koh jum

Koh Jum: slow motion island

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Koh Jum is an island located between Krabi and the islands called Phi Phi and Lanta. The island is small and beautiful with a mix of forest, beaches and a quiet local life. Unfortunately, we were unlucky with our hotel, which ruined our pleasure to be on the island.

From Koh Lanta to Koh Jum

We booked our trip to Koh Jum with the help of our hostel in Koh Lanta. We left Hostaria Hostel at 7:30 am with a van. From 12 pm, we transferred with an angkot to reach Leam Kraut, where we would take the boat at 1 pm. From Leam Kraut (Koh Lanta) to Mutu (Koh Jum), it takes 1 hour of boat trip.

When we have berthed on this island with few locals, there was no transportation for tourists available. A woman came to us and asked us about our accommodation. Then, she told us that our hotel was located on the other side of the island, so we’d better try to wait for a taxi.

Five minutes after, there were no locals around anymore, as everybody left. Overloaded with our backpacks, we just waited there until a taxi arrives. After 15 minutes wait, Pierre started to propose that we walk and try to find our way. Fortunately, I refused and insisted that we wait until some car comes. Five minutes later, a taxi came and did not agree to lower the price under 300 Baht  to drive us to our hotel.

Between relaxing and boredom

Staying at Koh Jum, especially during low season was a very interesting experience. The island is small and you really stay among the local population as many hotels are not open and a very few numbers of tourists can be seen. You have only one main road going around the island. We think it was taking us 2 hours max to visit the whole island with our motorbikes, but we are not sure. The time was so slow that we barely thought about checking time on the watch.

We stayed at Bonhomie, a beachfront bungalow housing estate. On paper, it looked like an awesome place. Traditional Thai wooden huts, located in the middle of a forest, in front of a large and calm beach. All of this was true. The bad surprise came from the rather unpleasant staff and the global lack of cleanliness. Our outdoor bathroom was just disgusting : the water of our toilet and sink was yellowish ! When going out or chilling in our room, we had to lock windows and the bathroom door to prevent monkeys from squeezing through our room. One day, we forgot about one window and found a monkey stealing some chips in a bag. The guy from the staff had to hunt him with a plastic bullets gun. A moment came when we felt like living in a bunker in our bungalow. There was nothing to do in the hotel area (and definitely too much mosquitoes), and when staying in our bungalow, we had to close everything to avoid monkeys and mosquitoes. However, that was an interesting spot in hindsight. We had a 15 minutes drive through a beautiful forest to reach the hotel and really felt alone in the world for five days. This is when we realized that loneliness definitely has its good and bad sides. We felt so happy when a Dutch family arrived at the hotel two days after our own arrival.

Our main activity on the island – and basically the only one available – was to chill around. We would take the motorbike and drive around at 10 km/hours (we had nothing more to do, so why would we rush ourselves ? ). After few days, we could notice that some local youngsters had the same habits of driving around aimlessly. We often met the same faces everyday. We were eating at people’s houses and we chose the same houses everyday. Those persons were cooking the exact same meal everyday.

When the day was over, we would go back to our place, walk on the beach upfront and sleep in our bungalow. That was the everyday routine for 5 days. One day, we bought some cookies in a local supermarket and just sat for an hour in front of it. We were on the ground, it was a very warm day, we had nothing to do, so we just sat there. We started to talk aimlessly, having fun taking stupid selfies, eating our cookies and staring at the empty street. What’s funny about this is that we were totally bored, and yet that’s one of our best memory on the island. We were just living the present. Killing the boredom of time, because we actually had time to think, live and being bored. That boredom we sometimes miss in our ultra-connected world.

If you want to cut off your social life for a while and relax in a peaceful and sunny place, Koh Jum is for you. If you want to let yourself be carried away by the tranquility of the local life and discover a respectful and kind population, Koh Jum is for you. If you want to enjoy empty beaches, take a shower while watching monkeys jump from trees to trees, Koh Jum is for you. If you want to feel bored and disconnected, Koh Jum is for you.

We just hope that tourism will not spoil the island. We also hope that waste brought in by the sea, because of humans, will not ruin the beauty of beaches. We cannot forget that day when we stopped by a beach and saw local families trying to clean up the mess. Kids and grown-ups were all working together to gather and burn it all. We came back the day after, the beach was all pristine again.

Our travel buget in Koh Jum

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