Glow like a Mermaid: Magical Koh Prathong

The quiet, restful island of Koh Prathong, Thailand, has bioluminescent plankton so swimming at night has one feeling like a magical, mystical mermaid or merman.  At night after the island’s resorts have turned off their generators (around 11p.m.), venture out to the shallow bay for a wade or swim with the glowing marine life.  It is truly a magical and beautiful phenomenon.  

 I recommend staying in the tents at Prathong Oasis in the dry season.  They are spacious, comfortable large tents with queen sized beds and lamps.  The toilets and showers are shared but well stocked.  There is dining under cover in a tour area, or right on the beach a bar and restaurant.  The garlic French fries are to die for, I still dream of them!!   Ong, the lovely man who runs the bar, also makes a nightly cocktail which I also recommend checking out.  Spend some time in the hammocks, get up early to catch a glimpse of the Oriental Pied Hornbill birds that sleep on a small island called Hornbill Hill and they come to feed on the palm kernels at Prathong Oasis early morning and around an hour or two before dusk.  

If you have a large group and don’t mind roughing it, just slightly inland from Prathong Oasis is Mr Chuoi’s.  Mr Chuoi’s got rustic bungalows and will do inclusive group rate with water taxi transport to the island, accommodation and food included.  Mr Chuoi’s wife is an amazing cook, so if you have six or more people this is an excellent option.   Mr Chuoi’s pirate themed restaurant/bar is a fun place to chill in the evenings as well.  And he’s got an aviary with some unique birds, if you are interested as well. 

 Mr. Chuoi will also do a cheap “Savannah and Bonsai” tour of the island so you can check out the “Savannah” of the island and the unique trees that look similar to grownup bonsai trees.  Bring sunscreen and a sarong for sun coverage as its direct, strong sunlight beating down on you in the back of Mr Chuoi’s truck.  Mr Chuoi is quite the character and will probably sport his Rambo headband as part of the deal.  

Beach massages on the next bay south at Horizon Eco Resort are also on the recommended list!   The massuese is a lovely, chatty lady with strong arms and a great touch!   Right on the beach, she offers Thai massage at Island Prices of 500THB for an hour.  Horizon also is very ecological and conservation minded, so pop in to see if they are doing anything worth checking out.  Sometimes there are volunteers doing conservation work, who are great to talk with and full of knowledge of the local wildlife.  
You may see primates on the island as well…    Keep your eyes up on the trees, especially near creeks.  There are some resident monkeys cohabiting Koh Prathong, I hear. 

If you don’t mind just chilling and relaxing, I 100% recommend Koh Prathong.  Beautiful scenery, great food and fun, unique places to stay.  And…  The highlight, for me, has been seeing the luminescent plankton.  Magical to see the ocean waves glow with any sort of movement!   So lucky to have experienced it.   

Bioluminescence. Photo Credit google. I tried but no luck.

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