If you asked how many islands I have been to in Thailand, I would say ‘Just Koh Phangan’. Then how come I am so sure of declaring Koh Phangan is heaven while there is Koh Phi Phi hosted the movie ‘The Beach’ and there is Phuket where James Bond island exists? It’s simply because I am a backpacker and heaven for me is away from the dirty hands of tourism and where is virgin, I would say… If you agree with me, then book your ticket to heaven, we are heading to Koh Phangan Island!
Why Koh Phangan?
Why I have chosen Koh Phangan? I skipped the touristic islands first. As you may see below, Thailand is extremely wide and spreaded. And when I was going to this land on September, on the left side -Andaman Sea- there was moonsoon; on the other hand the right sight which is in Gulf of Thailand was ok. So my list was filtered according to seasonal reasons also.
In addition to that, since I ama Yoga lover I was told by so many people that I should visit Koh Phangan. As you see the island consists of 5 zones; lifestyle center, full moon party, heritage& nature, into the sea and health and wellness.
While I was considering to stay on the 5th zone; Srithanu, I was nailed on Thong Sala.
After telling you the geographic reasons, next one is….
What to do in Koh Phangan Island?
As soon as I arrive to the island, I stop searching for answers to this question. Picking the right hostel is the contribution of the experience… Jungle Vibes Hostel is the most important reason not leaving Thong Sala. The owners of the hostel; Dario and Johnny are so hospital that they bring you the most amazing sunrise & sunset spots, trekking spots, partying places and any kind of island activity. So now I am listing ‘must do’es:
- Haad Than Sadet Beach: When you reach there, don’t settle to the first beach. On the right side, behind the bungalows there is another bay. A secret one… It’s amazing!
- The viewpoint- Haad Than Sadet: After the beach on the way back there are signs to the viewpoint. It’s going to a bar. There is no sunset view, but you have an amazing bird’s-eye view to the beach.
- Haad Yuan Beach: This is where Eden Garden located. An abbsolute solitary place. Either you can come here by boat or you can hike. If you hike don’t forget to take a picture on the viewpoint.
- Secret Beach: When I was there, the west side of the islands bay areas was shallow. Commentless.
- Haad Salad: It is also nice and peaceful here.
- Haad Mae Haad: As you see from 360 Bar, there is a very long beach reaching to another little island ahead. Be careful about sea cucumbers!
- Hiking to Bootle Beach: It’s one of the things I couldn’t do when I was in Koh Phangan. In order to reach Bottle Beach, you again hike into the jungle as in Haad Yuan.
- Infinity Pool As a not venue lover, I can’t deny the beauty of the pool of Infinity facing to the sea and lying on the grass here.
- Panaroma of Secret Mountain’s Pool: Don’t miss this place! You can enjoy th pool on the top of the mountain and witness a very good sunset here.Secret Mountain- Koh Phangan
- Phaeng Waterfall : There are many waterfalls in Koh Phangan and I guess haeng is the best. The flow changes according to the season. So before going to any of the waterfalls, justg check with some locals in order not to be disappointed.
Sunset in Koh Phangan
- Free Way: Free Way Bar is one of my favorites here. And there is no need for words for sunset.
- 360 Three Sixty Bar: Towards Haad Mae Had Beach and has a 360 degree panaromic view.
- Top Rock Bar: The stairs to the top is exhausting but after reaching the top, it worths.
Party – Music
- Full Moon Party: Thousands of people flooding into island multiplies the population double in the island on full moon time. Too crowded, too loud but I guess it worths experiencing. Although I was there on full moon, because of the monsoon, I wasn’t crazy enough to attend the party.
- Raggea at Rasta Home: Every Friday night there is live music here.
- Eden Garden Saturday Parties: As I remember, the party is free. But you have to take a vehicle to Thong Nai Pan and then take the boat. Taking the boat two sides is 600Bahts. So it’s something a bit expensive but it really worths it. Especially capturing sunrise on the top of the rocsk is very beautiful.
Wellness and Consciousness- Srithanu
The fifth zone of the island is sorrounded by yoga centers, vegan restaurants and free spirit beaches. Rather than alcohol an parties, there is kirtan music in this side of the island. The prices of the restraurants are so expensive here. Since there is no hostel, it is essential to rent a house or a bungalow , which is costly. Even renting bikes and gas prices are expensive.
So if you want to stay here, it is better to plan long period to lower the prices.
Agama Yoga, Orion Healing Center, Pyramid Yoga Center and Shambala Yoga Center are some of the yoga centers. For the ones want to hang out with yogis, there are Zen Beach and Nudist Beach. Almost all the cafes are around Laem Son Lake. I strongly recommend you to try.
How to go Koh Phangan?
There are several ways to go Koh Phangan. But none of them is easy. Since I injured my back, I couldn’t pick a cheap option. But still it was really long from Bangkok.
The island is 740km away from Bangkok and the options from expensive to cheap are: Firstly, you can take a flight to Koh Samui island, then take a boat from there. Second option is to take a combined ticket from Bangkok to Surat Thani taking the bus and then taking the catamaran to the island, this takes almost 12 hours (online ticket; https://www.lomprayah.com). And lastly if you can buy before running out is taking a train to Surat Thani and then taking a boat to the island. If you want to have a cheaper option, you need to plan it beforehand.
Transportation on Koh Phangan
Transportation on the island is by bikes. It’s definitely the most effective way to use in all around Thailand. Renting a bike is like 250 Bahts, but in Thong Sala it’s 200Bahts. If you rent for long-term, surely it will be cheaper. The prices are depending on the season also.
Reaching out to some beaches, you have to hike or take a boat. It’s better to take JCV with a group for the parties.
What to eat on the island?
There is a night market in Thong Sala which is open also in midday. Thai food is cheap here. Even taking a look at nights is a touristic attraction.
There are 7/11s everywhere in the island like every corner of Thailand. So it’s a cheap option,too.
As I mentioned before, there are vegan- vegeterian options in Srithanu.
Visa: Visa for Turkish citizens is on the gate and for free. Please go:)
Currency: Baht. 1 USD= 31.42 Bahts. For me it’s not that cheap as it is said by too many people. Since I have seen India, Nepal and Sri Lanka Thailand is not a cheap country for me.
Season: Between March and June is summer season in Koh Phangan. From July to September it’s monsoon season and Novmber to February it’s cool season. I don’t think it’s cool as a tropic island though:)
For now, these are the things I can tell about Koh Phangan. It was the longest journey without a job or any specific activity during my 1 year of travels. The nature wonders are real amazement and the tourists coming and the ones stay are so cool.
For other destinations : http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/travel-with-me
For yoga and wellnes posts: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/yoga-wellness
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