During the 10 days around the Full Moon Party period there are numerous party options in Haad Rin and in Baan Tai. However, there are those who want to do more than just drink buckets during their visit to the beautiful island of Koh Phangan. This post will list a few non-drinking activities to enjoy while staying in Haad Rin.
Football Competition4 days before the Full Moon Party there is a beach football competition. You can enter as a team or as in individual. The organiser will put solo entrants together to make teams. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. This is a fun event, and a great way to make new friends before the party. Prizes to be won.
Volleyball Competition4 days before the FMP. The competition is organised by the same man behind the beach football competition. 2 person teams compete and follow International Beach Volleyball rules. You can enter a team or individually. Even if you haven’t played beach volleyball before it is an easy game to pick up and lots of fun. Prizes to be won.
Boat TourThere are various boat tours leaving Haad Rin every day. Typical itineraries include Than Sadet waterfall, snorkelling at Koh Ma and visiting the double bay of Thong Nai Pan. Tour prices usually include lunch and soft drinks.
KiteboardingThere is a good kiteboarding school in Baan Tai near the pier. It is a branch of Kiterboarding Asia (KBA) and has certified teachers and all the equipment needed.This sport involves flying a kite and using the propulsion from the wind to surf over the sea on a board similar to a snowboard or large water ski.
Trek to Haad YuanThere is an excellent trek from Haad Rin to the small and remote beach of Haad Yuan. The trek 6.7 km trek takes about 2 hours and includes a hill climb and great coastal views. This is a chance to see something of the jungle scenery on the island. For more information see http://www.haadrinhotelreviews.info/haad-rin-to-haad-yuan-trek/
Thai MassageThere are numerous places in Haad Rin with spas offering a range of services including Thai massage, oil massage and herb steam sauna. For those interested in holistic treatment, meditation, Pilates and yoga there are a number of detox/health/meditation centres around Koh Phangan. The closest is the Sanctuary on Haad Thian on the east coast. You can get there by longtail boat from Haad Rin.
Banana BoatYes, there are fun rides available around Haad Rin Bay. You probably haven’t done a banana boat since you were kid. Why not have another go!
JetskiDon’t rent jetskis. There are too many horror stories of tourists being held to ransom to get their passport back after ‘damage’ has been spotted on the jetski. The fumes aren’t very nice for swimmers either.
Teeth WhiteningDon’t do this either. The chances of the person administrating the laser equipment having any training or the equipment being checked for safety are very, very low.
TattooYou can find tattoo artists in Haad Rin that use machines as well as the traditional bamboo hand method. Think carefully about how you want to permanently mark your skin. Probably best not to choose a tat when drunk.
Teach EnglishThere is a hostel in Baan Tai called Echo Beach Backpackers that run English lessons for Thais. This is a great volunteering opportunity. Opportunities for those with or without TESOL certificate are available. They want you, however, to commit to 2 months teaching a couple of hours a day.
FishingYou can find deep sea fishing trips advertised in Haad Rin. For freshwater fishing check out Palida Resort in Baan Tai (http://www.baantai.info/palidaresort.html). For those just wanting to take a rod and stand on some rocks by the sea you can find lots of fishing equipment in Thongsala. Ask in a shop for the best fishing spots.
Rent a Moped and See the IslandOne popular activity in Haad Rin is to rent a cheap moped and tour the island. It is a small island and much of it can be seen in one day. You can take the road over the mountains to Thong Nai Pan. You can head for Thongsala and check out Walking Street, the night market as well as stock up on essentials at Tesco and Makro. Another good bike journey is up the West Coast taking in the Chinese Temple and then snorkelling at Koh Ma.
A bike gives you freedom and massively increases your options for activities. However, drive carefully (and not fast) and beware of the pitfall of coming off the bike, injuring yourself, and paying over-the-odds to fix the bike. Car rental is also available in Haad Rin.
This list you should hopefully get you thinking about what else Haad Rin and Koh Phangan has to offer in terms of holiday experiences other than big outdoor parties.