Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Koh Phangan Vacation

This year in March I have finally visited Koh Phangan, a small island in the gulf of Thailand, next to the famous Koh Samui. I was recommended to go there by one of my best friends Alex, who’s been there 4 times and spent 7 months in total. He was always raving about this place – how great it is and how much fun everyone has there. If you haven’t heard, this island is home of famous (or infamous J, depending on how you look at it) Full Moon Party. He told me that he used to leave in a tiny bungalow right next to the sea. This cost him $5 per day plus another $5 for meals. That’s right $10 per day for a peace of paradise. He is trying to organize a business there now, so he can permanently move there.

Anyway, it was my first trip to Asia, and I went with my friend Elmar. First we had to fly to Koh Samui and then catch a boat from there to Koh Phangan. When you catch a boat make sure that you go with a big speed boat, not with small ones, as they take much longer - 50 minutes instead of 25. Normally I book my accommodation with Hotels Combined since they do the hard work of comparing several sites, but this time we decided to book at the spot since that’s what Alex suggested. We stayed at the Green Hotel in Koh Samui wich had quite spacious double room for 800 baht. This hotel is one of the cheapest that you cat get at the airport hotel desk and is located at the very central location on the main road (our room was a garden room which faces the other way). In Koh Phangan at first we stayed in Liberty Bungalows which cost 300 baht per night, but is pretty basic – you have to flush your toilet with the bucket. So, I moved to a bit nicer place next door – Mac’s Bay Resort, which had a pretty good clean bungalow with aircon for 1100 baht. Ban Tai (the area where we stayed) is a pretty good location, the 7/11 is just around the corner and both centres Tong Sala and Had Rin are pretty close. Taxy to Tong Sala will cost 50 baht and to Had Rin about 100. At night you may need to pay a bit more, but remember that everything there is negotiable.

The island was awesome, very beautiful, with a huge party on their main Had Rin beach every night. If you go there be careful as this place is famous for drink spiking. Be aware there is an epidemic of AIDS especially amongst women in this country. Otherwise, Had Rin is a fun place.

Anyway, to make a long story short I absolutely loved this place. I loved their steamy weather, the heat, the warm ocean (yes it was literally warm or even hot next to the shore), the friendly tourists from all other the world and not less friendly locals, amazing food and rock bottom prices. With my lash-out budget I only spent $60 per day. I’m now like my friend Alex, telling everyone how good it is and some of mine friends are thinking of going LOL :)

Some stats on AIDS in Thailand:

Thailand Statistics 33

Estimated total population, July 2005


Estimated number of people living with HIV, end 2005


Adults (15+)


Women (15+)


Children (0-15)


Estimated adult HIV prevalence


Estimated number of AIDS deaths in 2005



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