Ko Pha Ngan (Thailand)

Ko Pha Ngan Island is renowned for its monthly full moon party.  For a few days a month, the island sees some 30,000 people cramming Had Rin Beach looking to party their minds out.  If you cannot wait for the big kahuna, Full Moon party, there is also a half-moon and black moon party to let loose at.  It doesn’t matter in which lunar week we are, there will be a good party going on.  We would have visited this over the top Full Moon party back in our prime, but now that we are aging nomads, we were content hanging on a more mellow part of Koh Pha Ngan simply watching the world go by.

You do not need much to be happy on these islands in the Gulf of Thailand.  A simple bamboo hut on the top of the hill overlooking the sea is all you really need.  However, If a simple bamboo hut with limited electricity is not your thing, don’t worry, you can splash out and find 5 stars resorts and villas where you will feel like you are the King.  Whereas in the past, when these islands were backpacker beach havens, the Thai islands now cater to all styles of travelers.

Ko Pha Ngan has many accommodation options in many different secluded bays surrounding the island.  The key is selecting the right bay to base yourself as the beaches are by no means equal as the tides can significantly affect the quality of the beach.  Being the nice guy that I am, I will point you in the right direction.  The bay to choose with a first rate beach would be Ao Thong Nai Pan which is located on the NE part of the island.  We pulled the trigger on the Buri Rasa Resort which proved to be a fantastic choice.  The resort is on an awesome stretch of beach and is attached to a relaxed bohemian type village where you can venture out to eat at one of many locally owned laid back outdoor restaurants for a change of pace from the resort food options.  The setup at this resort was simply awesome and one of the highlight beach destinations of this trip.  It was such a good setup that we did not even venture to explore the other beached on the island as my thinking was nothing could beat Ao Thong Nai Pan.  Next time we visit this island, we will explore other areas as I had been told there are some equally impressive beach coves.

What I really love about all of the Thai islands (at least those that have not become overly developed) is that they have such a relaxed casual atmosphere.  You don’t need any fancy clothes.  Board shorts, flip-flops and a beach towel will be your daily uniform.  The ocean water is crystal clear, the sunsets are awesome, the beach massages are only $10 per hr. and the grilled seafood on the beach is just so tasty.

Koh Phangan is a great island to kick back and simply enjoy the relaxed beach scene.  The island is much less built up and has a significantly slower pace than neighboring Koh Samui.  It also has better beaches than Samui, in my opinion.  Being only a 45 minute speedboat from Samui makes Koh Phangan a logical island stopover along with Koh Tao when visiting the Gulf of Thailand.

Restaurants –
Buri Rasa @ Beach Cafe, Hacienda Happy Days, Jip Shop,

So, how did Big Doug achieve a perfect 10 in Koh Phangan?   The first perfect 10 stool rating of this entire trip.  I will be straight up and tell you some cheating was involved.   I was on the tail end of my first antibiotic regiment of this trip which I began in Koh Samui.  The flu kicked both of our asses, big time, in Laos and lingered thru our 1st stay Samui.  To prevent our continuous coughing from turning into a respiratory infection, the doctor put us both on antibiotics.  I am not a doctor and I am not sure of the reason why, but being on antibiotics completely cleansed my pipes.  As a result of these antibiotics, I turned into the most efficient, well oiled pooing machine. The poos were a work of art…..It was pure bliss, I tell you.

Traveling with my lovely companion, Barbie and literally spending 24 hours/7 days a week living and breathing as one, sure has its moments.  However, there are 2x per month, (during the Full Moon and during PMS) that my sweet little girlfriend, at times, turns into a fire-breathing demon who is capable of unleashing a tsunamis of bitchery.  The only way to kill this demon, you ask?  Some super fudge chocolate ice cream coupled with a healthy dose of keeping my mouth shut.

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