A little Gem in the Gulf of Thailand
It is not down in any map, true places never are Herman Melville
Ko Kham Island is a true tropical treasure paradise belonging in part to the national marine park archipelago of 52 islands set in the Gulf of Thailand and situated approximately 22 kilometres (13 miles) southeast of Hat Bang Bao Bay at the southernmost end of Ko Chang Island and also within reasonably easy reach from Ao Suan Yai beach on the northern shores of the Ko Maak Island.
Apparently, the island was recently sold in 2008 to a private buyer and little is known at this stage whether the island will remain open to the public or not. As of now tourists are still more than welcome to enjoy the tranquillity of this truly special tropical gem. The tiny island measures only about 300 metres from its northern end to its southern end and about 200 metres from east to west.
On the island’s western shores you will encounter some mangrove swamps and a variety of wild orchids. On the flat sandbank of the eastern shores, there are two small but stunning sandy beaches where you can simply relax and enjoy a swim amongst countless small fish in the warm crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Ko Kham Island has some reasonable good places to snorkel, especially around the southern shores. The beach itself is enhanced with a few fairly attractive volcanic black boulders that protrude from the calm blue sea. Swimming is safe during the months from November through to May but high winds and torrential rains batter the island between June and September.
The pleasant sand dunes are excellent for sunbathing. In fact, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling are the only recreational things to do on the island besides perhaps the occasional kayak ride around the island that should not take you more than 40 minutes or so. Relaxation is the key word here.
Emphasis on the island at present, is its unique location, its low environmental development, its quiet atmosphere, and its prime position with the richness of a long, sandy beach and a sprinkling of tall coconut palms. The island can easily be reached with a sea kayak from Ko Mak or by walking across during low tide.
Ko Kham Resort consisting of some 20 bamboo bungalows, is the island’s only real accommodation situated on a long pristine sandy beach along the island’s eastern shores. The setting is absolutely stunning for those wishing for an atmosphere of sheer peace and tranquillity. There is no traffic, no crowds, no noise, only pure bliss, a lush tropical interior, the scattering of gently swaying coconut palms and warm clear blue waters.
The resort’s accommodation has several price variations from the very reasonable, the very inexpensive to the ridiculously cheap. If superlative luxurious accommodation is what you seek, you won’t find any of that here. Well, not quite yet anyway, that is, as this private island has not been developed to the extent of any of its nearest neighbors. What you will find however is that having the island practically to yourself is pure luxury in itself.
This photo courtesy of www.pictures-thailand.com
At the cheap end of the scale, you’ll receive bamboo-thatch huts with coconut frond roofs. Bedding consists of mattresses on the floor, cooling is generated from overhead fans and to keep the mosquitoes at bay, nets are provided.
At the reasonably priced end of the scale, there are large two-tier wooden huts or bungalows with blue corrugated roofs. Separate sleeping quarters come in the form of lofts. Cooling in the form of real air-conditioning is powered from the island resort’s generator. The outdoor showers are a pure Bali-style.
Prices also depend on location, location, location. Some units are beach fronted while others are simply scattered amidst a well-maintained garden. The resort is completed and complimented with the island’s only restaurant serving both Thai and European type cuisine. Of course, fresh seafood is the best option.
Koh Kham Resort – News Update
I have done some news updates as far back as 2009 on the whereabouts of Koh Kham Resort and it appears that the only contactable website is either offline or gone altogether. Their telephone number is or was 081 303 1229.
I would appreciate anyone who travels to the island of Koh Mak to find out if the island is still open to tourists. If accommodation is no longer available, you could find alternative ones on Koh Mak and hopefully do day trips from there.
Latest News Report on Ko Kham Island
It has come to my attention as of April 2010 that Ko Kham Island has in fact been sold to a wealthy Bangkok family who is at present turning the island into a luxury upmarket resort. The original resort has now been demolished, besides a couple of bungalows used by construction workers.
New concrete structures are taking place which will later form the basis for some luxurious studios and a plush new restaurant. You are allowed to visit the island, but unfortunately, you won’t be able to stay the night until the new resort is completed. Oh! And please take your own refreshments with you as only soft drinks are available at present.
Getting to Ko Kham Island
Between November and May, various boats sail daily from Laem Ngop’s Naval Monument Pier on Thailand’s mainland to Ko Kham around 3:00 pm. The return trip leaves around 8:00 pm. A one-way trip takes about three hours at a cost of around 250 Baht. There are also daily short taxi boat trips leaving the island of Ko Maak from the pier at Ao Suan Yai Beach during the same period.