Koh means island in Thai, that’s why every island in Thailand is Koh something.
We arrived on Phangan from a very short stay on Koh Samui (we did not like Samui much). The taxi driver took us to place with bungalows called Cookies Bungalows :).
We rented a small bungalow with a double bed in it on a hill with sea view . It was about £10/night. There wasn’t a mosquito net but luckily we traveled with our own so we quickly put it up, threw our bags in the corner of the room and ran straight into the sea for a swim! After the swim we went to explore Thonsala, the only town on the island and that’s when the story with the broom guy happened.
We loved Phangan straight away. The night market in Thonsala with a huge variety of food was quite close, so we went there almost every evening. We tried everything from pad thai to freshly made sushi and ice cream made right in front of our eyes…all of these dishes just amazing!
We spent our days hitchhiking around the island, swimming, walking around and doing yoga. One day we stood on the side of the road and we stopped two guys on motorbikes. When they asked us where we were headed, we said wherever! So they took us to Mae Haad beach, where at low tide you can walk over to Koh Ma, a tiny island nearby.
We fell in love with The Dome https://www.facebook.com/saunakohphangan/?ref=br_rs , a place close to Mae Haad beach just off the main road coming from Thonsala (there is a small sign with ‘The Dome’) written on it. It’s one of the coolest places I have ever been to. It has a herbal steam room in the shape of an igloo, outside showers, a camp fire, cushions everywhere to lie down and relax, great music and lots of cool people. All the expats on Koh Phangan go there, tourists not so much because they don’t know about the place. It’s amazing to go there after dark (it opens at 7 pm) to chill out and get to know people. Don’t miss it if you’re on Phangan!
Phangan has two sides to it – The party side on the south at Haad Rin area and the more spiritual, cool side with many expats on the northern side. So please remember, there is so much more to Koh Phangan than the Full moon, Half moon, Quarter moon, No moon, Whatever moon parties! That area we avoided on purpose, although once during the day we rode a motorbike there just out of curiosity. I was scared shit-less because the road there is so windy with incredibly steep hills! The beach in Haad Rin is beautiful…clear blue waters and white sand. So we were pleasantly surprised but that still didn’t convince us to go to any of the crazy parties.
After a few weeks of chillaxing we went to the monastery in Baan Tai for a 10 day silent Vipasana retreat http://www.watkowtahm.org/ which we were booked in for. I went there expecting to be a completely changed person (towards the better of course) after the 10 days were up, which kind of happened (link).