After reading about this place from a fellow README Thai traveler and blogger, we knew we had to visit this place. Not only because it looked so amazing but the fact it is only about 3-3.5 hour drive away from Bangkok. I mean just look at this place!
Interested already? Read on but before, please follow my journey on social media:
Journey to Paradise
We decided to break our journey to the island into two parts. We left Bangkok on Friday evening knowing that if we left Saturday morning, we would have to leave extremely early. Although ferries to the island leave every 1 or 2 hours, we wanted to be the first ones there. Plus we heard that they only let 400 visitors to the island per day (and only on weekends).
So Friday, we arrived in the outskirt of Sattahip and stayed at a boutique hotel, 30 km short of the pier. There we had a nice dinner and an early sleep. Next morning at around 7 am, we left for Koh Kham.
After about an hour drive, we reached the naval base where we were asked to pay 10 Baht for parking. Nearby, we paid 300 Baht per person for the ferry tickets. A songthaew (local transport) then took us to the pier.
From there we switched to a ferry filled with locals and Thai-only tourists. They had their lunches packed as if they were going on a long picnic. It was very interesting to see this since you'll never see the same on islands like Koh Samui, Koh Tao and such.
After a very bumpy 30 minute-ish boat ride, we finally arrived at the island. We had two switch from our ferry to a smaller boat as it could not dock there.
The side of Koh Kham we arrived at was deserted (and we wanted to hang out here) but we were told by the ferry staff to make our way to the other side. Just #followthepath, enjoy the view but watch your step.
Things to do on Koh Kham
Before we tell you about what you can do on Koh Kham, you should probably know what you cannot do. You should note that this island is under the protection of the Royal Navy in efforts to preserve the marine ecosystem.
- You cannot litter by any means (although we did notice some trash) – an inevitable side effect of increased tourism
The operator told us that back in January, this place was even more beautiful but of course, tourism does effect the ecosystem. It's a good thing the number of visitors are limited.
- Be responsible in any activity you partake
- In order to swim or kayak, you must wear a life jacket
- Be respectful in every way (we didn't see anyone in bikinis so if you're a bikini person, we recommend covering up) as this is a very local, family destination
Now here are the things you can do here:
- Bring your own food but make sure you throw it away in the marked bins
- There are some little shops selling snacks and some Thai meals
- Hike up the hill (east of the island) to a viewpoint
- Kayaks and snorkels are available for rent
- Just relax on the beach, soak in the sun and watch the beautiful view
We spent a good few hours at Koh Kham. Arriving at the island around 9:30 am and we made our way back at 1 pm. The last boat leaves at 4 pm and you are not allowed to camp or stay over in any way.
It was time to say goodbye to paradise and we certainly didn't want to.
How to get there
Since we drove there, we can only share that way. But if you're getting there by van or bus, we recommend the best way is to get to Pattaya first. And then find a bus or van from there to Sattahip.
To be honest, you're best bet is to rent a car or motorbike and make the journey to Sattahip's Khao Ma Jor Pier yourself. It is a pretty much straightforward route if you follow the Sukhumvit road and route 3. Google Map is your best friend. It is definitely ours! So make sure you use it.