NINE resorts found to have encroached into a reserved forest and park on Ranong province’s Koh Phayam island were seized and legal action launched against the owners by a team of over a hundred officials of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Thai News Agency said today (Feb. 25).
Ownership papers of another 40 resorts and lodging are still being checked because it is believed that an investor had bought up all the island’s Sor Por Kor agricultural title deed land and resold it to various parties.
According to Wikitravel.org Koh Phayam is the second largest Andaman Sea island off the coast of Ranong (Ko Chang, about four kilometers away, is the largest).
Koh Phayam has no roads suitable for automobiles, thus motorbikes are the chief means of transport. Tourists hire motorbikes or motorbike taxis at the pier and ride along the road to the resorts. The two major beaches/bays are Ao Yai and Ao Kao Kwai (Buffalo Bay). For those who want to get away from it all, Koh Phayam is reminiscent of what Koh Samui was like 30 years ago, before the airport and hotel developments.
Ao Yai is the largest bay on the west coast, about three kilometers long and 300 meters wide, with a white sand beach and a gentle swell from Andaman Sea. Stunning sunsets as well.
Top: A breathtaking sunset at Koh Phayam Photo: Hector Garcia (CC-BY-SA-2.0)