Ko Phayam

Ko Phayam is an island in Ranong Province, Thailand.


Ko Phayam is the second largest Andaman Sea island off the coast of Ranong Province (Ko Chang, about 4 km distant, is the largest). Ko Phayam has no roads suitable for automobiles, thus motorbikes are the chief means of transport. Tourists hire motorbikes at the pier and ride along the road to the resorts. There two major beaches/bays, Ao Yai and Ao Kao Kwai (Buffalo Bay). For those who want to get away from it all, Ko Phayam is reminiscent of what Ko Samui was like 30 years ago before the airport and hotel developments.

Ao Yai is the largest bay on the west coast, about 3 km long and 300 m wide, with a grey sand beach.

Ko Phayam is widely thought to be one of the most beautiful Thai islands.

Get in

Flight service from Bangkok (BKK) to Ranong Airport (UNN) and back daily via Happy Air and from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Ranong and back daily via Nok Air.

Ko Phayam is just over 30 km from Ranong, about 2 hours from the mainland's Phayam Pier by slow boat, 30-40 minutes by speed boat. The slow boat leaves at 09:00 and 14:00 from the mainland and the same on the return journey. Speed boats depart at different and more frequent schedules (not in low season).


From Ranong to Ko Phayam:

From Ko Phayam to Ranong:

Get around

No cars on this island. Motorbikes and scooters can be rented at Phayam Cottage Internet Shop near the main arrival ferry pier as well as many other places. The price is roughly 150-200 baht per day unless heavily booked. Petrol costs 40-50 baht per litre. If you rent a motorbike don't drive it on the beach. There are rumours that you can get fined 5,000 baht because of fine print on the rental agreement. It is also environmentally irresponsible..

Motorbike taxi drivers will be waiting as you step off the pier and can be found around the island, differentiated by their blue or red vests. Maps of the island near the pier are colour coded, showing you what the fixed price is to get to certain areas. 70 baht from the pier to Ao Yai. Ask your guesthouse to call a taxi bike if you are at the quieter end of the island; otherwise, you may wait longer than you would wish.


There are many beautiful beaches, some of them long like Ao Yai, the largest. The ferry pier area is vibrant with restaurants, a few Internet and other shops, and places to settle into a lounge chair or hammock and enjoy a cold drink or two.


In the northwest is Ao Kao Kwai, a quieter beach where the sea is a bit clearer and less polluted. The beach has a more intimate feel, unlike the larger beaches which have more people and more activity although these are still relatively tranquil.

Take yoga or batik courses at PP Land Beach Resort or visit the art shop at Heaven Beach Resort & Art.

If you feel like exploring underwater, a few boats offer dive and snorkelling cruises around the infamous Richelieu Rock, Surin islands and Similan islands, and will pick you up at The Smiling Seahorse. Aladdin Dive Safari offers liveaboard diving from Ko Phayam to the Surin- and Similan Islands and to the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar (Burma). You can also join a a round trip starting from Ko Phayam and dive all the whole west coast up to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang in southern Thailand. Check out as well the diving and snorkeling day trips from Aladdin Dive Safari to Richelieu Rock and the Surin Islands, with pickup at Ko Phayam.


Locally grown cashew nuts.



There are many bars and restaurants on the island with quite a few German-speaking guests. Now Scandinavians are starting to discover Ko Phayam.

The island's official drink is Thai Sangsom rum with fresh Ko Phayam coconut milk.

Some places refill water bottles (roughly 5 baht per litre). A smart thing to do instead of buying new plastic bottles.

The local village is generally a quiet area, but has a couple of late-night bars.


Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.