So, a short ferry ride from Ranong, there are two little islands. Unlike Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta and such, they haven’t yet been completely colonised by tourists. They are, to all intents and purposes, what Jenny and I had in our heads for what we wanted to do in Thailand. Ko Chang (West) and Koh Phayam are tiny little islands, with no cars, and miles of unspoilt beach. In short, paradise.
You get across the island on the back of a motorbike, along what is little more than a pathway across the island, which is a little white knuckle when you have a 20kg backpack on, and then have to hike along the beach to the accommodation. We went at full tide, which meant we had to strip to our pants to cross the inlet blocking the beach, which is fun when carrying all your possessions 2 miles up a sandy beach!
The accomodation is in bungalows on the beach, which were charming, with hammocks outside. We spent a lot of time outside, as there is only around 4 hours of electricity a day from generators (and as such no Wi-Fi, which may be one of the reasons there are also less idiots!). We had 3km of beach, shared with maybe 100 other people, and a little cafe on the beach front, with little bars and restaurants either side of us. The cafe was a lifesaver, as you can’t boil a kettle for 20 hours of the day!
The island’s main trade is in cashew nuts, and you can get enormous bags for a few Baht fresh from the farms. Beyond that, there is little to do, but relax, swim and eat. Which basically sums up why it was so perfect (but bloody difficult to write about afterwards!).
We became one with nature- Geckoes and ants for their dinner were always around, and three times we met a bat in our outside bathroom!
The residents are lovely too. After a day of too much sun, Ben tried (in vain) to find some after-sun to calm the burn. A friendly shopkeeper led us to fresh Aloe Vera cacti, and cut off some tips- the freshest after-sun you can get, and much needed!
All in all, possibly one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen.