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Published: January 17th 2008
After all the partying it was time to recharge our batteries and what better place to do this than on the little island of Ko Jum, an island with only electricity by generator for 3 hours a day, no big hotels and no parties only long sandy beaches and tree covered hills and the only form of transport a limited number of scooters for hire.
The intial plan had been to head to the island of Ko Lanta but having traveled in 10 different vehicles in 12 hours including ferries, buses, mini vans, back of jeeps we arrived late on the island of Ko Lanta. It was dark, we were tired and accommodation was expensive resorts. The island was larger than expected and actually larger than Ko Pan Ngan it did not have the atmosphere we are looking for though we were assured that the south of the island was much better we decided not to hang around on the off chance having taken an instant dislike so we booked ourselves on the early morning ferry to Ko Jum.
Ko Jum lived up our hopes and expectations as we were transferred from the ferry in a Long Tail boat
(no port at Ko Jum) to our accommodation a small isolated set of bungalows towards the Ko Po end of the island called The Old Lamp. Owned by Chi (who became nicknamed Mr T - chai been Tea if you are wondering about the connection).
We huts are on a wooded steep slope and totally secluded so a perfect retreat. The Old Lamp has a lovely quaint restaurant on the sandy rocky beach and serves the most delicious homemade wheat bread. With little else to do we spent much of our time wandering along the beach and splashing around in the rock pools searching for Walking Shells (aka Hermit Crabs!) - Rani struggling with their real name referred to them as Walking Shells and the name stuck.
Further down towards the Ko Jum end of the island the beaches are less rocky and you can wander for an hour along a swathe of wide white sand and watch the beautiful sunsets and leave footprints in the sands.
For our last night on the island we moved to the Ko Jum end to stay in the Golden Pearls Beach Hut accommodation following a days boat trip run by
them to the nearby Islands of Ko Phi Phi and Bamboo Island.
The trip out on the little long tails was slightly bumpy but we arrived at Lay Phi Phi without loosing our stomach contents and the boats weaved its way amongst the large tourist speed boats touring around the island and stopping for everyone to get photographs of the beach where 'The Beach' movie was filmed. The backdrop of the beautiful blue seas was awesome red cliff faces.
Next we headed off to Ko Phi Phi for snorkeling. The corals here were amazing (much better than those I dived on Ko Tao) and we were surrounded by swarms (shoals) of little Sergeant Major fish all eager to get a nibble of the rice and water melon we offered them. We spend over an our watching the little delights and swimming over the corals that was home to many more other fish and marine creatures. During this time there was severe damage done to my rear in the terms of sunburn - note to self cover up when snorkeling and do not forget to sun cream everywhere!
Afterwards it was time to head to our final stop,
the beautiful white sand blue sea of Bamboo Island though we nearly did not manage to experience the delights because the National Park Staff patrolled the beach and demanded 200Bhat for just coming onto the sand so we stayed on the boat until they went away and than moved onto the sand for the short time we had on the island (about 1/2 hr) - would have been expensive otherwise.
Having watched some other people doing a photo style shoot in the waves Rani and I decided to have our own version splashing around in the crystal blue waters edge! Ok candidate for Baywatch I am not but was very funny and kept us amused (and maybe the other beach goers too!).
But all too soon it was time to head back to our island and for my last night on the island before heading back to Bangkok
Early the next morning I bit a temporary goodbye to Rani and boarded the longtail to leave the island and start the next 22 hours of travelling or to be precise 16 hours of travelling and 6 hours killing time at Krabi Pier until my bus in the
evening. Eventually got on board and set off passing through the unusual landscape of South Thailand which is covered with high white rock mounds like a dragons back raising out of the jungle areas.
Finally got back to Bangkok at 6am and even at time time the city is noisy, loud and brash compared to the little piece of paradise I had left behind.
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