The Three P’s of Koh Phangan, Thailand
Everyone’s experience will be unique to them but from what I’ve seen, there are three main regions of Koh Phangan carrying three different vibrational frequencies. These frequencies correlate with the three highly researched levels of happiness that we teach at Delivering Happiness.
What most people have heard about when you mention Koh Phangan is the Full Moon Party on the Haad Rin side of the island. This is “Pleasure-seeking” happiness or “Rockstar happiness”, which is chasing the next high.
I have only passed through Haad Rin but from its reputation, I’ve heard it’s like Spring Break meets Yacht Week in the tropics. Endless bars, cheap drinks, it’s a place you can really party your heart out. Haad Rin is catered towards people looking to have fun (dependent on your definition of fun). What it’s not catered towards is your long-lasting health or happiness.
Then there’s the East side of the island nicknamed the "Tri-Bay" for its three beaches: Haad Tien, Haad Yao, and Why Nam. This is what I consider the “Passion” side of the island.
The word passion comes from the Latin root “pati” which means "to suffer". The suffering on this side of the island comes from the Tri-Bay’s unofficial tagline, “DETOX RETOX”. In the Tri-Bay you’ll find beach dance parties at Why Nam, Guy’s Bar, and Eden with good vibes and fun treats to keep the vibes flowing (if that’s what you’re seeking).
The beachside resort and healing hub for your DETOX is the Sanctuary where you can take various workshops, experience healing sessions, or do a five-day cleanse. When I first arrived, I did a week long Thaivedic Massage course Thai massage + Ayurveda) and really enjoyed it. Though people are mostly on holiday coming and going, there’s also a pretty close community so you’ll see familiar smiling faces wherever you go.
Finally, there’s the side of the island I call home. Along the West coast of Koh Phangan lies the “yoga” or “hippie side” of the island called Sri Thanu. To me, Sri Thanu is so much more than a bunch of yogi’s. Sri Thanu is a small village and conscious community where people come to heal and grow. If that is what you're longing for, you’ll want to pinch yourself when you arrive because the entire village is designed for your healing and spiritual awakening.
With the elevation of our collective consciousness, there are more and more communities like these sprouting up around the globe, but what I think makes Sri Thanu unique is the gentleness with which it heals and holds space for you.
Geographically, the beaches are shallow and low tide, perfect for floating. The sunsets reflect like mirror images onto the sea. The lush green jungles surround you in a state of serenity.
Culturally, the local Thai people are kind and loving. The majority are Buddhists who live their lives humbly, respectfully, and with honor. Most speak some English and are willing to teach you some Thai. Koh Phangan has virtually zero crime and in my experience is very safe to travel solo.
Communally, the people who really tap into the Koh Phan-magic always return. Whether they come back every season or 14 years later, this sacred place opens your heart and stays with you long after you leave her.
KOH PHANGAN RECOMMENDATIONS LIST:
Culinary wise, the options are mostly either Thai or Vegan-Vegetarian.
FAVORITE THAI RESTAURANTS IN SRI THANU:
- Cafe Wan - try the orange curry! it's unbelievable, my favorite.
- Bai Jai (try the pumpkin and egg special and the massaman curry
- Mamma Pooh's - massaman curry and seafood
- Anutta - quick, easy, yummy spot! love their shakes and veggie noodles.
FAVORITE VEGETARIAN SPOTS IN SRI THANU:
- Karma Café - I love the breakfast burrito, Kale-ifornia Salad, and Perfect 10 Salad
- Orion - their Buddha bowl and hummus!
- Green Gallery - excellent Israeli food
- Eat.co - their mushroom shishkabab and vegan desserts!
OTHER SRI THANU FAVORITES:
- Seed to Feed – gorgeously vibrant salads with micro-greens from their hydroponic garden
- Barracuda – the best fresh Seafood, the owner is Italian or French? he is super passionate about fishing and really is gifted!
- Taboon - Israeli - I like the Sabih eggplant salad, hummus with mushrooms, and chapatti bread yum yum yum!
- Three Sixty Bar - not for the food but for the view!
HOW TO GET TO THE ISLAND:
Getting to Koh Phangan is a trip. There’s no direct flight and it’s not for the high maintenance.
- The two main airports to fly into are Koh Samui or Surat Thani. Koh Samui flights from Bangkok are about $100 and Surat Thani flights are about $45. I use Google Flights, AirAsia or Nok Air.
- You’ll need to take a ferry to Koh Phangan from either Koh Samui or Surat Thani. I recommend Lomprayah Ferry as it’s the fastest. Keep in mind when booking you have to take shuttles to and from the airport and so add at least 1-3 hrs padding.
- When you arrive in Koh Phangan you'll arrive in Thong Sala, which is a little town, you can then get a taxi to your choice to all three sides of the island (Sri Thanu, Haad Rin, or the Tri-Bay - well the Tri-Bay you'll take a boat taxi).
WHERE TO STAY IN SRI THANU:
- Laemson Resort - ~$25/night - simple bungalows right on the beach next to Zen Beach which is very popular.
- Benjamin's Hut - $~40/night - nice landing spot on the beach, has a little restaurant, breakfast is included, and mostly families stay here.
- Koh Phangan Rentals & Villas - Rachel will help you find a place if you're looking to stay longer.
- Koh Phangan Conscious Community - you're welcome to ask here. This is a private community, please read the instructions before posting!
WHAT TO DO IN SRI THANU:
- Ecstatic Dance - usually on Wednesday nights at Jaran's and Sunday mornings at Pyramid Yoga
- Tantra - Tantra Heart Love workshops & retreats
- Yoga - Sama Karuna, Orion, Pyramid Yoga, and also Agama which is a really popular, well known school but not my style
- The Dome - herbal sauna, healing lounge, and fireside chill spot
- Moonlit Cinema - an enchanted outdoor garden cinema in Thong Sala
- Check in Koh Phangan Conscious Community - very active!
HOW TO GET AROUND:
- Andoo Bike Rentals - right next to Eat.co ask for Andoo or Yik. Tell them Lotus and Wendy sent you and they'll take care of you!
- Trusted taxi drive - Pele, he speaks good English and is super helpful and available. He also provides a much more fair price than others. Tell him Lotus sent you! +66 93-679-5215)
If you make it that far, hit me up and I’ll shower you with more Koh Phan Love & Support.
Godspeed and safe travels,
p.s. see full Koh Phangan photo album.