Monday, 20 December 2010

Reviews of Dreamland Resort in Thong Nai Pan Yai

Mixed reviews for Dreamland Resort tucked into the northern corner of Thong Nai Pan Yai beach. For a long time Thong Nai Pan Yai was the other great beach in Koh Phangan, behind its more famous cousin, Thong Nai Pan Noi. Times are changing. the Thong Nai Pan area is still stunning and the road access has improved but the prices have gone up market along with the tourist demographics. Still for all those diehard Thong Nai Pan fans Dreamland is still a great option if you want to lie on a postcard perfect tropical beach and mid-range comforts.

The comforts have improved slightly in Dreamland Resort - they now have a pool and pool dining area. There also some fairly nice air-con bungalows.

Here are the prices for Dreamland Resort for 2011:

                     Jan-March  April-June  July-Aug Sept-Nov Dec
Standard Fan 800 THB    600 THB       800 THB     600 THB   800 THB
Standard A/C1500 THB   1200 THB  1500 THB  1200 THB   1500 THB
Superior       1800 THB   1500 THB   1800 THB 1500 THB  1800 THB
Family          1500 THB   2000 THB   2500 THB 2000 THB  2500 THB
Deluxe          4000 THB   3500 THB   4000 THB  3500 THB 4000 THB
Rates are excl. breakfast

Click Here for secure booking of accommodation at Dreamland Resort

Fantastic location without too many tourists. Resort with an human size where you can stay quietly enjoying beach and the fantastic swimming pool. Very kind and efficient personnel always here to help you. A perfect way to end our trip around Thailand. Thanks !
Annika Hilmersson
Vid vårt besök på Dreamland Resort drabbades vi dessvärre av regn och blåst. Dreamland resort har en underbar pool och är säkert dt bästa boende vi kan tänka oss på denna strand.Svårtillgängligt att ta sig hit med bil det är bättre att åka båt.

Kerlir Gwenaelle
very good bungalows but 1- the resort is very far off all and the road is very dangerous 2- the resort is very noisy during all the nights, we can t sleep. Lots of people went to sleep without respect for others, they shout, laughted at 4:OO AM.
Les chambres sont bien et l hotel est l un des plus beau de cette magnifique plage de sable. accueil inexistant, on arrive et on se débrouille et aussi pour repartir... il ne faut pas avoir besoin de quelque chose à moins que ce ne soit un verre dans la piscine qui elle est magnifique, surement la plus jolie de la plage (la il y a du monde) je vous invite à éviter le restaurant qui est extrement mauvais (surtout le hamburger qui est cuisiné avec on ne sait trop quoi) au secours... l hotel mériterait un petit changement de direction et de personnel qui a l air de sortir de boite de nuit tout le temps... dommage car hotel est magnifique ..vraiment dommage

Hendrik Schneider
There are good and bad things about the resort. Good: Located at the very nice beach which is clean and quiet. The resort is well maintained. Clean, green, nothing that disturbes. Bad: The rates are without breakfast (which I have simply overseen). Actually everything seemed to be overprised. A few damages in the bathroom which I simply do not expect when I book superior. Overall we had a good stay there anyway.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Advice For Those Planning to go the Full Moon Party

The Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Nok or Haad Rin Sunrise beach on Koh Phangan is a massive event. The all night (and most of the next day) party regularly attracts up to 30,000 people. The vast majority of these people, young and old, have a great time and nothing bad happens to spoil their evening. However, there are a few for whom the party turns into a nightmare or at least a night they would rather regret. Here are a few simple guidelines to make sure your time at the Full Moon Party is ruined.

1) It is naive to tell people to not take drugs, but those who choose to take drugs should be aware that the party is patrolled by both uniformed and under-cover police who go up and down the beach looking for people smoking joints. Furthermore, you can be guaranteed that any class As that are offered to you on the night of the party are going to be of low quality and possibly cut with unpleasant substances. There is one bar that sells magic mushroom shakes. There have been a number of complaints from people who have felt very sick after imbibing one of these cocktails. Also magic mushrooms are strong hallucinogens that strongly distort reality and can easily lead to paranoia and can trigger more serious psychological events. Being surrounded by 1000s of people might not be the time to experiment with hallucinogens for the first time.

2) Booking your accommodation is a must for the Full Moon Party especially if you want to stay on one of the Haad Rin beaches or nearby at Seekantang or Bantai. The chances are that if you arrive on the day of the party you will be turned away from most places. Also the majority of bungalow operations place a minimum stay requirement (normally 3 or 4 nights) on anyone looking for accommodation over the Full Moon Party period. For more about Full Moon Party accommodation follow the link. Remember that if you book over the internet then there is very little room to negotiate a price reduction later because commissions have to be paid. At the same time, Thais are often open to haggling if they are having a slow month.

3) On the night of the party leave your passport, credit card and the bulk of your money in a safety deposit box back at your bungalow operator. There are many thieves and prostitutes at the party who look for people who have passed out so they can look for money. The less valuables you bring to a party the better. Carrying your money in a bag and then leaving your bag unattended is also a common mistake. Cameras and mobile phones are popular things to steal.

4) You may feel like you are returning to nature but don't let that deter you from wearing flip flops or thongs. The beach gets covered in broken glass as the night wears on.

5) Similarly, over 50% of men (and a fair proportion of women) go to the sea to empty their bladders rather than queue at the toilets (many of which you have to pay for). Be warned that if you go for a swim you are swimming in other people's urine.

6) Again on the subject of swimming: people regularly drown at the Full Moon Party because they are too drunk. During October, November and December the sea is turbulent and dangerous because of the monsoon season.

7) If you fancy a sleep on the beach, then a good spot to choose is the designated resting area. Volunteers are on hand to protect those who pass out and the sand is free of broken glass.

8) Beware of buckets. Because of the coke and red bull in buckets it is often hard to notice how strong the Thai whiskey is. If you want to last the distance than pace yourself. There is no last orders at the Full Moon Party so there is no reason to hurry your drinking.

9) If you meet a Thai woman who seems keen to be your girl friend you might want to find out if she is not a he and if she expects to be paid. Finding these things out in advance saves a lot of embarrassment later on.

10) Don'r ride a motorbike when you are drunk. The road to Haad Rin is steep and dangerous and on the night of the party is full of taxi drivers taking risks to make runs as quickly as possible.

11) Taxis over-charge on the night of the party. There is little that can be done about it. Keep your calm but negotiate. If there is a group of you, you have more power of negotiation. Also there are lots of taxis to choose from so don't worry you will get back eventually to your bungalow.

12) Remember that entry to the party is free but now people taking the Haad Rin express from Koh Samui on the day of the party are charged an extra fee. Also several travel agents add supplemental fees to tickets during the Full Moon period.

13) Lastly, check your dates. The Full Moon Party is often not on the exact day of the full moon. 

14) Finally, be respectful of Thai culture and the Thai king and don't get involved in a fight with local boys. You might win round 1 but they will be back with their mates to make sure you badly lose round two.

Have a great party. Be safe. Be careful

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Reviews of Santhiya Resort and Spa on Thong Nai Pan Noi

Santhiya Resort and Spa was the second real hotel on Koh Phangan. And it choose the opposite end of the beach from the first hotel, namely the Panviman on Thong Nai Pan Noi

Panviman is a great hotel and so is Santhiya. They have differing styles. Panviman seems lower key and Santhiya is a brash and luxurious place that announces itself very loudly. They have some very expensive villas with private pools and great sea views.

Below is a list of real reviews of the Santhiya Resort and Spa:

Boris Steiner 

The Hotel was really amazing! You feel like you are in paradise. I personally enjoyed most the room with pool access, but this might be up to the person you stay with!\r\n\r\nThe hotel is suitable for couples, honeymoon etc. Makes sure you are not going with a buddy (like i did) to have a nice and pleasant stay and really can use everything to the full extend!\r\n\r\nFor the location i can just give a four, as the beach directly next to the resort is even more beautiful! But the good thing is, you just walk 5 minutes!

Orit Ziv
A grat and beutifal hotel. An hour drive in a very bad road too quite. Recomended for people that would like to b alone.

Eva Christina Bengtsson
Great hotel. We had a super view from our room. Breakfast was excellent. Staff very friendly and always at your service. The beach at the hotel was not very good but just a few steps away around the corner you reach a nice beach. Pool terrific. This hotel I would like to return to.

Nataliia and Oleksandr Globenko
Amazing and relaxing luxurious hotel, making you feel as being in paradise from the first minute you arrive there. Stayed in Santhiya Garden Villa Suite for 4 nights in April, 2009. There is nothing negative we could find about this hotel. Villas look gorgeous, all of them new, spacious, made of carved teak wood, with really LARGE verandas (there were 2 sun beds with a small table, normal dining table with 2 chairs and a large bathtub on ours). Almost all walls of the villa feature large windows from the floor to the ceiling, which can be easily closed by the curtains if you look for 100% privacy (though rich rain forest trees and flowers around your villa will provide enough privacy to keep the windows open). The wooden roof of the villa covers only the part of the veranda so if you are afraid of getting burned with sun ask for a large beach umbrella and hotel staff will easily provide it in shortest time). All in-room facilities were excellent: starting from cosy cambric bathrobes and slippers embroiden with golden elephants and ending with a variety of elegant glasses in the bar. Service was very nice, all staff friendly and trying to be as helpful as possible. We were impressed with the welcome and check-in procedure. The hotel is large, its villas are situated on different heights of mountain hill but don’t be afraid of exhausting climbing up/down as there are many wooden-decorated hotel cars available upon call from your room or near the reception which will give you a drive as many times per day as you may need (free of charge). The private beach of Santhiya is very good though if you look for a really airy sand – walk through the rocks (1 minute) to the nearby beach. If you want to swim in the deep water – do it on the hotel beach, if you prefer walking for 20-30 meters in shallow water – the neighbor beach would be your choice. Closer to the left side of the private beach of the hotel (side of the speedboat pier) there is a nice coral reef with different fish and underwater habitants so do not miss the opportunity to snorkel there. We are not the swimming pool fans but the pool in Santhiya is the most excited infiniti pool I’ve ever seen in reality or on the pictures. It’s a great pleasure either to relax in jacuzzi section or massage your back and shoulders under the streams of the waterfall. What is very important – they use high quality cleaning system so no clorine can be felt in the smell of your skin or swimming suit. We didn’t try Santhiya’s restaurants because of their high prices and were very happy about many dining facilities on the nearby beach (you can eat in any of them and won’t be disappointed). Still, the breakfast at Santhiya was very good, serving not only European but also Thai food. In general, we were more than satisfied with the hotel which even exceeded our expectations. We took the special room rate at (our room cost us around 172 USD/night with breakfast and all taxes) and consider that there hardly could be possible to find better alternative on all Samui group islands for the period of our stay.
Pamela Molnarova
Absolutely fantastic! We have nothing to add. Beautiful rooms, luxurious, beautiful resort, nice place to stay. Great breakfast, beach, level of service provided. We loved the place and we recommend it to everyone who needs the luxurious accommodation for a reasonable price. Thanks to Sawadee and a special hotel offer (buy 6 pay 4 nights) we paid less than 50% of the normal rate. The only con was the price of the food in the restaurant, which equals to the European level. However the quality was more than corresponding. We had there the best Pad Thai noodles ever. Most of the time we ate in restaurants on the beach next to the hotel resort as the prices were on the level as you are used to in Thailand. We recommend this hotel and we would love to come back again.
Michael Rasmussen
2008-08-03 until 2008-08-10      Santhiya Resort and Spa, Thong Nai Pan Noi
We had a PERFEKT stay really relaxing and fantastic facilities on the whole resort. We enjoyed the golf cars taking us to and from our room (just press 0 on the phone and the golf car is there instantly). We loved the evening walks on the nearby Thong Noi Pan beach, with is calm and cool/trendy bars dinner places. We DEFENTNENTLY WILL BE BACK... Love from Michael & Diana, Copenhagen DK.
2008-07-28 until 2008-08-05
Magnifique, exceptionnel à tous points de vue. Beauté des paysages, gentillesse du personnel, la plage, la magnifique piscine. Un endroit magique. On a déjà envie d y revenir.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Delight Resort - near Haad Rin Sunrise Beach

Delight Resort is 3 minutes walk from Haad Rin Nok or Haad Rin Subrise beach where the Full Moon Party takes place. It is one of the cheaper places to stay for the Full Moon Party.

Delight Resort  is next to Haad Rin Lake. It is a good value option for the FMP. It has a small communal pool and restuarant serving Thai and seafood BBQ. You have to check in at least 3 days before the Full Moon Party and stay a total of 5 nights. All Rooms have air-con and hot water. Exclusive rooms have wi-fi, sat. TV and a private balcony.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Reviews of Chaloklum Bay Resort

A couple of bad reviews here are mixed in with generally positive reviews for Chaloklum Bay Resort. There is no doubt that it is in a beautiful, quiet location. The bungalows are not 5 star but neither are the prices, which are between 1,800 and 2,600 Thai baht for a beach front villa, standard room.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Reviews of the Panviman Resort on Thong Nai Pan Beach

As you can see from reading the reviews below, The Panviman Resort on Thong Nai Pan Noi is a popular high-end resort. It has a spa, 3 restaurants, and a big pool with an infinity lip with views over the bay. There are 72 rooms to choose from. The cheapest are about $150 a night. The most expensive have their own private pool. Panviman was the first luxury hotel on Koh Phangan and they have obviously developed excellent customer service. However, Steven T's comment is a reminder that in Thailand it is still very hard to get anything 'complimentary' if you complain. Thai staff just aren't trusted with that type of responsibility and the manager might be having a bad day (such things exist in paradise).

So here are the reviews of Panviman Resort

Cameron Teys

Me and my wife had 5 nights here for our honeymoon and it was amazing! Worth the journey to get there. Staff were so friendly, location is stunning, room (spa villa which we were upgraded to free of charge from a deluxe villa) was incredible. Great peaceful location overlooking the bay. Great food (especially breakfast) and a short walk down the beach to the village. Couldn t have been better.
Lorna Gordon
I can't recommend this hotel enough, everything was fantastic. We had a deluxe cottage
Veronica Capone
Beautiful hotel, beautiful staff who made us feel very welcome and special - nothing was too much trouble. The staff really make this hotel something special.
Finn Sonsby

The stay at Panviman was indeed a wonderful experience. First of all a real killer location with fantastic view to both beaches. great ambiance and service. I like the style that is not so comtemporary. Highly recommended and we will definitely be back some other time.
Steven T.

Disappointed! First, the swimming pool was out of order. Water was green and really disgusting. Now these things can happen, so if they do, a small compensation from the hotel would be appreciated (eg free bottle of wine, or a free meal, or a free spa treatment whatever but here - nothing!!). Second: the beach. Next to the beach there runs a stream but basically this is a sewer. Really disgusting! We had dinner on the beach and visited the Rasananda resort which is REALLY nice. I strongly suggest booking either the Rasananda or the Santhiya. On a positive note: the staff were very friendly and polite.
Peter Lim

Although a bit far from everything else, Panviman Resort is in one of the best locations in Koh Phangan to rest and relax. Its pools, rooms and facilities are by far one of the best I had seen, and staff are very hospitable. It is up a large hill which was hard to walk up, but gave great views on the beach and sea below. I highly recommend this resort for couples wanting to spoil themselves in luxury, and being far away from all the troubles of busy cities.
Jason Laurence
To stay at this hotel you must love the quiet romantic beauty that would see you isolated from the rest of the island. We stayed here two nights to get away from it all and Thong Nai Pan is very beautiful. This hotel is situated on the top of the cliffside and naturally, there are a few steps to climb and a steep hillside to walk most places. I enjoyed it because all I had been eating for days was bacon and egg breakfasts! This hotel offers free taxi to and from the main town (some cab drivers wanted 1500Bt to drive to Thong Nai Pan one way due to its remoteness) and free internet. The value for money was definately there given this hotel is fairly expensive. I would recommend for a few days but not a long stay. You can t beat the beauty of Thong Nai Pan and getting there on the island s mountainside roads is truely an adventure.
2008-08-01 until 2008-08-08
very nice hotel but much inconvenient it is seated on a hill and no shuttle service is available we asked 3 times for a coach and received three times a negative answer it is really tiring to get up from the beach
Mr J. Atkins
2008-07-23 until 2008-07-25     

Great hotel and fantastic location - certainly the best value for money (we had a Superior room) during our two week trip to Thailand. If you want to escape the frenzy of Koh Samui, then head for Koh Phangan and the Panviman. Beautiful setting on a headland overlooking two great beaches. Yes, the road is a little rough getting there (50 mins. from the port) but the relative seclusion and outstanding natural beauty of the setting more than make up for it. We particularly liked the pool area and the beach at Nai Pan Noi - good swimming (unlike much of the west coast of Koh Phangan) and several beachside restaurants/bars to choose from for lunch/dinner. Food at the hotel was fine, though being a four star, was obviously quite a bit more expensive than down on the beach. Breakfast - an excellent buffet. Overall, excellent rapport qualite prix as the French say (basically value for money). We would highly recommend the Panviman to all those planning a trip to the Samui archipelago.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Reviews of Centara Pariya on Haad Yuan beach

The reviews for the Pariya on Haad Yuan beach are generally favorable. It is a higher-end boutique style resort on Koh Phangan and most people who stayed said that they enjoyed themselves. The beach is especially recommended. It is a beautiful secluded beach tucked away in a cove just north east of Haad Rin. Near the action but also a million miles away. There are a few complaints about the prices, the breakfast and the staff, but overall if you are looking for peace and comfort with stylish accommodation then the Pariya is a good choice. For more choices for accommodation in Koh Phangan visit


Angela from  Perth

We stayed in a Tropical Villa which was very nice - they upgraded us into this room free of charge which was nice of them. The food prices at the hotel were a bit pricey for what you got and the room service menu was very limited. We were recommended to stay there for the full moon party but that was a bad recommendation - we had to wait 5 hours for a boat to come and pick us up because of a low tide. Also our return hotel transfer was a nightmare because they were late so we had to catch a taxi to the pier or we would have missed our ferry back to koh samui.
Idit Shalve

Amazing place! great hotel and rooms, lovely staff, beautiful beach. You should check the 2-3 restaurants in the area that are very good and cheap. Will definitely visit again when I get a chance to be in Thailand.
Alice Kath

2007-12-30 until 2008-01-01     
This place is a disaster for the price you pay. the service sucks, they don't speak english well and are not helpful at all, the breakfast is horrible. the bungalows are nice and so is the beach, but for this kind of money i really expect more. Out of the 4 weeks southeastasia trip we did, we stayed at 10 dollar a night hotels that had way better service and breakfast than this one, which cost 200 dollars a night.

Marcus Coutou

2007-06-27 until 2007-07-02     
Great time, staff was very attentive. A little overpriced for Thailand (probably why the place was pretty much empty our entire stay) but it had all the amenities and is situated on a very nice beach. Stayed in the tropical villa. Would prob stay again but maybe in one of the hip rooms, better value.

Jean Christophe Lombard

2007-04-02 until 2007-04-05     
Had a lovely stay in this exceptional paradise. Very polite staff and 2 chefs largely worth the stay. Secluded enough to be quiet but not too much lost in the jungle. Overall, a must on Koh Pha-Ngan

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Trekking Routes in Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is blessed with an abundance of unspoiled nature: jungle, mountains, waterfalls and inaccessible beaches are all available to explore by those wishing to trek on the island. This post details some of the trekking routes available on Koh Phangan.

Khao Ra

Khao Ra is the highest peak in Koh Phangan. It stands 630 meters above sea level. From the summit there are great views of the bays of Thong Nai Pan and Chaloklum. On a clear day the distant island of Koh Tao is also visible. The trek starts near the elephant place and view point on the road between Thong Nai Pan and Bantai. It is not an overly strenuous walk but the path is not well marked. ‘Bird and Trekking’ man (on the Bantai-Thong Nai Pan road) has organized tours up the mountain.

Phaeng Waterfall

This is one of the best waterfalls on the island. It is a national park so the whole area is protected against development. It is free to enter the park. The trek involves a steep walk up a jungle trail. Once at the waterfall it is possible to take one of several clearly marked trails to a nearby mountain viewpoint. From there you can follow trails up Khao Ra. The trail is in the middle of the island. To get to the trail head take the main road from Thongsala to Chaloklum and take the sign posted turning off to the right (if you are heading north).

Chaloklum to Bottle Beach

You can reach the remote and beautiful beach of Bottle Beach or Haad Kuat. The trek takes about two hours. The path starts at the western end of Chaloklum. Follow the dirt  path to Haad Khom and then take the narrow and winding narrow path over the mountain that drops down to Bottle Beach.

Haad Yuan and Haad Thian

This is an excellent two hour trek that starts in Haad Rin and goes north over mountainous terrain before dropping down to the beautiful beaches of Haad Yuan and Haad Thian. There are no roads to these beaches, but you can take a boat out or retrace your steps.

Companies offering organized trekking tours include: Hippo Club Tours (Thongsala), Phangan Safari (Chaloklum) and Phangan Safari Eco-nature Tour (Chaloklum).

Remember to follow these simple rules for your own safety.

1)    Don't trek alone
2)    Tell somebody where you are going so they can call out help if you don't home back.
3)    Bring plenty of water and sunblock.
4)    Wear boots or good shoes. Not flip flops. The island has many snakes, including the poisonous variety.
5)    Get a map, no matter how basic, to guide you. A compass is also useful too.
6)    Give yourself extra time to do the trek. There's nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of the jungle in the dark.
7)    Bring insect and mosquito repellent.
8)    Don't leave any rubbish behind.
9)    Don't start fires.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Reviews of Mandalai Hotel in Chaloklum

The reviews are generally good for the Mandalai Hotel in Chaloklum. It is branded as a boutique hotel. It is a small hotel with cout yard and swimming pool. Next door is the Sheesha Bar and Restaurant that serves the usual mix of Thai and Western cuisine. It is a mid-range option.

Some people love the traditional feel of Chaloklum as a working fishing village. Others find it a bit noisy, smelly and busy with traffic going up and down the road. It is really a matter of how isolated and remote you want your beach. If you want really remote try Haad Yuan, Than Sadet or Haad Khom.

Anyway below are a number of reviews of Mandalai Hotel in Chaloklum. They have not been edited.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Muay Thai in Koh Phangan

Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. Every boy at school learns the basics. Millions stop what they are doing every Sunday afternoon to watch the televised Muay Thai bouts. Muay Thai champions are famous in Thailand.

And of all the places in Thailand to study Thai boxing, Koh Phangan is one of the best. The reason for this is that the great weather and laid back atmosphere of the small island near Koh Samui seems to suit former champions. There are several 'big names' working for the Muay Thai gyms in Koh Phangan. Thus, if you are looking for a place to learn Muay Thai or improve on your Muay Thai technique then Koh Phangan could be the place for you.

The oldest and best established gym in Koh Phangan is the Jungle Gym in Haad Rin. It has been running for more than 13 years. They have a full range of equipment for working out and also offer yoga classes.

The beautiful and remote beach of Haad Thien (or Haad Tien) in the south east of Koh Phangan is the location for the Horizon Thai Boxing Camp. They have a former champion in residence and offer training sessions every day - one in the morning and one in the evening. Horizon Thai Boxing Camp has a fight now that is staged at Bantai. It is 500 bahts to get in.

The Chorenrit Boxing Stadium in Thongsala offers expert tuition on a one to one basis and has a fight night where they have fights at all weight divisions and include women Muay Thai boxers.

There is a small Thai boxing stadium in Thong Nai Pan. It is called Muay Thai Stadium Pechrunruang. They offer personalized Muay Thai training sessions at competitive prices and have a fight night the Monday before the Full Moon Party during high seasons.

There are a few more stadiums and Muay Thai schools dotted around the island. All of them offer training programs for beginners and advanced students. They also organise for non-Thais to participate in fight nights. If you want to learn Muay Thai, just get a work out, lose some weight or get an insight into Thai culture attending a Muay Thai gym in Koh Phangan may be for you.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Coco Garden Bungalows in Bantai Review

Coco Garden Bungalows in Bantai are reasonably cheap at 450 thb for a night and have lots of good reviews from travellers who have stayed there.

Here are a selection of reviews from people who have stayed at Coco Bungalows in Bantai.

There is only one word to describe our time at coco gardens and that is awesome!!! Service was perfect, all the staff there are really nice and helpful. Food was great, cocktails were great, and the fry up in the morning went some way to curing our hangovers :). We will come back one day....

Keely and Phil  - Jan 10th 2010

Coco Gardens by far is one of the best places to stay on the west side of Thailand. The staff are so helpful and the rooms are of a high standard. I stayed for 10 days over Christmas and wished I could have stayed for more. You d be mad not to try this little gem out. Room 101 is the aircon ed top bungalow and well worth the price. Ady. Lee and Thai the owners cannot make you feel more welcome. Try it and see. Happy holidays.

Tompkins - December 30th 2009

the bungalows are great, you step off your balcony and you are on the beach. The room is simple, but sturdy, clean and well kept. the restaurant serves amazing (and cheap) food from 8-10. the beach bar is the place to be at night if you want to escape the lunacy at Haad Rin, the local bar flies make for entertainment and good conversation and the owners (Adrian and Lee) make excellent drinking buddies (If you can keep up with you). I would highly recommend Coco Gardens to anyone, whether you are full mooning or not. Just far enough away from Haad Rin to not goet bothered or robbed but to still have some amazing night life. Lek also makes the best Mai Tais on the island! Cheers Guys, see you again soon!

Samuel Hughes - September 8th 2009

I went to Coco Garden with my wife and a friend of ours for two nights - to attend the Half Moon Party. We were so pleased with our choice. The air conditioned bungalows we stayed in were clean, charming and simply furnished. Exactly what we needed and had hoped for. The rest of the resort was a delight. The staff are just lovely and the beachfront bar was a great place to congregate and loosen up before the party with a few cocktails and beers. The restaurant served yummy Thai food with a smile and the setting was just beautiful. I guess, as others have mentioned, the beach was a bit of a letdown but not such a big deal that I would not stay here again. Apparently the tidal problem only happens a few weeks of the year and honestly, it didn t bother us that much. A great resort on a lovely island - we will definitely return. Thanks Adrian, Lee, Tai and all the other great people running the place. David, Chryss and Gill.

David Bamford - June 16th 2009

The location is great. Staff is vey pleasant and the restaurant provides good food in a very pleasant setting. The rooms (we had a fan room facing the beach) was very basic but perfect for a place to sleep. A fridge is the room will be nice. Will stay at Coco Gardens again. 

Dave Engelbrecht - South Africa March 19th 2009

All the other reviews I have found of Coco Garden Bungalows in Bantai have been similarly glowing. They obviously provide good service on a great beach. To book a bungalow at Coco Garden Bungalows online go to Phangan

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Thongsala Cheap Eats

Thongsala, the main port town in Koh Phangan, has the best selection of cheap places to eat in Koh Phangan.

Below is a list of some of my favourite cheap eats in Thongsala.
  • Just down from the post office is a local hole in the wall place that is usually full every lunch time. They serve a mean khao mu deang (red pork with rice). It cost 30 baht when I was there last. The food comes quickly and the walls are covered in classifieds.
  • At the edge of the market there's a street food stall that serves good and cheap Thai food.
  • In the evening the night market (on the main street, half way down) is the place to get a cheap meal Thai style. Rice and curry or noodles is the standard fare. You can also get a cold beer with your meal. The night market usually has plenty of people and atmosphere and is a good spot to hang out early evening.
  • More expensive, but tasty is the fish restaurant on the corner by the sea, on the same road as the post office. They serve fresh shark, snapper etc. with salads and rice. Other than the food, the best thing about the restaurant is the view of Thongsala bay.
  • Finally, if you are waiting for a Lomprayah ferry the best place to get a snack is the 7-11 opposite the pier entrance. Cup noodles, burgers and crisps are good choices. Stay clear of Thai 7-11 sandwiches - they are sweet with odd (relatively speaking) fillings.
  • If you want western food, then A's is the place to go. It's good but not in my 'cheap eats' category.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Koh Phangan Review - the First Post

For those who have visited the place it needs no description, for those yet to visit it is difficult to describe in a sentence. Koh Phangan is different to Koh Samui, Koh Tao and other even less visited islands but it has its own unique charm.

The abundance of great beaches, the chilled out atmosphere, the easy island life style of service is seriously addictive. After just a few days on the beach you will start wonder why you don't spend every day on the beach. That is the dream and the beauty of Thailand and Koh Phangan in particular.

This blog is about independently describing what Koh Phangan has to offer. It is hoped that the information herein is found useful and amusing. And that readers will chip in with good comments and suggestions.