Of all the islands, Koh phangan excited us the least, mainly because its so well known for its full moon parties (…and new moon, half moon, black moon, waterfall and jungle parties…the list could continue) it attracts a certain crowd who on the majority annoy the hell out of me and is also well known for ruining this peaceful and beautiful place with being obnoxious, rude and general d**k heads.
We missed the full moon as we were on Koh Tao, so we arrived to a pleasantly quiet island. We got a taxi to where we had booked a night and once we were dropped off we walked down the steep dirt road to a serene area on the beach with about 10 or so beach bungalows and not a person in sight! Once we did find someone she kindly showed us to our hut and we opened the door to a more than basic room. We can do basic and we have done basic and were prepared to settle into our wooden hut but then I moved a (dirty) pillow on the bed and uncovered Barry. Now, Barry is about the size of a grown mans forearm and is a lizard, aptly (and quite quickly) nicknamed ‘Barry the Beast’. Once Barry was uncovered we both jumped back and with a quick OMG from us, he scarpered up the wall and disappeared in the area between the wall and ceiling. So that means, he (and anything else) can get back in whenever it pleases. After finding him, we then began finding his little treats placed all over the room and bed. Obviously Barry has had the run of this room for quite a while.
We quickly headed out and politely asked if they do any air con rooms (thinking that they may be less basic and not let all manner of animal in) and after a bit of coercing on our side were shown the one room. The walls were concreted on the inside and sealed. Taken! We will pay the extra, anything but leaving us alone in a dark room with Barry.
After getting settled we rented a bike and began to explore the island. Which turns out is quite mountainous but with far better roads than Koh Tao! We explored up north to Haad Salad and then back down again, stopping at every good looking beach we saw. We were looking to stay in the north but after the drive, decided we like the area we were in, Baan Tai, and looked for cheaper accommodation there. We found it in the form of not a beach hut, thank goodness, they are not as good as they sound! But a large and clean and cheap room in a guesthouse. More our style. As far as the beach huts go, you pay a lot more, almost double the price, for a small, beyond basic and hot room with the added bonus is that it is on the beach. We were not that bothered, we have legs (and a moto!) We also took the dreaded drive to Haad Rin, up some extremly steep and windy hills to get to the notorious full moon party area. It not being full moon, it was deserted and the beach looked wonderful!
So we have ended up spending about 5 days in Koh Phangan, taking the bike to a different area each day and trying out some snorkeling, which unfortunately was not that good. Koh Tao spoilt us a bit. And searching out some waterfalls to find them all dried up 😦 But all in all we have enjoyed our time and happy we got to see it at a quiet time. Maybe we will come back for a full moon party one day.
—Love to all—C Smith—