Koh Maphrao Island: The Place and Location
Koh Maphrao Island (Coconut Island) is located in Chumphon Province it’s only 570 m long and home to the swiftlets birds famous for their nest made of their saliva and harvested to make a Chinese “healthy” delicacy Bird Nest Soup.
The island is only one kilometer from the shore of Sairee Beach.
How to go there from Chumphon
The nest concession has been given to a private company to operate, so if you want to visit you supposedly have to obtain permission from the Chumphon Office at least one week in advance and present your Covid test and vaccination certificate. This is more in the case you want to go to visit the caves and witness bird nest harvesting by the local fishermen.
Otherwise, if you just want to visit the west side where there’s a 100 meters white sand beach with a nice coral reef you can just ask a boat to bring you there without asking anything but a fee. We rented a private speedboat for the day for ฿ 3000 and visited other islands around Koh Langka Jew and Koh Lawa.
You can’t sleep on any of these islands so you have to plan to book something in Chumphon.
However, the Chumphon Province is not really ready for tourism (that’s also why I like it) and the cleanliness standards are not the same as most of the popular spots in Thailand.
The firsts nights we slept at De Sea Almond (โรงแรมเดอ ซี อัลมอนด์ ) The hotel is located right on Sairee Beach you just have the road to cross. The room are picturesque in a Greek Mediterranean style “Chateau Fort” (yeah wtf??), the one we had with sea view was huge and had two floors. The room is a bit old and wasn’t perfectly clean but the welcome of the owner lady was really warm and makes you feel at home. We visited in high covid period when no one was traveling so it was low season and they were short in staff.
The hotel is well located and there are plenty of local seafood restaurants on the beach, they will give you a menu with no prices so you will need to insist to get the one with the price version to avoid being scammed.
There’s a small Italian Restaurant Le Betole just a few meters from the hotel, it’s newly open, the food is good and the owner Paolo and his wife will welcome you as warm as you can be welcome in Italy.
On another visit to Chumphon we choose to stay at Villa VaRich, located on the Tha Taphat river, the bungalows are simple and clean and the place is quiet and close to nature