Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ko Jum


Resort - Golden Pearl Beach (image: trip reporter Cocodrilo)

Ko Jum is a moderately sized island close to the mainland, south of Krabi, north of Ko Lanta and east of Ko Phi Phi. Originally a fishing and farming location with a small population and 3 towns (bans/baans) it is now a fairly popular holiday location on account much of its west coast is attractive beach. However I class it in the laid back category - it is nowhere near as crowded or developed tourist wise as Phuket, Phi Phi or most of Lanta. 
The northern part of the island is dominated by high Mount Phu/Pu - this part of the island is often called Ko Phu/Pu. The south section is fairly flat and is called Ko Jum by the locals. The west coast features mangrove type country and has no attractive beaches.

I modified this Google Earth image to show Jum and the main places of traveller-interest nearby. Laem Kruat is the mainland pier to access Jum when the ferries from Krabi, Lanta and Phi Phi don't run in low season.

 There is a good map showing location of nearly all the resorts along with lots of other great info on


You can walk the entire west coast at lower tide levels - some sections between the beaches become difficult above half tide.
At such times you can detour inland to the main coast road and the road in back of Magic and Ting Rai beaches which now goes as far as North/Lubou beach - but the detour is further than it looks on the image and I found sections of the latter pretty muddy in Dec 2012. Note the section between Ting Rai and Luboa is new in recent years - it is quite a difficult unsealed track for unskilled motorcyclists (hell, even the locals were getting bogged when I walked thru).

The beaches from the north:

Luboa aka North Beach
The northern most west coast beach is about 1km long and is backed by towering Mt Phu/Pu. This is the backpackers' beach - although I noticed new or refurbished Coral Resort in Dec 2014 seemed more flashpacker/lower midrange. I marked Luboa Hut because I have stayed there and refer to it down page.
This is an oblique Google Earth image looking just south of due east - oblique in an attempt to show the height of Mt Pu, but it doesn't work very well.

The northern half of Luboa/North beach is the better - few rocks both on the sand and in the water as seen in this low tide shot when you need to walk out a bit to swim. Note not too much dry sand is left at high tide. I stayed here in 2008 at Luboa Hut, a pretty nice place.
Behind camera the southern section has a narrower band of sand and way more rocks both on the beach and in the water. Nevertheless the few resorts on this half look pretty funky - real old-style backpacker joints. And it's a short walk to the nicer section in shot for a swim when the tide drops although if you are feeling lazy, the boat access paths in front of the resorts had been cleared of rocks..

Traditional NO HAVE bar of Sunset Beach Bungalows on the southern half of the beach looks a sweet place to spend time. Note the west coast gets good sunsets - setting over Phi Phi at my time of latest visit (early Dec). Eagle-eyed readers may notice the sun lounges are just above the high water mark (maybe you can click to expand image).

The central beaches - Ting Ray/Rai, Magic and Ao Si
Image is also looking south of east. 600m long Ting Rai has 3 flashpacker/lower midrange resorts, 350m long Magic to the south is undeveloped and 1100m Ao Si has 3 backpacker/flashpacker places. The southern spur of Mount Pu runs behind these beaches so they are backed by forested slopes.

Ting Rai Beach. The best section of the beach is here at the southern end adjacent Ko Jum Resort where there are few rocks both on the sand and in the water. I didn't have to go out too far to swim at low tide. Once again not a lot of dry sand at highest tide. 
The central area in front of long time favourite Ting Rai Bay Resort (area of further longtail) is rockier. The far northern section where On Lee is located is all rocks - we found it hard to access the resort for a meal at high tide and I found it a chore rock-hopping on my way to Luboa beach low tide. Nevertheless this is one nice resort and it does have a cool sunbathing deck perched on top of a rock near the longtail access zone. Note Old Lamp resort a bit north of Ting Rai Bay Resort was not operating in early Dec 2012 but seemed to be back in action Dec2014)

Ko Jum Resort has one up on its neighbours with this small but rather nice elevated sea-view pool. I'm kinda glad my first choice Ting Rai Bay Resort was booked out. KJR is a pretty good flashpacker/lower midrange place - I'll get Lady Tezza to do a trip report when she finishes all the return-from-trip work around Chez Tezza. As I say elsewhere, I'd like to help her but trips exhaust me. I need a rest. Until the next trip.

Magic Beach. If you want a deserted section of tropical beach this could be the go. Accessed down a short but steep track from the Ban Ting Rai - Ting Rai Bay to Luboa side road, the beach is a bit rocky in the water but not a bad place to spend time. Less than 10 minutes rock-hop from both Ting Rai Bay and Ao Si beaches in the bottom half of the tide.

Ao Si Beach. The nicest section is in the far north - I have a pic down page; good sand, not too many rocks but walk out a fair bit at the bottom of the tide to swim. The central and southern sections nearer camera are narrower and fairly rocky with little dry sand at high tide. If you click to expand you may be able to see ROCK BAR on the highest rock closest to camera. Access from adjacent Golden Pearl/Andaman beaches is easy at low tide - just walk the very short track behind the rocky knoll the camera is on. At high tide the southern end of Ban Ting Rai's main road is very close to this end of the beach and a short path leads to the bar.

I've fancied Ao Si Bungalows at the far north of the beach for a long time - elevated restaurants and bungalows are my style. Maybe next trip.
The good section of Ao Si has two more accommodation places - new to me Jungle Hill Resort looked to be a real backpacker haven and gets very good reviews on the user sites. More central Sun Smile looked more conventional, maybe a bit more upmarket and a pretty nice joint.

The southern beaches - Golden Pearl and Andaman.
This oblique shot is looking exactly south-east. I'm not sure where the demarcation between Golden Pearl and Andaman is on this 3.7km long strip of silica - maybe it is the first bend under the L of PEARL, perhaps the next slight bend another 500m on, from which you can see to the end of the beach near Freedom Hut. Anyway there are about a dozen places to stay along here from budget backpacker thru flashpacker to midrange - not exactly crammed together. 

Golden Pearl Beach. I turned 180 degrees from the image 3 above to snap this. I'm not sure if Golden Pearl ends at that far corner or goes further. I stayed at the excellent Season Resort here on my first visit to Jum. I noticed the beach and water seemed to have less rock than then - maybe resorts have been cleaning up or the build up of sand after last wet season has been good lately. 
 A new sea wall further from the camera suggesting erosion has been a problem in recent wet seasons. Need to walk out a bit at low tide to swim.

Sea wall to protect against wet season erosion towards the curve of Golden Pearl beach - pity, there's some nice resorts in this area. Above is the midrange in appearance Andaman Beach Resort. You can see by the tide line that there is little sand at high tide. No worries - walk another 300m south. Dec 2014 pic

Andaman Beach. This is shot 500m further south of the far point in the previous image so I'm pretty certain we are no longer on Golden Pearl. Its 2400m to the far end from here with about half a dozen resorts from basic to very comfortable. People wanting a real old - style backpacker place could look at Bo Daeng in the middle of the beach.

Andaman Beach from the far southern end. Apart from near these rocks, water depth, lack of rocks and beach quality is probably the best of the island in this southern section of Andaman Beach. Which is maybe why the two original Jum resorts, New and Joy bungalows, reasonably adjacent a little further north of those beach-walkers, located in this section. Immediately right of camera is ......

----- Freedom Hut Bar and Bungalows. Originally Paradise Bar, this place has added some basic bungalows since my earlier visits.

Dec 2014 shot of restaurant/bar - had a meal here, reasonable prices. The place seemed to have added a hell of a lot of bungalows since my 2012. May be a good choice in this BEST BEACH AREA of Jum - I wasn't whelmed with my 2014 stay at New Bungalows.

For a long time backpacker-type places, both Joy and New resorts towards the southern end of Andaman beach seem to have undergone some pretty decent upgrades since my earlier visits.
Particularly at Joy - many bungalows appeared more flashpacker in standard and upmarket from the shots on kojumonline. But I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there were still cheapies up the back. 
New Bungalow is still in the budget range and has at least 2 tree-houses - in typical Thai style that means a bungalow up around the canopy, but not built on an actual tree. They were 500baht when I stayed at New in Dec 2014 - but predictably taken.


Most of the next section was written after my visit in 2006. However I returned in November 2008 early Dec 2012 and ditto 2014 and have inserted UPDATES when needed. There are also updates from other visitors with good information. 

I’ve passed by Ko Jum on the Lanta-Krabi ferry three times in the past and haven’t had time to visit, so this March I made a point of jumping into one of the long tails and checking things out. Glad I did, this is one nice uncrowded laid back island, the perfect place to sit back and relax or wander around and check the scene at a leisurely pace.
The guide books give the impression there are only two or three bungalow resorts, but in fact there are well over a dozen, spread out over 4 main beaches along the western coast. However the places are nicely spaced so there is never a feeling of overcrowding here.

A tout on the ferry showed me some photos of SEASON BUNGALOW (see link below) and said they had some 300baht bungalows, so I piled into their long tail when the ferry arrived off GOLDEN PEARL BEACH. Golden Pearl is the northern part of the 4km long southern beach, the rest being called ANDAMAN BEACH. Okay, Season’s 300 bungalows with attached bathroom were neat enough, although up the back next to the (not very busy) road and a fair walk to the restaurant. But they showed me one of the pastel painted concrete and tile 400 baht jobs, much bigger, much nicer, so I went for that. Wow, what a nice place! - tinted sliding doors, towels and comp water supplied, linen changed daily, window and door insect screens. No mirror in the bathroom though - a big one in a vanity in bungalow itself. I noticed this bungalow was 700 on the web-page. It really looked like 700 worth.
The big open plan restaurant up near the beach was breezy and had a great outlook towards Phi Phi. I thought the food pretty nice, prices towards the lower end of my bungalow stays, and the staff were super polite, friendly and efficient. The grounds are a sort of cleared coconut plantation but looked like a work in progress - I was not aware this place was really knocked around by the tsunami. Click on “tsunami” on Season’s web page to see how damaging this was - hey, those bungalows are really solid construction.
The beach is pretty nice here, except at lowest tide where a lot of rocks on the sandy bottom were exposed, making swimming any distance difficult. There were some sitting platforms, lie-lows and hammocks back of the beach, perfect for checking the sun sinking into the sea just behind PP (in March at least). Link

UPDATE NOV 08 - I returned to Season for a meal on my latest trip. The food was still excellent value - some things cheaper than my budget Luboa Hut accommodation for this trip. The grounds are in better shape and the beach seems to have recovered quite a lot of sand. The cheaper places out the back have been refurbished and there were a half dozen more, built further from the road. Most interestingly, the sweet girl in charge told me she hasn't increased prices since the tsunami rebuild - my fan type bungalow was 500 (okay, I originally got the ferry-tout special of 400), the family beachfront job was 1500 and the bungalows fitted out for 3 people were 700-900 depending on closeness to the beach. The backpackers' ones were 350. I was kinda pleased to see Season seemed to have the best occupancy rate of any place I passed - maybe that ferry tout is working real hard.
UPDATE OF UPDATE DEC 12 - Season Bungalow's restaurant still has some of the cheapest meals and drink prices on the island. Hard to resist calling in for a beer on my usual walk-the-coast. But then I do the same at every other appealing beach restaurant and beach bar - it becomes a stagger the coast.

Dec 08 shot - my 06 bungalow was identical but further back from the beach to the ones at right. That is the restaurant down near the beach in background.

The walk southward along Golden Pearl-Andaman Beach is a pretty nice way to spend an hour or so. All the bungalow places looked pretty pleasant with the two most southern ones, JOY and NEW BUNGALOWS probably the busiest. New has some great looking tree houses, way up there. Right at the end of the beach is a small funky looking Paradise beach bar “Open 10am-Midnight” which is far enough from the nearest bungalows that noise would not likely be a problem.

Joy seemed to be the only place with hire bicycles, so I grabbed one and after the usual rebuild, did a tour of the rest of the island. The main road is mostly dirt and runs from one end of the island to the other, mostly some distance in from the beaches. It is fairly flat, which is just as well, because the gears were shot on my bike and I had to jam it into highest gear. I only had to get off and walk one main road hill.

UPDATE Dec 08- it is possible to walk the length of the west coast by rock-hopping between the beaches. It took me less than 2 hours at an easy pace with frequent stops to shoot pix, and the rock-hopping was pretty easy under half tide. Much over this, the section between Ao Si and Ting Ray beaches becomes quite difficult. Ting Rai to North beach aint easy either.
From North beach to Ting Ray takes around 20 minutes, the same from Ting Ray to Ao Si and it only takes 5 minutes to go either side of the small headland between Ao Si and the long Golden Pearl/Andman. Towards the southern end of Andaman the bungalows at Joy seemed to have been refurbished. New Bungalows seemed almost deserted - it was one of the most crowded on my previous trip. There was a new bar - Go Bar - between New and the older Paradise Bar at the southern end of the beach. The whole island is still very relaxed - I reckon I saw fewer than 20 beach-goers on my 4 hour return journey.

Back to touring by bicycle - the road begins in the south at Ko Jum village which is on the mangrovey East coast and has a couple of piers for fishing boats and transport boats from the mainland. There are several small stores and restaurants, including Ko Jum Seafood (alongside the piers) which has had raves from previous posters.
Ban Ko Jum is an interesting place to have a wander, with quite a few places to eat cheaply (image Panoramio-Laura Velerio)-

Ting Rai village is a pretty featureless ribbon development about half way up the island and Ban Ko Pu , down a short side road near the northern end of the island is very similar to Ko Jum village, perhaps a bit bigger.

2012 shot of Ban Ting Rai which strings along the main north-south road for the best part of 2km. I was unaware that much Ao Si beach is not a great distance to the left from this road so travellers there have some more choices in restaurants and shopping. The northern-most section of Golden Pearl beach is also close to the main road (and only a few hundred meters to the start of this village), unlike areas further south.
I was a bit surprised that the sealed section of the main road turned to dirt just before the north end of the village - similar sized but less populated Ko Sukorn has the sealed road nearly circumnavigating the island. Looks like the tsunami rebuilding funds were not distributed evenly.

The main road at the north end curves westward around the top of the island with several nice little bays visible as you pass, and terminates over on the west coast at its most northern beach, LUBOA. This beach is pretty nice, immediately backed by rainforested hills and there are several bungalow places, mostly a bit more rustic looking than Andaman-Golden Pearl - in general, even more of a ‘getting away from it all’ location. I had a beer at one of the restaurants, LUBOA HUT from memory, and the friendly owner showed me some immediate post tsunami photos - fortunately most of his bungalows are up on the lower hillside slopes, but his restaurant and the two beachside bungalows were pretty messed up. Happily no-one was hurt.
The main road up the interior of Jum passes through pretty relaxed locations (image Panoramio-Ashahel Bush)-

Heading back down the island on the main road I turned right near the northern end of Ban Ting Rai and checked out the area known as TING RAI BEACH which is actually a series of smaller beaches in the lee of Mount Pu (note, the mountainous northern part of the island is sometimes called KO PU). Some of the hills on this road were a fair bit steeper and with my bike’s moonshot gearing I had to get off and push several times. Pretty hot work, so I had a great swim and some sun at gorgeous deserted MAGIC BEACH.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about the 3 resorts along here, because heading down the super steep rutted and rocky access road to Ting Rai Bay Resort, I locked up the brakes, slid into a transverse rut and did a two and a half forward somersault with tuck (the bike was tucked between my legs - instant falsetto baby). Subsequently I got the sulks, and 23 Band-Aids later, headed directly back to Season for a Chang or five in one of the beachfront hammocks.
Nevertheless, if those resorts have a beach similar to Magic, they wouldn’t be positioned too bad at all, and they sure look nice on the website.

UPDATE NOV 08 - I rock-hopped down to Ting Ray from North Beach during my latest trip, about 20 minutes - real easy at low tide with lots of patches of sand between rocks - but getting tricky on return at 3/4 high. You would need to go up into the bush and bush-bash in the last hour of the tide, not fun.
UPDATE DEC 12 - the new section of road means you can walk between North Beach and Luboa now. Sections sure are steep, rough and can be muddy.

Ting Ray is a very nice beach with a patches of rock and the resorts built up the steep hillside but with beachside restaurants and bars - looked pretty good to me.

Dec 08 - high-end coming to Ting Ray - this very flash joint was going in towards the south end of the beach.

UPDATE - I just booked Ko Jum Resort on Ting Rai for Dec 2012 and checking various website pix found out it is this joint - it's not exactly high end - more flashpacker. Will do a full report when I return.

I also pushed on south to Ao Si - hey this is one gorgeous beach with ony two accommodation places (UPDATE DED 2012 - 3 now).
Ao Si Beach 5 minutes walk around the headland north of Golden Pearl/Andaman - Ao Si Resort is situated on the far headland with restaurant and bungalows high up looking directly down the beach. I reckon it might be my next Jum accommodation.

From the personalities viewpoint, I noticed a group of several hundred locals gathered at what seemed to be a community meeting spot beachside about halfway along Andaman. They were checking a group of 30 or so early teen ladies arranged line-dance style, dressed in short skirts and tops kind of a cross between Thai traditional, South Sea Wahini and the Olsen Twins Go Clubbing. Then the music cranked in, Thai disco style, and these sweethearts launched into a booty shakin’ bop which would do trailer-trash Britzer proud. Say it isn’t so! Teeny-raunch culture hits Ko Jum!! Now normally I don’t give a stuff when Lonely Planet'ss and Tales of Aisa's culture-nazis and behaviour-police start raving about the western corruption of Thai standards. But somehow I thought what I was seeing was a bit sad. Not to mention incongruous, when you think of all that stuff the afore-mentioned moaners and the guidebooks tell us about how conservative southern Muslims are.
However a farang girl checking the scene told me these people were Sea Gypsies from all over Jum and surrounding islands, come together for a kind full-moon party (annual, not monthly) where the aim is to dance, eat and booze all day until you drop. And sure enough, when I passed again that afternoon. a general party was going on big time and everyone was into the disco bop. Quite a few seemed pretty wasted. I think Sea Gypsies are more animists than Muslims.

For my revisit to Jum I decided to stay on North Beach aka Luboa Beach - Ting Rai Beach did appeal but places there have been covered real well by others on this page. I remembered that Luboa Hut looked like my sort of place when I called in at North Beach last trip - so after I piled off the public longtail from Laem Kruat at Baan Ko Pu I got the local taxi motorcycle sidecar to take me the 5-7 km or so around the north end of the island for 50baht.
I found the beach perfect for low budget travellers seeking a completely laid back area (no independent bars or restaurants along here) and Luboa Hut to be a real nice, good value place to stay.
North Beach with Mount Pu in background. Bungalows are mainly on the hillside behind the trees with restaurants at beach level - about half a dozen outfits scattered along here - all seemed to be budget in price. The beach is maybe 800m north-south.

Luboa Hut has paid more attention to rustic landscaping than other places on North Beach. The restaurant and sitting cabanas are behind a tangle of tree trunks, branches and broadleaf plants.

The bungalows are mainly scattered up a pretty steep hill behind the beach. There are 9 of various sizes including one family place - all spacious with bathrooms and big verandas - mine clean, in good condition and was 300baht (asking 350) in late Nov 08. Comfy beds, quiet at night apart from wind in trees. The only complaint - the tree cover made it a bit darkish in the daytime when the generator was not running - hard to see in the bathroom mirror for shaving etc. But those trees and the traditional design made for a cool bungalow. I’ll put a full review on travel fish when I get a chance.
I returned to Lubua in early Dec 2014 - looked much the same. But I was a bit startled by the prices in the restaurant which were now 20-50% up on what I consider normal budget bungalow levels. A small CAN of Chang beer was 70baht. But the place was crowded - maybe some loudmouth has been giving dated publicity.

North Beach is a great get away from it all place, no section more so than this southern most area which has only one bungalow place - Billee. This low tide shot shows the rocks start just off the beach, but at higher tide levels there is sand underfoot until it is deep enough to swim. I had some real nice swims along here. Fewer rocks towards the northern end.

When I returned to Labua in 2014 I noticed this place towards the southern end - Coral Bungalows. I'm not sure if it is new or refurbished. But the fact is it looks like Labua beach now has a flashpacker/lower midrange joint.

Luboa Hut’s beachfront restaurant. Food nice and service from Nat and Ann very good. Prices about average for budget bungalows. That’s Phi Phi Leh and Don in the background. Sweet place to spend time. Nice hammock behind camera.
Email - (the email address on kojumonline has been hijacked by fraudsters)
By now the new website should be up -

Some more info and good pix

In dry season access is off the ferries running between Krabi and Lanta. Jum is quite a long island and the ferry stops north end, centre and in the south, where visitors bail out into longtails from the various bungalows. UPDATE 2012 - now 2 stops - the north one is for all beaches bar Andaman and Golden Pearl.
The Ko Jum Online link in the OP has ferry times and the administrator keeps this pretty up to date.
UPDATE FOR 2012 - 13 season:
Lanta 08.30 - Jum 09.00 - Krabi 10.00
Krabi 11.00 - Jum 12.15 - Lanta 12.45
"As of 30 October 2012 the ferryboats between Krabi/Koh Jum/Koh Lanta HAVE STARTED RUNNING FOR THE SEASON operating once-a-day/each way service for the Winter 2012-13.."

Accessing the ferry Ko Jum style

In wet season the ferries stop running but you can get onto Jum using the small local longtails and ferries from the mainland leaving from Laem Kruat. This is at the end of route 4036 which branches off the main highway 4.

Actually SUERAL says the latter is not a bad way in dry season because it is a heap cheaper than the ferry:
"Catch a songthaew from the roundabout in krabi near the thai hotel to nua klong, there is another waiting to go to laem kruat where the boat is leaving.
It leaves somewhat by 14.00 (UPDATE DEC 08 - I also got one at 1030) everyday depending on the weather, people etc. It is actually going through the mangroves on the back of the island, so it is a short trip with a nice view but don't forget to bring earplugs."
Dec 08 shot
Public longtail across to Ban Ko Pu towards the north end of the east coast of Jum - 45 minutes for 50 baht. Similar boats to Ban Ko Jum near the southern end would take a bit longer. Note the comment below about the faster boat.
At my previous place on Ko Siboya - Siboya Bungalows - I was within sight and only 4km from the Ban Ko Pu pier but local politics meant a longtail charter would cost 600 baht (judging on what I paid elsewhere, 300 or less would have been fair). I agreed with some Italians to share, but when they changed their minds next morning I had to scramble for the 0800 20 baht public longtail across to Laem Kraut, wait around for 2 hours for this 1030 boat to Ko Jum. It was nevertheless kinda fun watching the loading of these boats with provisions from the markets just up the street and there is a cheap restaurant from which the following shot was taken.

Busy "pier" at Laem Kraut - public longtails for Ban Ko Phu villgage start here, and I noticed a big fast modern looking longtail "Ko Jum Express" or similar come across presumably from Ban Ko Jum and dock at a pier a few hundred meters further north - your songthaew driver will be able to direct you. This would probably depart around 0930 to 1030 - I'm not sure about afternoon trips. Mc Deli below also mentions a third pier on Jum - Mu Tu.

UPDATE MARCH O9 - McDeli just supplied this good access info. - "quick reminder to anyone on a budget that it is much cheaper to get off the bus (if coming from Trang) or songtaew (if from Krabi) at Nea Klong on the highway just 6km from Krabi. There is a nice market there and you walk just a few metres down the turning to the coast to the songtaew to Laem Kruat, the tiny port that handles all the local longtails to Koh Jum and Siboya. At Laem Kruat boats from different piers go to Koh Jum village, Mu Tu pier and Ko Pu village. It is a 50 baht mototaxi per person to any of the resorts from any of the three piers, once on Koh Jum. So ask around for the next boat. Obvious exception if you want to stay right next to Koh Jum village it is a bit daft to go to Ko Pu in the North. Same when leaving Koh Jum. You can hirea private speedboat (one couple paid 8000 baht to go to Phi Phi), you can get your resort's longtail to take you to the Lanta-Krabi ferry and pay 400 baht. Or you can pay 170 baht to go the local way (50 mototaxi, 50 longtail to Laem Kruat, 50 st to Nua Klong, 20 st to Krabi)."
UPDATE JAN 2010 - frequent Jum visitor Billp gave this access info:
The songthaew from Laem Kruat (where the public longtail from Koh Jum docks), now goes through to Krabi Town. It stops off for a few minutes in Neua Khlong, but then continues onto Krabi Town. (You used to have to change to another songthaew in Neua Khlong.)
Fare to Laem Kruat is 50 baht on the public longtail. From Laem Kruat to Krabi town it costs 80 baht. Time is about 90 minutes in total, but the big advantage over the passenger ferry is that the longtail leaves Koh Jum at 07:30, so you can make it to Krabi Town and back on the same day (or make a morning flight - the airport is about 30 minutes from Laem Kruat).

To Jum from Phi Phi -
I just noticed on home page that they have info about a new ferry serivice running between Phi Phi and Jum. Looks like it might have started last high season. Sure beats having to go via Lanta or Krabi as in past years.
updated tentative 2012-13 times:
Jum-Phi Phi - 8.30 arr 11.00
Phi Phi-Jum - 14.00 arr 1600
"They will resume operating daily service ONE TIME EACH WAY on/about 20 October."
Note that when I was on Phi Phi in early April 2012 this service had already stopped for the low season.

Quite a lot of people ask on travel sites about the cost of a longtail directly between the two places. Pon who runs Ao Toh Ko Bungalows on the east coast of Phi Phi told me in my August 07 visit that she has arranged longtails to Jum for 2500, time about one hour. See McDeli's info above abt a speedboat.
Sun setting over Phi Phi Ley from Ko Jum (image Panoramio-Asahel Bush)-

MANDYSK has given me these 2 bits of info about the TING RAI area, of which I didn't get to see much:
"I just came back from Koh Jum (Koh Pu) 2 days ago and I absolutely loved it. I stayed at Ting rai and Oonlee Bungalows in the Koh Pu area. Andaman beach is definitely livelier and the beach is more of a real beach experience. But Koh Pu has something really special. I think its the rocks and the jungle like nature. I guess it depends on what you like. For me I like peace and quiet and beautiful nature. Koh Pu served me well. Ting Rai is a special place. Amazing hospitality, incredible nature, good swimming. Oon Lee bungalows are fantastic - a real impressive place. The restaurant is so classy, food incredible and again a real feeling of being in the jungle. Their bungalows are so well made - very good attention to detail and cheap B400 is low season. This island really is something special. Try and go to Coconut Beach which is a fair walk from Oon Lee and Ting Rai but quite close if you stay at Luboa Beach (north Beach). Too far to walk if you stay at Joy (on Andaman). But definately the nicest beach on the island. I am so sad to be home. You enjoy Koh Jum!"

"The best thing about Oonlee are their bungalows, restaurant and beach bar. Oon is quite professional. Great tunes, and great drinks. Food is like 5* quality, but very reasonably priced. The bungalows are great, awesome balcony with hammock (love a hammock), bathroom fantastic, he uses rocks as shelving, normal toilet, shower etc.. and great beds with mosquito net and fan. They even have french doors that open up on the balcony. The down side would be the swimming outside of Oonlee. It is very rocky but you can swim. I swam everyday but I would recommend wearing shoes in the water. Ting Rai beach is 2 seconds away and is better for swimming."


Islands and the mainland to the east of Ko Jum from the top of Mount Pu - image Cocodrilo (see link down page to her 2010 Trip Report)

Well, Mandy Kalinski just can't keep away from Jum. She has just given this even more comprehensive information:
"I have just returned from a magical 3 month trip in Thailand and am suffering (yet again) from post travel trauma. I spent a bit of time on the lovely Koh Jum and thought you might appreciate an update. Firstly I would say go to this island now because in 2 years it will be a mini Koh Lanta. Already there have been some changes (especially on the koh jum side) in terms of development. Once 24 hour electricity is introduced, then the 7/11, it will be all down hill so don't hesitate go now before it is too late.This island is so easy to get to from Krabi. I think you know the way - take the ferry from Krabi to Koh Lanta, it stops half way and the longtails pick you up. Apparently this will all change in a few years and the ferry will stop at the pier on koh jum. I am still a firm supporter of the Koh Pu side (north of the island). Ting Rai will always be a favourite. Their longtail will always be at the ferry so don't worry if you haven't booked, but this place gets busy. Ting Rai is special. The bungalows are gorgeous, the food is great and you feel like you are home, almost immediately. The beach is great for swimming and the people who work there know all about the island. You will be looked after at Ting Rai Bay. It's a perfect place for families, couples and single travellers. This is an easy place to meet people and enjoy the incredible jungle surroundings. If they are full, don't worry stay next door at Old Lamp bungalows. These bungalows are fantastic. Big and great bathrooms. Also the restaurant is right on the beach so excellent for sunset time. Further down the beach is the more stylish than before Oonlee bungalows. Wow, what a place. Now they have a pool table, bar snacks at the ever so cool beach bar. Always good music and fantastic mojitas. Best drinks on the island - fresh mint from the herb garden! Ok, yes there are many, many, many rocks from Old Lamp to Oonlee but this is what makes the beach rustic and natural. Take a walk over the rocks (around 20 mins) past Oonlee and head to Luboa Bay. This North beach is gorgeous. Luboa Hut or Bonhomie would be the 2 to choose from. Both have fantastic hosts and great bungalows. The only negative aspects about this beach are the dogs. There are too many. But the water is like silk in the mornings. Make sure you walk past Bonhomie, down the main road for about 15 mins. The surroundings are fabulous, green jungle and great view of Koh Pu. You will see a small rubber house on the left hand side, take the narrow road which will lead to a farm and then bang, the spectacular Coconut beach awaits you. There are no bungalows on this beach, just clear green water, and in my opinion, the most beautiful swimming on the island.Ao Si beach is also great for swimming and if you like to walk on a long stretch of sand, this is where you should stay. Choose Ao Si bungalows. Fantastic rooms and the hosts are so hospitable. You can walk over the rocks to Golden Pearl and then to Koh Jum. But at night it is a little more tricky. I did get stuck one night on Koh Jum and had to walk through the village back to Ao Si (about 1 hour walk). Make sure you have a flashlight – this is vital. Koh Jum beach is nice, less of a jungle experience but still fabulous. I would choose Bo Dang. This place is cheap, the food is excellent and the hosts are special ladies. When Rosa plays those drums, you are sure to fall in a trance. Another choice would be Woodland Lodge. This is a very friendly place. The food is excellent too. You can easily walk to Koh Jum village from these places. Just follow the beach all the way around. Go to Koh Jum Seafood for lunch. So fresh and simple flavours, right on the river.This island is extremely friendly. At the moment it feels untouched. If you hire a motor bike, take care of the road between Ao Si and Ting Rai - what a mess. I think it will be sorted before the end of the year but when it rains this road is a nightmare. Nevertheless the nature on this island is stunning and the vibe is unlike any island I have been in Thailand. I hear Koh Phayam near the Myanmar border is similar. Go and enjoy the place!"
Another shot of the northern end of Golden Pearl Beach and Mount Pu (image-guess who) - Ko Jum Lodge is the flashest accommodation on the island at this point of time.
Mc Deli just spent 2 months on Jum and sent this report to THE FORUM page. He stayed on Ao Si, so now we have guest reports from all the beaches on this page (if you consider Golden Pearl and Andaman the one long beach):
"Hi - we just got off Koh Jum after most of the last 2 months there. We were so happy there. I will pass some info in case it is useful.
We liked Ao Si (middle) beach the best. Only three resorts; Ao Si (that you, Mr Tezz, liked), Jungle Hill (similar jungle vibe to Ao Si) and Sun Smile.
We got a front rower at Sun Smile for 380b and we loved it. Great concrete construction, good nets on the windows, clean enough (though, given how well they are built they have the potential to look even better), good furniture (we love hooks! - though some rooms don't have the wardrobe) - but what you get at Sun Smile is a jaw-dropping sea and sunset view from every balcony (except 108 where the sunset is obscured by trees). And of course Ao Si beach is very, very quiet and great for swimming in front of Sun Smile at all times.
The Sun Smile kitchen is not the most exciting but it is clean, well organised (a change from previous years we understand) the basics are consistent and cheap (50/60 baht basic rice/noodle dishes).
And we loved the family.
The other main consideration was that there are only a few resorts along the stretch of beaches on Koh Jum's West coast that actually have great beach - that is not filled with longtails or rocky. Sun Smile has a great stretch - as do New and Joy Bungalow. Some places that are very nice (like the expensive Oon Lee) are let down by the rocky beach.We checked on nearly every bungalow outfit on the island - and based in the prices we were given and guessing what we could negotiate, we thought the standard at Sun Smile was great value (though they ask for 700 front row and 500 back row in peak season - and don't book through an agent as they put 200 on top). New, Joy and Bo Daeng get return customers and it is easy to see why - nice atmosphere, good beach, and the bonus of being nearer the bigger village. That said Ban Ting Rai, the middle village, is just out back of Sun Smile with 4 shops and a few small (local) places to eat.
We couldn't really see the attraction of going all the way to Luboa beach (far North) - there were a lot of scooters on the beach, it was mostly rocky, the accomodation didn't seem great value, and, if you want quiet, it is not really any quieter than the quiet places on the other beaches -just far more remote.
Ting Rai beach was a bit busier because Ting Rai Bay resort seemed to be very busy.
Golden Pearl beach is noisy because there are quite a few longtails but Seasons there is the place to go if you are a Nordic family!
The one issue there would be the coming of electricity. The cable has made its way from Phi Phi to Jum and is now somewhere between Siboya and the mainland. The locals are expecting the hook up in Oct/Nov. Some resort owners are preparing for some kind of boom along with maybe a younger crowd. I really can't see it. OK, there might be some kind of overflow from Phi Phi if that gets more crowded with airconditioned package tourists, and yes, Jum is precariously position between Lanta and Krabi (how I despise that ferry!). But my guess is that, given that Jum doesn't have the picture postcard white sand and karst rocks, and that there is recession in the western world, next year will be even quieter than this, and any bungalow who fits a couple of A/C units to test the water will ne up regretting it."

For another report including some great pix, see Crocodilo's Trip Report to Ko Jum Jan 2010 in the new READERS' TRIP REPORT SECTION. Julie has an even more recent update from December 2012 on the same link.

If you want to fire in a trip report on Jum or any other location please send text and/or captions plus any pix to Hopefully we can keep info up to date without me having to return to dozens of islands every second year. There are so many other places I want to visit.


You may have noticed I like to end pages with a sunset shot. This is from the balcony of our Ko Jum Resort Teak Villa (free upgrade from Bamboo Bungalow - how good is that? And they had no idea I'm an island blogger) - the telephoto makes Ko Phi Phi look a fair bit closer than reality....

....and this 2014 shot is from south Andaman beach in front of Freedom Bar and Bungalows.

--------------------------------------------------------If you visit Jum you may also consider nearby;





If you see any mistakes or have exta information please post below. If you have any questions, please ask them in THE FORUM rather than below. I don't get a chance to check all threads daily, but unless I'm travelling I'll try to monitor THE FORUM regularly.


Shannon said...

Thanks for your lovely blog about Ko Jum. We just spent a week and a half there in December and loved it. However, we had a terrible experience with Woodland Lodge, and I want to warn the unsuspecting traveler that the owners have a very dishonest price scheme. Through e-mail they told us they were booked, except one bamboo bungalow- so we reserved it. The webprice was 300Bhat for the hut, but when we got there, they charged us 900 Bhat, while the people all around us were paying 400, 600, and 800B for much nicer places. We asked if they had anything less expensive or if they would negotiate. When they refused, we checked out and Ray threatened to bring in the police for breaking our reservation. Be careful where you book! We walked down the beach and found Sun Smile, had a much better room, a water, a friendly and honest staff and paid half the price!

Svante said...

Hi Tezza ! Thanks for your exellent Blog, it was very helpful when we planned our trip late feb - early march. It saved us a lot of hiking around with the backpacks looking for a nice place to stay. Ishould mention that nowadays a would call myself a flashpacker rather than a bacpacker. Anyhow we stayed one week at Ting Rai Bay Resort and it was a lovely place. Nice but yet rustic huts in a beatuiful surrounding and a good beach (even though we stayed during extreme tides and there was little water left to swim in during low tide. However its a short walk to Magic Beach wich is better during low tide, it also has some good snorkeing.)
What is worth pointing out is the two family bungalows that thae have. Exellent for famlies !
The food there is very good and service is swift - even if it's a bit annoying that the staff is sitting in the restaurant watching TV during service.
A good idea is to ask for an afternon tour of the island in their longtail. stop by at the village and on coconut beach in the north, you can ask them pretty much to goo anywhere as they don't use the boat after the ferry picup round 1 pm.
We walked all the way to Baan koh Jum and here are some observations:
The Old Lamp was closed and seemed like deserted to me. The new joit just south of Ting Rai Bay is now on the but will not open until next season I was told. It will be called Koh Jum Resort and looked really posh. There was a few people satying at Oonlee wich looked nice enough except for the fact that the beach looked like a lunar landscape at low tide. Ao si also looked like a nice place but had a low occupancy and the owner was not particlary interested in talking to us or show us the place. The beach there was also full of rubbish. We saw perhapps 5-6 people at the entire Ao Si beach. There seemed to be more people on Golden pearl beach.
The entire northen part of Andaman beach has major development going on, selling beachfront lots for private housng, a huge complex is being put up, complete with restaurants and the "Urban coffee shop". Down at Joy and new things were quiet - where has all the bacpackers gone ??
Anyhow seeing Joy again was great, I stayed there for a few weeks almost 20 years ago, and my old "bungalow" was still there, rotting away in the back. Same guy still runs the place ! (I actually stayed at Joy when they first started on the Phranang beach at Railey)
It seemed like the Ting Rai Beach Resort was the buisiest place on the island, and they deserve it. I hope that more people will discover this beautiful island, there is still plenty of room on the beaches.

Svante Rosén, Stockholm, Sweden.

Lina & Diane's excellent adventure said...

Hi Tezza. Thank you for a brilliant webpage with great info. I just wanted to add to Shannon's comments about Woodlands Lodge. Ray and his wife are two of the most disagreeable hosts we have met. They were so dismissive when our bungalow leaked and the rats took over and we would never stay there again. Not sure why they are so awful. He has chrnic back pain but so do I and I can say I would not recommend Woodlands to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday with nice hosts. Awful people!

Antonia said...

Hi Tezza,
Thanks for all the info on this site - was very useful in planning my recent trip (first week of December). Just a few updates:
- The public longtail from Laem Kruat are now charging 100B for foreigners (there are signs posted at the docks on the island and the mainland to that effect).
- The sorng tao ou between Laem Kruat and Krabi town were running every 30 minutes when I was there, and sometimes (at least) stop at the airport (I'm not certain if they will all stop there on request, or only some of them). The airport is just a couple of minutes outside of Nua Khlong and maybe 35-40 minutes from Laem Kruat. The first longtail from Jum leaves at 6:30am from Mutu pier, which enables you to catch the 7:30 sorng tao ou and get to the airport soon after 8:00, if you've got an early flight.

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