Koh Muk (and all the Trang Islands for that matter) is an island for anyone seeking peace, tranquility and nature.
There are only three main options* for accommodation available, the most up-market is Sivalai, which sits on a glorious penninsular of squeeky white sand on the other side of the island, followed by Pawapi resort next door to that.
Finally, on arguably the best beach in the Trang Islands, you've got Charlie's Beach Resort which dominates the Farang Beach and caters for people who like their accommodation simple but don't want to compromise on scenery.
This a place to RELAX and be a beachbum. There is no nightlife, just the stars and the sounds of nature which can be enjoyed with a drink from Charlie's bar- a very low key affair.
The beach is clean and so beautiful. The water is quite protected and flat, it's also shallow which is great for children also. You don't have to sit on the chairs which previous reviews mentioned, they don't look comfortable anyway. Just take your towel and enjoy a place on the sand. The pool is nice, but I don't see the point of it given it looks straight at the beach. But if you prefer chlorinated pools be sure to claim a chair early in the morning as they were very popular with the families.
I stayed in the basic bungalows with fan and I really loved it. There is an attached bathroom with cold shower and western toilet. As it was December and so hot, I only wanted the relief of cold showers anyway so this wasn't a problem. The mattresses in these bungalows are on the floor and covered with mosquito nets. I left the fan on low for a comfortable nights sleep. They have beachmats and special cushions so you can laze about on the balcony of your bungalow. I found this useful in the hottest hours of the day to get some shade.
I love bungalow life, but if you've never done it before, note that the walls are for privacy and are not a seal against the outside world. You are pretty much sharing the island with its natural life, so yes you may see the occasional critter. That is not to say the bungalows are not clean, they are cleaned daily. There is a big difference.
The resort is basic, but in pretty good condition. I've stayed in many basic bungalow resorts across SE Asia, and believe me, this is quite good and I enjoyed it here.
They let themselves down quite a bit on service, so don't expect service beyond the necessary.
If you will need anything, buy and bring it from the mainland. The only shops on the island are simple market stalls with basics like toilet paper and sunscreen, there is nothing else. There are no cash machines that I'm aware of either so bring enough cash.
The resort has a little internet room with computers and they do have wifi also but the signal for both is sooooo slow and unreliable, especially in rainy weather. So you may want to forget about it altogether. It took me 15 minutes just to forward an email to reception on my last day.
There is a very big breakfast buffet in the morning and in the evenings they did a big seafood BBQ on the beach. I wasn't very impressed with my lunch on the first day and the ambience in the restaurant is zero (looks like a shed to me). But thankfully there are several food options on the island.
At the left end of the beach is a fantastic, very basic but yummy, family-run restaurant built on the cliffs which has a fantastic view over the beach. It is particularly popular at sunset. I ate here most days. But if you take a motorcycle taxi you can either visit Sivalai for some posh nosh or sample some local food from the various stalls near the village areas.
Scuba divers have two options on the island, the house dive centre is Princess Divers who have just recently opened, or next door is also Chill Out divers. If you're going to learn to dive, I can recommend the location because the beach is nice and easy for a beginner and when I was there students were getting 121 instruction which is a luxury you wont get on Ko Tao.
The Emerald Cave is accessed at low tide by either kayaks (which you can hire from the resort) or by longtail but you will have to swim inside. I sadly didn't get a chance to go as I was too busy doing nothing on the beach and then came the rain, and I regret it now!
Thats about it really. There is not much to do on the island, so come and be at one with nature and nothingness.
If you want a high quality place to stay, with posh bungalows and top service then best you will get is at Sivalai or on another island altogether. The Trang Islands are not a luxury destination (thankfully).
But if the idea of simple bungalows on a secluded beach framed by limestone mountains, sunset views, time with mother nature and no real connection to the outside world sounds appealing to you, then Charlie's Beach Resort is for you.
This was the best stop on my whole three week trip through Thailand. It was perfect for me because I found Ko Lanta too overrun with tourists, too loud and I love nature above all.
- Unless you are a hardcore beachbum, you might find 2 - 3 nights the max you need to spend here. I thought I'd want to spend a whole week here but I was really chilled out and looking for new islands after 3 nights.
- Don't bring big trolley suitcases unless you want to carry them. Backpacks are the order of the day here. Arrival from your boat is straight onto the beach, and you will get your feet wet as you get on/off.
- Bring a book / kindle (rather than Ipad) - on rainy days there is nothing much to do, and on sunny days Ipad is not great on the beach or in the glare.
- Minivan/Longtail boat to/from Trang. Journey was about 2 hours. I booked this for 350 baht from a travel agent in Trang. The boat stops at each beach and in front of all resorts for your convenience.
- Speedboat to/from Koh Lanta takes 2 hours and stops at Ko Ngai. WARNING: If you catch it on a rainy day you are pretty much guaranteed to get wet. I thankfully had a rain jacket, but the rest of me was soaked. Not all seats are undercover and swell splashing wet all our passengers. Although they covered our baggage under a canopy, putting your luggage in a large garbage bag is recommended. I always carry one with me.
- Other boat options include a ferry (which is a slower but dry journey) and other island destinations as well. You can book everything at Charlies Beach travel desk.
- Around the island: There is a small concrete road on the island and it is pretty flat so you can either walk, hire a bicycle or catch a motorcycle taxi for approx 50 baht from one side of the island to the other. Easy.
CORRESPONDANCE: I made my booking with Thai-Tour.com which in the end was fine, but I was never able to get a response to any emails I sent directly to the resort. I suggest either calling them if necessary or book with a reputable online booking site.
OTHER QUIET ISLANDS TO GETAWAY FROM IT ALL:
-All the Trang Islands, such as Ko Ngai which has a long beach with several different bungalow options along it. No sunset views however.
- Ko Jum - accessed by the Krabi <-> Ko Lanta ferry
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Asiatravel.com Holdings, Booking.com, TripOnline SA and Odigeo so you can book your Koh Mook Charlie Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Koh Mook Charlie Beach Hotel Kantang
- Koh Mook Charlie Beach Resort Thailand/Kantang