Hidden in plain sight, the island of Ko Jum is bypassed by most visitors travelling to Krabi. But those travellers that do take time to wander away from Krabi’s better-known destinations, soon find themselves easing into the sabai sabai slow life on Ko Jum.
Krabi is a province blessed with incredible islands and gorgeous places to stay. While it may be true that Ko Jum isn’t as dramatically beautiful as nearby Phi Phi or has as many beaches to choose from as Ko Lanta, this little island still has plenty going for it. And remaining off the tourist radar is perhaps the biggest draw for those seeking tranquility on the Andaman Coast.
Local life on Ko Jum
Ko Jum is the epitome of a chilled-out island. An island which welcomes the tourists who do travel here, but an island which very much belongs to the local people. With a permanent population of less than 2,000, most of Ko Jum’s residents live in the three main villages spread across the island: Ban Ko Jum, Ban Ko Pu and Ban Ting Rai. Farming and fishing are the main way to earn a living with the rubber trees which dot the inland areas of the island providing another important source of income.
What to see and do on Ko Jum
The northern part of Ko Jum is known locally as ‘Ko Pu’ with the prominent 400-metre high peak of Khao Ko Pu emerging above the jungle. It’s possible to trek to the top, but you need to go with a local guide. The southern part of Ko Jum is mostly flat and it is here on the west coast where most of the tourist accommodation is located. One of the simple pleasures of Ko Jum is relaxing in a hammock and admiring the views over the Andaman Sea. And those views are extra special at the end of the day with spectacular sunset views looking towards the Phi Phi Islands in the near distance.
You can hire a bicycle to explore the southern part of Ko Jum or organise a longtail boat to go on fishing expeditions, island hopping adventures and snorkelling trips. Day trips to Ko Haa, Ko Rok, Phi Phi and Bamboo Island can all be arranged from Ko Jum. And over on Ko Jum’s east coast, you can explore the mangroves by kayak. To arrange any of these trips, ask at your accommodation when you arrive in Ko Jum.
Where to stay on Ko Jum
The majority of places to stay can be found on the south of Ko Jum on the west coast beaches. Accommodation on Ko Jum ranges from classic, no-frills Thai beach bungalows through to more luxurious resorts. For those seeking comfort and wanting to support responsible tourism, look no further than Koh Jum Beach Villas.
Koh Jum Beach Villas won the Responsible Thailand 2020 award in the eco-hotel category. The resort earned plaudits for their sustainability philosophy and their attention to detail in tackling a broad range of environmental issues. They have also won praise for the way they get guests involved in their initiatives. The accommodation was built using natural materials with each villa designed to make use of natural ventilation. Low-energy lighting is in place and a wind turbine helps to generate part of Koh Jum Beach Villas energy requirements.
Koh Jum Beach Villas have been at the forefront of a number of initiatives which have helped give back to the island. This includes employing local people and providing islanders with zero-interest loans to help them start businesses. Seagrass has been planted to protect the mangroves and the local ecosystem and the resort also works closely with the local chapter of Trash Hero to assist community clean-up projects. Koh Jum Beach Villas also has a policy of no single use plastics with drinking water purified in-house and placed into reusable glass bottles.
How to get to Ko Jum
Ko Jum is located approximately half-way between Krabi Town and Ko Lanta. During the high season (November-April) the daily ferry service between Krabi Town and to Ko Lanta stops close to Ko Jum where longtail boats come to meet disembarking passengers. When it’s time to leave Ko Jum for travel onwards to Ko Lanta or back to Krabi Town, longtail boats are also used to take passengers to meet the ferry. Outside of the high season, longtail boat services are available to and from the pier at Laem Kruat on the Krabi mainland.
Good to know
The majority of islanders are Muslim and as with anywhere in Thailand, be a responsible traveller and be respectful of local culture and you will be made welcome. Leave the swimwear for the beach if you’re heading inland or visiting any of the villages. On a practical note, bring enough Thai Baht with you because ATMs are scarce/non-existent on the island.
Map of Ko Jum
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