Thailand Day 3: Koh Phangan Arrival

Today I’ve got an internal flight to Koh Samui and then a boat over to Koh Phangan for the full moon party… apart from…. the full moon party wasn’t today, it’s actually tomorrow (Friday). I got that wrong, but at least I can settle in early.

It’s been less eventful today. Quite peaceful. I’ve spent most the day travelling. I didn’t get any sleep, maybe due to jet lag, or the excitement of the day before, who knows, but after lying in bed for hours without any sleep I decide to get up and get ready at 4am. My booked taxi to the airport wasn’t booked until 7am. My flight was at 9am.

I decide to go downstairs, get some breakfast from the 24/7 cafe and get a taxi early to the airport.

That’s another Thai I’ve stranded on this trip. Terrible really.

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I get to the airport around 3 hours early. I try to get some sleep in the waiting room but have no luck. So instead I use the free wifi to scroll through Facebook. By the time I had memorised every one of my friends statuses from 2009 it was boarding time!

The flight is only an hour and once you get off at Samui it’s pretty easy just to walk through. Being as it’s a domestic flight there’s no immigration or passport checks etc.

TIP: Local SIM Card

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Once I get through to the airport inside bit I notice a stall that sell local SIM cards. I’d never been a fan of this… faffing around swapping SIMS, but it’s brilliant. Little traveler tip for Thailand, get one of these SIMs. They take your old SIM card out and put the new one in, giving you a little protective case for your old one, so you don’t lose it (well, there’s a good chance I might with my track record).

It cost 300 BAHT for 10 days of calls and unlimited internet. That’s about 7 quid. I’m not sure how ‘unlimited’ it is, but I’ve pretty much used my 3G non stop since whilst traveling. It’s faster than most of the WIFI spots.

Your existing phone contract may have a deal for traveling, but it’s probably not gonna beat this. My contract with Giff Gaff doesn’t have any special roaming rates, and it ate up £30 worth of data within 2 minutes of getting to Thailand.

Look for AIS Traveler SIM at the airports as soon as you land in Thailand.

Boat Ride

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The Boat to Phangan

The boat ride is really easy to book from the airport, it includes transfer in a coach to the harbour. This was cheap, about 6 quid in total.

By the time I’d got on the boat from Samui to Phangan I felt really tired and ha lots of little micro-sleeps on the way. The boat ride took around an hour in total. Some good views along the way (if you’re not asleep).

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Looking very grumpy and tired on the boat ride. #RealisticSelfie

Choose Your Hotel In Koh Phangan Wisely

It was only upon arriving and looking at a map using my newly purchased 3G that I realised how far away my booked hotel was from the full moon party beach. It was a 20 minute car ride. That’s no good. I wanted to stumble back into the hotel right from the party beach.

Luckily I had used Booking.com – and no payments are made until arrival, and you can typically cancel very easily without charges. I used my Booking.com app to request a cancellation on that hotel and it went through OK. Now to find a closer hotel. No. The CLOSEST hotel possible…

The Full Moon Party is on Haad Rin Beach. If you put that as a search on Booking.com you can find the closest hotels to it. I managed to find one that was 0.2km away. Close enough. Don’t make the same mistake as I did and simply put in Koh Phangan as a search.

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The hotel pool

The hotel I went for is called Phangan Bayshore, and it’s the closest one. With a pool and restaurant connected. Free breakfast, and free buffet dinner before the full moon party. Slightly more expensive than my original hotel, but understandable. It is quite literally on the beach.

Koh Phangan – First Impressions

After checking into the hotel and having a wander on the beach, I really like Phangan. It’s a lot more chilled than Bangkok,  as expected. There’s less hustle and bustle. It’s all about the beaches, everything you need is really close there.

There’s a lot of sunbathing going on, beach football, boat rides, you name it. The beach is full of bars with cheap beer. A bottle of chang is about £1.50.

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Enjoying a Chang

Thai Food

I’ve stayed away from traditional Thai food up until tonight, opting for cheese toasties, sandwiches and pizzas, but I can’t keep that up can I? Tonight I went to the restaurant connected to the hotel which is basically a traditional Thai restaurant.

I’ve been recommended Pad Thai dishes in the past, so I went with that. I was pleasantly surprised it was really nice, in fact the best meal I’ve had in Thailand so far. Now, the meal I chose was the closest to Pad Thai – it was called Pad Thai Woo. Basically the woo stands for “Woo, it’s pad thai wrapped in an omelette!”.

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Nicer than it sounds… and looks. Oh, and it’s literally about 4 quid.

Early Night

It’s the full moon party tomorrow and I’m exhausted so I’m gonna try and get a good nights sleep, despite the noise and party I can hear down below from my balcony as I write this!

Tomorrow is actually the full moon party. Not a false alarm this time.

Takeaways

  • Get an AIS Sim Card
  • If you want to go to the full moon party search for hotels near Haad Rin Beach
  • Use Booking.com for hotels – no payment upfront and fair cancellations
  • If you’re eating traditional, go with Pad Thai

4 thoughts on “Thailand Day 3: Koh Phangan Arrival

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