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A Guest Post by Delan Cooper
Solo Travel Guide in Koh Phayam | Maldives of Thailand
If you are one of those individuals who miss and love the atmosphere and scenery of traditional Thailand before it became commercialized and subsequently lost that Old World charm, this post is for you. Enter the secretive island of Koh Phayam. As opposed to the noise, congested streets, and abundance of people that can be found in mainland Thailand, this island offers an atmosphere of calm and tranquility to those who come to enjoy the food, culture, and attractions that the island has to offer. While the island may not be an ideal place for shopaholics, it offers a perfect paradise for those who love the idea of exploring tropical forests, exotic wildlife, and unique beaches. In this post, we list some of the activities you can partake in on this island and a guide as to how you can travel to and from this island safely.
1. Common Sense
In order for you to get to this island, you have to travel through mainland Thailand first. However, to ensure that you have a safe trip, it is key to use good common sense.
- For starters, be certain that you can always find your way back to your hotel, B&B, hostel or other lodging, night and day.
- When you leave, don’t forget to pack the hotel’s address card.
- Don’t consume alcohol in excess, ensure that your phone is fully charged and if you are a female, do not wear overly revealing clothes unless you are actually on the beach.
- It also goes without saying that you should not travel in the street by yourself at night time.
2. Know Where You’re Going
Your ability to enjoy your stay at this island is based on knowing what you are getting into before you go there. If you cannot bear the possibility of being without Wi-Fi, Koh Phayam is not for you. The population of the island is around 500-700 people. As such, the island can be best described as being quiet and low-key. Wi-Fi and power are given at multiple locations, but it is worth noting that not all locations provide electricity or Wi-Fi. In addition to that, there are no ATMs or banks, so ensure that you have enough cash beforehand. It is also worth noting that you will not find stores like 7-11 on the island, and there are no cars. Simply said, if you want the truly authentic experience of traditional Thailand you will love this island.
3. Getting To Koh Phayam
The island is located in the western section of Thailand on the Andaman Sea, which is within close proximity to Ranong. Regardless of where you land in Thailand, this is the town you will have to travel to in order to get to Koh Phayam Thailand. For the shortest travel time possible you can elect to fly there by air. You can easily book a flight from Bangkok. The town can also be reached by bus from several locations in Thailand such as Krabi, Bangkok, Khao Lak, Surat Thani, and Phuket.
Once you are in the city, the next thing you will have to do is to travel to the pier in Ranong. You can easily use the bus terminal or you can use a taxi. Once you are at the pier you can choose to ride on a speedboat, which will take you approximately 40 minutes to get to the island or you can take the ferry, which takes approximately two and a half hours.
4. Talk to the Locals
After you check into your room while on the island, the first thing that may come to mind is what I should do now. With the abundance of activities and accommodations on the island, it may be hard to decide exactly what you want to do to get the most out of your time there. However, by starting a conversation with a local, they can provide you with tips on where the hidden gems are located as well as areas, which you should avoid. In the same breath, since you are traveling alone, you will also want to be wary of locals who approach you first. Why? In general, people in Thailand tend to be modest and polite. As such, it is common for locals to keep their distance and avoid starting conversations with foreigners. Therefore, if a local approaches you be on your guard.
5. Socialize With Other Travelers
If you are afraid of being alone in Thailand, one solution is to not be! That is it is easy to interact with other travelers and you will come across them through several aspects of your trip whether it may be at the bus stop, hotel, B&B, hostel, beach, or random places. Ideally, if you have a destination in mind, spark up a conversation with your hostel guests and see if they would like to join you. As always, use caution and good common sense as to safety.
6. Activities and Things to Do
The island is filled with multiple ways to see a variety of nature and wildlife activities with access to, viewing outposts. Some of the most popular activities tourist love include:
a) Jungle Trekking
Once you get to the island, you will quickly realize that throughout its many corners, there lie various wild jungle trails, especially towards the northern and southern locations of the island. If you would like to see the varied, exotic wildlife living on the island you can go jungle trekking through one of its many trails. You might get to see hornbills, monkeys, or monitor lizards.
Many people do not associate surfing with Thailand but it certainly is possible at Koh Phayam. The waves are not high and are perfect for individuals who just started surfing or for people who would like to learn. During the high seasons, the shoreline is more peaceful, while in the low season the waves are much higher than average.
c) Island Hopping
The Island is ideal for an island hopper. There are several beautiful islands within close proximity of Koh Payam that can be visited. For instance, near the Laem Son National Park, there are several tiny islands. Day trips via ferry can be used to visit. Other options include islands such as Koh Khang Kao or “Bat Island”, popular for its beaches, fishing and snorkeling..
d) Beach Hopping
Even though there are not any cars on the island, you can easily rent a scooter and book a room at one of the many bamboo bungalows that are located there. You can use them to explore the island by yourself or to go beach hopping to enjoy fully your stay while on the island.
With these expectations in mind as to Koh Phayam and an eye to any safety precautions, your solo trip can turn out to be your most memorable yet. If you have been dying to go on vacation away from the crowds, take a look at the Maldives Islands which have been reopened for 2021 tourism.
(A note from Solo Trekker 4 U:
For other information on solo travel with no single supplements and solo-priced lodging, go to our free search tool, the SoloTravelPricingTracker.net, and for our complimentary “Updated 2020-2021 Solo Travel Guidebook”, be sure to register while there.)
Don’t forget travel insurance, especially in 2021. (Solo Trekker suggests checking out InsureMyTrip.)