Have you ever dreamed about escaping the crowds and finding a completely secluded and idyllic island getaway? Then you may be thinking about visiting Koh Jum, Thailand.
This quaint, 16 square kilometer island in Southern Thailand sits between Krabi and Koh Lanta, and consists of only three villages and has just 35 hotels.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet away from the tourists crowds, you’ll definitely find it here.
But while many people think Koh Jum might be the perfect island to relax on a beach and enjoy natures ambiance, we urge you to take a beat, because from our experience, that’s not what Koh Jum is all about.
In this guide, we share what it’s really like visiting Koh Jum, answer some frequently asked questions to help travelers navigate their visit, and share what to do here.
What Is Koh Jum Thailand Known For?
Koh Jum, also known as Koh Pu (which is the name of the hill on the island), is known for being somewhat of a hidden gem on the western coast of Thailand.
This untouched island is a paradise for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure and is known for its long, deserted beaches, slow-paced lifestyle, population of macaque monkeys, and dense rubber tree forests.
Koh Jum has a relaxed pace, and is often visited as a serene escape from the bustling tourist destinations nearby.
However, though the beaches are untouched and left to natures demise, they are rocky during low tide which makes swimming difficult, and often have plastic waste washed up from the Andaman Sea.
Koh Jum is not an idyllic beach getaway, but more a tranquil island to relax on, detox from the internet, and catch up on writing your memoirs.
Things to Do in Koh Jum
If you’re thinking Koh Jum sound like the perfect escape for you, then here are some things you can do on the island…
1. Visit the Beaches
The main attraction on Koh Jum is its beaches, which are mostly on the West side of the island, with one on the Northern side of the island.
The East side of the island is all mangroves and doesn’t have any beaches to visit.
We didn’t find Koh Jum’s beaches to be particularly beautiful, however they were quiet and we were the only ones there every time we visited.
Some of the more beautiful beaches are Magic Beach and Golden Pearl Beach, also known as Long Beach. Both are located on the Western shores of the island. These beaches are reasonably clean and have lovely views overlooking the Andaman Sea and Phi Phi Islands.
To the north, a popular beach to visit is Coconut Beach, which is so named because of the coconut trees that sit behind the beach. However, when we visited, there were some aggressive dogs blocking the road who were not happy about visitors coming to this beach.
Then there is Sunset Beach and Secret Beach, which are located on the Northwest side of the island (you have to drive all around the island to get to them). They are nice spots for a sunset but are pretty rocky and covered in debris throughout the day.
Koh Jum’s beaches are nice, but nowhere near as nice as the beaches on Koh Lanta or the beaches on Koh Phangan. They are all pretty rocky and not great for swimming during low tide, but they do have plenty of shade from the trees which would be ok to sit under and read a book.
2. Check Out Koh Pu
You may hear some people refer to Koh Jum as Koh Pu, which is because of the “mountain” that sits on the northern side of the island.
This mountain, which is more like a hill to be honest, is supposedly possible to hike but we didn’t see a passable hiking trail.
However, since it’s the only hill on the island, it’s worth driving up to the north and pulling over to the side of the road to admire it. The density of the jungle on it is quite impressive.
3. Admire the Stilt Houses in the Villages
There are three villages on Koh Jum, each with their own unique charm.
Ban Ko Jum s the biggest village on the south side of the island and is well known for its stilt houses that sit over the water. This village has the largest density of buildings, and even has a school and Buddhist Monastery.
Ban Ting Rai is located in the center of the island and is where you’ll find a high density of restaurants and resorts.
Ban Ko Pu is to the northeast, and like Ban Ko Jum, it also has stilt houses and a small community vibe.
4. Have a Drink with a View
There are a few restaurants and cafes on the island that have lovely sea views. We enjoyed sitting at Rock View Terrace and sipping a Thai Milk Tea under the shadey trees while admiring the quiet views of the bay.
Another great bar with a view is Rock Bar, which is especially nice at sunset. Just sit back, sip cocktails, and enjoy the peaceful sounds of the waves lapping against the shore.
5. Scooter Around the Island
Honestly the most fun we had on the island was just riding my scooter around and taking in the views.
Every time we passed through a village, small children would wave and shout “hello” at us. The rubber tree forests provided the road with some shade, and the whole island smells of jungle.
Much of the time the road will be empty of people, so you can just ride around, feel the cool breeze on your face and enjoy the thrill of the ride.
How to Get To Koh Jum
Koh Jum is located roughly 25 kilometers south of Krabi Town, between Ao Nang and Koh Lanta on the Andaman Sea.
You can get a boat to Koh Jum from Krabi, Ao Nang, Koh Lanta, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Muk, Koh Libong, Koh Lipe, Koh Yao Yai and Koh Sukon.
Even though it’s small and remote, it’s quite accessible, and you can find all boats and timetables to Koh Jum via 12Go.asia.
How to Get To Koh Jum from Bangkok
To get to Koh Jum from Bangkok, you will need to first fly to Krabi International Airport, and then book a shuttle bus to the pier. You will find all taxis and shuttle services outside Exit 15 at the Arrivals Hall, otherwise you can book your shuttle in advance using 12Go.Asia.
The shuttle includes the van to the pier and the cost of the boat to Koh Jum, however you will need to get a taxi from the pier in Koh Jum to your resort.
There is a taxi that picks up passengers every day and it costs 100 baht per person to any resort on the island. However, do check with your resort first as they may have a shuttle service included with your booking.
How to Get To Koh Jum from Krabi
From Krabi Town, the easiest way to get to Koh Jum is to get the boat that departs from Chaofar Pier. There is one boat that departs each day at 10.45am and is operated by Tigerline Cruises.
There are also two speedboats per day that depart from East Railay Floating Pier each day at 8.15am and 10.15am.
There are three piers on Koh Jum, but the main ones are Mu Tu Pier and Ban Koh Jum Pier.
How to Get From Koh Jum to Krabi
When it’s time to say goodbye to Koh Jum, you will need to catch a ferry to your next destination. There are three piers on the island, each one going to different locations.
Most boats depart from Koh Jum Pier and Mu Tu Pier, but for Krabi, it’s best to get the boat from Mu Tu since it’s cheaper to get to from the resorts by taxi and it’s the most commonly used pier. This is because it’s the only pier that allows vehicle crossing.
To get to Krabi, you should take the long tail boat from Mu Tu Pier, which departs every day at 6.30am, 7.20am, 8.00am, 8.30am, 10.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.00pm.
The boat takes 30 minutes and drops you off at Laem Kruat Pier. The price is 140 baht for tourists. From here you can catch a bus to Krabi Town or Krabi Airport.
Note that the last bus at Laem Kruat Pier leaves for Krabi at 1.30pm each day, so you will need to catch the 10.30am boat or earlier to get the public bus.
You can also take a boat from Ko Pu Pier to Laem Kruat Pier, which departs at 7.20am, 7.40am, 8.00am, 8.30am, and 1.30pm. It will be more expensive to get a taxi to Ko Pu Pier since it’s in the north of the island, and there are very few taxis on the island.
To get to other destinations such as the Phi Phi Islands or Ao Nang, you will likely depart from Koh Jum Pier. You may need to book in advance using Tigerline Ferries.
You can book all boat tickets and onward transfers from the Jum Island Travel Agency near Koh Jum Pier. There is no set schedule for departures from Koh Jum Pier, you will need to enquire within the travel agency.
Where To Eat on Koh Jum
There are several restaurants on the island and they are all pretty good, offering everything from Thai food to Halal food to pizza. There isn’t a huge coffee scene on the island and you won’t find many trendy cafes, but what it has is sufficient.
We enjoyed the food at Tingrai Restaurants, which offers basic and delicious Thai cuisine for a reasonable price (80-150 baht per dish).
Krua Chan Ngam Koh Jum is another great place to get affordable and delicious Thai cuisine.
Some people recommended Ban Ban Restaurant to us before we went, but they were never open every time we went passed. We did visit in October and some places hadn’t yet opened for the season, so we may have just been unlucky.
Best Time to Visit Koh Jum
The best time to visit Koh Jum is in late-October and November, as well as late February and early March. These are the shoulder seasons where the weather is at it’s finest and it’s outside of the peak tourist season.
Although Koh Jum is small and has only 35 hotels, when these resorts are full the island can feel very busy and cramped, so traveling in these months does have it’s perks.
It’s important to note that many resorts on the island will close during the rainy season from June – September, and may not open until mid-October.
If you are planning to visit during these months, you should make sure to check the resorts are open before making any plans.
How Much Money To Take With You To Koh Jum
Since there are no ATMs on the island, a common question we get asked is how much money should I take to Koh Jum? To help you work out how much cash you need, here is a quick overview of costs to help you plan your budget in Koh Jum.
Resorts range from $29-$35 USD per day for a mid-range hotel, but they are usually paid for in advance using credit card so we won’t include this in the cash budget.
|Item||Estimated Daily Cost|
|Water||10 – 20 baht|
|Meal (no drinks)||80-120 baht per meal per person in a restaurant, 200 baht per meal per person in a resort|
|Scooter Rental||250 baht per day + 2,000 baht for a deposit|
|Gas (per liter)||50 baht|
|Estimated daily budget||Roughly 750-1000 baht per day|
Where To Stay On Koh Jum
Since there are only 35 hotels on Koh Jum, it’s not too difficult finding a place to stay. It really doesn’t matter where on the island you base yourself, as you will always be within a short bike ride from a restaurant or some of the islands top landmarks.
However, we recommend you stay on the Southwest side of the island, since the north of the island doesn’t receive any phone signal.
The Southwest is also cleaner, has less rocky beaches, and is closer to the villages.
We stayed at Oonlee Bungalows, which was probably one of the most remote resorts on the island. The bungalows were comfy, clean, and had great views of the ocean. The owners were very nice and helpful, and even picked us up from the Pop Up Cafe when we arrived and took us to the ferry pier when we left.
If you’re looking for more high-end luxury, the Koh Jum Beach Villas is a popular option. There are not many resorts that have air conditioning on Koh Jum, as many prefer the eco-friendly fan option, but Koh Jum Beach Villas does have that luxury. They also have an outdoor swimming pool, which again is another commodity on the island.
Tips for Visiting Koh Jum
Before you book your visit, here are some words of advice to consider to make your trip more memorable…
- Remember to take as much cash as you need. We recommend 750-1000 baht per person, per day.
- Contact your resort before you arrive to see if they have a shuttle transfer.
- If you’re renting a scooter, park your scooter at the end of the paved road and walk down the dirt roads if you feel uncomfortable. Nowhere is far on Koh Jum, and it’s not worth falling off your scooter for a journey you could have walked in 10 minutes.
- Don’t approach the monkeys. The monkeys are not aggressive and generally stay clear of humans, but if you do encounter them, don’t approach them as the mothers can be protective of their babies.
- Be aware of stray dogs. It’s not clear if the dogs are wild or if they are owned by the farmer who has the rubber tree plantations, but there are a few feral dogs on the island who like to bark at people. Be vigilant and keep away from them if you see them.
- Pack your bug spray! We wore bug spray every day and the mosquitos still managed to eat through it. They are relentless, especially at sunset.
- Have your outward journey planned in advance. There is only one travel agent on Koh Jum, located in the cafe next to Koh Jum Pier. They can book you onto boats and organize transfers for you, but it’s quite expensive. If possible, try and book your onward connection before you arrive.
- Take water with you. You can buy it on the island but it’s more expensive since the markets are little stands outside someone’s house.
FAQs About Visiting Koh Jum
How many days do you need on Koh Jum?
Realistically, you only need one full day to explore Koh Jum and it’s main attractions. However, because of the ferry times, you will likely arrive mid-afternoon which means you need to stay at least two nights to have one full day.
Is there an ATM on Koh Jum?
There is no ATM on Koh Jum, but most resorts allow you to pay by card. You will need to take cash with you to pay for food, scooter rentals, petrol, and any other shopping you might plan to do.
How do you get around Koh Jum?
The best way to get around Koh Jum is to rent a scooter or a bicycle. Most of the roads on Koh Jum are dirt roads and have loose rocks and can be slippery after a rainstorm, so we recommend using a mountain bike over a scooter. There is one paved road that extends from North to South which you can use to get to the main attractions.
Koh Jum may not have the best beaches but what it lacks in that department it makes up for in relaxing charm.
Because Koh Jum is so small, and much of the land is protected and cannot be built on, it’s unlikely that Koh Jum will develop much more than the 35 hotels and resorts on the island currently, ensuring that it stays a quiet, peaceful retreat for years to come.
So no matter what time of year you visit, you can be sure that Koh Jum will be the perfect place to relax.