Sun, sand and school
Near the main beach, Ko Bulon Lae T: (084) 312 9193
How about a school that doubles as a bungalow joint? This may sound strange, but it's perfectly normal on Bulon.
The island's lone school sits in a scenic spot just back from the main beach, and half a dozen basic bungalows are lined up facing the shaggy football pitch, with a few palms and flower bushes providing minimal privacy. The bamboo huts with tin roofs are small and showing their age, but the value is good for such a coveted location. Lino-lined floors don't stop crawly things from entering through cracks in the woven bamboo walls and you'll be glad there's a mosquito net over the firm mattress. Attached bathrooms come with cold showers and Western toilets. Fans are provided, though power runs only from around 18:00 to 23:00. Each hut has a small porch and often some decorative touches left by the many travellers who've relaxed on them over the years. If you travel with a tent, it's also possible to camp under the trees near the beach and use the bathroom and well behind the school -- just talk to a teacher first and make a small donation for each day you're camped. Note that you might have to wait until class is out before a teacher is available to open a room for you. The bungalows are full for much of high season, but the boats will drop you nearby and it's easy to check before venturing inland.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 500 baht, high season 500 baht. Notes:
Location map for School Bungalows
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Kicking a football in the sea breeze, school kids laugh on their beachside field. Local sea gypsies smile at backpackers and families who lounge outside their simple bungalows. Flowers and butterflies abound. Away from the over-development and other problems found on more popular Thai islands, Ko Bulon Lae
quietly preserves its rural tranquility.