We took a shared 10 seater van from Khao Sok to Krabi Town. The trip took a a few hours longer than we expected because the driver decided to take a longer route in order to earn an extra fare. Luckily we met some great people onboard who had many stories to share which made the time pass smoothly.
🚕 Tip – Khao Sok to Krabi: The usual cost for transport from Khao Sok to Krabi is 350 THB. We found a business selling tickets for 300 THB. Look for business advertising for this price on the left towards the entrance of the national park on Khao Sok main road.
Once we arrived in Krabi, we navigated ourselves to our hotel, the Lada Krabi Express. After spending 3 nights in a jungle bungalow with just a fan, this hotel was heaven. A hot shower, comfortable bed, TV and most importantly, cold aircon! We both definitely recommend staying here. It is very central with a local outdoor food market just a stone throw away. Also, pop into May and Mark’s for some delicious Massaman with Roti for breakfast. They also brew some good coffee. Definitely not cheap by local standards but inexpensive by western prices.
Ao Nang Beach
With just 1 full day in Krabi, we didn’t have much time to do a lot. We rented a scooter for the day and headed out to Ao Nang beach. As soon as we rolled into town, we were greeted by the hoards of tourists. It is a tourist town. There are many resorts lining the beach front. The beach itself is just ok. Nothing to write home about. The water, warm and murky. Don’t expect shimmering crystal clear waters on Ao Nang. After seeing, swimming and diving in waters of Pulau Weh, our high expectations were destroyed. Also, I wouldn’t recommend swimming anywhere near the left side of the beach as there is a sewage-saturated, nosehair-curling stream flowing into the ocean. Its stench so strong it made us gag. Unless you enjoy diphtheria, keep to the middle and right of the beach. Also to the left of the beach, there is a pathway which leads you over, around and down the rocky cliff to another quieter beach. Many reviews said that we should expect to encounter monkeys to the left of Ao Nang beach and on the trail. I think the monkeys can’t even handle the staunch stench as there was not one monkey present. Maybe it just wasn’t our day.
We hiked the path to the adjacent beach in search of seclusion. There is a big resort on the beach. The beach is accessible to the public, but you will need to sign in and out at a small security desk when entering and leaving. The beach is far less crowded but the water is the same as Ao Nang. Somewhat disappointing. Also, every time we hopped into the water, all we could think about was the dark brown stream made of nightmares dispering into the waters just a mere couple hundred meters away from us. Yuck.
After leaving the beach, we decided to go for a massage. We found Massage Corner on Google maps and decided to go there seeing as it received some of the best reviews in the area. We signed up for a couples oil massage and Celeste also opted for a bikini wax. We were ushered downstairs to the couples massage room and asked to remove our clothes and get under the sheets. A minute later, two ladies entered the room. It was at this point we found out that Celeste would get her bikini wax right there, right then, with an audience. Did they want us to hold hands? Was this procedure not more appropriately performed in a private room? So, our massages started out with me getting an oil massage to the sound of wax strips confiscating the hair off Celeste’s skin. To make things even more awkward, the lady in charge of waxing Celeste took great pleasure in sharing the wax strip results with the lady massaging me. Weird. It was an awkward massage experience. Not as professional as you’d expect.
On our way out of Ao Nang, we got caught in a downpour. We pulled over and took shelter at a nearby convenience store. Not knowing how long the rain would last, we once again consulted Google Maps for a nearby restaurant.
🍽 Tip: Google Maps is great for finding local Thai restaurants with great food and prices. Tripadvisor usually lists more foreigner-easy and thus more expensive locations. Some of our best meals in Thailand have been found using Google Maps.
We stopped in at a local Thai Halal restaurant and ordered a fish and shrimp dish. Both were great but the fish was superb. Check out Madina Halal Food if you find yourself in Ao Nang.
The next morning we packed our backpacks and checked out or our hotel. Waiting in the lobby for our taxi, we started missing our aircon room already. We were picked up by our taxi and transported to the ferry terminal. When we arrived, we were quickly escorted to one of the travel agent desks where a man checked our ticket and asked us about the rest of our trip. We soon realized that this man had no authority at the terminal and was just trying to sell us more tickets. FYI, these agents will tell you to buy the tickets then and there as the tickets will be more expensive on the islands but this is not true. The price on the islands are exactly the same. Don’t feel pressured into buying a ticket from these guys.
Once we were loaded onto the ferry, again, we were approached by a lady trying to sell more ferry and transport tickets. Just a polite no thank you and a smile and she shuffled along onto the next tourist.
The ferry trip took about an hour to Koh Jum. The island is actually divided into two. Koh Pu is the northern part and Koh Jum is the southern part. As we passed Koh Pu, the ferry stopped and about 4 or 5 Thai long tail boats docked alongside. Each longtail was from a different accommodation. We heard our accommodation’s name shouted to the left. We scampered down the side of the ferry, across a long tail boat and onto ours. We were the only two guests bound for our accommodation. Our boat untied its ropes from the ferry and we were off. We zoomed across the water until we reached the beach right outside our accommodation: Jungle Hill Beach Bangalows. We disembarked into the soft wet sand and were taken up to the restaurant where we were given a drink and while we checked in.
Krabi to Koh Jum: We booked our ferry tickets at our accommodation in Krabi Town. They cost us 350 THB each. The tickets include pickup from your accommodation to the pier. There is no pier on Koh Jum big enough for the ferry so long tail boats will pick you up off the west coast of Koh Jum.
Koh Jum is a sleepy and quiet island. It is not a place that you will find people in search of an island party. There is no loud music blaring off in the distance. If you hear anything loud in the distance, it is most probably thunder, a long tail boat chugging passed or a Mosque. It is authentic and relaxing with some beautiful west coast beaches. I’d suggest changing your plans if you expected to come here to stay up late partying on the beach. You will be very lonely and disappointed if you do. Most restaurants, bars and stores are closed by 9:30pm. During the low season, most restaurants and bars don’t even open.
The beaches that we enjoyed the most were the beach in front of Jungle Hill Beach Bungalows, Ao Si Beach and the beach in front of Bonhomie Beach Cottages on the north-west coast of Koh Pu. The island is small. From Jungle Hill Beach Bungalows, it took us around 10 to 15 minutes to get to Bonhomie Beach Cottages in Koh Pu.
What about the best places to eat you ask?
Halal Food was delicious and cheap. We ate there a couple of times. Definitely good if you are on a budget without sacrificing quality at all.
Ban Ban is really good. We had fantastic Thai pizza and papaya salad. Though not as cheap as Halal Food, it is very delicious.
Rock View Terrace is also not cheap by local standards but serves great food with the best view on the island in my opinion. It is run by a lovely older couple. Go there in the evening and enjoy a wonderful sunset dinner.
If you want to get a drink in the evening, head over to Rock Bar. Their cocktails are not very strong but very delicious.
FU Bar also boasts a great location for an evening drink on the beach. They light up the beach trees at night to create an relaxing ambiance.
The best part about Koh Jum was its sunsets. Each evening we sat on the beach and enjoyed the spectacular displays in the sky.
To sum up Koh Jum, it’s a quiet place to relax, eat, swim, lay on the beach, explore the island by bicycle or scooter, have a sunset cocktail, get an early night and do it all over again the next day.
After our time on Koh Jum came to an end, we packed our backpacks, boarded a long tail boat and were taken out to sea to meet our ferry that would take us to our next stop, Koh Lanta. Stay tuned!
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