The "Tour de Jum"
Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
38Trip End Apr 24, 2010
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Where I stayed
Ting Rae Bay Resort
6am start to hit the road for 6 legs of transport to our final destination:
1. Depart Tewson Bungalows by minibus to Ko Yao Yai pier
2. Ferry to Krabi Thalen Pier
3. Public bus to Krabi Town bus stop
4. Minibus to Krabi Town Pier
5. Ferry to Ko Jum changeover point
6. Longtail boat to Ting Rae Bay Resort, Ko Jum
That's a lot of transport, and readers need to visualise that Melissa’s backpack stands taller than her, so frequent changeovers are not our strong point! But we survived the journey and arrived at Ting Rae Bay Resort somewhat exhausted – and a cold glass of complimentary orange juice on arrival was gratefully received! [We didn’t yet know about the Kilimanjaro hike up a vertical cliff face to our 2mx2m wooden shack].
After dropping backpacks and grabbing lunch, we hit a relaxed afternoon on the beach in front of the resort reading our books and people-watching the holidaymaking Germans [our new profession if only we can find a way to monetise it!]
Beach stroll and sundowners as the sun dropped behind Phi Phi, and then a superb dinner of massaman-style curries (Far southern Thailand changes to Muslim/Malay style curries). Worked off the curries during the hike back up to our bungalow.
After breakfast, we arranged for two rented bicycles for a sightseeing day to the Chinese village on the south end of the island, inspired by rumours of a superb fresh seafood restaurant. Starting out from the resort the dirt-track "road" was very steep, sandy, rocky and hanging over the cliff’s edge. A number of the hills were too rocky and steep to cycle up, forcing us to push the bikes and walk, as tempers and temperatures were rapidly rising. My hopeful (and entirely speculative) encouragements of “it’s flat just around the bend” and “the main road starts just now” were miraculously rewarded as the road did eventually flatten out - and we even had a few hundred meters of concrete surface!
The island interior is very rural, passing by wood and straw homes, pavement food stalls, schools and mosques, and then through intermingled sections of tropical jungle, coconut groves and rubber plantations. The Thai heat and humidity is a double whammy lounging on the beach, but cycling in the mid-day sun was our new benchmark for hottest + sweatiest + stinkiest moment. An old varsity friend’s favourite expression came to mind: “We smell worse than Shaka’s G-string after a thousand stick-fights”.
Arriving in the town, drenched with sweat, we found the famous Ko Jum Seafood Restaurant and skulked our way into a corner table, allowing other diners to enjoy their meal with good distance from Shaka’s two G-strings. The menu was easily the most exciting we’ve seen, with options galore for the two fish-eaters, and at prices perfectly geared to the backpacking budget. We’ve attached photos of the menu – remember: those prices are divided by 4 to get to SA Rands! Both Melissa’s crab curry and my sweet and sour barracuda were superb, comfortably justifying the ordeal to get there! We took full advantage of the harbour frontage, cool breeze and icy beer supply and spent a lazy few hours reading our books and typing up a blog entry.
Having graduated as offroad cycling professionals, we put our heads down for the return trip and made it back in under an hour. Frantic scramble for the best cold shower to date as we restored ourselves to just regular backpacker-dirty (which is still dirty, but not Shaka G-string dirty).
Chang 'o Clock! Sundowners, curries, and then sleep for two very weary bodies. Tomorrow we are catching the ferry to Ko Lanta, which is considered to complete the Thai island tourist trinity of Ko Phi Phi, Phuket and Ko Lanta.