The advantage of staying somewhere for more than two or three weeks is that you have plenty of time to discover new places. The disadvantage of staying somewhere for more than two or three weeks is that you end up going to exactly the same places that you discovered when you first arrived.
Apichada View Point Bar
My happy place. My real, true happy place. The road that leads there is incredibly steep and riddled with potholes, and the food is not great but the view… Oh that view! So beautiful and wide. Get there long before sunset (chances are you’ll be the only person up there), snuggle down in one of the cozy pillows, grab a fresh coconut at the tiny wooden shack they call bar and just breathe. And be glad that you are alive. Oh and btw: no matter how much you hate country music – it comes great at this place. Just great.
Niras Home Bakery
More than just a bakery: Nira’s is an institution on Koh Phangan. The Thongsala outlet is located conveniently next to the pier and always buzzing with people. The menu features european dishes, middle eastern specialities, thai food, sandwiches, cakes, vegan ice cream, and of course delicious banana pancakes. And every single dish I tried was cooked to perfection. Wow! My all time favorite: Coronation Curry Chicken Sandwich. So. Damn. Good.
Siam Healing Centre, Thongsala
I took a lot of Yoga classes here – the teachers are very friendly, helpful and experienced. Classes usually consisted of 2-3 students and a teacher (in high season!), and there are plenty of different kinds of Yoga and even Pilates to choose from. All classes are totally suitable for beginners – only Katies very popular morning Vinyasa Flow can be challenging. Massages are great here too. (300 Baht/1 hour). Note: there are plenty of yoga schools in Srithanu, but this is one of the few in Thongsala. One class costs 300 Baht. My favorite class: Hatha Yoga with Stacia
Thong Nai Pan Beach
It’s a bit of a trip to get here from Thongsala – the road basically takes you up and down the majority of Koh Phangans rolling hills. But the street is quite well paved and mostly pothole-free. And anyway, the reward of making it to Thong Nai Pan is a beach with the clearest, warmest water ever and incredibly soft sand to chill on.
It’s a classic on the island, but nevertheless worth mentioning. Thai eateries are usually not big on coffee, so this is the place to be if you crave a perfectly foamy Cappuccino or Latte Macchiato. I also tried the vegetarian English Breakfast, which comes complete with a vegan sausage, and their ice cream – really tasty. (Talk to the Portuguese owner and you’ll see that he really knows what comes out of that freezer of his.) Worth mentioning: European quality comes with European prices here. You-Should-Really-Try-It-Recommendation: The aforementioned Veggie English Breakfast
Haad Mae Haad
Just really really pretty. If the tide is low, you can walk over a sand bar to the small island of Koh Ma. The only downside: the restaurants of Mae Haad Bay Resort and Mae Haad Beach View Resort both feature a huge menu, but the food is really not the best. So get a tan, go for a swim and then move on to one of the great eateries of Koh Phangan!
Great Bay Resort-Restaurant
One of the big draws of this place was that I lived basically next door to it, so I ate there quite frequently. But I wouldn’t have done that if I wouldn’t have loved their big selection of tasty foods, superfriendly waiters and the set-up directly at the beach (the sunsets are absolutely stunning). Oh, and the cocktail happy hour: Every day between 5 and 7. Favorite dish: Fried Tofu with Veggies and Rice
I am not the biggest fan of going to the movies (What if I the movie bores me? Should I leave and be annoyed that I wasted money on a sucky movie or stay, get even more bored and be annoyed that I wasted money on a sucky movie?). But even I have to admit that the Moonlight Cinema is a pretty sweet installation. They show everything from classics to new releases, you get to chill on cozy pillows instead of chairs and I heard that the vegan food there is really great too – if the kitchen isn’t closed like it was the case when I was there.
Do you have a Koh Phangan-Favorite? Post it in the comments!