A good range of rooms
Thai/French-owned Aow Yai Bungalows opened in 1986 as the first place to stay on Ko Phayam. More than three decades later, it has transformed from a basic bungalow joint to an actual resort with a wide range of accommodation in one of the more enviable locations on the island.
Bungalows are spread around a vast property shaded by coconut, cashew and beach pines. The basic wood and bamboo rooms come with firm mattresses on the floor, mosquito nets, attached cold-water bathrooms and narrow front porches with wood chairs. Some of these sleep two and are located at the far backside of the property, while others are family-size and set closer to the beach.
While lacking character, pricier concrete bungalows are spacious and equipped with glass doors, fridges and hot-water showers. At the top of the price list, the newest wood villas bag you LCD TVs and were built steps from the sand. These are huge, with loads of swing-open glass windows and loveseats, though hammocks are absent on the sea-view porches.
Staff can be hit or miss—we tracked down a young lady when first stopping by who was not very welcoming and couldn’t tell us the rates. On our second try we encountered an older guy who was polite and helpful, though perhaps lacking the warm and personable attitude found at places like Friends and Lazy Hut. The resort has 24-hour electricity and rents out boogie-boards and surfboards, and free WiFi can be used in the restaurant.
Neighbouring Coconut Beach Resort has a more consistent staff along with decent concrete rooms for similar rates, but we liked the setting better at Aow Yai Bungalows. Nearby Ziggy Stardust is also a good alternative, especially for air-con rooms. If looking for something cheaper, walk south and grab a bare-bones hut at Dream Cuisine.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 10th January, 2017.