It's hard to imagine there are still islands to visit in Thailand that are off the tourist path. Enter: Koh Phayam. An island on the boarder of Thailand & Myanmar (you can see the mountainous islands of Myanmar from the west side of the island), it is what the popular islands were like 30 years ago.
There are no cars, hospitals, 711's, pharmacies, or chain restaurants, no electricity (generators run from around 6-10pm), and only 3 paved roads. The beaches are quiet and nearly empty. The bungalows scattered along the two beaches are basic, and there are plenty of creepy crawlers and jungle noises that will keep you up all night.
It was lovely to have a place where there was little to do except relax, eat, and sleep. The late afternoon, was the best time to explore, as the heat dropped off. Zipping around on our motorbike, we quickly conquered the 3 paved roads and began exploring the dirt roads. We found mangroves, a buddhist temple at the end of a rickety pier, look out points, sea gypsies, crazy rock formations, and a ghost town resort. We finished off every night with a beautiful sunset, a couple Singhas, and delicious dishes of either Burmese or Thai cuisine.
It was hard to leave, but the north was calling. I know that when I return in the future, it will be a different place...such a beautiful island can not stay undiscovered for long.
More photos here: http://www.renyagolnitzer.com/blog/2013/11/26/travel-back-in-time-on-koh-phayam