Motoring through the Andaman Sea to Koh Muk you immediately get the feeling you’re in for some serious R & R. Upon arrival white sand beaches, palm trees and clear blue waters serve as the ‘welcome mat’ to the isolated cove of Charlie’s beach. Bungalows are the way to go for accommodations on the island and you have your choice of beach front or those nestled back into the jungle. Either way the beach is just a stone’s throw away. Aside from “going off the grid,” Koh Muk has 3 major draws: snorkeling, the Emerald Cave and colorful sunsets.
I chose to pass on the snorkeling and instead got myself ready for the duo of sunsets and the Emerald Cave. Digging in to a prime spot on Charlie’s beach I had a perfect vantage point to soak up the daytime sun and view the variety of colors as the sun went down. A few cool drinks helped to escape the scorching heat, however, be warned that ice can become quite a scarcity on the beach. Daily supply runs from the mainland don’t arrive until around 5pm, so use it sparingly. As the sun settled down to its final location the sky lit up brightly with fluorescent oranges, purples, and blues. I don’t think there are to many other places where you will see such a postcard-esque sunset.
Visiting the Emerald Cave is best done in the morning while the tide, and the crowds, are low. Hiring a longtail boat just off the beach is quick and easy. A speedy ride will have you there in about 10 minutes. The Cave is a roughly 300 yard long tunnel that’s been carved out of the limestone rock. To see what lies beyond you have to swim your way through to the other side. I dove in and doggie paddled for home. Inside the tunnel the jagged yet tide-worn rock formations jut out from all sides. It helps to bring a flashlight along because there are a few a stretches where you paddle through pitch balckness. The saying “To the victor goes the spoils” definitely holds up here once you’ve made it through the tunnel. The cave opens up to an isolated white sand beach and limestone jungle which seems to be awaiting your arrival. History says pirates once used this cove as a place to hide their treasures. Whether hiding treasures or simply enjoying the emerald green water to themselves these pirates discovered something quite amazing.
A few days of R & R on the beach had my mind and body feeling completely revitalized. The relatively quick minivan and boat taxi ride from Trang makes Koh Muk an an easy and ideal place to relax and let the mind drift away. It’s also a great jumping off point for discovering the surrounding islands. In Thai the word ‘Muk’ means pearl and there is no question in my mind as to why this little gem holds the title.