Photo: Northern end of Ao Khao Kwai.

Accommodation

Phayam's two main beaches are Ao Yai and Ao Kwai, the latter being broken down here into north and south. Those looking for something isolated have a handful of options on some of the other beaches.


Ao Yai


Aow Yai Bungalows and Restaurant
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (083) 389 8688

French/Thai owned Aow Yai Bungalows was the first bungalow resort built on Ko Phayam and is still a very popular place to stay – it's usually full in high season. It's one of the bigger resorts and has a large number of reasonably priced bungalows in various styles set in lush grounds dotted with coconut palms and other shade trees. None have direct access onto the sand but the beach can be... Read our full review of Aow Yai Bungalows and Restaurant.

Baan Suan Kayoo
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (077) 820 133

Baan Suan Kayoo is a well-established resort with a large number of good value, decent sized basic bungalows in a large and attractive garden at the very northern end of Ao Yai. The only downside of this place is possible noise from the Rasta Baby Bar though this is now a bit further away than it used to be. There is a little snorkelling off the rocks in the bay in front of this resort and also... Read our full review of Baan Suan Kayoo.

Bamboo Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (077) 820 012

Although (or perhaps because) this place is well known and gets mentioned in most guidebooks, it has a reputation of not being very friendly and the staff can be a little offhand. The resort provides free WiFi but only guests staying at the resort are allowed to use it. Similarly boogie boards and kayaks are only rented out to guests. All the bungalows benefit from 24-hour solar powered lighting... Read our full review of Bamboo Bungalows.

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (083) 389 6408

Friendly English-speaking staff and reasonably priced en suite bungalows make this well established resort on Ao Yai a popular choice and it's usually pretty full in high season. Rates vary depending on the room, but the low season prices are a pretty good deal with rates taking a bit of a jump up in high season. According to their website beachfront bungalows can also be rented here for 10,000... Read our full review of Coconut Beach Resort.

Frog Beach House
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Yai
T: (083) 542 7559

Set towards the far northern end of Ao Yai, near Baan Suan Kayoo and the Rasta Baby Bar, this new and quite upmarket resort has rather narrow beach frontage. The wooden bungalows are set a little back and run in a row perpendicular to the beach. However the bungalows are spacious and comfortable and come with attractive open-air bathrooms and wooden balconies. There is 24-hour electricity and... Read our full review of Frog Beach House.

Hornbill Huts
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (081) 891 6008

Hornbill is a long-established and very popular resort with a choice of accommodation ranging from old and rather dilapidated bamboo huts to new, comfortable and spacious concrete bungalows. The restaurant here has a good reputation and the resort is located on a quiet section of the beach away from party noise. Free WiFi is available in the restaurant and some bungalows. The generator is only on... Read our full review of Hornbill Huts .

KK Ao Yai Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (082) 280 8269

This three-year-old resort is in a quiet location just a short walk from Ao Yai beach on the old road. The comfortable fan bungalows set in a landscaped garden are a cut above average and even come with hot water showers, although the hot water isn't available 24 hours. Not bad value if you want a comfortable place to stay within easy walking distance of the beach but well away from any party... Read our full review of KK Ao Yai Resort.

Lazy Hut
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (089) 724 1386

Lazy Hut has simple and reasonable, wooden and thatched roof bungalows with open-air bathrooms and free WiFi when the generator is on – usually from 18:00 through to about 22:00 or 23:00 though sometimes for an hour or two during the day when the place is full. Lazy Hut does have the occasional party at the bar and the rooms cop a bit of noise on those... Read our full review of Lazy Hut.

Phayam Beach Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (084) 768 9595

This is camping in luxury. There are two tent-style bungalow places on Ao Yai and this is the better one. Instead of a traditional bungalow, the rooms are basically a large tent on a platform with a roof over them but they are quite attractive looking with furniture and beds inside. A mosquito net also covers the large balcony seating area. The en suite bathrooms are nicely designed with exotic... Read our full review of Phayam Beach Resort .

Phayam Lodge
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Ao Yai
T: (086) 995 2598

This newly built and expensive concrete resort is the most upmarket option on Ao Yai so far though others are in the pipeline. The bungalows all have air-con and hot water showers but lack other facilities you'd expect in a resort at this price point. Only the most expensive family rooms have a fridge and none of the rooms have a TV or a safe; there is however round-the-clock electricity and free... Read our full review of Phayam Lodge.

Tonson Restaurant
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (080) 826 3208

While the sign here reads restaurant, don't be tricked -- slightly hidden round the back are five new, spacious and well-furnished bungalows, each with sliding French windows leading onto a balcony (which comes with a hammock). These attractive bungalows were the best bang for our buck on the whole beach at the time of writing, but prices may well jump in high season. Tonson is well worth... Read our full review of Tonson Restaurant.

Big Tree Bungalows and restaurant
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (087) 893 7075

Big Tree is in a quiet location right at the southern end of Ao Yai and when visibility permits, a little snorkelling off the rocky headland near here is possible. The cheaper bungalows are old and dilapidated but they overlook the beach and have pleasant views from the balconies. All rooms have an en suite cold water bathroom. Prices for the older bungalows vary depending on how rundown they are... Read our full review of Big Tree Bungalows and restaurant.

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Yai
T: (077) 820 335

Smile Huts is popular mainly because it's widely advertised and because it's the first place you trip over when you arrive on the beach. The bamboo bungalows are basic, very close together and overpriced for what you get. It's very conveniently located and central but there are better places to stay on this beach unless easy road access is a top priority. Price depends on proximity to the beach... Read our full review of Smile Huts.

Northern end of Ao Kwai


Marina Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (081) 891 9809

Marina Resort is only a couple of years old and has the most comfortable bungalows on this beach though the garden isn't anything special yet. The well spaced out wooden bungalows have beautiful wooden floors and are well furnished, making them very good value for money. More bungalows are planned for next season but there's quite a lot of land so hopefully they won't get built too close... Read our full review of Marina Resort .

Chomjan Bungalows
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Kwai
T: (085) 678 4166

The concrete bungalows here were excellent value when this resort first opened but as its popularity has increased, so have the rates, and it is now rather overpriced compared to other options on this beach. Rooms are spacious, spotlessly clean, and quite comfortable even though the beds are integrated into the bungalow design and built out of concrete too. Because these are all concrete rooms... Read our full review of Chomjan Bungalows .

Jansom Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (081) 968 5720

This long-established resort has spacious if rather old wooden bungalows in a slightly elevated position overlooking the beach with great views from the balconies of the front row bungalows. Identical second row bungalows are about 10m further back and while the view is not as good from these, you can still get a glimpse of the sea from your hammock. The bathrooms are worth a mention because they... Read our full review of Jansom Resort .

Mr Gao
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (080) 699 2641

Mr Gao's is one of the most popular resorts on the island and it's usually pretty much booked out during the tourist season despite relatively high prices. The bungalows are nothing special but there's a good restaurant and reasonably priced, decent fresh coffee. WiFi is available in the evenings when the generator is on (18:00-22:30). Mr Gao is very knowledgeable as far as fishing is concerned... Read our full review of Mr Gao.

Banana Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
T: (080) 622 9477

Banana is a relatively new operation on Ko Phayam. Access from the beach is via a small bridge and the bungalows are set quite far back from the sand in what can't really be described as a garden: it's more cashew nut trees and bare earth (or mud depending on the weather) so the views from the bungalow balconies aren't all that great. This said, the bungalows are spacious, have pleasant wooden... Read our full review of Banana Resort.

Mountain Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (077) 820 098

There are only five quite ordinary bungalows here but they are set in beautiful and very spacious grounds and because of this it's one of the most attractive looking places on the island. The concrete bungalows can get a little warm at night but they are decent enough. The location at the northern end of the beach is very quiet except when Hippy Bar has a party, which isn't very often. There's... Read our full review of Mountain Resort.

Saithong Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (077) 820 466

This place, almost at the centre of Ao Kwai (and so, at the southern end of the northern section of the beach) has a few old and dilapidated basic beach huts, including two right on the beach which are almost always occupied. There are also two larger and far more comfortable new bungalows not visible from the beach round the back, which aren't bad value for money compared to Mr Gao's next... Read our full review of Saithong Bungalows .

Southern end of Ao Kwai


Buffalo Bay Vacation Club
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Kwai
T: (085) 107 9473

The rather tacky name may sound like it's for a package tourist place (and it was originally designed to be one) but if you're looking for Western standards of comfort, 24-hour electricity and WiFi, then this is by far the best value option on Ko Phayam. After a few years of being more or less empty all the time apart from the occasional visiting tour group, the owner has now changed tactics and... Read our full review of Buffalo Bay Vacation Club .

Ao Khao Kwai Hill Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (081) 847 6285

Not strictly on the beach but with access to it, this quiet and laidback resort is in an elevated position with lovely views from the restaurant, making it a good place to enjoy a sundowner. Beer is slightly cheaper here than down on the beach as is the food, but portions are sometimes a little on the small side. Most of the bungalows are basic and come with squat toilets though there's also a... Read our full review of Ao Khao Kwai Hill Bungalows.

Contact Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai

This place is the only resort in the middle of the rocky section of the beach and it's not an ideal spot for swimming, though the views from the balconies are lovely if you just want to chill in a hammock most of the time. You can get to the swimmable sections of Ao Kwai by walking and clambering over the rocks (roughly 10 minutes either way) though it's difficult to get to the northern part of... Read our full review of Contact Bungalows.

Vijit Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (077) 834 082

This quite large and long-established resort is by far the most popular place on this beach and is usually full during high season. It has a high number of regular repeat customers and the resort also has its share of families with young children in spite of the fairly rudimentary bungalows, which come in a hotch-potch of different styles and prices. Old bungalows get pulled down and/or new ones... Read our full review of Vijit Bungalows .

Cabana Bungalows
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Kwai
T: (086) 023 130

The bungalows at Cabana are okay but nothing special and overpriced compared to other resorts on this beach. The restaurant overlooking the beach is attractive but the service left a lot to be desired. Menu prices for food were higher than average as well. Guests staying here would do well to try out the restaurants at nearby resorts. That said, the woman who showed us the bungalows was friendly... Read our full review of Cabana Bungalows.

June Horizon
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kwai
T: (080) 145 9771

This new resort tucked away at the far end of the beach near the mangrove area offers simple but comfortable bungalows in a very quiet location. The restaurant wasn't really functioning when we visited but there is one and prices on the menu are reasonable. Discounts are available for the bungalows further back which are mainly occupied by longer term guests and as such are rarely... Read our full review of June Horizon .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Ao Kwai

This is the other posh resort on Ao Kwai. It boasts a decent sized swimming pool (the best one on Ko Phayam) to compensate for the lack of sea when the tide is out, but the rooms themselves are a lot more expensive and less well-equipped than those at Buffalo Bay Vacation Club. Choose from both fan and air-con rooms, but none have hot water showers. The cheaper rooms don't have safes and none of... Read our full review of Ko Payam Bungalows.

Other beaches


Kwang Peeb Bay Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Kwang Peeb Bay
T: (077) 870 218

The cheapest huts at this isolated resort are 500B. For this price you can stay at new bamboo bungalows on stilts in the jungle, which have sea views but require a fair walk down a sometimes muddy hill in the jungle to get to the restaurant -- a bit difficult at night. For the same price you can stay in the oldest and least comfortable bungalows on the beach. The newer bungalows with beach access... Read our full review of Kwang Peeb Bay Resort.

Sabai Sabai
Backpacker - Under 600B
South of village, on way to Ao Mook
T: (087) 895 4655

This funky and laidback resort a little way past Bluesky on the way to Ao Mook has some cheap and rather dilapidated bungalows at the back with a shared bathroom and some much better front bungalows with balconies overlooking the beach and nicely designed bathrooms decorated with pebbles and wood. There's a large TV with DVD and satellite channels in the common area, a restaurant and internet.... Read our full review of Sabai Sabai.

Ko Kham Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ko Kham, just off southeast coast of Ko Phayam
T: (083) 395 9981

The small satellite island of Ko Kham off Ko Phayam has some reasonable snorkelling (for Phayam) round the back but sharp rocks just offshore make it difficult to get into the water from the beach. Access to the water is easier from the side of the island facing Ko Phayam so you could swim round to the back of the island if you're a decent swimmer. We couldn't visit because the tide was in when... Read our full review of Ko Kham Resort.

Bluesky
Toprange - 4,000B to 8,000B
Ao Mook, south of the village
T: (080) 611 4614

This new and upmarket resort visible from the pier has minimalist, very chic interior design and is mainly patronised by Thai tourists. As a beach resort it doesn't have very much going for it. The beach is tiny and disappears completely at high tide but they've made up for this by building an elevated sundeck outside the restaurant which is covered in sand and has sunbeds. There's no pool... Read our full review of Bluesky.




Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ko Phayam? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.


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