koh kood day 8


Our last day on the island. We spent it enjoying the amenities at our resort, including one of the budget-conscious traveler’s favorites: free breakfast! 


We headed back to the end-of-the-road fisherman village for dinner on our last night, and enjoyed fresh seafood as we watched the sun set one last time on Koh Kood. Shrimp spring rolls, butter scallops and squid two ways felt like the perfect way to wrap up one of the best weeks in recent memory.


koh kood day 7


Our second accommodation during our week on the island was a new resort (Rest Sea) positioned on one of its southernmost beaches. The resort offered free kayak rentals so we decided to explore the nearby village by paddling up the same mangrove waterway we stayed on at Gumm’s place. 


Another sunset, another walk on the beach. Walking in silence and absorbing our beautiful surroundings felt even more luxurious than the nicest resort money could buy. Time truly can be more valuable than money, and time to use with leisure really is what we’re paying for on a trip like this one.


koh kood day 6


After a few days of trying them all on for size, we settled into some of our favorite beaches on the island. On this day we hung around one of our top picks, Siam Beach. Home to crystal clear water, a selection of resort bars with eclectic vibes and one of the best sunset views on the island, Siam Beach became an incredible place to pass some time.


koh kood day 5


At the end of the main road that snakes its way across Koh Kood north to south lies a charming fisherman village on stilt called Ao Yai. Here we sampled some of the best seafood we had on the island, and developed an addiction to BBQ squid to which we would relapse many times in our remaining few days in paradise.


One of our favorite pastimes on Koh Kood involved our daily motorbike rides through the lush jungle, past local wooden homes on stilts, under coconut groves via beaten sand and dirt roads less traveled. At dusk, wafts of ocean air and seafood grilled over BBQ accompanied the exotic animal sounds roaring from deep jungles just beside the road, while in the far distance overhead flashes of heat lightning tapped the sky. Exploring the island on bike engaged all of our senses, causing a silent appreciation of this island that will be engrained in our memories for years to come.


koh kood day 4


Although we were told the island’s waterfalls are much more impressive during the rainy season, we decided to pay each of them a visit regardless. One of our favorites was Klong Chao Waterfall which boasts a rope swing and a cool, swimmable pool year-round.


We decided to hike to another Koh Kood oddity after our waterfall swim: A rock formation that resembles quite uncannily two ships seeming to barrel straight out of a cliff face and into the jungle below. Rigging mimicking a mast, safety rails and even life preservers had been added at some point in time. Altars to Buddha and the Prince of Chomporn, Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse (1880-1923, considered to be the father of the Thai Navy) can be found on the “deck” of the ships.


koh kood day 3


We explored more of Koh Kood’s many beaches during our third day on the island, and decided to do some snorkeling when we motored up to A-Na-Lay beach. Puttering around the waters near the beach’s rocky headland and the resort’s wooden pier we were pleased to find a visual feast of colorful sea life. Barracuda, parrotfish, sea urchin and countless other rainbow hued variety could be seen at arms length, and schools of a particular striped fish seemed to love to swim in circles around us when we stood still in the water. More sun, sand and romping in crystal clear water rounded off this day perfectly.


koh kood day 2


The MO of our first few days in Koh Kood was to explore every inch of the island. With its maximum length spanning only 23 km, this wasn’t too difficult of a task. Between beach hopping on our rented motorbike, we decided to check out some of the other natural attractions Koh Kood had to offer including a handful of waterfalls and ancient trees. Pictured above is the Makka Tree which is estimated to be about 500 years old.


We ended our second day with another beautiful sunset at the aptly named Sunset Bar. We found it pleasantly easy to meet other travelers and share drinks and conversation in this beach paradise. Being citizens of different nations gradually became irrelevant as we chatted and laughed with people from all over. This feeling of connection despite borders has been one of the most rewarding parts of the trip so far.


koh kood day 1


A half-day of travel starting at about 3AM brought us to our true ‘vacation’ within the trip: Eight days of salt, sand and Singha life on Koh Kood, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Despite being the fourth largest island in the country, Koh Kood is largely undeveloped and not yet over-run with tourism - a perfect respite, we hope it stays this way forever.  We chose Gumm Lonely Club as our accommodation for the first half of the excursion. Gumm’s place is a quaint renovated fisherman hut in a village perched over a mangrove waterway about 50 meters from the southernmost beach on the island. Gumm and his girlfriend Jaeng were excellent hosts; always ready for conversation and to make amazing Thai food for a reasonable price on request. A former Art Director/Prop Master for a Thai television network, Gumm has decorated his place immaculately with lots of color and rustic flavor. We were definitely enchanted by our home away from home for the next few days.


This is a scene that would become quite familiar over the next week: cheap, cold and local Thai beers consumed happily while watching world-class sunsets each evening. This was our first taste of what would become a daily ritual; Tom Kha, Singha and the light show at Good View Cafe near the island’s main beach.


bangkok day 4


An example of the amazing urban textures that beckon one to explore the obscure side streets and districts of Bangkok. Something about big, unknown cities gives us the energy to walk through and absorb their visual surroundings almost endlessly. 


Bangkok provided another opportunity for Max to participate in local graffiti through a friend and crewmate who has been living in the city for nearly a year. Armed with Leyland brand auto touch-up paint, the best locally-made spray paint available, the two attacked a wall in an abandoned lot as workers in the adjacent junkyard looked on from atop piles of scrap and detritus. Meanwhile, Addie was solo exploring one of Bangkok’s famous extravagant mega-malls, Centralworld.


bangkok day 3


A morning of visiting contemporary Art Galleries and watching gritty urban scenes unfold all around… Bangkok was growing on us. 


We found respite in an afternoon riding rented bikes around “The Green Lung” of Bangkok - Bang Krachao. This large, lush island just a short ferry ride south of the main action felt like it could exist a hundred miles from the energetic super-city. Narrow concrete passageways connected various parts of the marshy expanse and local homes on stilts. A beautiful park, lovely cafes and other eclectic attractions await explorers ready to find a bit of an urban escape.