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Thailand’s near extinct deserted island has been found: Koh Pu

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Thailand’s near extinct deserted island has been found: Koh Pu

Paradise Found on Koh Pu, Thailand

A nearly deserted island in a busy island district

Experience

After the first airing of the movie “The Beach”, it has become the dream of many travellers to discover that ‘hidden secret’. A deserted island that is rich in beauty, beaches and delicious food. People want to stray from that populous, resort ridden environment, and get in touch with nature, the locals and have a sense of tranquility and solitude. Finding such places certainly isn’t easy these days. Often to find a place such as this only comes through the word of mouth of another intrepid explorer who has sought out the same. I happened to be fortunate enough to meet one of those explorers, who gave me the ‘secret map’ to such a place. A place that’s right in the heart of the busy islands of southern Thailand, yet has managed to remain off the radar for most. A deserted island that goes by the name of Koh Pu.

Arriving to the seemingly deserted island of Koh Pu, I immediately knew that I was about to embark on a life changing journey of discovery and adventure. Even the mission to get here is not your typical tourist flagged journey most are accustomed to when visiting the southern islands of Thailand. Taking a series of buses, taxis, cargo ships and tuk tuks, it’s no wonder not many have found this place, and this essentially acts as a filter to allow only those dedicated enough for this type of adventure to experience.

The island itself is actually connected by a land bridge to its neighbouring island, Koh Jum, which sees a little more traffic. The landscape is slightly different than some of it’s other neighbours, with the absence of the large limestone pinnacles that jut out of the landscape. The beaches are groomed well, albeit a bit rocky in places. There is a mountain in the middle of the island which creates a great lookout point, and the majority of the interior is covered in lush jungle. It really is a paradise, with a sense of ruggedness, and raw beauty.

There is substantially more choice in places to stay in the conjoined counterpart, Koh Jum, though Koh Pu is strategically located to experience some of the best sunsets. With the absence of many neighbouring bungalows, it is truly a safe-haven from crowds, allowing you to enjoy your time and really get in touch with your inner peace.

The bungalows have several activities, such as kayaks and volleyball nets, so for those seeking more than just a quiet escape, you have options to fill your day with as well. It is an incredible, nearly-deserted island and now, my fellow intrepid explorer, I can share that secret map with you!

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SEE – Photos & Videos


Deserted Island of Koh Pu - Sunset Beach Bungalows
Deserted Island of Koh Pu – Sunset Beach bungalows
Cargo boat to Koh Pu
Cargo boat to Koh Pu

Sunset on Koh Pu, Thailand

Sunset Beach Bungalows

Deserted island Beachside Bungalow

Treehouse Bungalow - Koh Pu, Thailand
Treehouse Bungalow
Suspended Bungalow - Koh Pu
Swinging hammock-style Bungalow
No Have Bar - Koh Pu, Thailand
The No Have Bar – Name says it all!
Mojito and a tropical cocktail - Koh Pu
Mojito & another tropical cocktail at the No Have Bar

The lovely owners of Sunset Beach Bungalows

Walking into the sunset on Koh Pu

Sunset Beach Bungalows - Koh Pu, Thailand

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GO – Getting There

Taking a bus or taxi to the small fishing village of Laem Kruat, about 30 mins outside Krabi City, we were welcomed by a  few supply shops and some basic street food stalls, thatched bamboo restaurants and fruit markets. There was a small pier nestled between two buildings, and no ticket booth. We merely had to wait until the next cargo ship was ready to head over.. which luckily only took about 45 mins before they started boarding. The ships are fairly infrequent, so it’s best to ask around in Krabi before heading over to Laem Kruat if they know if any more ships are leaving for the day.

The price was relatively inexpensive, given that this is not a typical tourist style means of transportation. It was roughly 100 Thai baht total for the two of us to take the half hour ferry (that’s approximately $3.50 USD) over to the pier in Koh Jum. The cargo boat was long and narrow, and packed mostly with local fishing catches, living supplies like canned goods and toilet paper, some motorbikes, and of course, people. There was very few real seats, and almost no shelter from the sun on the long cargo-filled vessel, so make sure to lather up some SPF 30 sunscreen!

Upon arriving to the Ilsand of Koh Jum, we caught a local tuk tuk (motorized rickshaw) to get to our final destination. You have to be quite specific that it’s Koh Pu that you are trying to get to, as most of the tourists arriving want to head to the hotels and bungalows found in Koh Jum. The tuk tuk ride was lightning fast (or perhaps that was just our driver), while we travelled through the jungle, small villages and actually had to drive about a kilometer off road, across the yellow sands of Lubo beach, also known as North beach. Finally, after an exciting (and somewhat confusing) journey there, we arrived to our destination! It’s a journey and a half to get here, but once we did, we understood that we would be amongst the very few who are fortunate enough to find their ways here.


View Where Sidewalks End in a larger map

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Do – Activities & Attractions

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Stay – Accommodation

Upon arriving to the island of Koh Jum, we caught our local tuk tuk (motorized rickshaw) to the Sunset Beach Bungalows. At the time, we didn’t realize that Koh Pu and Koh Jum are actually different parts of the same island. In fact, we didn’t even realize that we had arrived to Koh Jum, rather than the Northern part,  Koh Pu. Apparently there’s another bungalow in Koh Jum called Sunset Beach Bungalows… and it’s a bit fancier, quite a bit more expensive, and definitely more on the trodden tourist path. We ended up having to call the owner of the Sunset Beach Bungalows (Mr Sent – +66 (0) 83 182 5142) in Koh Pu to have them give directions to our driver.

With approximately 6 bungalows to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics, this place screams boutique, but in the most rustic style. There are a few bamboo bungalows nestled upon a hillside,  a large round bungalow was built right next to the sea, it’s neighbouring bungalow is actually built up in a tree, and yet another is suspended by it’s four bottom corners by rope attached to the adjacent trees causing it to swing gently like a hammock in the wind. Each bungalow was quite reasonably priced at approximately 300 Thai Baht a night (roughly $10 USD). There is a main building which was used as both office and restaurant (in addition to being the host family’s home). There is the “No Have Bar”, a reggae bar situated right on the beach of the property. What would a bungalow be on a deserted island be without a Sauna? You got it.. they even have a sauna hut, though depending on what the weather is like when you go, I think I’d almost rather have a walk in refrigerator!

The host family just consists of Mr Sent and his wife. They are incredibly friendly, and perhaps over a little accommodating (as we saw a fairly inconsiderate guest abuse their goodwill while there). The family has had bungalows for over a decade, though in 2003, the Tsunami that devastated much of Thailand also came knocking down their door. The parents of the family were lost to the sea that day, and rather than give up, they decided to rebuild and make something special in their honour. They are more than happy to talk about their life there, and share family photos which survived the angry seas. They will do anything to make sure you are comfortable during your stay there.

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Eat – Restaurants

Upon arriving to the island of Koh Jum, we caught our local tuk tuk (motorized rickshaw) to the Sunset Beach Bungalows. At the time, we didn’t realize that Koh Pu and Koh Jum are actually different parts of the same island. In fact, we didn’t even realize that we had arrived to Koh Jum, rather than the Northern part,  Koh Pu. Apparently there’s another bungalow in Koh Jum called Sunset Beach Bungalows… and it’s a bit fancier, quite a bit more expensive, and definitely more on the trodden tourist path. We ended up having to call the owner of the Sunset Beach Bungalows (Mr Sent – +66 (0) 83 182 5142) in Koh Pu to have them give directions to our driver.

With approximately 6 bungalows to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics, this place screams boutique, but in the most rustic style. There are a few bamboo bungalows nestled upon a hillside,  a large round bungalow was built right next to the sea, it’s neighbouring bungalow is actually built up in a tree, and yet another is suspended by it’s four bottom corners by rope attached to the adjacent trees causing it to swing gently like a hammock in the wind. Each bungalow was quite reasonably priced at approximately 300 Thai Baht a night (roughly $10 USD). There is a main building which was used as both office and restaurant (in addition to being the host family’s home). There is the “No Have Bar”, a reggae bar situated right on the beach of the property. What would a bungalow be on a deserted island be without a Sauna? You got it.. they even have a sauna hut, though depending on what the weather is like when you go, I think I’d almost rather have a walk in refrigerator!

The host family just consists of Mr Sent and his wife. They are incredibly friendly, and perhaps over a little accommodating (as we saw a fairly inconsiderate guest abuse their goodwill while there). The family has had bungalows for over a decade, though in 2003, the Tsunami that devastated much of Thailand also came knocking down their door. The parents of the family were lost to the sea that day, and rather than give up, they decided to rebuild and make something special in their honour. They are more than happy to talk about their life there, and share family photos which survived the angry seas. They will do anything to make sure you are comfortable during your stay there.

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Time – Seasonality & Schedules

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Safety – Possible risks

Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.

Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.

Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).

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Pay – How much does it cost?

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Responsible Travel – Best Practices

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Reality Check – Be Aware

This is quite possibly the most relaxed setting I’ve found in the south of Thailand. There isn’t many places which give the feeling of a deserted island left, though given the slightly more difficult journey to get there, I have a feeling this place will remain off the beaten trail for some time to come.

A few things to know about staying on a deserted island

  • There is no internet at the Sunset Beach Bungalows (at least not at the time of this publication), but the neighbouring bungalows have it available for a minimal charge.
  • Air con does not exist, though the sea breeze does a pretty good job.
  • Most of the bungalows have basic washroom facilities (shower, toilet, sink) – though the tree house and hammock bungalows did not, for obvious reasons.
  • The food is absolutely fantastic, but options will be limited to what food is actually present on the premises at the time. It’s sometimes best to choose a few items before ordering. If there’s something you really want to try, perhaps ask if it’s available in the morning, so they can get the supplies for dinner that night.
  • The No-Have bar was aptly named as there’s a chance that they ‘no have’ what you want. This said.. they can make some pretty delicious drinks with what they DO have!
  • Lubo Beach is unlike other beaches in the area. Many beaches in this part of Thailand are known for their pristine white sands. Here, you will find yellow sand, and there are many large volcanic rocks all across the beach. There are plenty of places to go swimming nearby, but this destination is best suited for isolation, and not necessarily it’s beach activities.
  • Before making the journey out there, it may be best to call Mr Sent (+66 (0) 83 182 5142) just to make sure there’s space available.
  • This place definitely lives up to it’s name. You are almost guaranteed a gorgeous sunset every night, weather permitting of course!

Surrounded by jungle, and a fair distance to the next neighbouring bungalow, this is the epitome of a lost paradise on a deserted island. It felt like we had just stumbled upon a secluded deserted island, and with only one other guest, a bartender, and the host family staying there, it was as close as you can get to isolation, especially in this part of Thailand.

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JOIN US! WSE Travel Packages

This sounds like quite the adventure, right? We thought so too! Though we realize it can be pretty intimidating to get out there into the world on your own, especially when travelling to some of these off the beaten path locations. We love it when our readers give it a shot and try it for themselves! In fact, please leave us feedback if you do!! If trying something ‘this’ adventurous on your own is just a bit outside of your comfort zone, WSE Travel is here to help!

Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.

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Have you ever found a deserted island? Was it so magical, you wondered if you should even tell anyone else about it?

Please feel free to share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below!

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WSE Travel - Suspended Bungalow - Koh Pu

Swinging hammock-style Bungalow

About the Author:

From a young age, Ian was always a wanderer. He's since travelled to all 7 continents, and has spent the majority of his life pursuing this passion. Follow him in his off-the-beaten-path adventures and discoveries!

14 Comments

  1. Audrey July 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    WOW! I would love to stay in the tree house bungalow!

    • globe_trottah November 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      For sure, the tree house looked like one of the most fun! or even the swinging bungalow… the only downfall for them that I could see was the lack of ensuite toilets (for obvious reasons)!

      I’d love to go back and try out more of them one day 🙂

  2. Simo August 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Looks amazing…. theres another place on the list… but i think pretty high up before it gets to well known…. Thanx…

    • globe_trottah November 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Hey Simo! I would definitely recommend it, amongst almost all the other spots on this site. Finding off-the-beaten-path destinations is getting tougher – to get there before everyone else does. This was truly a gem, though, especially in such a busy part of Thailand – and I was there in high season, too!

  3. Ben Stasiuk February 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Awesome. this is the EXACT type of thing I’m looking for. Like I may head over there!

    • Ian Ord February 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      Music to my ears, Ben! If you need any help getting there, just let me know! 🙂

      • Dilara October 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm - Reply

        hey’a Ian thanks for the info about this island. is it ok if i ask you how to get there?

        • Ian Ord October 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

          Hi Dilara – you certainly can ask how to get here 🙂 If you scroll up to the top, you’ll notice a “Getting There” Tab… all the info is found right inside, including a google map of where it is! 🙂 hope this helps!

  4. Martin February 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Nice, will visit!

    Good blog by the way.
    If you would like to check mine it is here:

    http://www.searchingparadise.blogspot.com

    It is about my trip to deserted (really) island and staying there for 2 weeks only with rice and water 🙂
    Hmmm…good times…

    All best mate
    Martin

    • Ian Ord - Where Sidewalks End March 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Hey Martin! That’s a crazy story (and a great blog!) – I’m off to the Philippines in a few weeks, perhaps I can relive your adventure 😀

      • Martin March 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm - Reply

        I am jealous mate! Would like to go to The Philippines again, next year probably.

        If you want some info just let me know. But go to Palawan, that’s for sure.

        All best
        Martin

  5. Frank January 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Great! Never heard of either Koh Pu or Koh Jum. Hard to find quiet destinations in Southern Thailand. Here’s another we went to: http://bbqboy.net/ko-yao-noi-thailand-getting-away-from-the-mass-tourism-of-phang-nga-bay/
    Frank (bbqboy)

  6. Satya August 4, 2016 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful!! Do you know if this is,and is open in low season? I am in the near area at the moment and desperate to get away fro, the crowds- thinking it would be quiet!!! Lol! If it is I will head over there! Thanks 🙂 great blog!

    • Ian Ord August 6, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Hi Satya, That’s a good question.. most hotels certainly would be open to stray guests who arrive – often at a discounted price too, but catching the ferry might be more of a challenge. Those that live on the island still need to get on and off of it, so you may be able to catch a ride on a cargo ferry as I did… probably cheaper and more exciting that way too 🙂 Good luck and happy travels!

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