Koh Jum is another small island off the coast of southern Thailand in the Andaman Sea. This island was eight kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide. With a population of just about 1500, it also had the small town feel of Koh Mook. A major paved road went down the middle of the island with a few offshoots for different neighborhoods. This island had more scooters and four wheeled vehicles.
A walk around Koh Jum
I headed north on the main road and turned left before the mountains. After a bit the road hit the beach and the cement pavement ended. I continued on the dirt road. Nearly a kilometer into the road I passed two resorts and the road forked. Pavement resumed down to the left, and a scooter trail went straight. I followed the scooter trail. At one time, it had been a dirt road, but jungle growth and lack of use had made it barely a walking trail. The scooter tracks ended and I had to duck through quite a bit of foliage. Occasionally there was a rubber tree plantation with collapsed bungalows. It was unclear whether the plantation was still active.
I really wanted to get to the top of the mountain. I read that there was a trail somewhere along where I was hiking. There were four or five trails off into the rainforest. They looked little more than game trails or rain run off trails and were swallowed quickly by mosquitoes, spider webs, and thick flora and fauna. Most trails felt like the Mirkwood from the Hobbit, and I did not feel brave enough to venture in. Periodically troupes of macaques moved noisily through the trees overhead.
I continued on and the trail widened. Periodically there was a culvert or building supplies on the side of the path, but no sign of anything being built. I also ran into 3 spiderwebs while fleeing from mosquitoes indicating the path was not used regularly. Did I mention I did not like spiders much? Needless to say I did not keep my composure in those moments.
Eventually the path joined up with a larger road. Large rubber tree plantations lined the side. The dirt road changed back to cement pavement and I continued down out of the wild back into town. In all 15 kilometers of hiking. Not bad!
There were main side trails of the the main road through the rubber tree plantations. From time to time I’d go up one looking around until the mosquitoes or the spiders became too bad to continue.
Spending time doing nothing
Mostly we did a lot of nothing here. We walked along the beach and ate at the shacks setup along the main road. There was no hot water so we showered in the afternoon when it was hot, and enjoyed the cool breeze and and evening rain. In the early mornings we walking along the beach gathering shells and chasing ghost crabs.
Leaving Koh Jum
First class travel can be fun, but travelling likes locals helps get a feel for the country. On our exit from Koh Jum, we caught the 7:15 long tailed boat from Mu Tu Pier. With us in the long tailed boat were three scooters, a shipment of rubber from the plantations on the island, and a dozen people. The girls rode on the roof of the cabin as the long-tail sped through the islands to the Leam Kraud Pier on the mainland. At the port we ate delicious breakfast. Alyssa and Sharleen were happy to find Ba. (Green Curry Noodle). Alyssa exclaimed: “It’s just like in Chaing Mai, I’m so glad to have it one last time.” Kyle had grilled chicken. I had sticky rice with fried onions. From here we caught a songthaew to the airport. Although the songthew was made for about 12 people, our diver fit 17 in by putting a wooden bench down the middle of the back for extra seat room.
We overstayed our visa by one day. As it turns out 30 days was not one month. We should have left on 12/5/2019, but our flight was 12/6/2019. Needless to say this caused quite a scene at passport control and we had to pay a fine. This was the closest to being hauled to the police station.
How we did it
We took the regular ferry from Koh Lanta which involved a boat to boat transfer off the western coast of Koh Jum. 300 baht per person (250 for Kylie). The boat to boat transfer was included and it took us directly to our hotel: The Golden Pearl Beach Resort. Leaving the island cost 50 baht per person for the tuk tuk to take us to the pier and another 100 baht per person for the boat ride. At the Leam Kraud Pier a songthaew leaves regularly for Krabi town with local stops along the way. The cost for this is also 100 bath per person. Grab was also an option from the pier, but opted for local travel as we had the time. On Koh Jum we walked everywhere. Tuk tuks run 50 Bath per person. Motorbikes were 250 baht per day, but we didn’t rent one.