Apart from visiting temples and rushing through the busy streets of Bangkok, the best thing to do in Thailand is island hopping! The first island that I visited in Thailand that is not only famous for it’s full moon party but also the incredible beaches is Koh Phangan!
I met a friend from our India travel group in Bangkok and took the overnight bus to Koh Phangan with him. After busy Bangkok and Chiang Mai, we both fancied a bit of beach time and decided to head to Koh Phangan together.
I booked a beach hut for us online, so we went straight there from the port. The place we stayed in was called Golden Beach. It was situated in Baan Tai, a bit out of town and pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The apartments were pretty basic but cheap. You definitely need a scooter to get around though!
Our Bungalow was right on the beach and it was lovely fall out of bed in the morning and head straight into the sea! We rented a scooter from the resort and mostly spent our days driving around the island.
We seemed to have just about caught rainy season on Koh Phangan. We made the best of it though and just cruised around in 7/11 raincoats. There was the occasional spark of sun so we could still work on our tans a bit.
There are a few hidden and quiet temples on Koh Phangan which are a great stop on a tour of the island. I would give the waterfalls a miss (not that great) and head for the non-touristy temples instead!
One piece of advise when you rent a scooter: be careful who you rent it from! We had a little accident on a slippy road and slightly scratched ours. Apart from gaining a lovely Koh Phangan tattoo (in other words, a giant bruise), they tried to charge us lots of money for the scratches. Luckily my friend was very stern and talked some sense into him but we still ended up paying £120 together!
If you don’t fancy the Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan, there is still lots of other stuff to do. Explore the beaches, do some shopping in Haad Rin or enjoy the views of the hilltop bars!
The AmsterdAm Bar offers great views at the sunset vibe and has (thanks to their legal selling of weed) a very relaxed vibe.
The biggest city of Koh Phangan is Thongsala. You will find plenty of supermarkets there and a night market that has plenty of good and cheap food! I generally found that Koh Phangan was a lot more expensive than Bangkok and Chiang Mai. A meal can be three times the price of what you pay in Bangkok. To keep expenses low, we found ourselves venturing out of the cities often to find small local food stalls that were considerably cheaper and delicious!
If you’re looking for an island that offers nice beaches and good entertainment, Koh Phangan is definitely a good pick! Just try to avoid the wet seasons! ;-)
What is your next travel destination? Let me know in the comments below!