Classic Ko Phayam
Long-running Baan Suan Kayoo has a bunch of bamboo and wood bungalows draped in trees on a large chunk of land at the far northern end of Ao Yai.
The rickety old woven bamboo huts are some of the cheapest options on the island for a private room. Those who don’t mind roughing it get a hard bed with mosquito net, attached bathroom with bucket-flush toilet and small porch. Much better are the white wood bungalows with soft king beds raised off hardwood floors, portable fans and proper sinks in the open-roof bathrooms. While these all face the beach, a couple of them were built closer to the sand and go for the same price.
The newest woven bamboo bungalows are set on a hill on the other side of the large restaurant area and these are best if you want more privacy. They were full when we passed through but looked sharp from outside. All bungalows have private porches with chairs, and shared hammocks are strung between the abundant trees.
There is a little snorkeling to be done off the rocks fronting the resort and gear can be rented at the restaurant. The sandy lane running behind the property passes under some photogenic cashew trees before winding uphill to a secluded beach and continuing to the Moken village. The woman who showed us around greeted us with a warm smile even after we interrupted her lunch. WiFi is free in the restaurant and power is switched on only at night.
While typically quiet, this side of the beach thumps with reggae music until late when nearby Rasta Baby throws its monthly parties. The same family also runs a sister property over on Ao Khao Kwai, called Baan Suan Kayoo 2. Neighbouring Hornbill Hut is another fine option with larger bungalows starting at 700 baht.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 10th January, 2017.