Cambodia The Ultimate 7 Day Budget Guide Blog Post, Ever The Wanderer

Ultimate 7 Day Budget Guide to Cambodia

WHERE IS Cambodia?

The Kingdom of Cambodia is sandwiched between the fellow South East Asian countries of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Its current population sits around 16 million. 90% of which are Khmer and the final 10% are made up from Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese settlers. 

WHEN to visit Cambodia?

The dry season in Cambodia is November to May – most travellers choose to go between the start of dry season and February where the temperature is cooler or at least the humidity is lower. A quick internet search shows temperatures of 38-40 degrees are not uncommon in April/May. We were there in February and it was in the mid thirties.


Cambodia has 2 international airports – typically Phnom Penh Airport is used to get to the Capital and Siem Reap International Airport is favoured for trips to view the fantastic Temples of Angkor.

We chose to fly into Siem Reap Airport from Phuket in Thailand using Air Asia. You will need to present a Cambodian Visa upon arrival depending what country you are from.

TOP TIP: Secure your visa online before you leave and print your copy. This will save you plenty of time on arrival and avoid the long queues of unprepared travellers at the airport who want a visa on arrival.

Getting to Cambodia by bus?

There are also overland travel options from neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam which are popular with backpackers and locals. The bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap will take you approximately 9 hours ($32) with the most popular and reliable company Giant Ibis.

They also operate a route to and from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Phnom Penh with a duration of 7 hours ($18). We took this option when we travelled to Vietnam from the capital.

The Giant Ibis bus service was a great, stress free way to travel – recommended by Phil’s sister, it is easy and simple to book online prior to leaving and even lets you choose your seat. A pastry and bottle of water is provided as well as comfy seats, WiFi (in town areas) and more leg room than a National Express Bus.

Domestic Travel -Siem Reap to Phnom Penh by Bus

We took the Giant Ibis bus service from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh – $16 each for the 6 hour journey. There are plenty of Tuk Tuk drivers waiting for you in Phnom Penh so getting from the Giant Ibis terminal to your accommodation will be easy. 

Our Tuk Tuk driver in Siem Reap who took us to the bus station had a ‘cousin’ in Phnom Penh who also drives Tuk Tuks – he took our pic to send to him and sure enough the Phnom Penh Cousin waded through the other drivers on our arrival and took us to our accommodation. They were reasonably priced and we used them for the remainder of our time in Phnom Penh.


Beautiful countryside, jungles, beaches and not to mention the stunning and vast temples of Angkor – Cambodia should be on any travellers list. It is a fantastic budget friendly country and Khmer people of Cambodia were among the most friendly and proud people we met on our travels in Asia. With a rich history and hugely tasty cuisine (hello Amok Curry) it was one of our favourite countries.

Cambodia’s troubled history involving a horrific genocide between 1975 and 1979, carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime where 1.8-2.5 million Cambodian people were killed has left deep scars on the population. If you are interested in cultural history then visiting Cambodia is an educational awakening.


We were travelling Asia for 2 months on a very small budget, Cambodia is one of the cheapest of the countries that we travelled to ( Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Philippines). We budgeted the following:

Accommodation costs in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh: £16 per day for two of us for a private room in a local hotel

Food and drink costs in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh: £8 per day for two of us. You can find 50c beers in many bars and restaurants and food is mainly from local restaurants. We did find that it’s not as common to find street food vendors in Cambodia compared with Thailand where it is very common place.


The best currency to have in Cambodia is USD. The official currency of Cambodia is Riel (KHR) but the only time that you really need to use it is when anything costs less than $1 USD. This would be when you purchase anything from the local corner shops, if you pay in USD they will often give the small change back in Riel. We wouldn’t worry about getting Riel before you arrive in Cambodia . Tuk Tuk drivers, Angkor Wat tickets and all transport is paid in USD.


Angkor Archeological Park – Siem Reap

The temple complex at Angkor was the centre of the Khmer Empire that once ruled most of South East Asia. The Temples are 5.5 km north of Siem Reap – originally built as Hindu temples, they were later transformed into places for Buddhists to worship. The UNESCO World Heritage Temples of Angkor are one of the busiest tourist sites in all of Asia so forward planning is highly recommended.

The most popular temples are Angkor Wat, Ta Phrom, Angkor Thom and Bayon. There are two main routes that you can take to see the temples – the small loop and the big loop. These temples are all on the small loop and this route is perfect for first timers and if you only have one day to visit.

Angkor Wat

The most popular temple of all and a hot spot for sunrise photo sessions. We visited this temple last on our day trip (we are not morning people so didn’t come for sunrise) and it wasn’t busy at all. This may be because we were there during midday when most tourists are stopping for lunch.

As you leave the temple there are plenty of stalls offering big bottles of water at reasonable prices. Given the heat it is a great idea to stay hydrated, especially as you need to make sure your shoulders are covered at all times which can mean you get pretty darn hot.

Ta Phrom

Ta Phnom is where you can live out your inner Lara Croft or Indiana Jones dreams and explore the ruins that are slowly being reclaimed by nature. Whilst we visited they were undergoing renovations to bring the crumbling temples back to their former glory. This is also one of the most popular temples after Angkor Wat. If you don’t go on a guided tour with the crowds of other tourists you can easily skip past the crowds and have many parts of the temple to yourself. It is truly magical and seeing the tree roots take hold of the temples is unlike anything we have seen before.

Angkor Thom

The “Great City” and the last capital city of the Khmer Empire. From here you can visit Bayon Temple with the many sculptural decorations. It is simply beautiful and a must on the temple circuit.

Bayon Temple

Banteay Kdei

The first temple that we visited on our trip – this is normally the last on the small loop route but we asked our driver to go the opposite way round that most tourists do. This meant that when we arrived we were almost the only people there. Having a temple to yourself is so incredible, its like you are walking through time.

Other must see Temples are the Elephant Terrace on the outside of Angkor Thom and Banteay Srei for its detailed stone artwork.

The Best Way to Visit the Angkor Temples

By Tuk Tuk– The best way to visit the Angkor temples are to hire your Tuk Tuk driver for the day from Siem Reap. Prices for this are generally settled at around $25 and your accommodation should be able to help you organise this as they have reliable drivers contacts. The driver will take you on whichever route you choose (even if you want to go off the tourist map routes) and will be waiting outside each temple to collect you. They are super friendly and patient but one tip we do have is if you come across a great Tuk Tuk driver, try and use them for the rest of your trip. When we arrived in Siem Reap our first hotel organised a driver to pick us up from the airport and he was fantastic. We didn’t get their details and when we moved to another hotel the next driver we used for the temples was a great driver but wasn’t as easy to communicate with. You can also hire a guide to come in the Tuk Tuk with you to show you around the temples for the day.

By Bicycle- You can visit the Angkor Wat Temples by bicycles that you hire for the day or on guided tours. The temples are located quite a distance from one another, so if you plan to do this make sure you give yourself enough days to see all the sights you want. Be prepared for very hot weather where cycling might not be the most comfortable mode of transport.

Walking – You walk around the temples but you cannot walk from one temple to the next, unless they are located in the same area.

Guided Tour– Many people opt to travel on guided tours to see the temples which does mean that you will be walking in large groups and won’t have much time to explore off the beaten path. The upside is that they are informative and a great value option if you want air con inbetween the temples.

How much does an Angkor Wat ticket cost?

As of 2019 -The Temples of Angkor require entry tickets: $37 for 1 day, $62 for 3 days and $72 for 7 days. You can pay in USD cash and pay by credit card.

Can I buy Angkor Wat Tickets online?

No – you can only purchase your tickets in person.

Where to buy Angkor Wat Tickets?

At the Official Angkor Park Pass ticketing centre located several km from both the entrance to the temples and Siem Reap. You have to have your photo taken to appear on the ticket so all of your party need to be present to purchase these tickets. If your hotel or travel provider sells you tickets – these are not valid. The Official Angkor Park Pass ticketing centre is the only place to you can get these tickets. They are open from 5am (sometimes earlier) until 5.30pm. It is located on Street 60. See map below, the temples are to the North of this map.

Angkor Park Pass Ticket Counter Map
Map Resource: Google

Official Angkor Park Website:


Where to watch Angkor Wat at Sunset?

This is the best tip! If you can pick up your Angkor Wat tickets after 5pm the day before you plan to visit, you can enter the Temples FREE for sunset without using your next days ticket (The sunset trip cost $15 in a Tuk Tuk from Siem Reap). As the ticket office is also located separately to the entrances, picking them up the day before will save time when you want to visit the next day, especially if you plan to visit for sunrise.

We asked our driver to take us to watch sunset at Angkor – we didn’t specify where and trusted them to take us to the best spot. He drove us to pick up our tickets and then took us to Ta Keo temple, a wonderful temple that you can visit on the small loop but does get extremely busy at sunset. You can watch the sunset from the top of the temple as the sun goes down behind the trees. They limit the number of people coming into the Temple so make sure you get there early to secure a spot.

Best time to visit Angkor Wat?

We recommend starting your day early – if you arrive at 7.30-8am then the crowds from the sunrise sessions will be having breakfast so it’s less busy and a lot cooler. Visiting the temples can get extremely hot! Take plenty of water and comfortable shoes (flip flops will ensure your feet get covered in orange dust) along with loose fitting clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. We heard this advice prior to going and it isn’t an exaggeration. If Siem Reap is hot, the Angkor Temple site will be even hotter!

Pub Street Siem Reap

The heart of Siem Reaps tourist centre, Pub Street comes alive as evening sets in. Close to the Old Market the area is filled with neon lights, street food, restaurants and bars.

Many travellers will end their Angkor Wat tours here with a cold beer or ice cream. There are happy hours to be had along the various alleyways and main streets, we found a few bars offering 50c beers which we were happy to partake in. Food will be most expensive here though so if you want cheap eats head to the side streets. ( Head down the page to our where to eat in Siem Reap section for some inspiration)

You will find plenty of massage vendors here offering foot massages which are the perfect way to end a long day of walking around the temples. For only a couple of dollars you can get a 30 minute foot and lower leg massage.

It is more family friendly than the similar streets in Thailand but the party will go late in some of the clubs and live music venues.

Other sights in Siem Reap

You can visit the Artisan Angkor Silk Farm for free in Siem Reap – there is a bus that transports you to the farm where you are guided around the factory and watch first hand the silk products being made. It is a very interesting process and a fantastic opportunity to understand the tradition. The farm is located 20 minutes from Siem Reap in the countryside and is in a beautiful setting. They do have a large gift shop where you can purchase items if you wish, however it is not forced on you.

The Killing Fields – Phnom Penh

The Choeung Ek fields are located 16km from the countries capital and are one of the most harrowing and memorable experiences we have ever encountered.

Choeung Ek, Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s past troubles are well documented but visiting one of the actual sights involved in the Khmer Rouge’s genocide is an important educational stop.

The audio tour provided is very detailed and provides a deep insight into the areas past. The Memorial Stupa located here is very hard hitting and filled with the remains of some of the victims that tragically lost their lives here.

The entrance fee is $5 per person and a tuk tuk ride from Phnom Penh is approximately $15. The local Tuk Tuk drivers will advertise this excursion the first time you meet them and we recommend organising a day to visit.

We also visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum also known as S-21. This was a school turned torture and execution centre for the Khmer Rouge and where many of the victims were housed before being taken to Choeung Ek where they were executed. When you travel to Phnom Penh be sure to add this educational stop to your tour as it’s well worth visiting to ensure we all learn from past mistakes and make sure that future generations are never in this position.

Other Phnom Penh Sights and things to do

There are many other sites in Phnom Penh that you can visit and many of them charge an entrance fee. The most popular ones are:

The Royal Palace – the royal residence of the King of Cambodia. Entrance: $10.

The National Museum – Cambodias largest museum of cultural history. Entrance $10

Wat Phnom – Buddhist temple built in 1373. Costs $1 entrance fee and is on many lists of places to see in Phnom Penh. It isn’t the most interesting temple to visit but will entertain you if you need something to do.

HOT TIP– Hotel Swimming Pools, In many hotels in Phnom Penh you can visit their swimming pools for a small fee. This includes 5* hotels right down to the budget ones. We found Blue Lime Hotel and they let you use their pool for only $5 per person. It was a tropical oasis and the perfect way to spend an afternoon relaxing and cooling down on a budget if your hotel does not have a pool.


Where to eat in Siem Reap

On a Budget and feeling hungry in Siem Reap? A short stroll from Pub Street is Pot and Pan. We visited this small restaurant more than a few times during our stay in Siem Reap and it was very popular. The prices were cheap and the food was great – the 50c beers were certainly among the cheapest and super close to Pub Street. They also do fantastic pizza and $1 Margarita cocktails.

Close to the river was Christa Bar and Restaurant. We also ended up here more than once and the traditional Amok and Khmer Curries were among our favourites. 

Occasionally a cocktail is needed and the best place we found was the hidden tranquil garden setting at WILD – instagram pictures galore! This new garden cocktail bar is worth seeking out. They also serve creative homemade spring rolls with various flavours – we recommend the Taco Loco! They are located next door to Christa Bar and Restaurant.

Where to eat in Phnom Penh

Our favourite cheap eat in Phnom Penh was at David’s Homemade Noodle – the noodles are made fresh by hand as you watch, then served to you in a variety of different combinations. They are also known for their tasty fresh handmade dumplings available boiled or fried.

These guys get busy so an early dinner or lunch is a good way to go (Before 7pm), popular with families and backpacker tour groups.

We also enjoyed Pka Chan – they served delicious Amok and this place is also home to the famous 50c beer which is perfect for the thirsty traveller.


We were visiting Asia on a backpackers budget ( a very lean one) and luckily Cambodia is as cheap to stay as its neighbouring countries, if not cheaper:

Where to stay in Siem Reap:

In Siem Reap we opted for the well reviewed The Tiney Fork Guesthouse.

At just £19 for 2 nights for a private en suite double with air con it was a bargain AND breakfast was included each morning.

As is common in Asia there was no lift and we were on the top floor. It seemed like everywhere we stayed we were on the top floor.

Martin from Germany was one of the owners and was an awesome host – we enjoyed a drink on arrival and he went and arranged a local sim card for us while we waited. We felt that he went above and beyond for us during our stay.

Downstairs has a small bar where breakfast is served and they have local tuk tuk drivers who they can arrange your Angkor Wat trip or airport/bus transfers with. We preferred using their recommendations because you know that they can be trusted.

Another option in Siem Reap is the Aster Villa – we spent the night here in between hotels and wished we could’ve stayed forever (unfortunately they were fully booked). The family run hotel is only 15 mins from pub street.

They organised us to be picked up from the Airport for free which was another bonus (and is common in Siem Reap), it makes arriving in a new country a much more relaxed experience. At just £15 for the night including breakfast, our huge room was a pleasant surprise. 

The pool was perfect to cool down when we arrived and the free bikes made getting around to explore a breeze.

Where to stay in Phnom Penh:

During our stay in Phnom Penh we stayed at the centrally located Fancy Guesthouse – close to the waterfront and markets this was an ideal base to explore the capital.

We did move to another accommodation after here but it was terrible and we don’t recommend it. 

Book your stay with and receive 10% back on your stay.


We spent 7 days in Cambodia split between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The Temples of Angkor are possible to explore in a busy day as we did, however lots of travellers like to get the 2 or 3 day tickets so they can take their time exploring.

Other popular sights in Cambodia include the towns of Kampot, Sihanoukville, Tonle Sap  and Battambang. These would add approximately 2 days each to your trip itinerary.

We had 10 days available before heading to the Philippines and so we opted to spend 7 days in Cambodia and the final 3 in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The bus route from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City was direct and so it meant we got to see a little of Vietnam before flying to the Philippines.

Final Words

We hope you enjoyed reading our Ultimate 7 Day Budget Guide to Cambodia and hopefully it helps make the planning easier for your own trip. We tried to include the important information we wish we had known before we visited. Cambodia is a beautiful country and there is more that we would love to explore one day, but for now we have visited the main tourist sights and have memories that will last a lifetime. We would like to point out that we enjoyed Siem Reap far more than Phnom Penh and in hindsight would have spent a few more days there.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Budget Guide to Cambodia
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Whistler Weekend Getaway, Crystal Lodge

Whistler is a town situated just a 2 hour drive North from Vancouver, nestled at the bottom of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. The area is famed for being one of the largest ski resorts in North America as well as a mecca for adventure!

Summer sees the ski resort transform into a mountain biking paradise with a whole host of summer adventure activities for the adrenaline junkies or visitors looking to enjoy British Columbia’s great outdoors.

Being so close to Vancouver, Whistler is perfect for a weekend or week long getaway. With Vancouver’s International Airport located on popular routes to and from Australasia and Europe, it is also a great opportunity for a stopover. When we flew back from New Zealand to the UK we stopped in Vancouver and had a 10 day holiday in Whistler, and it only cost us an extra $500! If you want tips on how best to do this, let me know in the comments below ( I used to be a travel agent so have all the travel hack secrets).

What can we do in a weekend in Whistler? 

Whistler has a huge selection of accommodation options and we were lucky enough to stay at The 4* Crystal Lodge & Suites located right in the heart of Whistler’s village district, with shops, bars, cafes and restaurants right on our doorstep. Being so close to all of the action means you have more time to fill your weekend with activities.

Our Crystal Queen Room had all the modern comforts you’d expect and felt more like an apartment than a hotel room, our huge comfy sofa (which pulls out to make an extra bed) was perfect to kick back with a glass of wine and enjoy a movie night on the flatscreen TV. After we checked in with the friendly hotel staff it was time to relax in our room before we headed out for the evening. The deep soaker tub and a glass of red wine hit the spot. If you are feeling active you can use their Fitness Centre and then relax in the Sauna afterwards.

The hotel also has weekly complimentary hosted receptions between 3.30 – 4.30pm that include BC’s finest Craft Beers, Crystal Cocktails, Signature Wines from Basalt Wine + Salumeria, Gelato or Hot Chocolate with Baileys or Self Serve Iced Tea.

Being just a 2 minute walk from the Gondola Hub it was a perfect base to access all of Whistler’s activities. Mountain Bikers and Skiers will have their Ski’s and Bikes valeted (complementary) and be on the slopes in no time at all. They even have a bike wash with a new Bike Tuning Station so you can mount your bike and rebuild using the tools attached from the comfort of your hotel.

In winter there is a games room for all the big kids and upon check in you receive a Crystal Advantage Card which offers discounts for dining, retail and salons in the village.

Dinner that evening was enjoyed at Basalt Wine + Salumeria which is conveniently accessed directly from The Crystal Lodge as well as from the Village Stroll.

Basalt has a cosy outdoor patio dining area in a fantastic space to watch people go by. Their charcuterie and cheese boards will have you’re inner foodie covered. We enjoyed some dishes from their 3 course prix fixe menu.

Get ready for your tastebuds to start watering because I have listed below what we ate – just because it was so damn delicious I just had to share.

Calamari with Lemon and Chilli Falafel with tahini mint yoghurt to start was just what the doctor ordered followed by a New York Strip Steak and Sumac Roasted Fish with apple caper tomato salsa, cured yam + chickpea hash, swiss chard and butter chicken sauce. For dessert I opted for the Coconut, Lemongrass and Ginger Popsicle with salty roasted peanuts, lemon raspberry kombucha granita and smoked coconut toffee. Phil had the Cheese Board with welsh cheddar, le gruyère classic, house made labneh and fig + caramelized onion jam. Isn’t that enough to make you start drooling.

After a couple of awesome Basalt cocktails and yummy Canadian craft beers we were ready to turn in for the evening so we were rested for our action packed next day!

We start our leisurely morning with breakfast in bed (OJ and pastries from the local market) and relax by the outdoor heated Swimming Pool and Hot Tub which is open 365 days a year. Plush pool towels are provided and it’s the perfect way to relax before our afternoon of adrenaline activities begin.

There are an abundance of adrenaline filled activities to choose from in Whistler and we decided to do the BC RZR Tour from The Adventure Group (TAG). These are 4WD Off Road buggies that will take two people up Cougar Mountain on an adventure of a lifetime. The TAG office is located in Whistler Village and after a short ride in the minibus out to Cougar Mountain, about 20 mins north of Whistler, we arrived at the TAG base camp.

We are introduced to our RZR Guides and supplied with our helmets and goggles. We pair up and get into our RZR’s (there was plenty of time to swap over drivers, so no fighting for the drivers seat haha) excited to see what lay ahead and set off into the Canadian Mountains with our guide.

It was unbelievable what terrain we were able to drive up, over and through in these 4 wheelers. Novice and adventurous drivers alike will have no problems piloting these through anything the Canadian wilds throw at you. Watch out for the big puddles though, you will get wet if you go full speed ahead as demonstrated in the first 10 minutes by a driver on our tour who got very muddy.

We climbed up Cougar Mountain to some fabulous views over the adjoining mountain ranges, great photo opportunities await and plenty of time to experience the old tracks of the mountains.  Driving through the Hemlock, Fir and Red Cedar forests you feel like you are a million miles away from civilisation.

RZR Tour Views Whistler

Our off road tour lasted approximately 2.5 hours and after that a hot shower was needed. Wear old clothes if you are visiting over the summer months as the terrain is very dry and dusty. Queue hilarious dust beard photos when removing your helmet at the end.

We head back onto the minibus heading for Whistler and say farewell to the base camp…for now! Later that evening we also planned to come back and visit the spectacular Vallea Lumina which is also hosted in the evening by The Adventure Group.

We first saw a video online for Vallea Lumina last year and have wanted to go ever since, they have tours running from sundown via a complementary shuttle from Whistler Village during the summer months.

Once the sun has set and you arrive back at Cougar Mountain the whole place is transformed into an immersive ranger camp complete with campfires and songs set amongst the festoon lanterns and log cabins.

Ranger guides will send you on your way into the dark forest guided by lit walkways – soon after we began we were greeted by the most amazing light shows and visual effects amongst the giant forest.

Vallea Lumina, Whistler

Sound and lighting effects galore will have you feeling like you stepped straight into an enchanted forest Disney movie and have the magical feels all around. When exploring the sights and wonders of the forest make sure to stop and wait at the installations for their surprises.

Vallea Lumina Whistler

Our walk took approximately 1 hour from start to finishing back at the basecamp, where buses are waiting to take you back to Whistler -that is if you are done enjoying the campfires at basecamp of course.

Thank You to Crystal Lodge, The Adventure Group and Basalt Wine + Salumeria for hosting us, our stay was gifted and all opinions are our own. We truly only recommend places that we absolutely love.

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Koh Mook, Could this be the best unexplored Island in Thailand? Blog Post Guide

Koh Mook – Thailand

Koh Mook – Could this be THE BEST unexplored island in Thailand?

Tropical Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand
Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook

When we decided to go island hopping in Thailand we only had a few weeks to fill and with so much choice it can be hard to decide on just a few. There were a few criteria that we wanted our tropical islands to meet – beautiful empty white sandy beaches and no crazy party atmosphere. After visiting Koh Lipe we had a pretty big task to complete because of how much we enjoyed it there. If you haven’t seen our Blog Post on Koh Lipe – check it out here.

After scouring the map to find islands on our journey we came across Koh Mook, found perfect accommodation and after viewing the photos we couldn’t wait to visit.

WHERE IS KOH MOOK? Located in Southern Thailand on the Southern Andaman Coast. Koh Mook is also known as Koh Muk, with Muk in Thai meaning Pearl. So welcome to Pearl Island.

Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand
Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook

HOW TO GET THERE? There are several ways that you can access Koh Mook with the most common being by speedboat or van+ferry combo. 

From the Islands– You can access Koh Mook from another island (we came straight from Koh Lipe) using the speedboat.

From the Mainland– If you travel from the mainland then you can go by ferry from Pakbara Pier with Hat Yai being the closest airport. Often the ferries are combined with vans to make a package – it is much better value and far easier.

Tropical Flowers, Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand
Frangipani on Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand

WHY VISIT? If you are looking for a quiet, undeveloped Thai island experience with a picture perfect beach then look no further.

Pro’s – Koh Mook is so quiet which means you get the relaxed island vibes. We also found food much cheaper here than in Koh Lipe with a great selection of low key restaurants. The local islanders were the friendliest we met which was the cherry on top of our visit.

Tropical Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand
Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook

Con’s – There are few beaches on this island and if you are looking for the perfect white sandy photo there is really only one, where we spent all of our time. Sivalai Beach – if you google Koh Mook this is the poster child for the island.

Top Sights

Sivalai Beach

Technically known as Hao-Laem Beach but because the Sivalai Beach Resort sits on this beautiful peninsula this is the most common name. If you stay at this resort you have direct access to this beach and if you don’t, then its not far at all to get here. Luckily for us we were staying a mere 10 minute walk away. This beach is a big reason we came here, most days there were only a handful of people enjoying it, soft white sand, clear blue ocean, frangipanis and palm trees. It was a tropical island bliss.

Palm trees on Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand
Sivalai Beach perfection, Koh Mook
Frangipani on Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand
Koh Mook, Thailand

Beachside dining at The Perfect Bar & Restaurant

A very highly rated place (just take in the Trip Advisor reviews) because the food is delicious and reasonably priced, it’s located in a wonderful beachside setting BUT most importantly the staff are just insanely nice. Always wearing the biggest smiles which made you feel so welcome. We ate here a few times and loved each occasion.

Cycling around the Island to Charlie Beach

You can easily hire scooters in Koh Mook or grab a free bike like we did from our accommodation. My insta worthy yellow beach cruiser was the perfect companion to explore the island. We cycled through local villages, took a cruise to our moonlit dinner reservations and visited Charlie Beach (also known as Farang Beach) on the other side of the island.

Beach cruiser palm tree grove, Coco lodge, Koh Mook, Thailand
Beach Cruiser at Coco Lodge, Koh Mook, Thailand
Cycling on Koh Mook Island, Thailand
Cycling on Koh Mook, Thailand


That favourite past time to while away the hours on the beach whilst you search for mermaid treasure (that’s what I like to call the shells I collect – or hoard as my husband would say!) You have come to Koh Mook to relax right? So take in the views, stroll along the beach and see what treasures you can find

Tropical Beach Shells, Koh Mook, Thailand
Cowrie Shells on Sivalai Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand

Emerald Cave

This is actually one activity that we didn’t do when we were there but we heard great things.

WHERE TO STAY? We stayed at Koh Mook Coco Lodge. Offering simple bamboo huts in a palm tree grove located right by the ocean. Only a 10 minute walk from Sivalai Beach and an even shorter walk to the local town where all the restaurants are located this was the perfect place for us.

They offer free bicycles to use, the huts are really clean ( they are also made up everyday for you) and come with free bottles of drinking water. They do have their own restaurant which we had breakfast in but wouldn’t recommend it. There are also a lot of wild dogs here which some may find a bit aggressive but we didn’t mind them. The owners are very friendly but speak little English. All in all it was great value for money.

Thai Bamboo beach huts on Koh Mook, Thailand
Coco Lodge Bamboo Huts, Koh Mook
Koh Mook tropical sunsets Thailand
Beautiful Koh Mook sunset

How Long to Stay? We stayed for 3 nights but you could easily spend longer in Koh Mook. If you are looking for a quiet little paradise then a week wouldn’t be a stretch.

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