Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ko Siboya

You don't come to Siboya for beaches, snorkelling, diving, climbing etc. You come to relaaaax.
Ko Siboya is a medium sized island south of Krabi - just to the north and closer to the mainland than Ko Jum. Map -
I rate it equal in "untouristy" to Kos Sukorn, Libong and Yao Yai. Main activities are cash cropping and fishing. The 3 low key resorts on the west coast have minimal impact..
I stayed at the original Siboya bungalow outfit - SIBOYA BUNGALOWS
This place is located on the west coast not far south of where the cross-island road arrives from Ko Siboya Village. Mr Chung who runs the place has selected an area with a nice long flat area immediately behind the beach which 100m or so inland climbs towards the coastal road up a gradual slope. Most of the 20 bungalows and the private houses at the resort are located on the flat.
Nice lawn area behind beach and immediately south of restaurant - elcheapo 250 bungalows at left, more expensive 350s start at top. Private houses, some for holiday letting, start further south and to the north.
You don't go to Siboya Bungalows for the beach - but maybe for the sunsets.
This low-tide shot shows the starter-mangrove set-up directly out from Siboya Bungalow's restaurant. NW orientation slightly lengthens the impression. Underfoot is dark sand and rock, not mud. At high tide there is a nice enough strip of sand a few meters wide along the beachfront and the occasional mangrove emerging from the water as in the opening pix top of page.
Look I'm a beach junky, but knowing what to expect, I was not the least fazed. Combine your stay with a few days on nearby Jum to get your beach-fix.

About 300m north (and south) of Siboya Bungalows the beach improves, but it still aint Phra Nang.
Some posters have said THAI WEST resort has a better beach. I walked 10-15 minutes north and yep, it is better than in the sunset shot at Siboya, but no better than immediately above. Nice looking resort BTW - but it seemed deserted in what was early shoulder season (mid-Nov).

Some of the private houses at Siboya Bungalows.
These range from beach-shacks to much bigger, flasher places than the above. Many are for rent when the owners are not using them - rates seem very reasonable - see website. These could be just the thing for family groups wanting somewhere relaxing to spend time.
Owner Mr Chung. The perfect host - remembers your name and quietly asks every now and then if everything is okay. Image Siboya Bungalows.

House owners are largely old-time Thailand hands who holidayed with Mr Chung back in the day when he ran successful places on Phra Nang and Railay. So successful the leaseholders kept increasing the rent and forcing a move. Eventually he decided on finding the best building site on an untouristy island and quite a few of the Farang regulars threw in $10000 to help - and later built their holiday houses. Some winter here for 4-6 months. You always get a warm greeting from them when arriving at the restaurant - and this seems to spread to short-time guests.

No TV, amplified music, computers at Siboya Bungalows. The only time the no-music policy is relaxed is at Christmas and at New Year where a buffet-dinner and dance is organised. A long-termer told me this is one of the few times when there is 100% occupancy. Image - Siboya Bungalows.
Thorntree regulars normally have a piss-up in Bangkok at these times - but if I'm ever in Thailand around the same period I'm heading for Siboya.
BTW - I found food and service at the restuarant good. Prices seemed very similar to the average budget bungalow place.
My 250 baht bungalow at Siboya Bungalows.
Rustic, very close to needing some TLC with timber renewal. Just enough room for 2 and their gear. Clean. Thin but comfy double mattress, ditto pillows. Mozzie net in good condition. Big indoor-outdoor concrete and tile bathroom, twin mirrors. No wash basin. Squat toilet. Toilet paper supplied. No longtail or traffic noise at night. Spacious verandah with nice outlook over big manicured lawn area to Ko Jum in background. The 350 bungalows were closer to the "beach", bigger and seemed newer.
Beachside sitting-cabanas - perfect place for post-midnight discussions about the meaning of life.
I say this because the Brit girls and their Thai guys in this shot wanted to discuss the meaning of life at 2am on the bungalow verandah adjacent mine - at least the guys did.
I believe in letting the world know when I have a good idea - so I loudly suggested that these cabanas were the go. To a chorus of YES!!! from other bungalows.
BTW, the meaning of life to these Thai guys seemed to be having enough money**, which they didn't, but the way they kept returning to the theme seemed to suggest they thought that maybe their cute new friends could help.

** No doubt to keep their 16 year old wives and horde of kids comfortable back in Ban Saladan or wherever.
A regular mid-afternoon game of Tak Raw (volleyball type soccer) with staff, long termers and other guests. Mr Chung (foreground) is a keen participant. Image Siboya Bungalows.

I hired a bike (right) and explored the rest of the island. Ban Siboya here is the main village, but is pretty basic - a few stores and restaurants - no ATMs, money changers, computer shops. Most roads are dirt, thru flat and lowly undulating countryside with rubber plantations, cash-cropping and rainforest. This concrete section stretches W to E across the island to the small pier for Laem Kraut on the inland side - about 500m down the slight hill from this shot.
Songthaews leave for the pier at Leam Hin at 1100 and 1500 - this took abt an hour and cost me 100baht which seemed too much - I think I was overcharged. Small public longtails leave from this tiny village on demand but seem to wait for the songthaew - cost if there are enough passengers only 20 baht. Siboya Bungalows has an office in Krabi town (see website) and if you go there they will arrange for the songthaew to call around to pick you up and for transport to be waiting at the pier. Otherwise you can usually hitch a ride with a local for maybe 50 baht.

The pier you want is at Laem Kruat, a bigger busier market/fishing town further south on the mainland. Get off a Trang-Krabi bus at Nua Klong on the highway and get the songthaew across to the pier. I think there is one morning and one afternoon longtail across to Siboya. It cost me 50 baht on my way out to Jum.

Public longtails leave from both Ban Ko Jum and Ban Ko Pu to Laem Kraut (50 baht Nov 08) where you jump a public longtail for Siboya (50 baht). You can charter a longtail of course - in the opposite direction I negotiated a longtail from Siboya Bungalows around to Ting Ray on Jum's west coast for 600, but the Italians who were sharing pulled out at the last minute.
Public longtail leaving Laem Hin village for Siboya. Don't be alarmed at tilt, the cap'n is doing a radical reverse-turn off the pier here. Trip takes 10-15 minutes in sheltered waters.

If you visit Siboya you might also be interested in jumping across to nearby Ko Jum

If you have extra info or see any mistakes, please post below. If you have questions, post them on the FORUM which can be accessed about 70% down the index page. I don't get a chance to check individual island pages often but I will try to monitor the Forum page.


Eric said...

Hi Tezza, Love the blog; lots of funny and perceptive comments. I wanted to respond to the comment on Thai-West's beaches (my wife owns Thai-West, so I'm not exactly an unbiased observer). What she has done there is to delineate an area that goes from one end of her 6 rai to the other, and out about 200 meters, with white buoys. Inside of that area, her staff has spent many hours cleaning out the broken coral from the tsunami, sharp rocks, broken glass, etc., so you know that at high tide you can walk out within those buoys and not have to worry about getting your feet cut. There is also a swimming/fishing platform she has built about 400 meters offshore, but since no one has ever caught a fish from it, I supposed we should just call it a swimming platform. Everyone is encouraged to use the beach, and many from our friend Mr. Chung’s resort do so regularly. The other fairly clean beach is in front of RS Homestay, toward the north end of Koh Siboya. I think they have cleaned up their beach as well.

Ranger Bob said...

Dear Tezza, Why do you let those fools bait you into these petty duels on Thorn Tree?
You have the best website for info about the Thai islands, they are armchair drama queens.
Get back to the basics and help rid the site of those pandering leeches, it's not even entertaining anymore.... let them get a chat site where they can piss and moan to one another about nothing related to helping fellow travelers.

Ranger Bob Norway

tezza said...

Maybe “fools” and “armchair drama queens” is a bit harsh Ranger. I think these guys are merely suffering from a severe case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION.
In which case a good verbal kick up the bum might clear their heads

رضا رمضان said...

خدمات نقل الاثاث متعددة لدينا حيث يوجد لدينا خبرة في كيفية التعامل مع العملاء في تنفيذ اعمال فلدينا مدينة مكة افضل شركة نقل اثاث بمكة التي تتميز بالدقة في تنفيذ اعمال وتوصيل الاثاث من الباب لاننا نمتلك عمال متميزون في شركة نقل عفش بمكة فعليكم التواصل معنا من اجل الاستفادة من الخدمات التي نقدمها كل هذا ايضا تلاقه في مدينة الدمام من خلال التواصل مع شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام التي تمتلك فنين متميزين في اعمال الفك والتركيب كما لديها اسطول سيارات مجهز يساعدها علي الوصول الي منزلك الجديد فكل شئ يكون جاهز مع شركة نقل عفش بالدمام التي اثبتت انها نقل شركة لديها خبرة كبيرة في مجال نقل الاثاث
كما يوجد لدينا خبرة في خدمات نقل الاثاث بجدة من خلال
شركة نقل اثاث بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بجدة

Masa Jaddah said...

شركات الماسة تقدم لكم شركة جلى رخام جدة
فنحن نساعدك على عمل جلى رخام جدة
حيث أن شركتنا شركة جلى بلاط جدة
لديها أفضل ماكينات جلى بلاط جدة
كما اننا فى شركة شركة جلى سيراميك جدة
لدينا احدث أدوات جلى سيراميك جدة
كما ان شركتنا تعتبر افضل شركة جلى رخام جدة وبشهادة العملاء نعتبر افضل شركة جلى بلاط جدة ونعتبر أيضا افضل شركة جلى سيراميك جدة كما أن لدينا افضل اسعار جلي بلاط جدة