches and crystal clear water the island is an attraction itself. The water is at some points so clear that travellers can see the varicoloured corals and fishes from the boat.
The coral riffs stretch along the northern end down to the southern end of the west coast and is just a couple of meters in front of the coast. On the other side of the island are many wonderful beaches that can be visited. The two main beaches of the island are the Paradise Beach and the Yang Long Beach. The remote island offers travellers a lot of peace and regeneration opportunities within an amazing setting.
The best time to visit Koh Kradan is during the dry season from November to April. From Mai onwards the low season begins with only a few tourists on the island. The weather is often very good till the end of June with just a couple of sporadic rain showers mainly in the afternoon or night. These months of the low season are recommended for those who seek a private and peaceful environment.
From July to October the island is exposed to the south west monsoon. Due to his unprotected position at the edge of the Andaman Sea the weather can change fast and the winds can be strong and bring a lot of rainfall.