Haad Rin Nok to Haad Yuan and Thian Nature Trail, Koh Phangan
Haad Rin, otherwise known as
You can check out the couchsurfing post to see if anyone is interested in joining you. Or post a reply there asking for a jungle trekking mate. Don't worry, no tigers around here!
Once you get there and enjoy the stronger waves and wind on that, open ocean-facing side of the island, you can go to the north end of Haad Yuan beach to the Smoke bar, have a doobie and enjoy the good music and vibes. After that you can go to the other, south end of the beach and continue along the wooden, cliff-hanging sidewalk to the Golden Rock Resort (picture below) and have a delicious lunch with great view. You can continue along the rickety rackety sidewalk south to the Good Hope Bungalow restaurant, where there is just the most exquisite paradise bungalow haven (video below). You can stay there for a few days and do the party run for that part of the island (Thursday to Sunday). From here you can continue south along the shore, climbing along the rocks next to the water. Haven't done it yet but examined the coastline while taking the 5 minute boat trip back to Haad Rin a few times and looks fairly easy. Might go faster than the jungle trail but definitely looks wonderful, with some secret beaches in between.
Alternatively, you can try the opposite, north direction, doing the cool trail to Haad Nam, the third beach to the north, and then continue along the coast all the way to Chaloklum, on the north tip of the island, crashing on the beaches as you go. There is at least one or two beaches along the way where you shouldn't have a problem crashing overnight for free, since those beaches have not been developed yet. But they are in the process of being developed, so time is running out! Cross your fingers that the money powers do not accomplish building two airports on that side of the island, as they have been trying hard for more than a decade. If they succeed it will totally destroy that virgin end of the island and make the other side seem like a quiet, nature retreat. Make sure you bring proper gear, like lots of water, mobile phone, first aid kit perhaps, food. Each leg between the beaches is roughly two hours but there is no one to save you way out there.
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More Details of the Haad Rin Trail
- did it with a male friend in about 1.5 hours (each way - you can take a boat back for 150 baht)
- did it with a girl yesterday and looked like she was about to kill me a few times. Took 2.5 hours.
- toughest part is first quarter. I almost turned back myself the first time. Consistent and steep, but if you get over that hump its much easier. Even the way back is much easier.
- if you stop too much the mosquitoes might get you, so be prepared for that.
- on the GPS map you will see pictures I took on the trail, often at key points where you could get thrown off the trail (described verbally below with references to the above map). But it's easy to see when you get thrown off, as you soon end in the thick jungle. Just go back and find where the trodden trail continues. It is consistently trodden the whole way.
- the gps trail/map takes you to my favourite pub there (last pic on gps trail [? ), with internet and food etc. Walk along the rickety sidewalk to the end - great photo op.
slide panorama to see view from the top
For those who do not want to deal with technology etc., a brief description:
As you enter the main area near the beach,
Back to Eco Tourism Koh Phangan, Thailand
Nature loving travelers might like Off the White Monkey Road
As you enter the main beach. From here you go straight left.
A short while after that you get here, where you follow the path to the left of the gate.
Here's the garden path entrance when crossing dirt road. After here it's easier.
The dam at the quarter way point. These trails often follow blue hoses fed from such dams.
The sharp turn right after the dam, marking on tree.
The famous red paddle.
View from the Viewpoint (marked on map).
Here you can shortcut it to the right, if you are a daring adventurer.
Bottles marking start of trail from road, if you will be heading the same way back.
Sneaking past the gate at the satellite building.
The place I like to go.
Swimming just below the restaurant.
Obviously not a problem for the Thai Safety Commission.
Opening scene of above video is the paradise bungalow area very far south end of the wooden sidewalk leaving Haad Yuan.
A lost boogie board.
Top left railing will certainly last for YEARS...
Heading back to Haad Rin.