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Koh Phayam is the second largest island in the Andaman sea, Ranong Province. This island is known as the “paradise on earth” with white sand, blue sea, sunshine and palm forests, surrounded green by palm forests and pine forests. Especially, today, Koh Phayam island is still very deserted visitors..
In Koh Phayam there are not many colorful coral reefs for snorkeling to attract visitors. However, dropping yourself in the clear blue waters of the sea or renting a motorbike to wander, explore the rubber plantations and the nice little restaurants on the island is also very rewarding experiences worth to try.
Beaches on Koh Phayam
Long beach (Haad Yai) in the west is the longest and best beach for sunsets and enjoying beach life. There is a lot of space for a lonesome spot under a tree or for jogging on the wide beach during low tide. There is nothing much to do but relaxing, reading books or having a drink in a beach bar or restaurant. Wifi is available in some places. And at nighttime a few bars are open for pool billard and music.
Buffalo bay (Ao Khwai) is a flat sandy bay in the north of Phayam. During low tides the water disappears from half of the bay, but at high tide it is like a big bath tube with warm and calm bright blue water. The beach is divided into two areas, where the small beach resorts are located. It is a place to be for people who are seeking silence and a very relaxing atmosphere.
There are some short beaches like Ao Mae Mai on the eastern side of Koh Phayam near to the piers and the village. These places are ok for people without a focus on beach life but to do some other activities.
Things to do
A few resorts on Ko Phayam offer boat trips for fishing, snorkeling or diving. The best places are not around the island but a bit more south in the Andaman Sea. Daytrips to Ko Surin national park or to the smaller islands of Ko Kam can be worthwhile, if the weather and sea conditions are fine. In the future trips into the Mergui archipelago in Myanmar with its hundreds of unspoiled islands will be possible.
Exploring the small island is an option using a rental motorbike or a bicycle. In about one hour nearly every spot reachable by roads can be visited.
How to get to Koh Phayam
- Ko Phayam is usually accessed from Ko Phayam Pier in Ranong town on the mainland; see the Ranong travel section for details on getting there and to the pier.
- If you prefer to book your travel in advance, you can book ferry tickets to Ko Phayam online with Ranong Ferry who can arrange both slow boat and speed boat ticketing.
- In high season, slow boats depart for Phayam from Ranong at 09:30, 10:00 and 14:00 for 200 baht and take two hours. Speedboats depart at least once every two hours from 09:30 to 16:30 for 350 baht and take 45 minutes, with hourly departures in peak season. In low season, one slow boat departs at 09:30, weather permitting.
- From the main village pier on Ko Phayam, slow boats return to Ranong in high season at 08:30, 14:00 and 15:00. Speedboats return hourly in peak season from 07:00 to 17:00, with fewer departures during the shoulder months.
- Two of the Ranong-bound speedboats departing from Phayam can usually stop at the New Pier on the east coast of Ko Chang Noi for 350 baht; times depend on tides so ask a travel agent. A private longtail boat costs around 2,500 baht, per boat not per person, and can drop you at any of the west-coast resorts on Chang.
- If you’re heading to Ao Siad on the south coast of Ko Chang Noi, take the 14:00 slow boat from Phayam and call one of the bungalow joints to request a pick up by longtail, and be sure to tell the slow boat crew what you’re up to.
- Nokair offers two flights daily (early morning and afternoon) from Bangkok Don Mueang to Ranong. Minibus shuttles drive from the airport to the town or pier for 200 Baht p.p. If taking the flight in the afternoon, an overnight stay is necessary in Ranong.
- Overland buses are reaching Ranong from Bangkok (8-9 hours) or Phuket/Khao Lak (4/2 hours).
- Walking is not a great way to get around Ko Phayam due to the relatively long distances between beaches. Motorbike taxis hang out near the pier and charge 70 to 100 baht to take you any place on the island. Resorts can call them to pick you up whenever you need.
- Phayam’s narrow lanes are great for bicycling along the mostly flat or rolling terrain. Quality mountain bikes can be rented at Took’s Place in the village for 100 baht per day. Several resorts rent out bicycles as well.
- Motorbikes can be rented for around 200 baht per day at several places in the village and most resorts. Travellers are occasionally overcharged for minor bumps and scratches at certain shops; we had a good experience at Oak & Amy on the immediate right after leaving the pier, and some expats suggested Popeye, located a little further up from the pier on the left.
- There are no cars or trucks on Phayam, just the motorbikes and a few tractors and ATVs. Be careful when riding, as deep ruts and patches of slippery sand often appear without warning on the not-so-well-maintained lanes.
Weather and climate
The climate on Ko Phayam is tropical with a long rainy period from May till end of November and lots of rain and storm coming from he indian ocean. From December till april the weather is fine and calm with sunshine and blue seas. The daytime temperature ranges between 28 and 33 degrees Celsius and the water temperature is around 28 degrees. High season is from December till March.
Where to stay in Koh Phayam
There are many small bungalow resorts along the beaches and in the middle of the island. They are all family owned with a very friendly but simple atmosphere. The prices are still quite low. If you decide to live along the small road that leads thru the island, you will be part of the daily life on Ko Phayam. While being on the beach will mean relaxing and hiding away from life a bit. An interesting location to sleep is Lamai Resort in the center of the island on a hill top with wonderful views and a panoramic restaurant. The best beach resorts is probably the Blue Sky Resort on the east side, but the beach is not the best. On Buffalo Bay we recommend The Buffalo Bay Vacation Club and the Heaven Beach Resort. On Long Beach Phayam Lodge is a good choice, if you like higher quality bungalows.
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