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Koh Jum; an unspoiled little island south of Krabi with nice beaches & simple bungalows

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Koh Jum, is an off-the-beaten-track, tropical island in Thailand’s Krabi province that’s still in the backpacker accommodation phase. It may be some years before mainstream tourism discovers, and begins to develop this small, laid-back island of rubber farmers and fishermen.

There is regular confusion, for the island is also called Koh Pu. The naming perplexity comes from the two villages on the island, Koh Jum village in the south and Koh Pu village in the north. The locals in each village have named the island to mimic their own village. However, since the boat jetty at Koh Jum has become the major entry point for the island, it’s this name that is now predominant.

About 15 beachfront accommodations are found on three idyllic coco beaches down the west coast. While most are budget beach cottages with very basic facilities and limits on electricity, there are a couple more comfortable accommodations on Andaman Beach, at Woodlands Lodge, run by an Englishman, and at the only stylish beach lodging on the island, Koh Jum Villas.

The island’s beaches all run down the ocean-facing west coast. The only development of any kind here are the small tourist bungalows, mostly hidden among the trees. Virtually no buildings can be seen along the beaches.

The island’s east coast faces channels lined with big mangrove forests. The half hour boat trip from the mainland runs down one of these channels. The long-tail boats leave for the island each time one has a full load of passengers and goods – that’s hourly or more in the mornings, with fewer in the afternoons.

Koh Jum has few roads, almost no cars and no public transport save the motorcycle taxis available at the arrival jetty. Only simple local restaurants are found outside the hotels. There is no nightlife or entertainment. This unspoiled tropical island is for those who want a pristine tropical beach and absolute quiet in a ‘natural’ environment. We qualify the ‘natural’ since most of the island’s original forest has been stripped and replaced with coconut palms along the shores and rubber trees everywhere else, turning the island into a vast plantation. See the beach photos here.

The island’s original inhabitants, Muslim fishermen, have mostly given up their boats and turned to rubber for the Andaman Sea's fish stocks are badly depleted. Apart from the villages of Koh Jum and Koh Pu, there’s a small community of rubber farming families in the middle of the island.

During the rainy season most of the accommodations close down, though each year a few more remain open. The two mentioned above on Andaman Beach open year-round.

by John Everingham