We started the day early, well rested in our “luxurious” bungalow with air conditioning. Decided to begin with a walk along the beach and went North. For reference, Ko Jum island is about 10 km in length and has three predominantly Muslim villages on it for a total local population of about 1,500. Our hotel is on the Western side of the island.
We had the beach pretty much to ourselves that morning and only encountered a couple of other tourists. The beach itself is not your typical postcard perfect white sand Thailand beach. The sand here is a bit darker and coarser, and rocks of all sizes get exposed, particularly at low tide. I guess that’s the reason why it’s not overcrowded with tourists.
After about one hour, we decided to turn back and return to Season Bungalows to get breakfast. On our way back, we saw a flip-flop cemetery (or perhaps it’s a lost and found?). Of course Mimi had to act silly in front of it. I also found this little rock that looks exactly like a (baby?) human skull!
The unique restaurant of our hotel is quite pleasant, all open but shaded and with a nice view on the beach. The prices are very low as well, even by Thailand standards. We got okay omelets and delicious watermelon juices. While eating we looked around us and it seemed all the other guests were from Europe. Germans, Swedes and of course my fellow Frenchmen (who were probably leading in numbers) apparently love this island! I guess Europeans tend to appreciate low key / back to basics accommodations. Americans on the other hand were noticeably absent, we presumed that they (and Chinese, Russians) prefer full service, amenity-rich hotels. Our new bungalow was ready after breakfast so we got back to our “luxurious” suite, packed up and moved. The new room does not come with A/C so it’ll be interesting (it’s about 90 degrees at night). It’s very basic with a traditional Thai bathroom: the shower is not separated from the rest of the room.
We quickly applied sunscreen and mosquito repellent and left our room. We wanted to make sure we could enjoy the water while the sun was still not too harsh. The water was super warm and we swam for about two hours. Again there were very few people on the beach so it was very relaxing. By noon, the sun started to be too strong and we decided it was time for lunch (already!). This time we ordered yummy Thai food and deserts. After lunch came the time of writing articles for our blog. We are already falling behind and we know the more we wait the harder it gets to tell about our days.
By 5pm, we had one article ready to go and the sun was much lower in the sky. I think this is the first day we did not take a nap? Finally over our jet lag. It was time to put the laptop aside and return to the water. Part 2 was even more pleasant than in the morning. The water was still very warm despite being high tide. The diving platform was empty so we rushed there.
Literally a minute after we got up there, this older guy comes and joins us. So much for being alone. Turns out the guy is French (I immediately spotted his strong accent), from Lille (another Ch’ti, shout-out to you, Laurent!). The guy is staying at a nearby resort, and pays 250 THB a night (about $7)…
Me: How is it?
(Other) French guy: It’s quite nice, it even has its own toilet in the room.
After answering his questions about our opinion of most of the US presidential candidates, he finally left us to our diving platform. A few more jumps into the water and it was time to leave. We wanted to try capturing the beautiful beach sunset with our DSLR. Unfortunately we did not appreciate how fast the sun goes down and missed most of the action. We’ll have better luck and a nicer shot to share tomorrow!
More Thai food and a couple of alcoholic drinks concluded our first very relaxed day on the beach.