purpose

PLEASURE, PASSION, PURPOSE: KOH PHANGAN

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.

1.     Pleasure

2.     Passion

3.     Purpose

Full Moon Party | Haad Rin, Koh Phangan

Full Moon Party | Haad Rin, Koh Phangan

PLEASURE

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.

Lovely Photography: Katsura Sato | Haad Yao, Koh Phangan

Lovely Photography: Katsura Sato | Haad Yao, Koh Phangan

PASSION

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.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

PURPOSE

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.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

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.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

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.

Stunning Photography:  Maxinne Bjork

Stunning Photography: Maxinne Bjork

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.

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

Wondrous Photography: Vanessa Deering

KOH PHANGAN RECOMMENDATIONS LIST:

Culinary wise, the options are mostly either Thai or Vegan-Vegetarian.

FAVORITE THAI RESTAURANTS IN SRI THANU:

  1. Cafe Wan - try the orange curry! it's unbelievable, my favorite.

  2. Bai Jai (try the pumpkin and egg special and the massaman curry

  3. Mamma Pooh's - massaman curry and seafood

  4. Anutta - quick, easy, yummy spot! love their shakes and veggie noodles.

FAVORITE VEGETARIAN SPOTS IN SRI THANU:

  1. Karma Café - I love the breakfast burrito, Kale-ifornia Salad, and Perfect 10 Salad

  2. Orion - their Buddha bowl and hummus!

  3. Green Gallery - excellent Israeli food

  4. Eat.co - their mushroom shishkabab and vegan desserts!

OTHER SRI THANU FAVORITES:

  1. Seed to Feed – gorgeously vibrant salads with micro-greens from their hydroponic garden

  2. Barracuda – the best fresh Seafood, the owner is Italian or French? he is super passionate about fishing and really is gifted!

  3. Taboon - Israeli - I like the Sabih eggplant salad, hummus with mushrooms, and chapatti bread yum yum yum!

  4. 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.

    • International Flights: SkyScanner.com or Kiwi.com is a useful flights search engine.

  • 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:

WHAT TO DO IN SRI THANU:

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)

OTHER PRACTICALS:

  • 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,

Lotus

p.s. see full Koh Phangan photo album

Work is love made visible.

"Work is love made visible.” — Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

The average human works ~91,000 hours, which is 35% of our total waking hours [assuming you sleep 8 hours/night and work 40 hours/week]. If I am going to dedicate that much of my life to something, I want it to matter.

You see, I don’t believe in work/life balance, to me that means work and life are two separate things. My philosophy is you have one life and work is a significant part of it.

Until we evolve, people will continue to ask “what do you do?” instead of “who are you?” So I want what I do to show you who I am. I want my values and purpose to align with my organization’s values and purpose. I want my work to energize/give to me as much as I energize/give to it. I want my work to be an expression of love.

My purpose: to expand consciousness and transform lives and communities worldwide.

Delivering Happiness' purpose: to inspire passion + purpose at work for a happier world.

AN UNDENIABLE YES

You may have known me once, or thought you knew me, you may know me now or think you do.

But the truth is, I change everyday. I can barely keep up with who I am and what I want and I’ll bet you change too. Of course there are things about each of us that are constant, much of which is DNA and more of which is deeper, value-driven, culture-driven, stemming from a place of purpose, imbedded in our souls.

This purpose presents itself in moments of inspiration, in acts of kindness and in choices no one understands but you.

Last night I stumbled upon one of those moments as I was skimming through an older journal. I always keep a journal and it amazes me to look back and transport myself to those moments. Just like any good book, you can become totally encapsulated.

My thoughts start from middle school with such simple problems, “who do I like this week?” “what did I do to get in trouble again?” to post-graduate thoughts “what do I want to do with my life?” “what kind of impact do I want to make on Earth?”.

This particular piece was written during an Activist workshop about self-care, where I was asked to write from my soul.

To take a deeper look into the person I continue to be. Read on.

11/29/12
 
What is the sum of our existence on earth? How can we heal this place? Where am I, where have I been, who was I then?
 
Shed identity, shed this life, shed all. This life could’ve been anyone’s, this body, mind and spirit anything, but in this life, it’s mine.

What discoveries have I unveiled? Inventions, inspiration, moments of undeniable brilliance. My soul feels so pure and yet I know my deep inner wisdom is being accessed more and more each day. I often wonder who I’ve been and where I have gone, I know the answers are inside of me, with each life experience they become unlocked.
 
In moments of darkness I had light. In moments of development, challenge and disbelief I found hope. A strong sense of self, an energetic purity, sense of imagination, curiosity and wonder that has gone beyond my wildest dreams.
 
And in this sudden exploration of voice and fury where I am delving into my innermost being, I ask myself, what will be my greatest gift in this life? The love and peace I feel now, will it last? The fire lit inside, will it ever be defused? When there’s courage needed, will it be available? Will I recognize it in me as I do in others? Will I continue to grow and be all that I aspire to? The dreams that I have in my days, will they be realized?
 
The answer within me to all is an undeniable yes. One that pumps my heart and sends each beat into my lungs, my voice, my words, my vision, my thoughts, my feelings, and everything I am. My innermost wisdom tells me, do not worry, for worries belong in the future, regrets in the past.
 
My soul tells me, use your laser focus in your work, clear your world of obstacles, embrace challenges, be open to love and light and laughter. Experience joy, don’t run from it. If the divine gives it to you, give it to others and be your best here now, in this moment and the next.
 
In this life and beyond, let your soul dance, be free and understand that there are not always answers.
 
It just is.

Love,
 
Your Soul.