Mu Koh Siboya

Set offshore from Thailand’s Krabi province, Koh Siboya is part of an archipelago of eight small islands located in the AndamanSea, some 30kms to the south of KrabiTown. Ban Koh Siboya is its capital and home to a population of 1,600, and the island’s ambience is relaxed and generally uncrowded.

Agriculture and tourism are its mainstays, and its attraction is that it is authentic, rural, undeveloped Thailand with a difference. The island’s seven small villages, connected by dirt roads and footpaths, hold a few local shops selling everyday needs, petrol and snacks, and transportation is by motorcycle or on foot.

Uninhabited beaches rich in marine life and backed by mangrove forests make for solitary walks and quiet moments, and the sunsets are spectacular. The interior of the island holds mainly rubber plantations, virgin rainforests and hiking and walking trails through unspoilt hinterland.

Most of the accommodation on the island is low-key, resort-style and set on three west coast beaches. Charming, thatched-roof bungalows in traditional Thai style are favourites and offer sea and sunset views. Several of the small resorts boast more modern-style cottages and the occasional swimming pool in beautiful gardens adjoining the beach.

Infrastructure here is minimal, but most visitors wouldn’t have it any other way.  Tourism, as yet, has minimal impact on the lifestyle of the residents of the island. It is even possible to rent private holiday homes belonging to Thais at a reasonable rate.

A flight to Krabi Town on the mainland from Bangkok and a songthaew (shared taxi) to Laem Hin pier for the on-demand long-tail public ferry to Koh Siboya is the best way to get here, and onward transportation to your accommodation is by shared pick-up truck. There’s no car ferry and only a few trucks on the island, with motorcycles the usual means of transport.

The weather is best during the cool season, which coincides with the Western winter, and the rainy season lasts for six months from May to November, with regular monsoon rains during the later half of the season.