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 faster, easier, and more direct (1 hr flight) and ~$100. Use Bangkok Airways or Thai Airways and then take a Ferry. Use FerrySamui.com to book your ferry ticket. Note that there are different piers and the timing from the Koh Samui airport to the pier is different. Bangrak and Maenam piers are the closest to the airport. Usually the ferry does not need to be booked in advance. You can just ask in the counter in the airport. I recommend going on the Seatran ferry it’s 30 minutes. The last ferry leaves around 4-5pm. Also check Lomprayah Ferry.
In case you arrive in Samui later than that you can also sleep in Samui for a night and take the ferry in the morning (8-10am). Resort which is Convenient, cheap and close to airport: The Mermaid Samui: http://www.samui-mermaid.info/ (can be booked on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
Flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani flights are cheaper than to Koh Samui ~$45 but usually the ferry from Surat Thani takes 5-7 hrs. Fly n Ride n Ferry” - Nok Air & AirAsia.com can get you all the way to Koh Phangan from Surat Thani.
When you arrive in Koh Phangan you'll arrive in Thong Sala, which is a little town, you can then get a taxi of 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!
Benjamin’s Hut - Nice resort, family friendly
WHAT TO DO IN SRI THANU:
Tantra - Tantra Heart Love workshops & retreats
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)
Visa: For most countries, entrance to Thailand for last than 30 days, doesn’t require a visa application beforehand and you can get 30 days when flying in (not if you arrive by land). To check if your country suits that, please see links below
After 30 days you can extend your visa in 30 days more in the immigration office in Koh Samui. (cost 1900 THB). This means you can stay in Thailand for 60 days without Visa application beforehand.
In case you plan to stay for more than 2 months please apply for a tourist visa at your homeland embassy. If you plan to stay more than 60 days in Thailand you can apply for a tourist visa in the nearest thai embassy (get 60 days + option to extend 30 days)
Travel Insurance - I recommend to get it. I use WorldNomads Travel insurance.
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.