A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thailand Part 4: Koh Phangan

Party time

Max! The Shaman

Our little piece of heaven

Haad Rin Beach

The view from our porch

Our favorite hangout

Koh Phangan is a larger island south of Koh Tao. Its mainly known for its Full Moon Parties at Haad Rin Beach. Then there's the Half Moon Parties, Black Moon Parties... basically there are a lot of parties. Predictably, the feel is very different from Koh Tao, and interestingly the look is quite different as well.

We weren't going to be in Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party, but we wanted to stay at the beach where it all went down anyway. We were hungry and tired so we stopped at the first few bungalows that we saw. Fortuitously, they were all out of our price range or fully booked. Feeling a bit irritated, we trekked up the famed Mellow Mountain and walked straight into our own paradise.

High on a rocky cliff side overlooking the infinite turquoise sea and white sand beach sat our new home, a tidy little bungalow complete with wrap around porch, hammock and refreshing ocean breeze, all for the lovely price of $3 a night each. When the man showed it to us and asked if it was alright, I couldn't help but cry, "I'm so happy!" My outburst and the dreamy look on my face seemed to startle him a bit, but it didn't matter, I'd found heaven.

We spent the next week lost in a haze of happiness shuttling between our bed, the hammock, the beach, and our favorite restaurant where we could get green curry, mango lassis, and fried bananas while watching Family Guy. We never wanted to leave and as the days faded in and out we wavered on our plans to get to Koh Phi Phi. We heard it was the most beautiful spot in all of Thailand, but life was just so good.

Not to mention the new friends we had made on our mountain paradise. Max, a 38 year old Thai guy who owned the Mountain Bar conveniently located a few flights down from us had become our new buddy. He was a good friend to have, interesting, funny and always willing to share. He invited us to hang out with his friends on his birthday and we passed a crazy night taking shots in the bar while he blatantly ignored his customers. Max was living the dream. Spending all day and night chilling out on the mountainside. We would regularly find him fast asleep on mats in the bar when we finally left our bungalow around noon each day.

While his dream would continue, we knew ours wouldn't last forever. Max wouldn't give me a job in the bar and our trip back to Seoul was looming ahead. It was time to move on and see what all the fuss with Koh Phi Phi was about... but not before a little stop in a bamboo tattoo parlor...


  1. $3 a night...what??? I'm coming next time...

  2. Registered nurse seeking thailand health care job/adventure with purpose....will work for shelter/food.........