Koh Rat

Home » Koh Rat

Koh Rat

Koh Rat is located in a scenicarea. On the left-hand side of Koh Rat, we can see Khao Suwanpradit temple, Laem Tuad, Wang Hin beach, and an abandonedpier. On the right-hand side of Koh Rat, we can see the ferry pier, the route to view dolphins swimming in the sea, and the viewpoints forthe morning sunrise and the evening sunset. We can walk to Koh Rat at low tide. Villagers are searching for shrimps, crabs, and shells living among the beach rocks.

Pink dolphins

We can see dolphins swimming in a freshwater area the area where the famous monk touched the salty water with his foot and it then changed to be freshwater.


We can appreciate the evening sunset and the morning sunrise along the routes of viewpoints around the island.

Viewpoints around the island

Around the island routes, we can study about the fishermen’s way of life, appreciate the scenery, see dolphins, and wait for the morning sunrise and the evening sunset.

Koh Rat souvenirs

The souvenirs are shrimp paste, fresh mantis shrimp, and salted fish.

Ban Koh Rat community is small and located in Ban Don bay area, Moo 3, Donsak sub-district, Donsak district, Surat Thani. The name of Koh Rat is originally from the word spelling RAD in Thai which means“rhinoceros”. However, Chinese people named this island‘Heedeng’which means “paradise lamp”. It is also believed that there were a lot of trees named Kheerat around the island so that the island was named Koh Rat, according to the villagers’ telling.

From the old Chinese people’s telling, there were Muslim people who were first living on this island and immigrating from Narathiwat and Pattani provinces around 1860. They worked as fishermen on the shore, which they found to be abundant with aquatic animals. Accordingly, they settled down on the island.


Tourism in Koh Ratstarted after the construction of thebridge was completed in 2009. Before becoming a tourist destination, people came to visit their relatives during the Chinese New Year festival.

In 2009, there were only a few tourists. Thai tourists were invited to Koh Rat by villagers and at that time there was the first homestay owned by Mr. Suthin Sangthong. The price rate for the homestay was not fixed based on the number of tourists. The next year in 2010, the first group of foreign tourists arrived from Germany. They had boy/girl friends on the island and then they invited their friends to travel to Koh Rat. Presently, there are 4 homestays on Koh Rat. Furthermore, they provide various tourist activities such as dolphin sightseeing, fishing, etc. We can watch dolphins swimming in the freshwater area(the sea area that the famous monk touched the salty water with his foot and it then changed to be freshwater in the sea) at Khanom district.

Koh Rat trip for 2 days and 1 night: dolphin and sunset sightseeing, island touring.

There are many ways to go to Koh Rat. On this trip, we drove a car due toour heavy baggage. We took lots of spectacular photos for our readers and it took only 1 hour driving to reach the destination. It is not far away from town. Tourists can take a bus from the bus station in town (Talad Kaset) to Donsak and then take a motorcycle across the bridge to Koh Rat.

From the bridge, we can see the blue sea and feel the sea breeze before reaching Koh Rat.

Sightseeing before reaching Koh Rat

Tourists can do some sea sightseeing from the parking lot before crossing the bridge to Koh Rat. There is a parking lot outside of Koh Rat due to the limited parking space. The bridge got repaired while travelling at that time. From the bridge viewpoint, we can see a bay with a long line of rocks.

Enjoy the atmosphere by sitting under trees and sea sightseeing.

At this point, we can see the bridge crossing to Koh Rat and houses located along the island.

After a while of sightseeing and taking photos by the sea, it is the time to travel to Koh Rat. We tooka villager’sthree-wheeled motorcycle. We contact Teacher Nit who owns the homestay to pick us up sothat we do not need to walk across the bridge. Although it is only 400 meters long on the bridge, it feels good to take a three-wheeled motorcycle. It’s such a pity we don’t have a picture.

The Entrance to Koh Rat

After we arrived on Koh Rat, we see a boardwhich reads ‘welcome to Koh Rat community’ and go straight to the homestay. There are 4 homestays on Koh Rat. We booked Teacher Nit’s homestay.

Welcome to Teacher Nit’s homestay.

There are many rooms at Teacher Nit’s homestay ranging from small 2-person roomsto large 10-person rooms. The large rooms are suitable for a big group of tourists who enjoy sleeping and doing activities together. Our team consists of 5 people so we booked a 4-person room. There is an outside mixed bathroom nearby the homestay balcony.At the end of homestay balcony nearby the sea, there is a dining table and a space for doing activities such as singing and watching TV. Moreover, there is anopen-air space for doing other activities.

After our team put away all our belongings and walked around the homestay, we took a walk around Koh Rat. We found that there are fewer than 100 houses on the island. According to our observation, the villagers are mostly fishermen because there are fishnetsdrying outside most houses. Some villagers also work selling mantis shrimp.

A woman is peeling mantis shrimp in front of her house. We notice that there are lots of mantis shrimp ready for sale and they are very fresh.

Mantis shrimp

Souvenirs from Koh Rat shops are basically shrimp paste and dried fish which are sold in front of houses around the island.

Retail shops

There is a fish-drying space at every house. Some houses have a big space for wholesale.

Dried fish

Dried squid

Shrimp paste

Houses in Koh Rat are made of wood and built closely in a row with a narrow street in the middle. It is quiet and clean. While we walk around the island, villagers greet us along the way. They are so nice and we feel their warm welcome.

Touring around the island

Koh Rat community

At the entrance to Koh Rat, there is a shrine of Ban Koh Rat. There are many shrines in Koh Rat. It is believed that some villagers emigrated from Hilam Island in China about 200 years ago.

Shrine of Ban Koh Rat

Shrine of the Goddess of Mercy

Shrine of the Goddess of Mercy is located on the right-hand side of the island. From the top of the shrine.

We can see the bridge crossing to Koh Rat.

We later take a short walk to the shrine of the Tiger Godnext tothe shrine of the Goddess of Mercy and pay our respects for a while.

The entrance to the Shrine of the Tiger God

Shrine of the Tiger God

Shrine of the Tiger God

Almost a half trip, we keep walking and notice that there is a pedestrian path for walking around the island. We rarely find houses till the end of the island.

Walk around the island

A pedestrian path around the island is like a bridge and we can see rock layers at the bottom.

We founda low density of houses.

We also found vehicles during our trip.

There are some people fishing at rocks so anyone travelling to Koh Rat should have fishhooks prepared for fishing.

View-point pavilion

After a walk touring around the island, it is evening time so we find a place to watch and taking photos of the sunset at Koh Rat.  We wait to see the sunset near Ban Koh Rat School and we find that there is a lovely view point there.

We can see the view point at Ban Koh Rat School while walking up to the school.

View point at Ban Koh Rat School

This area is located behind the school which has been changed to homestays. Tourists can stay in the school building. We waited for the sunset for a while and took lots of lovely photos.

Our lovely photos included a great moment with a shippassing during the sunset.


After the sunset sightseeing, we walk past the school to Teacher Nit’s homestay. When we arrive at the homestay, Teacher Nit is cooking a dinner for our team. While waiting, we take photos of the evening time from the homestay balcony where we can see lights on theDonsak side and the pagoda at Khao Suwanpradit temple.

Khao Suwanpradit temple at night, view from Koh Rat.

Dinneris prepared by Chef Teacher Nit. Teacher Nit asks us to eat as much as we’d like. There are various dishes namely spicy soup with orange curry paste, a soup with lemon grass and squid, streamed blue crab, fried salted fish, prawns, and fruits.

Spicy soup with orange curry paste

Soup with lemon grass and squid

Streamed blue crab


Salted fish

After the delicious dinner, we talk with Teacher Nit, the nice homestay owner. She tells the story of Koh Rat Bridge.  In the past, it took a long time to get toDonsak to wait for the ship and the old bridge wasruined. Accordingly, villagers delivered a message to King Rama 9 who kindly ordered the building of the new bridge which was officially opened on July 13th, 2010.  The king’s daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol came to the opening ceremony of the bridge.  The bridge is named ‘Sirirat’. Teacher Nit told us that that she was there to welcome the princess as the Koh Rat villager.  All villagers feel pleased to welcome the princess crossing the bridge to Koh Rat. Although it is a small island, the princess pays attention to their home.

Sirirat Bridge crossing to Koh Rat

Our team wakes up early to take some sunrise photos.  We walk to Ban Koh Rat School while it is still dark and cool.  It is really nice weather.

Using technology, we locate the east side of the island to ensure that we are waiting at the right place to see the sunrise.

The sun has nearly risen.

After the sunrise is gone, the sky becomes orange.

We then walk back to the homestay to prepare for dolphin watching.

Dropping by Ban Koh Rat School to take photos.

Now it is a homestay for tourists.

Another viewpoint at Ban Koh Rat School

While waiting for the sunrise, we can see elderly people walking for exercise on the pedestrian path and they always say hello.  We feel that people here are nice and warm.  After watching the sunrise, we take a bath and go dolphin watching. Teacher Nit is preparing breakfast for us. The menu consists of boiled rice soup and deep-fried dough stick.

This morning’s breakfast

It is time for dolphin watching. Teacher Nit kindly helps us find a boat and we negotiate the fee for our group.  We board the ship at the island entrance.

Touring to the sea for dolphin watching.

Looking back at Koh Rat

We can see Khao Suwanpradit temple and the mountain behind the temple which is called Cha-Ngok Mountain at Donsak.

Here we go.  Our highlights.  We find a group of dolphins nearby the shore.

There are lots of dolphins, 6-7.

We find pink dolphins as they are our highlights.  They are very pink.

Another picture of pink dolphins

Pink dolphins can be seen at Koh Rat, Donsak district, Surat Thani.