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Koh Munnork Private Island: An Overlooked Thai Island Paradise

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Koh Munnork is an overlooked little gem with a modern beach hotel on it.
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Koh Munnork Private Island: An Overlooked Thai Island Paradise is written by Jacob Gowland Jørgensen.

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Koh Munnork – a beautiful Thai island close to Bangkok

The peacock looks at me. I, like another mermaid, have just come out of the water and taken off my new snorkel mask, and then it's right there in the middle of the beach. It looks at me peacefully and hops on in its search for food scraps and insects. Welcome to Koh Munnork!

Koh Munnork is also called Koh Mun Nork and Koh Munnork Private Island Resort, but it's all the same place: A small island in the Gulf of Thailand that you can easily get to from Bangkok – or on the way to Koh Chang eastwards.

Therefore, there are also the most local tourists here, as is generally the case on this part of the coast, which is named after the largest city in the area, Rayong. The guests at Koh Munnork are often slightly more affluent Thais who go on a weekend trip with their family, friends or boyfriend – and that makes the whole experience even more authentic.

I only saw three other palenoses in the three days we were there - and one was there with local colleagues. And it was even in the peak season in March.

Although the island is quite small – 0,2 square kilometers – there are also only 25 cabins here, so there is plenty of space. And lots of island atmosphere, good food and nature ad libitum.

Here are 5 tips for what to experience on Koh Munnork and which one of the three types of cabins I recommend choosing.

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How to get to Koh Munnork: Arrival

One of the many nice things about traveling in Thailand is the price level of transport, which makes it easy to get around quickly.

Koh Munnork is located on a relatively deserted part of the coast close to Rayong, so there are two transport options: Take a bus from the central Bangkok – e.g. the bus terminal i Ekkamai – to the city of Rayong and then one Grab taxi to the small local harbor for approximately DKK 300 in total for two people. Or take a Grab taxi all the way from Bangkok for approximately DKK 600 in total for up to 4 people.

It takes about three hours by car if you drive directly, as you can take a shortcut compared to the bus, which often runs down the coast first.

There is a completely fixed island concept at Koh Munnork Private Island Resort, so you must meet at the harbor before 13 p.m., when the day's boat sails the half hour out to the island. We arrived in good time so that we could have lunch at the neighboring restaurant and look at the fishermen in the very local small harbour.

The boat itself is included in the price and luckily it turned out to be a big Thai one junk, there is a large wooden nave in several floors. It is also called a 'slow boat' locally, and it is a perfect way to sail out to the island, because even though there was a little wind, the heavy ship lay well in the water.

The last part of the way to the island is in a smaller boat, as the big ship cannot get all the way in due to coral reefs and rocks. Getting onto the beach was easy and we walked with the other 20 guests up to the restaurant where we were seated with cold drinks and a view of the pool and beach.

Delicious.

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Garden Cottages: The first night on the island

We were late in the high season when we booked accommodation so we had been asked by the resort if it would be fine for us to have one night in a 'Garden Cottage' and one night in a 'Beach Front' cottage and We would of course have agreed to that.

There are only a few Garden Cottages on Koh Munnork, and we got one. It is a very modern and cozy cabin with its own terrace, and although it is not directly on the beach, you can easily see the water from the front terrace, because there is only 25 meters to the water.

The bathroom was filled with coral stones, because there is a very large coral reef around parts of the island, and the whole room oozed modern beach hotel. In the completely peaceful way.

On the island, you get very involved in a special island lifestyle, where there are fixed meal times, no wifi, no TV and generally no stress. From 9 am to 13 pm there is 'Earth Hour' every day, when you turn off the electricity in the cabins, and they work seriously on their impact on nature.

However, you are far from completely disconnected from civilization. There is a really good telephone connection on the island, so if you just have yours under control mobile on the journey, you could easily get online. But we weren't supposed to. Now it was time to relax.

Outside on the wooden bridges leading to the restaurant, a fine peacock wandered about. It quickly turned out that it was not alone, and the beautiful and peaceful birds became a pleasant companion on our trips around the island.

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Water, water, and more water: Snorkeling and kayaking on Koh Munnork

As a Dane, you always feel safer when you are close to water - at least I do. And water was needed, because now we had to see what the island had to offer.

First we sailed out in a kayak and saw the island a bit from the outside, and then we had to snorkel, because we had heard that there was a nice coral reef by the island if you swam to the right places. And there it was.

Many coral reefs have had a hard time in Asia in recent years due to temperature increases, but there were quite a few living corals left here among the small rocks and dead corals.

Therefore, there were also quite a few nice fish if you looked in the right places. And the locals knew exactly where the right places were, and it was even marked on the little map you were given of the island: Just go into the water on the far right or left side of the beach and swim out a little - and voila, that's it you there.

You could borrow snorkeling equipment for free, and fortunately they had some of the newer full face masks, which are absolutely fantastic to snorkel with because no water gets in and you have a larger field of vision. You have to live with the fact that you look a little like an astronaut. With it on I was able to swim around for several hours before it was time to eat and relax.

Look, it's a beach hotel in my world.

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Beach Front Cottage: The second night on the island

The next day we moved 20 meters away and right down to the water's edge.

A Beach Front Cottage on Koh Munnork is exactly what the name suggests: A cozy beach cottage directly on the beach. Here there was also a small sofa area, where the aircon hung very conveniently, so that you could cool the room down without it coming directly on you while you were sleeping. The cabin also had a nice little bathroom.

Outside, there is not a terrace, as you might expect, but an additional outdoor bath so that you can rinse off the salt water. Then you go down a few steps, and suddenly you are on the beach.

En DINING is an open, Thai hut where you can get shade from the sun, and they are located all the way along the beach. With cushions, pillows and all sorts of cozy equipment in it. There was also one right in front of our beach hut, so it was taken up immediately. And what was missing? A peacock, perhaps? Well, it also just came by here and showed its incredibly beautiful plumage.

The day was spent in the water, in the sala and in the beach hut, and that was pretty much all you needed.

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Around Koh Munnork: Last day on the island

We enjoyed the breakfast by the pool.

There was a really nice buffet with fresh fruit, local food and of course the ultimate favourite: An egg station where you can order eggs as you like, and a Thai omelet with everything is an excellent way to start the day.

It was time to explore the island further, so we put on our hiking sandals and set off on the path around the island. It is definitely not a trip you should take in flip-flops, because it goes up and down, and there are both rocks and forest paths that had to be crossed to get all the way onto the island.

On the other hand, you can quickly feel like a Robinson Crusoe, because we only met two other guests on the entire hike, which would have been easier if we had started at the right end of the trail, that is, down by the cabins. But we didn't, and it worked anyway.

On the hike we passed some huge rock formations that looked more like Faroe Islands than Thailand, but the 30 degrees and sun revealed that this was actually southern Thailand. We also saw old signs showing that the island used to belong to the Thai military.

At the end of the tour we came down past the large family cabins that can accommodate at least 4 people and they were clearly popular. This is where many of the Thai family and friend groups lived and they looked cozy and spacious. They were in the same manner as the Garden Cottage we had tried on the first night; set back from the beach.

At 15 p.m. the boat sailed back to the mainland, and it was a completely calm trip on the large wooden boat.

Koh Mun Nork

What you need to know about Koh Munnork Private Island Resort

Koh Munnork is one of the most peaceful places I have been in all of Thailand and one of the places with the best snorkeling. And then there is something fascinating about being on a small island where there are actually only those who are guests and those who work there.

The price level for food and drinks is very similar to the prices elsewhere in Thailand, that is, quite cheap. We had only booked with breakfast, so we paid extra for the food, but you can choose to book all inclusive.

The cabins themselves are priced quite differently, and it is worth looking at the prices for the different cabins. They cooperate with the sympathetic project Socialgiver, who support sustainable development of tourism, and where you can also book when there are available cabins, just as you can book directly with the hotel.

My favorite was the Beach Front Cottage. They are furnished super cozy, and there is something fantastic about hearing havet, when you fall asleep. Koh Munnork is definitely an exciting place to experience

Good trip to Koh Munnork Private Island and good trip to Rayong in beautiful Thailand.


Did you know: Here are editor Anna's 7 favorite islands in Thailand

7: Koh Mai Thon south of Phuket
6: Koh Lao Lading at Krabi
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About the author

Jacob Jørgensen, editor

Jacob is a cheerful travel geek who has traveled in more than 100 countries from Rwanda and Romania to Samoa and Samsø.

Jacob is a member of De Berejstes Klub, where he has been a board member for five years, and he has extensive experience in the world of travel as a lecturer, magazine editor, adviser, writer and photographer. And, of course, most importantly: As a traveller. Jacob enjoys both traditional travel such as a car holiday to Norway, a cruise in the Caribbean and a city break in Vilnius, and more out-of-the-box trips such as a solo trip to the highlands of Ethiopia, a road trip to unknown national parks in Argentina and a friend trip to Iran.

Jacob is a country expert in Argentina, where he has been 10 times so far. He has spent almost a year in total traveling through the many diverse provinces, from the penguin land in the south to deserts, mountains and waterfalls in the north, and has also lived in Buenos Aires for a few months. In addition, he has special travel knowledge of such diverse places as East Africa, Malta and the countries around Argentina.

In addition to travelling, Jacob is an honorable badminton player, Malbec fan and always up for a board game. Jacob has also had a career in the communications industry for a number of years, most recently with the title of Communication Lead in one of Denmark's largest companies, and has also worked for several years with the Danish and international meeting industry as a consultant, e.g. for VisitDenmark and Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Today, Jacob is also a senior lecturer at CBS.

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