tantra

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

THE SACRED ART OF SHIBARI 縛り癒

How does one put words to an experience as electrifying, enlivening, and elevating as Shibari 縛り癒 Healing?

The first word that comes to heart is "Yugen" a Japanese word for describing the indescribable. Yugen is a profound awareness of the universe that triggers a deep emotional response.

That's what Bodhi Zapha's Shibari Workshop gave me.

Shibari 縛り癒 Healing  | Bodhi Zapha 
"A Shibari healing session involves working with ropes and meditative states to channel energy, feelings of surrender and connection with transcendental consciousness free from the limitations of the body." — Bodhi Zapha

In this sacred art form, Bodhi is a Shamanic Alchemist transforming what was once an act of torture and suffering into an initiation into conscious healing, pure beauty, and great fun!

Shibari 縛り癒 Healing has been likened to "a hot bath for your energy body", "meeting the edge of your humanity", "touching the void", "embracing the somatic landscape of vulnerability and surrender".

Shibari 縛り癒 Healing builds a bridge between the conscious and subconscious mind, the mind and body work together to bring a state of peace to the being. In this twilight place the mind is in resonance with it's own deeper intelligence, melting into source energy, the place from whence we all derive.

The singularity, the core of existence beyond duality. To experience oneness with this core universal energy realigns the individual with his or her own true essence leading to profound self evolution and reconnection to spirit.

My first experience with Shibari 縛り癒 Healing was completely unanticipated. Through the experience of being tied and un-tied, I was swiftly transported into a state of total surrender.

In that sacred space, I felt a soul wound hidden with me unlock and slowly come undone. I dove deep and discovered that under layers and layers, I have a profound feeling of distrust. Distrust for others, distrust for self, distrust in the Divine. Like no one and nothing can truly hold me.

Opening something like that can be quite startling and unnerving but the space was held so beautifully that it allowed for a gentle unraveling. My Shibari partner remained by my side and I was able to come to a place of wholeness and willingness to release this distrust and begin to rebuild my faith. 

From that session on, every experience we shared flowed. Each moment presented a new learning, teaching, and delight. Bodhi took us through various tying techniques and fun tantra exercises like "Predator and Prey" (aka Hunter and Hunted) where you take on different masculine and feminine roles to express and explore the wildness within.

Through Bodhi's Shibari workshop, I also learned more about the Wheel of Consent, a wheel that presents the spectrum of Doing/Not Doing and Giving/Receiving where there are four main actions of: Serving, Allowing, Taking, and Accepting.

Bodhi shared that in relationships it is often that one person is giving, say for example a man is giving his partner a massage. In this case, he is giving and feels he is SERVING his partner. She feels she is ALLOWING him to do what he wants to do. But no one is RECEIVING.

We practiced each of these and it was amazing to go full on into each. Particularly with TAKING. I've never been given permission or allowed myself to fully TAKE. It's been deemed as "selfish" and "wrong" and dependent on the context it can be. But in relationship where boundaries are clear and consent is given, it can be an opportunity to step into your power in a very sexy and invigorating way. It's also really exhilirating to be taken by your partner, to see them in their full power! 

This insight alone was worth the cost of the entire workshop. I now feel in-freedomed to introduce and practice giving, receiving, allowing, and taking in future relationships.

To conclude, the Shibari 縛り癒 Healing workshop was significant. I'm stunned by how much we covered in just two days together. 

I feel tremendous respect for this healing art and immense gratitude for the opportunity to explore Shibari as a new expression of sexuality, sensuality, and spirituality. 

Thank you to Bodhi for showing us the ropes (pun intended!) and to my fellow Shibari Initiators for a most transformative experience 🙏🏽.

Join the next 2 day Instructive Shibari Healing Adventure in Koh Phangan, Thailand on August 13-14th or treat yourself to a private Shibari 縛り癒 Healing session with Bodhi directly.

AHO!

With gratitude and lots of spanks,

Lotus