A 5 hour, $6 bus ride took us down to Trang Province toward the Malaysian border from the overly touristy Phuket. Once there we found our way to the pier where it became obvious that we had missed the last ferry and would need to charter a private long tail boat to Koh Mook. Desperately needing to drop off our bags and abandon our shoes for warm sand, we boarded the empty boat and steered out to the island we had been longing for.
Koh Mook is a small island off the west coast of Trang. Since it is so far south from the main islands and beaches that most tourists and gapyears flock to, it is relatively quiet save for a few European families and older couples. Mostly fisherman and their families inhabit the island in stilted huts over the water but there are also a few resorts and beach huts to be found as well.
On the west side of Koh Mook, facing the sunset, we found ourselves at the beautiful Charlie Beach Resort. After being taken to our private hut, we explored the property a bit and dove into the warm ocean water after a long day of bumpy bus/boat rides. Later on, to escape the vicious sun, we lounged by the pool and swam up to the pool bar for cold drinks. When booking this resort online we thought that we’d really love the beach and forego the actual resort, but the whole place was incredible. We lounged on our hut’s front porch and read during the hottest parts of the day’s heat. The pool was always a cool respite, and the multiple bars throughout the resort meant that living the beach resort cliche was as convenient as it was relaxing.
We spent three days and two nights at Charlie Beach but we could have stayed forever. This type of place just welcomes you and induces a sort of amnesia that washes away memories of the world outside. At Charlie Beach, the outside world is distant and insignificant. We didn’t bother ourselves with technology beyond snapping photos and reading our Kindle. We only used the wifi (which was broadcast from the kitchen) once and that was to check some other reservations later on in our vacation to see if we could extend our stay at Charlie Beach. Our hut’s single electric outlet was never used beyond the fan which cooled us at night. During the days we wandered the small island’s roads or struggled between lounging on the beach or poolside. The people were gracious and this charming island made for an inspired retreat from winter’s cold.
Koh Mook really truly is a paradise. With only a couple of beaches lined with a couple of resorts, the population of tourists is not overwhelming. I can’t say that we accomplished much beyond recharging our personal batteries and exploring the limits of relaxation, but when your only concern for the day’s agenda is which meal to order for dinner, or in what order you’d like to tan, read, swim, walk, or nap; you forget about the general need to keep moving and accomplishing things that we typically occupy ourselves with. Each morning we watched long tail boats pull up to the beach as we ate our breakfast without a care for the day’s activities. All that mattered was that the ocean stretched out before us, sand was between our toes, and, no matter what we chose to do that day, that we would be happy in our little slice of paradise.