Real Life Captured #387: The Island of Koh Phangan Thailand! Part Five (9 photos)
Is this place perfect or what? Sometimes I have to pinch myself if you know what I mean! I really love this 125 square kilometer spec on the map sitting in the middle of the gulf of Thailand. It may not be perfect for everyone, but it's perfect for me. Maybe that is why I've been coming here almost every year for the past 5 years.
Thailand is surely my favorite country in the world, and this island is my favorite place in Thailand. So we can pretty much summarize that I'm as happy as a pig in you know what here on my little slice of heaven. Oddly enough it didn't really hit me to why I love it here so much until the other day when I took a day trip to the bigger more popular island of Koh Samui.
Koh Samui used to be just like Koh Phangan and I am lucky enough to remember it how it was, I was only 21 years old, the year was 2003, and Koh Samui was my little paradise back then. After my visit the other day I was so happy to get back on the ferry boat and come back to my island of Kho Phangan.
Basically on Samui all the beachfront land has been bought up by big companies....some like to refer to them as big "evil" companies! lol So much of the island of Samui has been privatized, even roads along the ocean have all been blocked out with walls....now in Samui you have to pay money to even get a view of the beach in most places. Furthermore, prostitution servicing old dirty men is now one of the main industries that is in your face upon a visit here.
Samui, as beautiful as it is, on some beaches near the main road you hear the roar of laud trucks speeding by, almost drowning out the gentle sound of the waves. Driving around the island is stressful and it has a city energy. People are in a rush and drive like it too. Roads are loaded with work trucks driving around the island as if they own the place. With about 70,000 people living here, you can immediately feel that space is more limited and that the island is much more densely populated.
On Samui you can go to a shopping mall or two, have breakfast at Burger King, lunch at McDonalds, and finish your evening meal at KFC. This post is supposed to be about Koh Phangan and the real life photos I've captured right? But I did not really understand how and why I like Koh Phangnan so much until experiencing all the things that annoyed me about the neighboring more developed island. I will never take Koh Phagnan for granted ever again!
Koh Phangan is my kind of place. I like to take life slow, I like to stop and smell the flowers. I like to go for a slow drive on my motorbike through the beautiful jungle, not speed down the highway trying to get to where I'm going as fast as I can. I like my open spaces, I like to be free to enter any beach or property I want with welcoming smiles not security guards everywhere asking me where I am going.
I like clean young healthy looking people to be my neighbors, not creepy old whore humping European alcoholics. I like to give my business to the locals and buy local, not eat McDonald's and stay at some insanely over priced resort. But most of all I like my space and the sleepy town vibe of Koh Phangan. Here there are no shopping malls and no fast food joints. The island is a little more than half the size of Koh Samui, but the population is about 10% of Samui, only about 8,000 locals and foreigners are living here.
The roads are nicer, much less busy, and much more enjoyable here too. Since Koh Phangan is smaller, you can get to any beach within 20 minutes if you are living in the center of the island. Catching the sunrise on one side of the island and the sunset on the other side is a fun short drive apart. On Samui that can turn into a pretty exhausting day of bike riding.
With Covid, things have never been more peaceful on Koh Phangan. This island is home of the crazy full moon party, but now with no tourists, there are no drunk routy college age people raising hell and getting into motor bike accidents all over the island either. It's truly a little piece of paradise for me. The beaches have never been this pristine and the vibe so chill. Life is good here in Koh Phangan. Now come along lets have a look at how people are living in this latest Real Life Captured Series, The Island of Koh Phangan Thailand!
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