Why Go? If you want back to basics cheap huts, an undeveloped super chilled island vibe with community spirit, a lush jungle interior and quiet beaches, this could be for you. Why Not? Power is limited with generators only on for a few hours in the evening, with no WiFi or hot water. The beaches are darker golden sand and sea not as clear as some of the postcard-perfect white sand beaches found elsewhere in Thailand. There is very little to do besides relaxing in its simplicity. If you’d like a mellow island but with power, WiFi and more conveniences, go to neighbouring Ko Phayam. How Long? As with most chilled beach places, just stay as long as feels good or your time allows! When to Go? Monsoon rain and winds power through here May to October, when the boats stop running here as the seas are too dangerous and accommodation closes. End of November through to the end of March are the best months. Western New Year is as close as the island gets to ‘busy’ when live bands play on Ao Yai beach. The Full Story The island is part of the Mu Ko Phayam National Park. The Islanders mainly live in small fishing communities around the island, their primary income being agriculture rather than tourism, especially cashew’s with orchards all over the island. The undeveloped feel is refreshing for those seeking just to get away from it all and is popular with long-stay middle-aged Europeans. There are no cars on the island, with only one village boasting a minimart and restaurant. The main beaches are on the west coast with Ao Yai being the longest stretch (4km), and where most accommodation is found. There are other smaller beaches such as Ao Lek on the east coast, but it’s a good 5km trek from the village with little in the way of places to stay or facilities – although that can be the appeal. The sea is calm with shallow reefs for safe swimming and snorkelling. You can also head out on live-aboards to Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago and some Thai dive locations. Other activities are exploring the island, kayaking, fishing and joining in a game of beach volleyball.