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Published: February 11th 2020
Tuesday 11th February 2020
Our last few days here have been as idyllic as the first. Yesterday morning we found our way to the main village on the island, called Thakhai. It is a bit on the scruffy side but served our purpose. We needed to find an ATM to get more cash before moving on and buy more mosquito coils. We probably have enough cash anyway, however, we don’t know if we can get any on Koh Jum and/or use Visa or Mastercard. So far, since arriving in Thailand, we have had to use cash for almost everything. So, in Thakhai we got cash and the coils and an excellent meal cheaper than here on Pasai Beach. The chilli stir-fried prawns and spicy stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts were excellent and cost just 290 Baht (about £7.20 or €8.45) including rice and iced coffee (it was a Muslim restaurant so no alcohol). The food was beautifully presented with fresh flowers and basil leaves. Alcohol is the only expensive thing in Thailand, much more expensive than at home, even the beer, more like UK prices. Food is comparable to Spain, but accommodation is much cheaper.
Due to the lack
of tourists (thousands have cancelled bookings, the Thai travel industry is really suffering) many of the cheap street food stalls have shut up shop, which is a great pity. This should be high season. The Coronavirus threat has devastated Thailand’s economy already and has done so
through unnecessary panic. The only reason that Thailand had the highest number of victims outside of China, initially,
was because they had the highest number of Chinese tourists on holiday. 25,000 came to celebrate the Chinese New Year; Thailand is the most popular holiday destination for Chinese people. Therefore, comparatively, Thailand has had a lower percentage of cases from visiting tourists than most other countries, including Europe.
Today brought a change in the weather. Most of the day has been hot and sunny but we have also had cloudy periods and a few heavy but wonderfully refreshing showers in between. After breakfast, we decided some walking was in order, despite the heat, after so much lazy chilling, so we set off north on the coast road, towards Thakhao, via Klong Jark Beach. It was only a five-kilometre walk, but one part was up and over quite a steep hill. When we got half
way up, the heavens opened and we got drenched. Our backpacks, with cameras etc. stayed dry because we have waterproof covers for them. When we got to Thakhao we found a nice restaurant for lunch by the pier. The waitress said “You walked
from Pasai Beach! Over the mountain!” Well, it isn’t a mountain at all, but we both felt quite proud that she was so impressed! The scenery was superb and the lunch was excellent, as usual. We had intended to walk back, but the afternoon sun was very hot, so we chickened out and got a taxi (truck).
It is now evening and we need to pack, ready to leave at 8.00 a.m. to get the boat to Koh Jum/Pu. The southern part of the island we are heading for is called Koh Jum, whereas the northern part is called Koh Pu. Quite strange. Some locals refer to it as Koh Jum only, or Koh Jum Pu. We have just booked three nights online, on the north western tip of the island (Koh Pu). Should be good to see the sunsets. The cost is just 430 Baht a night, by far the lowest price we have yet
paid (£10.65 or €12.53). If it is as good as it looks online it will probably be our “Bargain of the Month”. We shall see!
The ferries don’t go to Koh Jum/Pu, so to get to Koh Pu on a ferry, one has to transfer to a long-tailed boat in open-water, which is a bit difficult with backpacks (we have done so before). However, we think
that because we are going by speed boat, we shall be able to disembark at a small pier. Hope so!
So, we are off tomorrow and hoping that our days to come on this trip are as rewarding as the days spent so far in this beautiful part of Thailand, on these lush tropical islands in the Andaman Sea. It is very special here!
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