In part one of this article i will tell you about an island that I only recently discovered, and I basically haven't shut about it ever since i visited... it is that awesome.
I have lived in Thailand for 13 years, and I had never even heard of this place until recently. It is that hidden.
Until now, Koh Phayam has been an island that most people skipped or never even heard of because it is quite difficult to get there. It is not near Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Samui, Phuket, or Krabi (major areas of tourism in Thailand) so therefore it has gone largely ignored. Until recently, getting to the island incorporated a 12 hour bus ride from Bangkok or about 6 hours from Phuket. There were no easily accessible flights to Ranong, the small city on the coast near Phayam. You can now get a twice daily flight from Bangkok to Ranong with Nok Airlines. the flight is relatively cheap and takes less than an hour. Once your boots hit the ground it is exceptionally easy to complete the journey to the island because there isn't really any other reason that people fly into this airport.
What makes it so special?
There are no cars on the island - roads are very narrow and you rarely see anything other than motorbikes, which brings us to point number 2
You can easily get to all the beaches on the island by renting a motorbike - this is around $6 a day and since there are no cars, it is very safe compared to the rest of Thailand
the beaches are relatively deserted - this is a real problem for people visiting other parts of Thailand. The pictures show these wonderful beaches (and there are a lot of wonderful beaches in TH,) but then you arrive there only to discover that there are seventeen thousand people occupying all the sand and scenery not Koh Phayam But this is
They have surf season from May to November - most of Thailand's lovely beaches become pretty boring after a while because the water is flat year round. I don't know about you, but I like my beaches to have waves. The surf is relatively tame too and is great for beginners to surfing.
Accommodation is extremely cheap. My near beachfront bungalow with attached bathroom was 500 Baht a day (around $14)
The people are extremely friendly: I'm not trying to say that people are NOT friendly in other places in Thailand but well, they are much much nicer here.
I encountered NO scams at all. I can speak Thai and my family who was visiting can not, i expected to have to uncover a scam or 2 to protect them while visiting.... there was no need. I was only there for 5 days so I can't say for sure there are none, but everyone seemed to be quite pleasant and honest and this is something that is unfortunately quite rare over here.
The restaurants have wide variety and are also very inexpensive. We encountered everything from Thai food (obviously) to nachos, to buffalo wings, pizza, and one of my favorites: hummus
There are strange and interesting things all over the place. Such as a gigantic bar complex made entirely from driftwood.
My favorite thing about the island as a whole: You can bring your dog with you. Unless you already live in Thailand i know this probably isn't a big point for ya, but it is for me. I think my doggo liked it there at least as much as I did.
That's it for now. In part 2 I will tell you why you need to get over to this place now... like in the next couple of years.
I welcome suggestions about photo placement etc. Bear with me as this is my first article / contribution to steemit. :)