I got back to Ko Jum (between Krabi and Ko Lanta) last month. It has changed a bit since my last visit but seemingly much less than most Thai tourist islands and is still a pretty relaxed place to visit. Here's some info may help if you are planning to call by:
BEACHES - there are around 20 resorts between 5 beaches along the west coast From the north - 1km long Luboa aka North Beach, 600m Ting Rai, 350m Magic, 1100m Ao Si, and the 3.7km combined Golden Pearl/Andaman beach.
Each is separated by sections of rock but below half tide it is possible to walk the full 8km distance. The longest section of rock hopping is between Luboa and Ting Rai at abt 15-20 minutes. The easiest is between Ao Si and Golden Pearl at about 2 minutes and possible at all tide levels.
BEST SAND AND WATER - probably the southern third of Andaman beach around New and Joy Bungalows. However most other parts are okay. The only areas I would regard as excessively rocky are the southern half of Luboa and the northern half of Ting Rai, and there it is possible to find okay conditions by walking a short distance along the beach. Excessively shallow water at low tide is a feature of some places - I'd say it is worst in the southern half of Lubao/North and the northern half of Ting Rai. Best in the southern part of Andaman, not too bad most other places.
BEST SETTING - Ting Rai, Magic and Luboa are backed by steep rain-forested hills and the imposing Mount Pu**. Ting Rai probably is best in this regard. Ao Si has forested hills in back too but Mt Pu is some distance.
BEST GET AWAY FROM IT BEACH. Magic beach not only because of its exotic backdrop but the fact it has no development.
Of the places with resorts Ting Rai gets the award - 3 flahspacker/lower mid range places on this isolated feeling beach.
Ao Si is next (3 resorts only) and if you are on the southern end of Lubao/North you get the impression you are isolated from the pack - I think only one place was operating when I called by. As a matter of fact some of the resorts in the middle of the long Golden Pearl/Andaman beach seem much the same because it may be some distance to the next place.
Most cheek by jowl is at the northern end of Golden Pearl but this area is no Had Rin - is not overdone. One of my favourite resorts, Season, is in this section and it still has some of the nicest and least expensive food around.
BEST BACKPACKER BEACH - Luboa/North Beach. All the places here are budget and the whole beach gives off a nice vibe. Other budget places include Jungle Hut on Ao Si, Bo Daeng in the middle of Golden Pearl/Andaman and Freedom Hut at the south end of Andaman. Quite a few resorts which have headed upmarket no doubt still have some budget bungalows.
COOL BEACH BARS - Freedom Hut had its Freedom Bar long before the bungalows, the Rock Bar all by itself on an islolated rock at the southern end of Ao Si within easy walk of places on Golden Pearl, and No Have Bar at Sunshine Bungalows on Luboa/North. From what I could see they are far enough from neighbouring resorts that they would only impose a noise problem for their own guests (and the Rock Bar has no associated resort).
CHANGES - Old Lamp resort on Ting Rai was closed as were a few on southern Luboa/North (can't remember their names). There was a bar operating last visit between Joy Bungalows and Freedom Bar which I didn't notice this trip. Maybe I missed it. New is Ko Jum Resort on Ting Rai where I stayed this visit - a nice flashpacker/lower midrange place with the advantage over its neighbours of the best part of the beach and a nice smallish rim pool with elevated views of the beach, sea and Phi Phi to the west.
Old budget favourites and the original Jum resorts New and Joy have both headed upmarket and appear decidedly flashpacker if not better these days.
The coastal "road" which runs from Ting Rai village on the main mid island road across to Ting Rai beach via Magic beach has now been extended all the way to Luboa/North. However it is very rough, steep in parts and was so muddy when I visited (even with no rain for a week) the local motorcyclists were getting stuck . Of course you can still ride out of Luboa/North on the pretty good main road which loops around the north end of the island.
There has been a ferry connection with Phi Phi since last high season - out of Jum 0830 out of Phi Phi 1400 - about 2 hours.
** The northern end of Jum is often referred to as Ko Pu.
@Kananga - Tezza's been posting the island reports on Travelfish for years now -- they're much appreciated.
Sounds like at the moment, the way things are going, Thorn Tree doesn't need to ban members to turn them away
I agree completely Stuart. It would appear that they are having something of a crisis over there. This could be your time to shine (if thats what you actually want). I dont think I've posted here since we last met up in Singapore. This forum was somewhat slower in those days...
Yes something of a crisis. Coincided with my putting my back out on Xmas day (I'm still bedridden), so I've had some time to make some changes and improvements to the forum -- have seen some TTers sign up & we added a host new countries - will wait and see how things play out. Never a dull moment it seems.
You still in Sg?
Nope in Bangkok now, been here almost a year now. Obviously been some trade offs with the move but all in all am happier here. Live near to Lumpini park so have a small 2.5k circuit for my morning run as there is nowhere else in inner Bangkok thats possible to get more than 5 steps without having to step over something or someone. Have the skytrain literally on my doorstep and a 'colourful' neighbourhood that is never dull so all is good thanks.
Are you in Jakarta now? Not somewhere I would want to be bedridden...
No two years in Jakarta was enough to last me a while, well a lifetime actually. Been in Bali over four years now -- there are worse places to be bedridden!
Well Tezza's words have always been appreciated and helpful here - his Indonesia advice is well heeded.
Thanks for the Ko Jum update, I've heard so much good stuff about the place but haven't had a chance to make it there . . . yet . . .
Yes, which makes the fact he was banned from the Lonely Planet site all the more strange...
Saying that, I havent been able to log in there today at all. Sounds like the death throes to me. Ahh, I do get a chuckle thinking about the good old days.
How do Terrence! Nice report, mercifully free of Russian Mafia types and iffy hookers for once.
Keep it up!
#14 ProfessorFart has been a member since 18/1/2013. Posts: 8
#16 ProfessorFart has been a member since 18/1/2013. Posts: 8
I always thought the best all-time report on the LOS would be a joint collaboration from Mr K and The Prof on BARS OF BANGKOK.
Could never convince them to do one for my humble site, but maybe they could belt one out for travelfish.
Perhaps if you had actually asked either of us you would have been able to convince us. Its a rather important first step of the process tezza old bean.
Anyway, seeing as I don't actually drink I doubt I would be able to live up to your expectation of the best all- time report of bars in Thailand.
Here's a question for you though. Will be going to Go Tao in July. Will have young family with us. Which beach would you recommend for a young family that isn't too busy but also not too isolated.
Wow, Mr K on the wagon! People reckon the GFC was caused by those greedy bankers - they underestimate the impact of the great brewery crash of the late noughties.
I'm thinking one Tao beach may do the job is Ao Thian OK/Thian Og/Shark Bay in the south. I'm not sure how accessible busier Chalok Ban Kao immediately west is these days.
Also check out resorts like Charm Churee and Sensi Paradise which have small sections of beach not too far south of town and the pier (maybe 10 minutes walk).
I reckon a standout for scenery, nice beach and good snorkelling is Ko Nangyuan Dive Resort (non divers predominate) - this is about 1km north west of mainland Tao, might be considered isolated except last time I visited there was a free regular shuttle boat into town. Plenty of returning longtails which have brought day-trippers to use too.
I just remembered that some Tanote accommodation places run an hourly shuttle into town and even if you aren't staying there they would probably welcome your custom for the trip.
Tanote is a real nice beach - medium busy but not over the top - can appear real laid back at certain times. Has accommodation in all price ranges including some nice flashpacker/midrangers with pools. Okay snorkelling (pretty good by Thai standards) off the islet close to the beach. You could do a lot worse than Tanote.
I don't think you are losing anything - New is one of the two original places on Jum and as such is sure to attract old-time returnees and is on the best section of beach sand and water wise. The area behind the beach is not exactly overcrowded - Freedom bar is just far enough away not to pose as a noise problem but looks to me to be a good place to spend time around/after sunset.
So are you saying I'll be with a bunch of senior citizens - lol - Hopefully I'll make it to the other beaches for a look see I'm there 3 - 4 days. Is there some sort of mini mart/fruit market on the island, or should I bring a few supplies? I'm loving it on Koh lanta by the way. Staying on Long Beach, Chill Out House - near Funky Fish, 300 baht a night - very basic. Had a scooter for a few days and visited the wonderful southern beaches as well. I've been here since Jan. 10th.
Wow - 300 for Lanta in high season - you done well basic or not.
It's been a few years since I've been down to Ko Jum village, but no doubt it will have the mini mart and fruit place you want. And New is one of the closest accomm places to the village - from memory less than 15 minutes walking.
As mentioned above, easy to walk the whole west coast in the bottom half of the tide.