I was a bit aghast at the rubbish, dirt roads and overwhelming heat at first, but now I am in love with your rough charm and character. Ko Phangan you have stolen a piece of my heart.
It was quiet when we arrived with our family party of 11, none of the full moon party craziness had invaded it's pretty shores. We explored, discovered our addiction to daily juices and found some pretty magical spots that will stay with us forever. The island was small enough to feel intimate but big enough to keep us busy for weeks. We set about on our daily routine of - find a new beach, eat some yummy food, sample a new juice combination then swim, talk, laugh and roll around in the warm turquoise water. Sounds like bliss? It was. There were loads of other things to do, night markets, zip lines, fun parks, and a whole range of other touristy things but we were just content to enjoy the simple pleasures.
James did talk me into hiring a scooter for a day. I said, "are you mad, you mad thing?" "Do you know how many people die or turn into vegetables from scooter accidents?" He pointed out how many babies he had seen on scooters and the fact the local families use it as a daily thing. I cautiously agreed. I felt clammy and nervous as I stared at the large hill I had to drive down with my baby ( Summer is 14 ) on the back. I had visions of limbs with gravel rash and skin coated tar seal. The first ten minutes I had every fiber of my being focused on not wobbling the scooter off the road, after that I relaxed and had a ball. What a way to travel! The best yet. Apart from the bone shaking, mummy scaring experience of driving past a pack of dogs and watching them nearly bite my children's feet off, it was one of the favourite things I did. Even better for my Scottish heritage its only 200 baht a day. ( $8 NZ)
Would we go back to Ko Phangan? Well, yes we would. We found it charming and real, whilst not feeling too touristy. From some the best pizza I have eaten to the coolest restaurants and bars with swings as seats. Koh Phangan has surprises around every corner, just waiting to be discovered.