Koh Phayam, Thai­land

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

Some 300km north of Phuket is a small, moun­tain­ous kan­ga­roo-shaped is­land called Koh Phayam. Sur­rounded by sand-ringed islets, coral reefs and the turquoise An­daman Sea, Koh Phayam’s raw beauty is truly breath­tak­ing.

A throw­back to the Thai­land of yes­ter­year, Koh Phayam is de­void of cars and high-rise apart­ments. Full moon par­ties, when they have them, are in­ti­mate af­fairs held at Hippy Bar, a beach­front venue made en­tirely from drift­wood.

Trav­ellers who end up on this Robin­son Cru­soe-es­que is­land kill time moun­tain bik­ing, kayak­ing, snorkelling, loung­ing on the beach and gorg­ing them­selves on cheap and de­li­cious Thai food. Hy­brid Thai-Ital­ian mas­saman curry pasta is a spe­cialty, as are the is­land-grown cashew nuts stir-fried with chicken, gar­lic and black bean sauce.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions are spar­tan, con­sist­ing for the most part of bamboo bun­ga­lows with patchy Wi-Fi and swing­ing light bulbs that work only at night.

Most are built around Aow Yai and Ao Khao Kwai bays, two long sweeps of pow­der-white sand that curve deeply into rocky out­crops hon­ey­combed with caves. There are a few more mod­ern con­crete prop­er­ties but they tend to lack soul.

“Koh Phayam has a calm­ing

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