We left Bangkok at 9pm on Wednesday (27th October) on a 24 seater VIP bus (the seats fully reclined like being in first class on a plane) and there was a raging storm for the whole journey. At midnight we stopped at a cafe/mini-market and we sleepily left the bus and then got ushered in to a room where we each had a bowl of noodle soup. In the middle of the table there were some trays filled with food for us to add to our noodles including dried fish, curried eggs, meat with ginger and boiled veg. Only five people got off the bus for the snack and we wished we hadn’t bothered! After our sleepless (for me at least) 9 hour journey, we arrived at Ranong bus station and we were ushered on to motorbikes to be taken to the harbour. We arrived at the harbour just after 6am and we then had over 3 hours to wait until our boat to Ko Phayam. For the first two hours there was nothing to do but then a cafe opened opposite the harbour so we went for some breakfast which ended up being in the owners front room (the sausages were still frozen and the toilet left A LOT to be desired)! We arrived in Ko Phayam at 11.30am on Thursday (28th October) and we took motorbikes to our accomodation, Bamboo Bungalows.
Ko Phayam is a very small island with only three beaches. We’re staying on the South/West of the island which has a lovely long sleepy white sand beach (Aow Yai, complete with loads of crabs!) and a few bungalow resorts. The sea is warm and there are big waves which we have been surfing (Jimmy taught me to bodyboard the waves without a board). The town is at the pier and we visited it on Sunday (31st October). There are a couple of bars, a few shops and one travel agents and everthing is really chilled out. We’ve also visited a couple of other resorts for lunch (Sue & Keith: we’ve been to Aow Yai Bungalows & PP Land - Jeals & Patchara weren’t there!). There are no cars on the island, just very narrow roads and everyone travels by motorbike.
So we’ve been staying in a Bamboo Villa (10 metres from the beach) at Bamboo Bungalows. The bungalow is very nice but basic. We only have electricity from 6pm - 10pm as it’s eco-living everywhere on Phayam (i.e. electricity is generated from solar panels and small wind turbines). The sink, toilet and shower water is also recycled and it’s a lovely shade of brown (shower water is slighlty clearer)! We have both been ravaged by the islands mosquitos although they have a particular fondness of Jimmy! We have also found coackroaches in our outdoor ‘waterfall shower’ on two mornings which Jimmy has pushed (using leaves) down the drainage hole! A hornet also managed to get in to our room on Sunday night which we beat to death wth a magazine. Despite the bugs, we’ve had a great time on Ko Phayam and our resort has a really good vibe about it. The restaurant’s nice and there is a great chill-out area next to the beach under the coconut trees (complete with mats, low tables and Thai wedge cushions) where we’ve spent many hours drinking beers and playing cards (Jimmy’s currently winning 24-20. Thanks Tom, Teresa & Eva for the cards!).
We have been here six days now and the weather has been very mixed with only one full day of sun. It’s absolutely poured all day today so we’ve been reading our books at the restaurant. We’ve read in the news that there is currently a monsoon storm over Southern Thailand (further south than us) which has caused mass flooding- we’re getting the tail-end of it and it’s forecast for more storms over the next few days. We’re leaving Ko Phayam tomorrow (Wednesday 3rd November) and we were planning to go to Ko Phangan but we checked a 10 day weather forecast this morning and the storms are continuing in the South for the next 10 days. We’ve therefore bought bus tickets to travel back up to Bangkok tomorrow evening (on another 24 seater VIP bus through the night) and then we’ll catch a train to Chang Mai.
Loads of love everyone,
Neil & Jimmy xXxXx
P.s: We’ve attached a few photos from the internet of our beach and the island as our camera is still broken (& isn’t covered by our European Warranty!!!! :( )
P.p.s: We tried to send this last night but the storm brought down the resorts internet. We’re currently waiting for motorbike taxis to begin our journey up North. We’ll stay in Bangkok for 1 night before heading up to Chang Mai via the train if there are tickets available!