UPDATED MAY 2016
With Koh Kood’s beautiful beaches found in every bay, it is easy to overlook its stunning interior with vast swathes of untouched rainforest, waterfalls, ancient trees and even a ship-like rock formation. All are free to visit.
Koh Kood Waterfalls – Klong Chao Waterfall
Klong Chao – inland
The principal waterfall is Nam Tok Klong Chao, nam meaning water and tok meaning fall, located downriver in Klong Chao. King Rama VI visited the waterfall in 1911 and gave it the royal name Anamkok in commemoration of Ong Chiang Lue, a Vietnamese King who took refuge in the Kingdom of Siam during King Rama I’s reign in the late 18th century.
It is accessed by following the small road that starts behind the riverbank guesthouses, crossing the wooden bridge and then heading inland until you reach PD Guesthouse. From there, a left turn takes you to the parking area and an easy ten minute walk through the forest brings you out at the falls themselves. It is certainly possible to walk the whole way, a few kilometres, and there are no real hills to worry about if you cycle. Alternatively, you can rent a kayak from one of the guesthouses and paddle upstream through the mangroves.
With three tiers and a good plunge pool for cooling off, it is a lovely spot to rest up, but do take drinks and food as there are no kiosks. Package tours tend to visit in the afternoon.
Koh Kood Waterfalls – Klong Yai Kee Waterfall
Klong Yai Kee – inland
The second waterfall is in the north west of the island, Nam Tok Klong Yai Kee. It is found either by taking the back road out of Klong Mad, signed for the waterfall and then following the signs for the guesthouse, Bann Makok or by taking the left turning, found a good few kilometres along the main road to Ao Salud.
To pick up the main road, turn right at the crossroads after the main petrol station and then right again at the vegetable store further along, before forking left by the second vegetable store, ignoring the straight-on option signed for Makayuk-Saiyai. After some way, the left turning, signed for the falls, is clearly visible.
Access is also possible from Klong Yai Kee by kayak, paddling up the klong and then walking. Like Klong Chao waterfall, entrance is free and there are no drinks or food kiosks.
Koh Kood Waterfalls – Huang Nam Keaw Waterfall
Inland off road to Ao Salud
Until very recently, the island’s third waterfall, Huang Nam Keaw, was known as the secret waterfall, hidden as it is deep in the interior beyond the ancient tees. It is, however, secret no more, as the old narrow muddy trail has been widened into a wide gravel track, which wends its way through the forest for a good few kilometres before reaching a visitor centre and car park.
The falls themselves are off to the right and require a little adventure to drop down the rocky hillside to the water. Depending on the time of the year, it is possible to clamber over the huge boulders towards the top, where there is a small plunge pool.
See the directions below on how to get to the ancient trees, with the waterfall straight on after the path to Mayayuk.
Sai Yai and Mayayuk Ancient Trees
Inland off the main road to Ao Salud
Koh Kood is host to two stunning ancient makka trees of an age somewhere between 200 and 500 years old. To reach the trees, after leaving Klong Chao, follow the road past the hospital and the petrol station until the crossroads. At these crossroads, take a right and shortly afterwards, turn right again at the vegetable store. Once on this road, follow it for a few kilometres until you reach another small shop at a fork in the road. Here, take the straight-on option with the blue sign for Makayuk-Saiyai. Again, carry on straight until you see the wide red mud track on the right, the turning you want.
Follow this track right to the end and you will see small signs for the two trees, the first, Sai Yai is easily found on the right and the second, Makayuk, is further into the forest, about a ten minute walk. The path to Makayuk is easily passable by motorbike, now that the waterfall has been opened up with its gravel road.
Khao Ruearab (Battleship Mountain)
Inland in Ngamkho Beach or at end of trail from Klong Chao
Khao Ruearab (Battleship Mountain) is a rock formation found in the forest behind Ngamkho Beach. Just by the village that sits on the estuary, a rough road, clearly signed for Khao Ruearab, marks the spot to turn in. After passing Far East Resort, the track leads off through the rubber trees, until it reaches another sign indicating the fork to the left. From here, it is still some way deep into the forest until you finally happen upon the two rock themselves. Walking time is probably about 45 minutes.
Another very scenic route to here lies inland at Klong Chao. Continuing straight for a few hundred metres just after PD Guesthouse, a small path to the right leads to the start of the Government nature trail. There are walkways, salas, even a very impressive little suspension bridge at the outset but these soon give way to what is essentially a track which winds through the canopy until it reaches a limestone rock face. If you skirt round this to the right, after a hundred metres or so, it links up with the other route at Khao Ruearab itself.
Coastal Walk – South West Beaches
Another good fine walk along the coastline can be found by following the old road from Ao Phrao to Ao Klong Hin.