Here it comes, our summer 2016 trip (other trips, please follow the link below).
Today I won't say much but will focus on beautiful photos as well as the details of accommodation and travel plan. So that you can get some information to help decide places to see and stay in Koh Kood. Our trip starts from early morning at 04.00 a.m. on 4th May. We travel with 2 private cars since we have several members. We drive not in hurry as we book the boat at 10.45 a.m.
At around 9.30 a.m. we reach the Boonsiri Leamsok office. That's right, we are booking Boonsiri speedboat to Koh Kood. Each person is 500 THB and it is 1,000 THB for a round trip. But before getting on the boat, let's find something to eat first.
It takes about an hour to reach our destination. Personally, I think the speedboat runs slow but safe.
Once we reach Ao Salad Pier, we can take the Song Taew right away. If we are traveling with Boonsiri, we can go to our accommodation for free as this expense has already included in the fare of 500 THB. We just need to tell them where do we stay and they will point to us which car we can get on.
Let's firstly talk about our accommodation. This trip we are staying at Mangrove Bungalow. It is not expensive and near the beach. Also, several people said that they have delicious food.
We choose to stay here for 4 days and 3 nights. We got a house that is close to the canal. We can sit and chill right in front of our house. The first pros of this place is we can turn on the air condition all day as there's no limitation like some other places. Secondly, we can grill and cook as the owner will not intervene with the guests' activity. Third, there's buffet breakfast everyday though with quite limited variety. Lastly, there's free kayaking service for the guests the entire day.
And what I cannot miss is to take her photo. Well, the view is so beautiful, how can I resist? ^^
This is like a signature of this hotel that everyone must come enjoy the atmosphere near the canal and take photos........such a happy time.
A small recommendation for people who want to stay here is to bring adapter power plugs in case we have several electronic devices. We got 2 complementary drinking water each day except the last day that we need to buy. Anyhow, the cost of living at Koh Kood is normal. The small bottle of water is 10-15 THB and the big one is 20-25 THB. A 500 ml Oishi Green Tea is 20-25 THB. I think the price is quite reasonable. Well, now is late afternoon already, let's find some coffee to ease out our drowsiness.
The first day of the trip is really hot, so don't forget to put on sunscreen lotion before jumping into the water. Today the sky is quite nice, it is so blue. So what could be more fun but taking photos on this blue sky day?!
The closest beach near our resort is Klong Chao Beach, the beach in front of Tinkerbell and Peter Pan Resort. The water is clear, the sand is soft and white. But I do not encourage you to walk here in the day time, otherwise, your two feet could become roasted chestnuts.
The atmosphere near the canal that we are staying and taking photos is really beautiful. I want you to also have a chance to enjoy it.
The most important highlight of this trip is.....tracing the Milky Way. I sleep early at first night, probably I got so exhausted from driving and almost half day kayaking activity.
.....I set the alarm clock at 3 a.m. as the important mission is waiting for us.....Let's see if we can see the Milky Way or not....
Schedules and timing of the Milky Way of 2016
The season of tracing the Milky Way in 2016 starts in February which is the first month that we could capture the Milky Way shots at around 5 a.m. in which the Milky Way will appear
paralleling to the horizon in the Southeast direction (but it's not so beautiful yet, it's quite flat and paralleling with the horizon).
For March, I think this is the suitable month to take Milky Way shots along with the morning light (in which we don't get too tired). We can start taking the photo of the Milky Way since 03.00 a.m. and at 05.00 a.m. it starts to form shape, looking like the curved archer towards the Southeast. Thereafter, we can continue to capture the morning light.
For June-July, it is a popular month for tracing the Milky Way. We can start capture the Milky Way shots since 21.00 p.m. in early June (the Milky Way starts to appear) and 19.00 p.m. in July. We can shoot the starts along with the Milky Way which comes in several shapes (horizontal, curved archer, standing straight) all night long. Then, at 07.00 a.m. (in June) the Milky Way falls to Southwest. So it is recommend to sleep during daytime in these two months and shooting the entire night until morning.
If you want to capture the Milky Way standing straight and do not want to sleep too late, I recommend you to capture its shots in September (21.00 p.m.) and October (19.00 p.m.).
November is the last time you are able to see the Milky Way in the Southwest during 19.00-20.00 p.m. after that it will be gone around 21.00 p.m.
For December and January, do not try to find the Milky Way. You can only capture the stars shots. These time...the Milky Way takes leave.
And the time I'm waiting have come. My phone alarm set off.....I walk to the front of the resort...OMG, tonight the sky is so great, the stars are countless and I can see the Milky Way with my bare eyes (it looks like a group of thin long fog). Immediately, I set up the tripod stand.
This is how I set my camera for the Milky Way shots:
- I use the 14mm F2.8 lens on the full frame camera.
- ISO 3200
- Speed Shutter is 20 second.
- I choose to set up White Balance in Auto mode because I take the Raw photos and process later anyway. I only spend out 10 minutes shooting. Do not ask me why I'm so hurry.........one word, I'm scared of ghost, haha. Ok, have a good night everyone, tonight I can see the Milky Way as I wish already.
The second morning, we have the breakfast at the resort before roaming around the island.
We rent the scooter and roam around the island. We go to several resorts and beaches. Our target is Ao Noi Resort and it's really beautiful as we expected. I think if we come back again, we definitely stay here. For the scooter rental price depends on each resort. It is a 24 hours rental service, you return it the same time as you rented it.
Another resort that we stop by is the Beach Natural Resort. We wanted to have a bridge photography and we got several of it as there's several resorts nearby. After the Beach Natural Resort is the To the Sea Resort and walking a bit more is Siam Beach Koh Kood. The beach here has clear water and it could be sand or rock.
Let's freshen up with the cold beverage.
And now it's time for the sunset near the beach scene....
Tonight we choose to have seafood dinner which includes Grilled Shrimp and Grilled Squid.
The third morning we just ride the scooter around near the resort. It is about time to return it but we still have plentiful of petrol.
The must not miss activity is snorkeling. We didn't buy the tour package since we have several kids with us and we are afraid that we might not be able to take care all of them. So we go to rent the equipment at the shop near the Peter Pan Resort and just enjoy our snorkeling time at Klong Chao Beach which also has several fish. The kids love it. We are also lucky that we can kayak for free so we are kayaking from the front of our room to the beach.
There's several delicious restaurants at Koh Kood but we didn't go. Most of our dinner, we eat it with the resort and buy some more seafood to grill in front of our room. For lunch, we go to a la carte or noodle shop nearby. In addition to chilling near the canal and enjoying the coffee and snack at the resort, we also go to Good View Coffee shop in the afternoon. This coffee shop has a beautiful view and is located on the mountain. We can enjoy the view of the sea and sunset. And we can walk up to this shop from Klong Chao Beach where we snorkeling (in short, we didn't go very far from our resort, haha). What I impressed most is the Green Tea Lemon of this shop. It also teaches us not to order anything outside the menu TT, nonetheless, the taste of the beverages we order is good. It's a pity that we didn't try any cakes as we are still full from noodle.
We spend relaxing time here at Koh Kood for 4 days and 3 nights. On the way back, we book the speedboat at 09.00 a.m. because we were afraid that the traffic might be bad going back to Bangkok. At 08.00 a.m. while we are having our breakfast, the Song Taew of Boonsiri Speedboat comes to pick us up on time. We must put down spoon and get ready to check out and put our luggage on the car (today breakfast is ready very late, at about 7.50 a.m. TT We are so sad as we are yet full. We had waited since 7.30 a.m.) About 30 minutes later, the driver safely brings us to the Ao Salad Pier (every Song Taew drives very fast). The water at the pier this morning is still clear as usual but what's different is we must leave now. I still feel a bit regret. Since we have yet been to every beach and several beautiful resorts. When chances allow again, we definitely see you again.....Koh Kood.
The trip is ended but we still have fun.