Room, hotels, bungalows and apartment guesthouse in Koh Phangan
You can book online through such sites as booking.com, which can be a safe bet since it has happened that reservations were made by personal agreement but the Thai owner opted for a better offer when it came along. Hopefully they at least got their money back, otherwise, if you are not coming here around a Full Moon, or around the Christmas season, you can rent a motorbike for around a hundred baht and quite easily find something you like for cheaper. If not coming for Full Moon then I would suggest the Srithanu area (although you can get to the fullmoon in a tuktuk for about 150 baht, 200 baht entry fee to get into FM). Central to many places, nice and not expensive. I would personally recommend the Golden Rock north of the lake just north of Srithanu, right on the beach and 100+baht a night. Great restaurant overhanging the sea to hang out on, food is okay (more info just below in camping section).
A bit pricier but HaadYuan and adjoining beaches is very beautiful, with several dance clubs running the entire weekend (day and night) if you're up for boogying. More info on the jungle trail there.
If you've come to this island for Full Moon I'd suggest you read my autoresponse (below) for couchsurfing requests around that time. There are so many better things to see here than that moronic event. Couchsufing is like a cooler Facebook where you can sleep for free on someone's couch or spare bed and discover local secrets that you would probably never stumble upon if following the usual tourist stream. It is becoming increasingly known and, if you are new to it, I suggest you try to offer something appealing, since your profile will be empty without references.
Camping, Tents, Tenting, Cheap Accommodation
Islands can be hilly but a good spot is the Golden Rock, just north of Srithanu. As you drive north from 711 at Srithanu, along the shore, you loop around the lake and get back closer to the shore, before the road veers right. At around the point where you are leaving the lake there is a road to the left with a Golden Rock. Drive down that skinny, noodly road and notice the ample flat space to the right. Area is right by the ocean, cool restaurant space overhanging water, food is okay. Chill folks. Say hi to Mama for me! Lots of camping space, outdoor facilities, approximate prices:
- 100/night if you have your own tent
(prices not per person but per tent or bungalow).
- 200/n bung, or 170/n if at least 3 nights (perhaps long term deals)
- there are rumours of a small bungalow in the back for 100/n
She even chucklingly pointed to the top
of the hill, a small mountain separating the establishment
Pirate Bar, where you can pound the sand by oceanside until morning, twice a month around full moon. I
once saw a naked woman saunter out of a cave perched up in
the cliffside between the two establishments, gazing out at
the horizon, like art poised against the rugged backdrop. I
failed to find the path up there. You might swing a good
deal for that fantastic piece of real estate. Otherwise,
during high season fires often accompany instrument anywhere
along a healthy stretch of beach reaching as far as the
High season (Nov. thru end of April)
- 200 night with own tent
- 300/n for bung, no long term deals. Island full dudes.
You can also tent for free on the more secluded beaches on the other side of the island. You can take a boat or the jungle trail from Haad Rin (where the Full Moon parties are) northwards along the east, open ocean-facing side of the island, ending in Chaloklum. But hurry because they're trying to build a couple of airports on that side.
I generally do not like to host people for full moons because I consider it an utterly moronic event and there are much better things to do on the island. It is like an undiscovered Ibiza in Asia, with lots of good music places. The FM is a beach crammed with stands selling buckets of hard alcohol in front of blaring competing music. It's hard to find a spot where you only hear one song, and the music isn't that great either. Gangs compete to sell drugs and sometimes tourists get shot and killed in the crossfire. I'm told the night before or after is better, and the best is two nights before. There is also the Backyard, which I'm told plays good music and is an after party to the FM. Not sure what nights or days it operates but you can probably find out on the internet. From Haadrin beach, where the FM takes place, you can take a boat from 150baht to the next beach Haadyuan, where starting every Friday night you can party it up in Guys Bar, then move with the crowd to another place at around 6am and then later to Eden, which goes on to Sunday around 3pm. Excellent music in all three places and makes FM an embarrassment. You can check out the party page, at the top of that page there is a link to a good party site, for details on individual days. From there you can see that there is way better things to see while on this island. But if you try FM on adjoining days and make sure to check out other places as mentioned, it could be interesting. There are also lots of jungle trails between beaches, or rent a bike for at least a day and check them out. They are all beautiful.
It is possible I may host for or around FM, but cannot guarantee anything in advance and prefer chillout or spend more intelligent time with my guests. I've read some travel forums where they suggested, if you have limited travel time, to choose fewer but better quality destinations and spend longer time there. They call this sticky island and if you've seen enough of it many people just get stuck here and do not want to leave. In my opinion you are better off spending more time in paradise and less on the road to somewhere else, just so you could say you were there. I've been through a lot of Thailand and different places in SE Asia and there are very few paradise places like this, where almost everything is tolerated, perfect weather all year round, beautiful beaches everywhere in paradise jungle forest, not destroyed into a concrete commercial sprawl like Samui, after they built the airport there. A total waste of a trip if you plan to go to that island. Koh Tao is nice for a day trip and if you are into diving, otherwise there is I believe it's called Castle Rock, a teeny island on the way to Koh Tao where the diving is supposed to be the best. This island's diving in the northwest corner is half decent, and from my bungalow, once you cross the reef about a hundred metres out, it gets deep (I'm on a big point) and interesting itself.
Anyway, from a lot of people I've hosted and after living on this island for a year and a half, this is basically the conclusion I came to and think it could be good advice. I can also mention http://www.helpx.net/, which is like wwoofing but is more than just farms. You can check it out for free or pay 20 Euro to get contact access to hosts. Well worth it considering how much you can save not paying for accommodation or food. Great way to get to know the culture, instead of just being what I like to call a "big dot traveler", pointing to all the big, famed dots on a map and adding it to your list. FM used to be good 6+ years ago, earned big dot status, and now its like a drunken frat party. The trodden path of a billion tourists. Through this Help Exchange and even couchsurfing I had an opportunity to eat with several local families and live with them a while, sometimes in very remote villages, off the grid and surviving on solar panels, almost no one speaking English. But you can check out the hosts like on CS and work out deals. If you are new to CSing, as I've been noticing it getting increasingly popular, my word of advice is to express gratitude to your host. It is a great way to travel because you get off the trodden, obvious path and get tips from someone entrenched on the inside, so you have the opportunity to discover hidden jewels and so forth. But the system works better if guests are not a drain on the host. Help keep things clean, cooking together, pitch in fairly for food costs and just make it an overall positive feeling for the host. I myself have had good success as a guest because in the message subject I offer my webdesign and computer skills, in the letter I mention I love to cook etc. Make a sales pitch, post on CS forums and I get a lot of offers this way. Some travelers seem to look more at what they are saving instead of considering the fact that they are actually being invited with open arms into someone's private space. It is not a youth hostel, so something like, "Hey, you mind if I can at least drop my shit off at your place so I can booze up stupid at that event, I'll try to be quiet when I get back around 5am and crash like a dead lobster on your bottom porch until late afternoon" somehow doesn't sound so appealing.
Keywords: Room, hotels, bungalows and apartment guesthouse accommodation in Koh Phangan