Thailand is littered with islands of all shapes and sizes and I have visited quite a number of them. Koh Phayam Thailand a great place to travel with kids, car free and surrounded by clear blue seas. A perfect family travel getaway. Total coincidence brought me here. I was half way through a particularly grueling passport wait for my son Oscar and I thought why not. Let’s go on an unscheduled adventures. These in my experience are often the best.
Koh Phayam is tricky to reach it’s main port being the town of Ranong a sleepy and by all accounts mainly rainy town. My Thai traveling companion Pam told me Ranong is the wettest town in Thailand (side-point. It did in fact rain while I was there). Ranong was not so exciting. My advice is avoid spending any time here if you can.
Ranong can be reached via bus (overnight from south station Saitaimai) and plane (www.happyair.co.th and www.nokair.com) from Bangkok and the usual mini bus connection from just about any other town in Thailand. You can also reach it by boat from Myanmar as this is often used as a Visa run route so boats are daily.
The island is serene and verdant. There are no cars on the island and only a few miles of paved mainly single lane road. The majority is covered with cashew and rubber trees the formers heavy sent permeates the air.
There are a number of beaches to explore Aow Yai meaning literally big beach, which it is, it’s really big. The beach is full top to bottom with a variety of accommodation, restaurants and bars from the more pricy to backpacker. The beach is lively with nightly events at the bars scattered along the shore. Next in size and by far the most picture perfect is Aow Kao Kwai (buffalo horn bay). I based myself here at the delightful Baan Klong Kleng.
The beach is sensitive to tides so it can seem a little rocky in parts at low tide and the perfect swim in high tide. The sun sets just of the point so the view in the evening is picture perfect. Walking up and down the beach unveiled some real gems such as the amazing Burmese tea leaf salad at the Banana backpacker resort . (thanks for the tip Lesley!) so take your time to explore.
Burmese Tea Leaf salad.
My second floating temple in Thailand!
The road to Aow Kwang Peeb a small bay worth hiking to for the day. Bring a picnic.
The island “tour bus”. No really, this was it. Brilliant!
The giant 1.50 $ bag of coffee purchased just opposite Fan’s (great little restaurant) in the main village.
Koh Phayam is certainly the place to take your time in. There is little in the form of distractions, Internet is slow and the pace of life even slower. We loved it!