If you are looking for chilled out excitement for your next vacation, then a relaxed Thai adventure holiday on Koh Phayam may be the answer. It’s an idyllic and unspoilt island with great diving, surfing, hiking and other adventures. Read this Phayam Lodge review to found out more.
Adventure holiday on Koh Phayam: Getting there
The sun was just rising when I caught the ferry down the Andaman coast from Ranong to Koh Phayam. The world was tinted in shades of gold as mist rolled off the mainland hills and sea eagles wheeled overhead. It’s fair to say this was the perfect start to my Thai adventure holiday on Koh Phayam.
From the moment of arrival at the Koh Phayam pier head, the chilled out atmosphere had me feeling relaxed. This idyllic little island has no cars, so the 5 km journey to my accommodation at Phayam Lodge continued via moped taxi.
An enjoyable jaunt across the island provided a glimpse of island life. The road gently winds its way out of the main village, through farm land, alongside jungle and past clusters of buildings. A highlight of the journey was passing the rubber tree plantations where the white liquid rubber can be seen dripping into half coconut cups.
Laid back luxury: Phayam Lodge review
Koh Phayam remains beautifully undeveloped and most holiday accommodation on the island is basic. Phayam Lodge offers laid back luxury, with the rare comforts of hot water showers, air conditioning and 24 hour electricity.
From 2900 Baht (approx £65/$80) per night, you can enjoy a bungalow with private porch overlooking the gardens and sea. Each bungalow is furnished with teak, has a fully tiled bathroom and the convenience of a fridge and safe.
The facilities and grounds are finished to a high standard and very well maintained. There’s a covered seating area, open veranda and tables on the beach. All of these dining and drinking areas are laid out to offer the feeling of intimacy and to provide lovely views.
The location, service and delicious food make it a delightful dining experience. I can personally recommend the croque monsieur and Thai basil chicken.
During this Phayam Lodge review – at the end of November 2016 – the construction of a new beach bar was underway. It was due to be completed soon, so I expect by now guests are enjoying it.
Location for relaxed Thai adventure holiday
Phayam Lodge holds a prime position in the centre of the 3 km white sandy beach of Ao Yai Bay. This affords you magnificent panoramic views from the beach side sun loungers. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxed Thai adventure holiday on Koh Phayam.
Every evening the wide arms of the bay greet the setting sun creating beautiful sunsets. This wonderfully romantic setting would be perfect to share with your special someone.
A leisurely 10 minute walk from the Lodge brings you to a small village. The village offers modest shopping, Thai massage, a tourist office and numerous quirky dining and drinking venues.
Everywhere you go you are greeted by an infectious friendliness. I found myself chatting to people from all over the world, heard amazing stories, and found out about some of the brilliant places I would visit on the island.
Phayam Lodge review: Scuba diving on Koh Phayam
This Phayam Lodge review would not be complete without talking about their PADI affiliated dive school. A stroll along the beach in either direction brings you to sheltered rocky outcrops that are ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving.
The Phayam Divers school offers a full range of PADI courses with experienced instructors. The PADI Open Water qualification costs just 6900 Baht (approx £160/$195). This was too good a bargain to turn down, so I did my Open Water qualification in the calm waters at the end of Ao Yai Bay.
From my first dive I was learning in the sea rather than in a pool, experiencing the natural beauty of the reef and the various fish and critters that inhabit it. If you don’t fancy the full course trial dives start from 1500 Baht (approx £35/$40).
Phayam Divers also offer a number of liveaboard, day dive and snorkelling trips to nearby locations. These include, trips to the world renowned Koh Surin National Marine Park and Richelieu Rock. Day snorkeling and scuba trips start from 3900 Baht (approx £90/$110).
Phayam Lodge review: Surfing on Koh Phayam
The central section of the bay is exposed to the southwest swell, so year round there is surfing suitable for beginners and intermediates with waves reaching up to 6 foot. There are both left and right breaks over sand, so ideal for learning and improving.
Phayam Lodge runs Phayam Surfers who offers surf lessons. Two hours of tuition plus all the gear for a day costs 1500 Baht (approx £35/$40). You can also rent surf and SUP gear by the hour, or day, with good deals for your entire stay.
During my visit I saw a lot of people surfing. I had planned to have a go myself but the Open Water dive qualification took up more time than I expected. Plus there was an entire island to explore.
Thai Adventure holiday on Koh Phayam
During my stay I hired a moped for 150 Baht (approx £3/$4) per day. Exploring the island on it was exciting and great fun, especially riding through forests on dirt and sand tracks.
Koh Phayam has a plethora of hiking trails that take you to secluded coves and hill top view points. Measuring just 10 km by 5 km, Koh Phayam can be walked across in an hour and end to end takes about two hours.
There is also a range of wildlife to watch. I particularly likes watching the sea eagles fish, but it was also good to see hornbills. A visit to the aptly named ‘Monkey Beach’, to see the crab-eating macaques, is a must during your relaxed Thai Adventure holiday on Koh Phayam.
Phayam Lodge review: Conclusion
I found Phayam Lodge to be the ideal base for a relaxed Thai adventure holiday on Koh Phayam. At the end of my stay I was sad to say goodbye to the friendly staff who had made my stay so comfortable and memorable.
Koh Phayam is still an undeveloped and relatively undiscovered island, of which there are not many left in Thailand. So if you are looking for relaxation and adventure to the Thailand of twenty years ago, Koh Phayam may be the answer.
To complete my Phayam Lodge review, there was a brief deluge of rain on the return ferry journey that resulted in the brightest double rainbow I have ever seen. A beautiful end to the perfect relaxed Thai adventure holiday on Koh Phayam.
We hope you found this Phayam Lodge review helpful. If you would like to book a relaxed Thai adventure holiday on Koh Phayam then check out their website: www.phayamlodge.com