Bungalows in the treetops
We spent a couple of nights at the popular Jungle Hill Bungalow during our most recent visit to Ko Jum and found it to be a tight ship featuring sturdy bungalows, helpful staff and a treetop setting that made us dream of ewoks.
Spacious metal-roof wooden bungalows sit high on stilts either down by the beach or built into the steep hill behind, each of them blending into abundant foliage. A sign asks guests to refrain from feeding monkeys amid the maze-like footpaths and stairways running from beach to bungalows to the two-floor restaurant near the top of the hill.
We loved our 1,000-baht bungalow with loads of windows, hammock on the porch, comfy king bed with mozzie net, wall-mounted fan and tiled cold-water bathroom with flush toilet. Smaller, cheaper huts stand at the top of the hill and down the other side on the way to the main road, where a few eateries give you some variety in Baan Ting Rai.
The free WiFi works well in the restaurant, the kitchen is always stocked and an orange-shirted staffer is always waiting to take an order, arrange a tour, book a ferry ticket or rent a motorbike. Some staffers have worked here every high season for more than a decade, and their experience coupled with positive attitudes makes a huge difference.
We also like the location at the southern corner of Ao Si, but keep in mind that the stairs are steep, and you will see a lot of them. The tom yum we tried was only okay, but the Thai and Western breakfasts were both great. And few if any restaurants on Jum can compete with Jungle Hill as a sundowner venue.
Next door, the newish Loma Sea View also has wood bungalows that seem to have copied Jungle Hill’s, while nearby Sun Smile renovated their old concrete bungalows in recent years, painting them brighter than ever. At the other end of the beach, Ao Si Bungalows has a similar treehouse design but is more rundown and not as professional.
Address: Ao Si, Ko Jum
T: (081) 968 9457 ; (085) 641 4552;
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º58'3.57" E, 7º48'43.85" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
Up to 650 baht
|350 baht||500 baht|
Up to 1,200 baht for a superior, 2,500 baht for a deluxe
|700 baht||1,000 baht|
Up to 4,000 baht
|2,500 baht||3,500 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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