Koh Jum is perhaps one of the quietest, laid back islands in Thailand. If you just want to get away from things and relax when in Thailand, Koh Jum is the place to be!
Why we visited Koh Jum Island
Thailand is a country offering options for everyone – busy cities, national parks, hiking opportunities, party islands, chill islands, hippy bungalows, diving, snorkeling, and also quiet islands with few residents and a more “authentic” feel.This is what we were after, so following a few days in laid-back Koh Lanta we took a boat to an even smaller and quieter island called Koh Jum.
We were in Thailand for 3 weeks in December 2018, and spent about a week in this small tropical island, also known as Koh Pu – which is really the name of the north part of the island.
What is Koh Jum good for?
Koh Jum is definitely good for one thing: relaxing!
With not much going on, and with several sandy stretches of beach to choose from, Koh Jum is ideal if you want to take a few days off partying and just do nothing much apart from sitting on the beach, eating great food and meeting some very friendly locals.
I also found it a great place to do a little work on the blog.
When to go to Koh Jum Thailand
The best months to go to Koh Jum Thailand in terms of weather, are probably January and February. That said, the locals told us that on some years even those months were rainy. If you get rained in on Koh Jum, just sit back, relax and enjoy!
Koh Jum Weather
Koh Jum’s climate can be best described as tropical, with warm temperatures (generally over 30 degrees) all year round. There are pretty much two seasons: the dry season, between December and April, and the wet season, between May and November.
The temperature tends to progressively rise from December to April, which is the hottest month of the year all around Thailand. We visited Koh Jum in December, and had a couple of cloudy days with periods of rain. As with so much of the world, the Koh Jum weather patterns are changing from year to year!
How to get to Koh Jum
There are many places where you can get to Koh Jum from, including Phuket and Krabi airports. In high season (November – April), there are daily ferries and speedboats to Koh Jum from other islands like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Kradan, Koh Lipe, Koh Lanta and a few others.
Your hotel or a travel agent can arrange tickets for you, and getting your tickets a day in advance is perfectly fine.
Koh Jum ferry – Koh Lanta to Koh Jum
We arrived to Koh Jum on a 45-minute boat trip from Koh Lanta which costs us 400 baht per person including pick up from our bungalow in Koh Lanta. The ferry was average sized and most other passengers were also tourists.
Arriving on Koh Jum Island
Upon arrival to Koh Jum, we were transferred from the ferry to a long-tail boat and then taken out to the coast – it was good we were wearing flip-flops! The long-tail boat made several stops on the lovely Andaman beach. We were then picked up by tuk tuk to get to our accommodation.
Krabi to Koh Jum
After Koh Jum, we went to Krabi. We decided to skip the various tourist ferries and speedboats and take the more traditional longtail boat from Leam Kruat pier on Koh Jum. Our host Cheu took us to the pier in his tuk tuk.
The boat cost us 100 baht per person and took 45 minutes, and it’s the only one that runs all-year round. It is also used by local people to transport produce as well as motorbikes. Keep in mind there are no toilets!
To get to Krabi town, we took a Songthaew (shared taxi) for 100 baht, which dropped us off outside Vogue shopping mall in just under an hour. We happened to be the only passengers!
I've included this so you have the Krabi to Koh Jum information if you want to do the journey the other way around. Let's carry on with the travel guide to Koh Jum island, Thailand.
Koh Jum Map
Where to stay in Koh Jum
Our choice of place to stay in Koh Jum was Nadia Resort, right in the middle of the small village called Baan Ting Rai.
Nadia was the only budget accommodation that had air condition when we checked. The main drawback is that it isn’t on the beach – but it’s only a 10-minute walk, or a 5-minute bike ride away.
Our bungalow was basic but comfortable, and I particularly liked the hammock! Although Nadia Resort doesn't officially have a restaurant on site, we did have a very tasty BBQ meal there one night. Throughout our stay, our kind hosts also came over with lots of fresh fruits.
Getting around Koh Jum island
Needless to say, in my opinion cycling is the best way to get around Koh Jum! Mopeds are also a pretty good way to go, and cost just a couple of hundred baht a day.
If you've never ridden a moped before, don't worry it's pretty easy. And don't worry about licences – they probably don't even exist on the island!
Baan Ting Rai in Koh Jum
The closest village to us was Baan Ting Rai. In Baan Ting Rai you can find a few mini markets as well as three or four restaurants.
Speaking of which, we had the best food in Thailand in a small place called Halal Food. The owners were lovely and the food and fruit shakes really great! At 250 baht max for two people, this was our favourite place to eat in Thailand.
If you go there a few times, they will also let you sneak in the kitchen! It was impossible to tell what exactly went inside the dishes, but we can tell that they used a mix of spices, condiments, milk and coconut water.
They also use onions, garlic, ginger and a few other less known ingredients whose Thai names are hard to pronounce, let alone remember. As for chillies? Well yes… they use tons of it!
Things to do in Koh Jum, Thailand
As mentioned, Koh Jum is the perfect island for relaxing and not doing a great deal! As such, don't expect amazing archaeological sites, museums or a party scene.
Your time on the island is most likely going to be split between going to the different beaches. Here's our beach guide to Koh Jum.
Koh Jum Beach Guide
Thailand is famous for its beaches. According to some sources, Koh Jum has some of the best beaches in Thailand.
As we have not been all around Thailand, we are not sure if this is true, but we are pretty sure that Koh Jum has some of the quietest beaches in Thailand, with very few tourists around.
Some of the beaches in Koh Jum were very nice and sandy, while others had quite a few rocks, which made it difficult to swim, especially in low tide.
Coconut beach is a small beach on the northwest side of Koh Jum. It was warmly recommended by a German guy we met who has been going to Koh Jum for several years, so we thought we'd give it a go.
It’s a fairly secluded beach that you can reach through a dirt road – keep checking for a sign marked in both Thai and English.
We arrived there with a low tide and didn’t manage to swim because of the rocks. A new resort is currently under construction, but we don’t expect it to make much difference.
Koh Jum beaches on the west side
On the west of the island there is a long stretch of sand that forms into several distinct beaches. There are some sandy areas, and some not-so-sandy areas that aren’t ideal for swimming, especially when the tide is low. So if your plan is to barely move from your bungalow, make sure you pick the right side of the beach!
Lubo beach – Peace bar to Simple Life Bungalow
We were here with low tide, so it was impossible to swim because of the rocks. The beach itself was quite wide and very pleasant to walk on. Keep an eye for trees growing on the rocks!
You can get to this beach through various dirt roads, just make sure it hasn’t rained recently as it will be very muddy. However, don’t expect to swim, let alone snorkel.
Ao Ting Rai – Oonlee bungalows and Koh Jum resort Krabi to Magic Bar
We tried to get here on foot, walking from Baan Ting Rai. If you turn left at Sea Pearl restaurant, you will find a paved road that eventually turns into a dirt road.
As it had rained a lot the previous day, there were some very muddy patches, so unfortunately we didn’t manage to walk all the way to Oonlee bungalows.
The Magic Bar which is marked on Google Maps was closed. The beach below was nice, sandy and really quiet – though you can hear the monkeys from the forest behind you.
Tip – If you are looking for a nice bar right in the middle of the jungle, check out Captain Bar!
Ao Si / Loma beach
This section from Aosi Bungalow to Jungle Hill bungalows was our favourite beach on Koh Jum, and the main reason we would return here. Only a short walk from Baan Ting Rai, you can find Loma beach.
This lovely sandy beach is good for swimming, really quiet, and it offers a few very affordable options for accommodation as well as a couple of restaurants and bars.
Golden Pearl to Andaman Beach
The area south of Rock bar is where the longtail boat drops passengers off. Although that side of the beach is also nice and sandy, we found the vibe was rather spoilt by some of the more upmarket bungalows, like the Golden Pearl Beach resort or the Koh Jum beach villas.
For a low-key island like Koh Jum, we thought these resorts were rather too much, but other people seemed to like them.
Our favourite spot of this part of the beach was after the dirt road following from “Friendly” restaurant and close to Andaman beach resort. However, with the low tide it became difficult to swim.
Tip: don’t go swimming when the tide starts going low, as you might be stuck in the sea!
South Andaman Beach – Joy Bungalows to Freedom Huts
We didn’t go swimming here, but the beach was really quite nice. There were also some monkeys jumping around on the dirt road but they left when they saw us approaching on the scooter. Still, our vote goes to Loma beach!
Sand Bubbler Crabs
One thing that we absolutely loved about the beaches in Koh Jum, were the little crabs. On every single beach, there are hundreds of tiny crabs that seem to build entire “beach cities” out of sand.
They feed on organic matter that exists in the sand, make tiny balls with sand they have already used, and line them up in beautiful constructions, which are washed away with the next high tide.
Koh Jum Snorkeling
When it comes to snorkeling in Koh Jum – in our experience, it was rather disappointing. There were a few small colourful fish and that was it – no corals or other amazing creatures. Plus, the low tide made it difficult to swim on some of the beaches.
At the time we visited, visibility wasn’t great either. So if you want to dive in Koh Jum, perhaps your best option is to take a tour with Koh Jum Divers. We didn't try this, so we have no opinion.
Things to do in Koh Jum Thailand
So what else is there to do on Koh Jum?
Nothing much really, though there are a few bars. Remember that many of the locals are Muslim and therefore drinking is not necessarily encouraged, though it is possible to find alcohol almost everywhere.
As we rode around on the last day, we also spotted a small Muay Thai stadium. I guess they have fights from time to time, but we didn't see anything happening during our time on the island.
We also recommend renting a bicycle or scooter and going around the island. Apart from Baan Ting Rai, there are two other villages possibly worth passing by.
The one on the north-east side, called Baan Koh Pu, is the more authentic one. The one on the south-east side, called Baan Koh Jum, has a few more shops and even some clothes and snorkels, if you need them.
Koh Jum Accommodation Guide
Accommodation on Koh Jum ranges from pretty basic to slightly more upmarket. All things considered, there are some high-end bungalows / luxury villas on the beach in Koh Jum. Here is a selection of some places to stay in Koh Jum.
Koh Jum Resort
Koh Jum Resort is on an almost private beach on Koh Jum, offering great sunset views over the Phi Phi islands. It also has a restaurant, cocktail bar and outdoor swimming pool. Some of the villas look pretty luxurious by any standard!
Nadia Resort Koh Jum
This is where we stayed at, as it was the only air-conditioned budget option, and we can guarantee that it works! The owner, Cheu, has made pretty much everything from scratch, including the amazing wooden couches.
Make sure you take a walk around the lovely garden. One of the highlights of our visit was the fish dinner here… Delicious!
Andaman Beach Resort Koh Jum
Located on a private area of Andaman beach, Andaman Beach resort has its own restaurant and also offers massages, if you are tired from relaxing on the beach all day.
Season Bungalow Koh Jum and Koh Jum Lodge
Season Bungalow and Koh Jum Lodge are two of the most easily accessible bungalows on Koh Jum, both offering a restaurant and a bar. They are walking distance from Baan Ting Rai village, but you can also rent bicycles or scooters to go around the island. The beach in front is sandy and shallow, which makes it ideal for swimming.
Sun Smile beach Koh Jum and Loma Sea Views
If we came back to Koh Jum, we would probably stay on either Sun Smile beach or Loma Sea Views bungalows, as this was our favourite beach on Koh Jum. They have no air condition – but who needs it when the beach is just right in front of you?
Jungle Hill Bungalows seemed to be a little more basic, but looked great as well!
There are a couple of places to eat and have a drink right on Loma beach, but you can always walk to Baan Ting Rai. Tip – if it rains a lot, the path to the village will probably get muddy, and you might be stuck on this lovely beach!