Ever dream of REALLY getting away from it all, in one of those fabled, remote beach huts in Thailand?
Moken Eco Village is a small sustainable resort on the island of Koh Phra Thong, and it’s just like the beach huts you heard about or dreamed about visiting in Thailand 30 years ago. Miles from anywhere, the only sounds disturbing you are either birdsong or the gentle lapping of waves.
Only these huts are solar-powered, have four poster beds and private ensuite, and the resort boasts a day spa and a damn good chef in the kitchen. It’s a step up from glamping, and its completely sustainable.
Koh Phra Thong is 120km north of Phuket and while it’s only 43km from Thailand’s emerging Khao Lak beach resort location, it takes a bus, boat and 4WD transfer to get here, so by the time you get arrive you feel very remote.
The island is Thailand’s fifth largest, but you’ve probably never heard of it. Relatively flat, with thick mangroves facing a meandering lagoon system on one side, and white sandy beaches on the other.
This is actually a reincarnation for Moken Eco Village. The current owners ran a resort here called Krathom Moken back in the 90s and early Noughties, some 29 bungalows. But the resort was completely destroyed by the 2004 tsunami, along with several nearby villages, and it’s taken a long time to rebuild.
Each bungalow is unique, with names like Hermit Crab, Hornbill, Gloriosa and Morning Glory. They are powered by solar panels on the roof, and power usage is limited. The only power available in room is a USB port to charge mobile phones (you can power other devices in the restaurant). Guests are asked to remember to turn off lights, and staff will turn them off after you leave for a day of activities, if you happen to forget.
There’s no air conditioning, but the bungalows are cooled naturally, being raised on stilts, with louvre windows and two ceiling fans. I noted also that staff ensure curtains are closed before the sun hits the rooms in the afternoon, to prevent rooms heating up.
The four-poster bed has a mosquito net, and there are fly screens on all windows so you won’t be bothered by insects while you sleep. The huts all have a raised verandah for lounging on, and there are hammocks dotted throughout the gardens.
There are now only 12 bungalows, with a few different configurations. Some that suit couples, and one large duplex that would suit families or larger groups.
The resort restaurant has a great selection of Western and Thai food, cooked to perfection, and it is open to passing trade – not that there is much, but we were visited a few times during my stay by guests from the backpacker/campsite further down the beach.
If you get bored of lazing in a hammock or strolling along this pristine, deserted beach, there are a few options available. Birdwatchers will love a sunrise 4WD tour of the island’s savannah, an expansive golden grassland where you can watch the sunrise over mountains in distant Khao Sok National Park while the birds awaken all around you.
From the resort, you can also grab a kayak and explore the fringing reefs of two nearby small islands, Koh Pling Lek and Koh Pling Yai, or go further afield by long tail boat to Kho Khai to snorkel through coral gardens full of colourful sea fans.
Each bungalow has hot showers, drinking water, pyjamas, writing desk and charge port for mobile phones. WiFi and power for larger devices available in the restaurant.
Moken Village Eco Resort can organise your transfer from the nearest port, Khuraburi, which is accessible by bus or taxi from Bangkok and Khao Lak. More information here.