There is no (functional) airport on Phangan island, therefore to get here from Bangkok I booked a ticket through AirAsia for 1468 THB (41 USD = 39 EUR = 177 RON), which includes a flight from Bangkok, Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) to Surat Thani Airport (URT), transfer via bus to Donsak pier and ferry to Phangan (Thong Sala pier). The total duration of this trip is around 7 hours.
I’ve arrived at Thong Sala pier sometimes around 8 pm on 1st December. Clear sky, pleasant weather. Yes!
Took a taxi to Baan Tai for 100 THB. 15 minutes later taxi drops me at a Buddhist temple. I kindly ask the driver to take me a bit further, since I doubt that I booked a temple room via Airbnb, and 300 m further I find the place.
This place costed around 18000 THB ( = 490 EUR = 524 USD = 2200 RON) for a month.
The owners, Ildar and his wife Suramas, welcomed me in and gave me the keys to the bungalow. It has one large bedroom with queen sized bed, a desk, a smart TV, AC unit and a big closet. Kitchen is equipped with all the basic stuff you may need: a microwave oven, electric stove, fridge and a four seats table. The bathroom is pretty large, has an electric shower and everything else you may expect, except a washing machine. However, there is a washing machine outside for common use. The bungalow also has a small front deck / terrace having a table and power plugs, which makes it a perfect place place for work.
The WiFi and all other utility consumption costs were included in the price. The WiFi router was inside this bungalow and the internet connection is stable. In fact, the WiFi worked even during electricity outages caused by the heavy storms (UPSes to the rescue)!
The place is located in quiet area of Baan Tai, 10 minutes walk until closest 7/11, and 40 minute walk to a Big C Supermarket.
Pretty much everyone here either drives a motorbike or waits for a “taxi”. These taxis, known here as “songthaew”, appear at random hours on the most common routes. You cannot call for a taxi. You just have to wait, hoping one will pop up. This may take 5 minutes, or 30 minutes.
All taxis cost either 100 THB or 200 THB per person, depending where on the island you’re going.
Ildar can arrange a motorbike rental for you, and you can have it next day delivered at your door.
For about 3500 THB per month, I rented an almost new Honda with automated transmission, which fits 2 persons and drives really nicely. You can fill it up with 150 THB and drive for 2-3 days.
Second day after arriving, a storm kicked in, because why not, and lasted for 8 days. Heavy rains, floodings, electricity outages, blocked roads by huge rocks or trees. Proper shitstorm. However, Ildar’s bungalows remained unaffected by all of these (except the electricity outages of course). A flashlight comes in handy around this island. Good thing I received a flashlight as a departing gift from Raluca (note: have a flashlight with you; power outages are often during storms).
For 8 days I ate mostly Arrabiata pasta, because that’s all I had. Food delivery is rarely an option, especially during storms; same is groceries shopping.
So first week in Phangan island was pretty trivial, I remained indoor, worked, watched movies and ate a ton of pasta.
But then it happened…
Sun came out. And after being “trapped” indoors for 8 days, I jumped on the motorbike and, in the same day, I visited almost the entire island, managed to get a head injury while walking on a beach and staring at … uhmm people, then tried to “walk it off” by climbing the waterfall in the national park, and later did my groceries for an entire week, as a precaution.
Than Sadet National Park
Full Moon Party
The Full Moon Party takes place on the Haad Rin beach, once every month. The entry fee is 100 THB and there are around 7 scenes (each one sponsored by a particular venue).
Even though I’ve been twice to this party, once around Christmas and once on New Year’s Eve special party, I don’t have many photos, nor stories I can or want to share. Ever :)) Or maybe I will, in another post..
Meanwhile, here’s some photos from the Christmas party.
Next — I’m going to Malaysia, Penang, for 3 months.