This place is not for everyone but if you can bear with a few glitches, it's one if the most beautiful places in Thailand.
I'll start with the good stuff. The beach huts are right beside the beach so all night long you can hear the waves. When you wake up, you open up the door and the most beautiful beach and scenery are at your doorstep. The coral and aquatic life in the water is astounding. Go to the end of the reef and you will see tens of thousands of fish in perfectly clear and warm water. The island is small and there is no town or roads and it is extremely safe.
Bill, the owner of Kradan Island Resort (KIR) is a character and a very nice man. He's friendly and warm. My only criticism of him is that perhaps he could direct his hardworking staff a little more to do some needed repairs to the bungalows and have a checklist for each bungalow. Our windows had broken locks and there were some issues with loose flooring. Little things, really, but details make all the difference and unlike the people who have written bad reviews, we are pretty easy going but I can see how little things that I can overlook would be huge problems for others. I would love to see Bill's resort thrive and be popular so he could make some money. I think the only way this will happen, though, is if he keeps a close eye on the maintenance of each bungalow, otherwise people will continue to write unfavourable reviews and before long it'll be a ghost town. We had no issues with rats or mice like some other reviewers. If we had, I think we would have been upset. But to be fair, I am sure other resorts on the island must also have their fair share of rodents too. Maybe not the concrete bungalows, but any bamboo bungalow is going to be fair game. But like I said, we saw none.
We booked ahead of time, two separate 8 and 6 day stays at KIR but we decided to cancel our second stay to travel into Malaysia. We asked through email after our first stay if they would honour our payment and allow us to stay there again, if we found our way back to Kradan. Absolutely! was their response-Come back anytime and stay! Your payment will be honoured. Officially, all payments were non-refundable without sufficient notice and we cancelled just two days before we were meant to go back. We were travelling for 2 months so we did have time to go back to KIR. and true to their word, our cancelled reservation and prepayment was honoured. THAT'S WHAT I CALL GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!
And why did we go back? After travelling throughout Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia, Kradan Island was exceptionally beautiful and the simplicity of the bungalows at KIR was what we loved the most. And nowhere else did we find bungalows so close to the beach. Even on Kradan Island, all of the other resorts have their bungalows set far back from the beach. It's an exceptional place.
The island has a few restaurants and they are all decent. All the prices are about the same. The island is more expensive than other places but it sort of makes sense because everything has to be brought over on long tail boats and it's far from the mainland. But more than that, I believe on Kradan you are paying for the spectacular scenery.
If you want 3 star or higher this is not the place for you. If you are able to overlook some maintenance issues and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings, then you'll love it. For us, it was sort of like luxury camping. We had a nice bed, a mosquito net, a fan, a roof over our heads, a hammock, indoor plumbing and electricity for enough hours each day to charge our electronics and run the fan when it was most needed. That's pretty much it. The place could use a bit of love and maybe some shelves here and there and some wooden steps to the beach that can be removed during the off-season.
What I would really love to see on Kradan, though, is for all the resorts and tour boats to get together with the Park and organize a clean-up. It is so sad to see so much garbage on the remote beaches of the island. THE MAIN BEACH IS 90% CLEAN but everyday I would walk the beach and pick up a bagful of plastic litter that had washed up on the beach and had obviously come from tourists. If you go to Secret Beach or Sunset Beach, though, there are piles of plastic debris at the high tide mark and this spoils the illusion of being in a tropical paradise.
On Lipe, they have the Trash Heroes and although Lipe has many more tourists, it has much cleaner beaches. Trash Heroes just started in 2013 and it has already made a huge difference. A similar idea on Kradan would be the best thing for the resorts and will keep the tourists coming back. The other thing that needs to happen is education about the coral. I saw so many people standing on it. If I was able, I asked them to please not stand on the coral. But everyday several boatloads of snorkellers arrive and everyday the coral is destroyed a bit more by people who either don't know not to stand on it, or they just don't care. I would love to see a few signs on the beach saying PLEASE DON'T STAND ON THE CORAL and to get each snorkel tour boat to have this as part of their package.
I also really hope the resorts and Park get together and figure out how to combat the erosion. If not, before long, the beachfront bungalows will be swallowed up by the rising ocean. The coral will be gone and all that is beautiful and natural about Kradan will be gone forever.
From what I have written, you can probably tell I became very fond of this place. You will too if your needs are simple and you don't expect too much. Bill, the owner acknowledges that KIR isn't for everyone, and he is right, it isn't. But if you are the right kind of person for this place, you will fall in love with it.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Booking.com and Priceline so you can book your Kradan Island 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:
- Kradan Island Hotel Koh Kradan