Koh Phangan: accommodation

We wanted to explore a different side of Koh Phangan so instead of heading to the Full Moon Party capital Haad Rin, we decided to head north-west – even after being put off by the taxi driver: “Why you wanna go to the mountains?!”

Bungalow at Shiralee Koh Phangan2 Koh Phangan: accommodation

Bungalow at Shiralee Koh Phangan

The day before we had booked online at a resort called Shiralea, which had received really positive reviews. We sped north along a windy coastal road in the back of a songthaew (which are pick-up trucks with side-facing benches in the back – a staple mode of transport) for around half an hour before pulling off onto a side road.

Not too much action in this video but it gives a flavour of the place

Shiralea is a hillside resort with nicely spaced-out bungalows, a pool and a good restaurant/bar. We were warmly greeted by the staff and shown to our bungalow, which was medium-sized, clean and comfortable, with a fan and good wi-fi connection! Great place to stay if you’re not on the island for the big parties – recommended.

Shiralee Trees Koh Phangan Koh Phangan: accommodation

Shiralee Trees Koh Phangan

We strolled down through a small area containing a few hotels and shops, and found ourselves on the beach. We were at the north end of Haad Yao Beach which is a lovely sandy cove stretching for about 1 km, with a few bars, restaurants and other resorts dotted along it but not really much there – a lot more relaxed than the more compact Koh Tao. We managed to get about half way along the beach before the dark clouds closed in and a tropical downpour started again. We took refuge in a bar and had some pad thai and chicken noodle soup (Ben’s favourite!).

Dark clouds over Haad Yao beach Koh Phangan3 Koh Phangan: accommodation

Dark clouds over Haad Yao beach Koh Phangan

After a few more very wet days at Shiralea – seemingly we’d arrived in the Gulf of Thailand with unseasonal clouds and rain – we wanted to check out a more lively area so reserved a bungalow at Phangan Beach Resort, nearer the heart of the action. Online this place looks decent, but has a suspicious number of overly-positive reviews, written in a strange manner and with photos that look straight from a brochure…we were a bit dubious.

Upon arrival at the place we bumped into a Danish couple Sara & Jacob, who we had previously met, who were in the progress of checking out….with a disgusted look on their faces. They said they had many cockroaches in their bungalow (the open bathrooms don’t really help) including some in their bed…even having sealed themselves in their bed with a mosquito net they still found one inside with them. At Shiralee we had encountered and overcome just one cockroach, sat on Ben’s toothbrush.

Gut feeling took over and we turned away from the place before we had checked in and headed back to Thong Sala, the bustling port and main town, to the same hotel as our new friends. We surveyed their room first before checking in to our own room. We shared a nice afternoon with the Danes visiting the market, which was a frenzy of food and associated tempting smells.

Egg man at food market Thong Sale Koh Phangan2 Koh Phangan: accommodation

Egg man at food market Thong Sala Koh Phangan

Chilling back at the hotel later whilst trying to find somewhere to go to next, we noticed a massive train of ants coming up the wall. So we moved rooms (twice!), before heading out for the Saturday night football (an important weekly event of course…).

Pool at sunset Loyfa Resort Koh Phangan3 Koh Phangan: accommodation

Pool at sunset Loyfa Resort Koh Phangan

The next day we packed our bags again and checked into the Loyfa Resort, further up the coast. Feeling on edge after our close shaves with various creatures, we asked to see some room options – a cheaper wooden bungalow and a nice, swish modern version. The bungalow was ok so we went with that, but having discovered the toilet leaking they kindly moved us to the swish pad but on the cheaper room rate – result!

Sunset at Loyfa Resort Koh Phangan5 Koh Phangan: accommodation

Sunset at Loyfa Resort Koh Phangan

This place has a gorgeous pool, a stretch of private beach, great food (bbq’ed fresh fish) and above all a fantastic set of staff who were the highlight of our stay – we highly recommend the resort. On our last night on Koh Phangan we enjoyed another gorgeous sunset, chilling to music, beer and a good book.

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3 Responses to “Koh Phangan: accommodation”

February 27th, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

Loving the blog guys…really well written and informative. Sounds like you’re having a great time. Have caught up with all the posts now and will check in regularly for an update so keep in up!!

March 4th, 2011 @ 10:30 am

Got a bit behind, but this is so fascinating. Love your writing and pictures. Margie xx

March 12th, 2011 @ 8:15 am

Loyfa …that was where me and andy stayed. Probably the nicest place I have stayed and the owner was a chef in Switzerland for 15 years….so the food was awesome. Keep it a secret!

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