All along Thailand’s Andaman coast, there is to be found a vast number of heavenly-like beaches – like the ones with the bright white fine sand shimmering under the profuse sunshine, and the high palm trees leaning forward towards the serene crystal-clear waters of the wide sea, having a hammock hanging from their trunks. Considering beauty, everything seems to be quite ideal in whichever part of the coast one might happen to go after all. Though there is one problem – at least for me personally and a good deal of others as well I believe… crowds. Especially throughout the high touristic season, pretty much all of these places are flooded with throngs of tourists creating a confusing and frenetic hubbub, which, inevitably, eliminates the heavenly value these places otherwise possess. Being in Krabi and looking for a temporary paradise where I could spend in tranquillity the last days I had to spare before the expiration of my Thai visa, the seemingly most apt place I happened to hear of was Koh Jum. So there I went and I didn’t get any disappointed of my decision.
To get there is fairly simple. There is at least one ferry route running from Krabi to there daily and the ticket should cost 350-400 baht. Tickets can be purchased on spot at the port or at any guesthouse, which is actually better as they will also offer you a free pick-up service. Once embarked the trip should last for about an hour, and then you have the choice to get off at 2-3 different spots along the west side of the island, where a long-tail boat will come to carry you to the coast.
Koh Jum is a small island, about 10 km long and no more than 4 km in its maximal width. There are three villages maintaining a population of about 1500 friendly and kind people, and one road connecting them and the whole island from side to side. There is a taxi service operating in the island by underbones having a metallic sidecar attached to them, which can carry up to four people, plus a fair load, plus the driver – yes, I also wondered how… Japs know how to make vigorous engines. Underbones and scooters are also available to rent for very low rates, and it is a great way to explore the island as there is nearly no traffic, apart from a few other motorbikes – sometimes driven by children of 10 or fewer years of age, which spectacle is hilarious.
As for accommodation, there are a few small resorts scattered along the west coast mainly, which offer some basic bungalows, but they would be quite expensive I think – even though I didn’t take any pains to ask. The cheaper choice would be Koh Jum Hostel, situated on the road near Golden Pearl Beach. They charged 250 baht for a bed in a dormitory, but it definitely worth it. It happened to be the cleanest and most convenient hostel I encountered in Thailand. Otherwise, you can always camp outside, which you can do pretty much anywhere, keeping, of course, a considerable distance from the resorts, at the beach or in the forest, feeling perfectly safe.
As for food, there are a few fairly cheap local restaurants along the road, but if you carry gas, making your own food would be better. No matter what, you should never eat at one of the resorts – if you don’t feel eager to pay like 4 $ for a baby-portion of plain pasta with butter, as it happened to me once in a kind of accidental circumstances. There are also a couple of small bars. I happened to go to the one named “rock bar” run by some funny stoners, which is a nice and weird place.
This is a place to relax and revive spirits. There isn’t anything particular one could see or do there, save some hiking, swimming and marathon sessions of laying on the beach. If this is exactly what you are looking for, then this is exactly the right place to go.