Thailand is blessed with countless islands. Islands where the bounty beaches and tranquility have made way for tourism in the last couple of years. Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samuni… on all these islands hotels, cars, airports, travel organizations, restaurants and shops have ensured that tourists will visit them massively. However, there are still islands to be found which are visited only by backpackers and where you can enjoy a back to basic atmosphere. One of such islands is Koh Phayam. Not to be confused with Koh Phangan, which is known for its full moon parties attracting thousands of tourists.
Koh Phayam, travel to the last pearl of the Andaman Sea.
Travel to Koh Phayam
There are about 500 people living on Koh Phayam, with the majority making a living with fishing or with growing cashew nuts, coconut palms and rubber trees. There aren’t any cars on the island, just some motorbikes. Most roads are dirt tracks and very narrow. But nothing is far away on the island, even the widest point on the island only measures 5 by 8 kilometers. There is no electrical grid and everything runs on generators. This means that there is only electricity between 18:00 and 23:00. There are a few stores on the island, most of them can be found around the pier. Please note that there aren’t any ATM’s on Koh Phayam.
The big beaches and most accommodations are located on the west coast, near Ao Yai and Ao Kao Kwai, with the main beach being Ao Yai. It’s quite a long beach, measuring nearly 3 kilometers, and at low tide it gets so wide, you can drive on it with your bike or scooter. I never figured out if it’s actually allowed or not, but it is fun and everybody is doing it. I’d also recommend to book your accommodation near these beaches, as the sunset is truly astonishing from this side of the island!
Why is it great to travel to Koh Phayam?
Live on Koy Phayam is relaxed, it’s pure. You can walk through the jungle, snorkel, swim, walk down the long and practically deserted beach or just relax in your hammock. You can see Myanmar in the distance from the west coast and low tide makes it seem like you can just walk there. It’s a bit too far, but it does fuel the imagination. We rented a bike, though I wouldn’t recommend it, as the island is quite hilly and a scooter would be a better alternative.
A few days on the island will make you feel living in the ‘now’. Nothing needs to be done and everything is allowed. you can enjoy the outdoors and the Thai people to the max. all of a sudden you realize why Thailand is called the land of the smile. All Thai are walking around with a smile on their face, make the most out of it and one of their favorite mottos is: ‘in the end it doesn’t really matter’. A mentality to embrace during your stay at Koh Phayam.
How to travel to Koh Phayam?
- Bus: a night bus will take you in 10 hours from Bangkok to Ranong. You can also take a night bus from the south of Thailand to Ranong. From Ranong it’s easy to take a minivan/ taxi to the jetty, from where the boats to Koh Payam leave.
- Plane: you can fly to Ranong from Bangkok. I’d recommend flying “Happy Air” (and not just because its great name). Bangkok-Ranong-Bangkok flights fly several times a week. From Ranong’s airport it’s only a 20 minute drive to the jetty.
- The jetty provide you with two options: the speedboat will take you to Koy Payam in half an hour in about half an hour. However, the speedboat only sails in high season (November – April). Departure times: 10:00AM, 12:00AM 14:30 PM, 16:30 PM and 17:00 PM. The speedboat costs about 350 Baht. The longtail boat needs one and a half hour to reach Koy Payam. Departures times: 09:00AM and 14:00 PM and costs about 150 Baht.
Would you like to travel to Koh Phayam?Check here my travel route for the north of Thailand 2 weeks
Hotel Koh Phayam
We’ve been guests for a week in the Hornbill Hut. Recommended because of its location, the friendly Thai owners, the lovely food and let’s not forget the hammocks they have there. They even have a more or less working WIFI connection and a library with books.
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