Sunday, January 17, 2010

Readers' Trip Reports - Ko Jum

- JULIE'S VISIT DEC 2012 starting about 35% down page
- CROCODRILO'S REPORT FROM JAN 2010 starting 65% down page

Beachblogger's Ko Jum Trip Report - visited Dec2014

I had a one-day gap in my itinerary after I found Ko Rok's camping area closed. I was over Ko Lanta having spent most of the previous 3 weeks at various locations there, so I went to Saladan and jumped on a ferry for Ko Jum.  One day and one night may seem a ridiculously short trip but the ferry takes less than an hour and I was keen to see what changes had occurred in the 2 years since my last visit - Jum is one of the most read-about places on this blog which suggests a fair few of you guys are wanting the latest information.

The nicest beach/water conditions on Jum are found on the southern third of 3600m long Golden Pearl/Andaman beach, so I got off the ferry into New Bungalow's waiting long-tail boat - New's location seen at top right of this oblique Google Earth image, looking from the north end of of Golden Pearl/Andaman roughly south.

New is one of the 2 original bungalow joints on Jum and is still budget oriented. It's bungalows are ranged inland away from the beachfront restaurant (food okay - prices proper budget level unlike all similar places on Lanta which were 20-50% higher. But not the bargain of Ko Bu Bu resort) in a rustic garden setting.

New Bungalolws was known for its tree houses and still has 2 at the beachfront. 500baht in what was still shoulder season but predictably taken. I think the bathrooms are elsewhere.

My 400b bungalow was up the back of the resort and was typical of old-style budget chalets - just enough room for 2 people and their gear, lumpy double mattress (king or queen are more common) on a platform, fairly good fitted net, no clothes storage orbottled water. The toilet was western not the old-style squat job and the area quiet at night except for yapping dogs. The bungalow was nearing the point where a major refurbishment was needed. If you click-expand you may be able to see the crack and sag in the timber bearer holding the balcony up. Several other areas were in need of tlc. Given the condition and time of year I thought the place a bit overpriced.

WARNING - overall I thought this resort a reasonable place to stay. But I RECOMMEND YOU DON'T STAY AT NEW BUNGALOWS IF YOU DON'T ENJOY BEING HARASSED BY THE RESORT'S DOGS and when you complain you are told by the extremely unpleasant lady running the joint THAT IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT.
Thai dogs are raised to vigorously defend their owners' property against outsiders. Incredibly a small proportion of resorts have not trained this out of their own dogs which proceed to give guests a hard time. I suggest we change owners' thinking by avoiding such places.

I had the best part of the day left after "settling in" to New and knowing beforehand the tide was low, left to walk the entire east coast in order to see what had changed in the 24 months gap since my last visit.....

.....Most of the 3600m long Andaman/Golden Pearl beach seemed much the same. There may have been one or two new or refurbished places but this long beach has sufficient spacing between resorts that an addition will not exactly stand out.

....At the far southern end of the beach, Freedom Bar seems to have kept expanding. It now has quite a big range of not-too-expensive looking bungalows nearby and the bar itself scrubs up pretty well at night. Looks like a good option for budget travelers wanting to stay in this nicest beach area. I don't think guests will be kept awake by bar noise every night - they threw me out at 2045 when I was using the wifi after a meal saying they wanted to close - I was the only customer. appears recent wet season storm wave attack has not been kind on the curve of Golden Pearl Beach about 750m from the northern end. Plenty of sand in this low tide shot but you can see the wet sand goes right up to the makeshift storm wall meaning no sand at full tide. As I say on the Jum main page: sad because there are some nice flashpacker/lower-midrange resorts in this area, but no worries, simply walk 300m south for high tide dry sand.

....a fair bit further north on compact Ting Ray beach, the 4th resort Old Lamp which was closed in Dec 2012 was open - well at least the near shore restaurant was.
I say "near shore" rather than "near beach" because the north end of Ting Ray has had no new sand deposited and is still a mass of rocks.

...finally I called into my old digs Luboa Hut on the northern most Luboa beach. I was a bit disappointed to find restaurant prices 20-50%  or more above genuine island budget bungalow levels. A small Chang CAN was 70baht (40-50 is more like it). Nevertheless there was a good crowd eating - looks like some dude has been giving this place outdated positive publicity.

That evening: sweet sunset over Ko Phi Phi Ley.

1230 next day - back on the ferry to Saladan. Might seen a bit crazy going back to Lanta, but I already had a booking for the rather nice Sincere Guesthouse only 100m from the pier.


Julie's Ko Jum Trip Report - visited December 2012

On the long tail boat after arriving at Ko Jum on the Ko Lanta to Krabi ferry. Expert traveller Beach Blogger managed to put us on the Ting Rai Bay Resort long tail even though our Ko Jum Resort's boat was also waiting. Which means a 100 metre walk along the beach before negotiating the stairs to reception. Memo to self: must pack lighter.

This cute guy greeted us on our way up to reception.

The morning ferry from Ko Jum arrives off Ting Rai Bay quite early so we had to wait for our room to be made up. This was no problem, friendly boss-lady Anni invited us to raid the breakfast buffet which was still running in the sea view restaurant. 

Which we followed with a swim in the adjacent pool, towel provided.

The wait was worth it - Anni upgraded us from a Bamboo Cottage to this Teakwood House.

The interior of our bungalow. This was very nice accommodation; spacious with room for an extra single bed if needed, comfy queen bed and pillows (by far the best of 6 Andaman resorts this holiday), quiet fan (no aircon but didn’t need it), tv, safe, ‘frig, good storage, big outside deck with tree filtered beach and ocean views. The stone floor bathroom had good hot water and a big bathtub, and generous toiletries. Free wi-fi was available in the room. The only deficiency for me was the lack of an electric jug, but Beach Blogger proved adept at hopping down to the kitchen on wake-up for some boiling water on the tea bags. I like a multi-skilled man: he's also a whizz on the lawnmower and at putting out the trash cans.

View from our deck. The Bamboo Cottages were front row - better sea views but less shade.

In addition to the pool, Ko Jum Resort has another advantage over its otherwise similar neighbours: the best section of beach. Ting Rai beach (here in early morning shadow) is a 350m long strip with quite a few rock outcrops. But the southern section in front of Ko Jum Resort is relatively clear of these both on the sand and in the water. There is more rock at Ting Rai Bay Resort in the central beach and the section in front of the otherwise attractive On Lee resort in the far north of the bay is mostly rock (and covered with water at high tide).  

Towards the north end of the beach, rocks dominate. If you click the image to expand it you will better see On Lee's long tail and sun-bathing platform at the far end. There was virtually no sand up there. We walked to On Lee for a meal near high tide and found it difficult - the complete area in the background was under water.

Beach Blogger as usual spent his days charging around the island to get himself up to date. I always get the offer to accompany him. If you could see him after one of his 5 hour jaunts, covered in sweat, shoes caked in mud, you would better appreciate why I would rather hang around the pool, get a deck chair under the trees at the back of the beach and sip tea in that wonderful sea view restaurant. 

Time to go. The Krabi to Ko Lanta ferry is not yet in sight but we are moving out to mid bay to wait its arrival.


  Cocodrilo's Ko Jum Trip Report - visited January 2010

I was hellbent on climbing Mt Pu. I asked my guesthouse owner about it and he said you definitely need a guide as there are no paths, and parts of the mountain are sheer cliffs. Due to the rocky terrain and steep areas, it would be impossible to do in flip-flops, which was all I had so I borrowed a pair of sneakers from the son of the guesthosue owner! Guide charged 1000b which included water and lunch. I am in pretty darn good shape so I ended up exhausting the guide, even though he was leading me at a pretty rapid pace. It's only 450m or so high, and we did it in under 2 hours. Started in the morning so the views were a bit hazy. The beach in shot is North Beach (Luboa).

Climbing Mt Pu - I met some people who tried it without a guide but couldnt get near the top as they had no idea how to get there, thus couldn't see the good viewpoints. Took them a lot longer as well as they were going all over the place, trying to figure out the route.

Mount Pu from Golden Pearl Beach

Gazebo at my On Lee Bungalows - Ting Rai Beach

Bungalow interior - On Lee

Ting Rai Beach - central Ko Jum

Magic Beach - deserted beach a few minutes walk south of Ting Rai by sand away from high tide - by road at all times. Phi Phi in background.

Freedom Bar towards the south end of the island - on the first day, I managed to walk most of the island and see all the beaches (and bars!)

The far southern end of the island and Andaman Beach on Jum's east coast

Leaving Jum - longtails meeting the Lanta-Krabi ferry. 250 baht.

Coco has more Jum shots and a huge range of other Andaman pix here.
Back to the main Jum page.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you nice article.
    your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.