Having made the leap of faith from ferry to longtail boat, and the remaining, and some what bemused, passengers set off for partying on Koh Lanta, our gaze focussed on the island ahead-Koh Jum. We weren’t looking to party, quite the opposite, we were in search of a secluded island paradise-and from what I had read, Koh Jum was this paradise.
The only problem is, once something is published on the internet, like the ‘Thailand’s last hidden island gem’ article that I had found, you really have to assume that everyone else has read it as well-and you may not really get what you hope for.
Fortunately for us, we had found exactly what we were looking for. Anywhere else in the world, this would be lauded as a stunning island with perfect beaches. However, when flanked by the islands of Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi, Koh Jum is somewhat underrated! BRILLIANT!
We jumped off the boat (in fact I nearly tipped everyone off the boat with some over enthusiastic vaulting off the side) and made our way to Peace Paradise Resort. If you’re looking for a five star hotel with Jacuzzi en suite and infinity pool, then really you need to be somewhere else! The main restaurant and bar area of Peace Paradise is made completely from driftwood and other oddities that are found washed up on the beach, and with the island not being wired up to the main grid-you only get electricity between the hours of 6PM and midnight.
The ‘resort’ has eight wood beach bungalows, basically Robinson Crusoe type shacks-all overlooking the sea. It didn’t take us long to discover that we were actually the only people in the resort apart from the staff….Unbelievable-this really was shaping up to be the hidden island gem that I had read about!
So having settled into our new home, and meandered along the beach for a little while, we set ourselves in the bar and bathed in some roots reggae while playing jenga and various card games with the guys who worked there…To some it may sound kinda boring, to us it was absolutely brilliant. The lady who ran the place was an inspiration, great English which she learned just from working with tourists over the years-she transpired to be quite the shrewd business woman. Explaining her path to Koh Jum, we found out that she had been based in Krabi originally where she learned about tourism, then moved to Koh Lanta before the tourism boom. Her decision was to leave once they became too rowdy and saturated with party goers. Not to miss the boat, in each place she managed to save enough money to purchase land before the prices inflated-and retains this land and rents it out-quite the savvy operator! She was also an absolutely superb cook, really quite tremendous-we’d struck gold, this place was incredible.
On our second day there a couple of German women joined us in our little paradise bubble, and they were an absolute hoot-and equally enthralled by the surroundings and people. Our four days here flew by, rather too quickly…..But obviously not so quick that I didn’t take some snaps! Y’all ready?! Here we go:
So with Koh Jum fading into the rear view mirror, onto our next stop, the island of Koh Samui, and a three day (silent) meditation retreat…