Koh Payam - The sixth step ... back to SE Asia - CycleBlaze

February 14, 2019

Koh Payam

Koh Payam was my son and his (now) wife's favourite spot during their three month trip through south-east Asia ten years ago.  By all accounts it is like Koh Samui was fifty years ago and there are few places I disliked as much as Koh Samui on our ride from Singapore to Saigon.  When Leigh suggested that we catch the ferry there I didn't hesitate to agree hoping it would be as Luc and Nicolette claimed it was.  Being on the island on St Valentine's Day also seemed appropriate.

Of course Koh Payam is now a lot more developed than ten years ago and it is 100% tourist town but it retains a gentle and relaxed air.  The lack of infrastructure has a lot to do with this.  There still no roads and all electricity is generated privately so the resorts are of necessity simple and low impact.  The collapse of the fishing industry has meant that the local population, barely 500 of them with an almost nonexistent influx from outside of the island , has needed to buy into tourism as a means of income and so it is safe and friendly.

Aow Yai Beach
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Aow Yai Beach
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Our resort, Hiimapan, is in a cashew tree grove in the centre of the island and is quite well appointed relative to some of the other resorts - a lovely swimming pool, hot water and 24 electricity.

Cashew nut
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We started the morning by cycling down to Aow Yai Beach for breakfast and a swim.  As usual, I popped the key to our room into the back pocket of my swimming boardshorts.  This time they failed me - the pocket had developed a hole and on our return my key was missing.  It took almost two hours to get back into the room while a new key was being searched for but that didn't really matter because we lazed around the pool and enjoyed the lunch of sticky rice, BBQ chicken and fruit that we had bought on the way back from the beach.

Later in the afternoon we cycled back down to Aow Yai to have another swim followed by drinks and a red curry while we watched the sun go down.

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Today's ride: 9 km (6 miles)
Total: 183 km (114 miles)

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