Monday, April 21, 2008

Going to Koh Phangan?

My best friend and I went to Koh Phangan for the Songkran holiday (April 11-15). We had the best view of the sunset at the beach we were at. We checked in at Asia Bungalows, a new resort at the middle of Haad Salad, directly facing west. We chose Haad Salad because it's very ideal if one seeks for peace and quiet. Most people we met were families, couples (young and old) and friends. It's also a diving/snorkeling site. Click here to see more pictures.

Where is Koh Phangan? Koh Phangan is an island southeast of Thailand. It is situated just north of Koh Samui, and southeast of Koh Tao. It is best known for its Full Moon and Half Moon parties. For more information about the island, click here.

How to get there? Hmmm... there are many ways to get there.

By plane: For about 45 minutes straight to Koh Samui. Koh Phangan does not have an airport, so the closest ones are in Koh Samui (Bangkok Air) and Suratthani (Air Asia). From Koh Samui, you still need to take a 20 to 30-min, or 1-hour boat ride to Koh Phangan, depending on the pier. The pier north of Koh Samui (I forgot the name of the pier) has the shortest distance to Phangan. The nearest beach there would be Haad Rin, where all the party beaches are. From Suratthani, you need to take a bus to Donsak pier(40-min ride), then the ferry (Songserm or Seatran -- we boarded Songserm and it was ok) would take 3.5 hours to reach Koh Phangan (Thongsala pier). It also stops at Koh Samui for 15 mins to drop off and pick up passengers heading for Koh Phangan and Koh Tao... Anyway, due to limited budget and the hassle of getting off the plane and still traveling by bus and boat made us decide to cross this option out.

By train: Our first choice was actually to take the train from Hua Lumpong station (Bangkok) to Suratthani because it's convenient (for overnight trips, trains have beds). The trip normally takes 10-12 hours to get to the province. But since it was the peak season, we didn't get tickets. The lady from the ticket sales suggested to buy tickets at least 2 months before Songkran. She also informed us that all seats were booked in February, so I guess it's much safer to book tickets 3 months in advance. Then upon arriving Suratthani, the same directions apply, as stated above (bus to Donsak, ferry, etc).

By bus: This was the option we took. There are VIP buses at the Southern Bus Terminal. Luckily for us, there was a travel agency at Hua Lumpong arranging roundtrips to Koh Samui/Phangan/Tao. Their office is located at the left mezzanine, from the station entrance facing the ticket booths. They arranged our bus-to-ferry transpo, which saved us energy and time. Transportation costs totaled 2,100 THB, except the transfers within the island which could be arranged by your beach resort agents.

Problems one should be prepared for? Hmmm... for our case, only the long waits. If you're traveling with family and/or friends, then you could keep each other company. If alone, make sure you have a book or ipod/mp4 with you. A lot of people there are traveling alone, so it's a great time to meet new folks as well (heyhey, René!) Oh, by the way, the bus driver on our way back to Bangkok wasn't very friendly (he didn't smile or speak kindly, as many Thais always do... maybe he has issues with foreigners hehehe), and he dropped us off at Khao San, when we were expecting to stop at Hua Lumpong or the Southern Bus Terminal. And there's also VIP treatment for Thais (and people who look and/or speak Thai, so southeast Asian people can enjoy the same benefit hehe) like first priority in waiting lines, bus pickup, etc. Otherwise, wait like everybody else. Patience is always a virtue.

Okay, if you're planning to go there, don't hesitate to ask. Just post a comment here ;-)



  • bakla...kamusta ang chatuchak? nahanap mo ba? :P

    By Blogger clueless, at 5:00 AM, April 22, 2008  

  • hi bakla! sha nga pala, sino ka? hehehe. HINDI KO NAHANAP! huhuhu. serendipity na talaga tong tuluyan.... gudlak na sa ganda ko.

    By Blogger mojojho, at 9:06 AM, April 22, 2008  

  • oh no. Dito ko pa nalaman na di mo nahanap. waaaaaah! Sabi sa iyo, put-up ka ng posters eh, hahaha...

    btw, you gals have outdone yourselves this time. B) Ang ganda nung dagat. At yung mga sunset pics...I have no words, hehehe. Ganda! (Word lang pala, hindi words *LOL)

    *clap clap*

    By Blogger Selfshift, at 1:19 PM, April 24, 2008  

  • ~clueless: langya, kaw pala yan :p

    ~selfshift: ang ganda noh?!?!?! galing tlga ng sunsets dun... mas maganda nga lang sana kung may kasamang pakner (*cough* rene) sa paglubog ng araw. *sigh*

    By Blogger mojojho, at 8:13 AM, April 25, 2008  

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