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 larger new bungalow with better facilities now. The lovingly tended garden is attractive and contains some rare plant species, including many orchids. Access to Ao Khao Kwai Hill is via a signposted dirt track on the road to Ao Yai just after the school, but before the sealed road turn off down to Ao Kwai beach. The coastline immediately below the resort has curiously shaped rock formations which are a much photographed Ko Phayam landmark, but it's too rocky for swimming here. The sandy part of the beach is just a short walk away from the resort, down a flight of steps and across a little stream. At high tide – that is, the best time to swim – a little wading may be necessary to get onto the main beach but it's not too difficult.
Last updated on 27th December, 2011.