Koh Jum Island

By Jeffery Dietrich Jun 3, 2014
Koh Jum Island is still the quintessential destination in Krabi province if you are looking for authentic Thai village life and development that is still a small footprint on this tranquil island. Geography brought electricity to Koh Jum late in 2009 as the island was in the direct path of the new underwater electric cable connecting Koh Phi Phi from the mainland. So now that Koh Jum is plugged in, has it lost its reputable unplugged character that has attracted intrepid travelers over the past couple of decades?

We are pleased to report that Koh Jum is as tranquil and laid back as it always has been. In fact, what is noticeable are the lack of noisy generators at most of the resorts. Folks come to Koh Jum to unplug; the island’s nature and culture still dominates the minimal tourist infrastructure. The existing resorts on Koh Jum all have their own family run character ranging from the back packers paradise Bo Deng run by two laughing souls, Dila and Rosa, all the way up to the stunningly beautiful Koh Jum Beach Villas, an eco villa resort with exquisite villas tucked in an incredible botanical garden.

Koh Pu Mountain is the dominant geological feature on the island at over 400 meters. A great hike for the adventurous and a vital refuge of native habitat still harbouring Asian Pied Hornbills and Burmese Pythons. The three villages, Koh Pu, Ting Rai and Koh Jum are situated on the back side of the island amongst the mangroves. Resorts are located facing the open Andaman Sea. This division allows the villages to remain authentic without any significant tourist infrastructure while the resorts are all located on the beaches. Access to the island is by longtail taxi boats located on the mainland port town of Laem Kruat. There is now a songthaew you can take direct from Krabi Town to Laem Kruat. During the high season most visitors come to Koh Jum using the Krabi – Koh Lanta Ferry that stops at two locations on Koh Jum out at sea where long tail boats come out to meet passengers to take them ashore. The lack of any deep ports on the island keep the ferry boats out at sea and also prevent large masses of tourists from ever overcrowding the island. Getting here is an adventure and this ends up defining the interesting community of resorts and visitors that have made this island their home and the place they return to year after year.

Getting to Koh Jum

Koh Jum Island is still the quintessential destination in Krabi province if you are looking for authentic Thai village life and development that is still a small footprint on this tranquil island. Geography brought electricity to Koh Jum late in 2009 as the island was in the direct path of the new underwater electric cable connecting Koh Phi Phi from the mainland. So now that Koh Jum is plugged in, has it lost its reputable unplugged character that has attracted intrepid travelers over the past couple of decades?

We are pleased to report that Koh Jum is as tranquil and laid back as it always has been. In fact, what is noticeable are the lack of noisy generators at most of the resorts. Folks come to Koh Jum to unplug; the island’s nature and culture still dominates the minimal tourist infrastructure. The existing resorts on Koh Jum all have their own family run character ranging from the back packers paradise Bo Deng run by two laughing souls, Dila and Rosa, all the way up to the stunningly beautiful Koh Jum Beach Villas, an eco villa resort with exquisite villas tucked in an incredible botanical garden.

Koh Pu Mountain is the dominant geological feature on the island at over 400 meters. A great hike for the adventurous and a vital refuge of native habitat still harbouring Asian Pied Hornbills and Burmese Pythons. The three villages, Koh Pu, Ting Rai and Koh Jum are situated on the back side of the island amongst the mangroves. Resorts are located facing the open Andaman Sea. This division allows the villages to remain authentic without any significant tourist infrastructure while the resorts are all located on the beaches. Access to the island is by longtail taxi boats located on the mainland port town of Laem Kruat. There is now a songthaew you can take direct from Krabi Town to Laem Kruat. During the high season most visitors come to Koh Jum using the Krabi – Koh Lanta Ferry that stops at two locations on Koh Jum out at sea where long tail boats come out to meet passengers to take them ashore. The lack of any deep ports on the island keep the ferry boats out at sea and also prevent large masses of tourists from ever overcrowding the island. Getting here is an adventure and this ends up defining the interesting community of resorts and visitors that have made this island their home and the place they return to year after year.

Koh Jum, also confusingly called by it’s other name of Koh Pu, is actually named after the 420 meter high mountain that dominates the horizon of the north part of the island. Located midway between Krabi and Koh Lanta Yai, 25 km from Krabi Town, Koh Jum is predominantly a large Muslim populated sub-district of Krabi and is home to 1,500 inhabitants that live in three tiny fishing villages.

The locals of these villages engage mostly in fishing, rubber cultivation and the local craft of cloth weaving as cottage industries. While the north is mountainous, the south comprises dense jungle, cashew nut trees, rubber plantations, casuarinas and nipa-palms.

The string of beaches on the west coast has several simple, wooden bungalow resorts and a community of private beach homes sitting among the palms, each offering sunset views over the silhouettes of the Koh Phi Phi archipelago.
Koh Jum is ideal both for young travelers who want to rest their bones after some hard backpacking and for families with kids, looking for a worry free holiday in a place where children can run and swim in complete safety. Nature is at your feet there, and if it’s serenity you’re after, you can’t go wrong. Electricity just arrived in Koh Jum only relatively recently and some smaller resorts are still powered by generator. Progress is imminent and already in motion as more resorts and restaurants look set to open up soon.

Getting There

There is a ferry terminal about 35 - 40km south of Krabi town, in a place called Laem Kruat, that can take you to the islands, the last one departs at around 3pm. It costs around 50 Baht per person. Another option is to take a ferry directly from Krabi or Koh Lanta. This might be an easier and more reliable option for most people. A new ferry service has started from/to Koh Phi Phi Islands. A short stop into your nearest travel agent will furnish you with the latest times and tickets for your journey. Contact the resort you wish to stay at for assistance with transportation.

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