There are still many beautiful corners along Thailands coast. These places are more or less standing still in time compared to some of the main holiday destinations in the country. If you have known these places for a long time, you can see their endless expansion and development. If you have not been there for a year or even just a few months, sometimes find it hard to orientate yourself. Maybe you cant find the places you once knew, that great little restaurant. A place that has not been affected by this wave of development is Ranong province. There are 2 near the capital, Koh Phayam and Koh Chang(small one, not near Trat!!!). They are Thailand’s last islands in the Andaman sea before the Myanmar border.
The province of Ranong itself is also a jewel of nature, with an amazing 80% forest cover(%67 mountains). In the north you have a huge UNESCO Biosphere reserve, which was declared in 1997. It is the fourth biosphere reserve of Thailand, and the only one along the coast to protect the mangrove forests. It’s also one of the most diverse mangrove forests in the world. There are about 75 species in the world and 25 of these can be found here.
For this journey we have chosen the island Koh Phayam. The most “developed” of the two. However this is minor compared too most of Thailand. The island has a small population of about 800 people. I have known this place for 13 years, and I’m glad to say it has maintained its original flare. Its still as relaxed and welcoming as it has always been. The island has a strong community, a community which has chosen to set itself apart. They don’t want to be another Koh Samui or Koh Tao.
In a way it’s like traveling back in time. There are no cars (only a golf kart, 1 tuk tuk and a few tractor’s to move goods), also you will find no ATM or bank, and most astoundingly no 7/11 mini-marts. Also there is no power plant here. Everything is run by generator or solar power. Though a few resorts now offer power 24h per day (but most run on only 12h per day).
To get to the island u have two options, by speed boat or by slow boat.