Take a break from it all
South Ao Khao Kwai, Ko Phayam T: (080) 145 9771
An excellent choice for backpackers seeking a simple bungalow in a quiet setting, June Horizon embodies Ko Phayam’s quiet, artistic and relaxing character.
The last resort found along the lane running behind South Ao Khao Kwai, June Horizon has a peaceful atmosphere punctuated by Tibetan prayer flags and lanterns that cast a soft glow over an open-air beachfront restaurant and bar after dark. Guests can sink into one of the bamboo hammocks strung to umbrella trees over the sand, or take one of the free kayaks out for a spin.
Wood bungalows come in two styles: the classics with fully enclosed walls up front near the beach, and tall stilted versions standing further back. Both face the sea, are shaded by trees and come with quality hammocks strung to large porches.
Both also have rustic attached bathrooms with open ceilings, cold-water showers and bucket-flush toilets. While bathrooms are accessed directly from the backside of the classic bungalows, the stilted versions require you to climb down a steep stairway when nature calls. Do bring a torch.
Expect to wake up to a floor full of leaves in the stilted rooms thanks to the gaps between slender wood panels on the walls. Some won’t like the lack of privacy in these, though the areas around the beds cannot be seen from down below. Each room is equipped with a firm bed draped in mosquito net and little else save an electrical outlet and some nails for hanging clothes.
A sweet Thai woman who is a native of Phayam runs the place with help from her adorable daughters and mostly Burmese staffers. They live in a few bamboo bungalows fronting the restaurant, which serves good Thai food. Many guests get chummy around the little beach bar after dark.
The location means that you’ll probably want to rent a motorbike or bicycle to get around—expect a 15-minute walk to the nearest freestanding restaurants. If it’s full, you could try neighbouring Phayam Cabana or head further up the lane to one of the cheaper rooms at the large Vijit Bungalows or Buffalo Bay Vacation Club. June Horizon does not have WiFi and electricity is switched on only from around 18:00 until morning.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 10th January, 2017.