After five days on Koh Samui, we were ready to move onto something a little more peaceful and rugged. Although Koh Samui is lovely, it was not quite what we had been looking for. We wanted a bungalow on the beach, so close to the water that when we woke up we could walk straight out onto the sand. On Koh Samui, almost all of the beachfront areas on Chaweng Beach had been bought up fancy resorts… What a pity! We were also craving some beautiful sunsets, so that meant we needed to move to the west coast of an island in order to enjoy that. Justin found us a place to stay on the south-west coast of Koh Phangan, and it was a little bit away from Haad Rin Beach, which was where all the famous Full Moon Parties take place. We wanted to be close enough but not too far away. You may be wondering why, at five months pregnant, we even decided to got to this island known mainly for its crazy all-night parties?!
Koh Phangan is world-famous for one thing – PARTIES! There is a party almost every night of the month here, and travellers come from far and wide on the full moon every month to dress in bright colors and party the night away. What most people don’t know is that between the full moon parties all the accommodation rates on this island drop. Many are deterred from coming here if they are not into the party-scene, so that means there are periods of each month where the island becomes very quiet. But the magical spirit of Koh Phangan makes it also perfectly suitable for those travellers looking for tranquil and wider surroundings. The islands also has heaps of quieter and undeveloped spots that resemble Koh Samui as it was 15 years ago! Just like Samui, Koh Phangan has numerous heavenly white sand beaches all along its coastline. But it differs from its elder sister with its mountainous jungle in the centre of the island. So whether you like beach or jungle, silence or heavy party sound, Koh Phangan will satisfy all of your island dreams!
We took the Seatran Discovery from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan – our travel package included a pick-up service from our bungalow, which came to 400 Baht each. The ferry service is very well organised, and it takes only 30 minutes to get from the one island to the other. We took the 13:30 ferry and arrived at Koh Phangan by 14:00 – You can link to the other available ferry times here: Seatran Timetable. Quick, cool, comfortable and easy! Both locals and travellers use these ferries to move between Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui – the three islands located in the gulf of Thailand.
Once on the island, we tried to catch a songthaew to our beach, which we knew was not very far away, but all of them were wanting to charge us 100 Baht EACH. With full knowledge of where we were going and how close it was, we kept refusing to pay 200 Baht, and decided to take a walk in the direction we needed to go. The weather was perfect and we had energy, so we thought we would stroll a little further from the pier and see if they still wanted to charge us that much. We stopped at a convenience store to get some cold drinks, and then walked along the coastline. The blue skies and peaceful surroundings made us feel very calm and happy. Within 3 minutes we came to a man with a bike and a sidecar, he agreed to take us to our beach for 60 Baht each. It was still more than we thought we needed to pay, but prices are generally higher on the islands.
We later found out that as of 2009, taxi drivers have organised to fix prices to 100-200 Baht a ride, depending on the distance – no negotiation! You can try your luck at bargaining – and you may occasionally have some luck (like we did a couple of times), but overall the prices are set! Expect to pay 100-200 Baht per person, depending on the distance.
When we arrived at Charm Beach, we were nothing short of ecstatic! This place was exactly what we had been hoping to find. We were welcomed, shown to our bungalow, and then left to settle in. The location and facilities were absolutely perfect, and we couldn’t have been happier!
The view from our bungalow
We had asked for a room that was away from any potential noise, so they placed us in one of the smaller bungalows right on the beach. The large family-style bungalows looked nicer, but with only two of us, we did not need all of that room. We dropped our bags and Justin jumped into the hammock outside of our door straight away. The local dogs came over to join us – they were so cute!
Prawn Pad Thai
We hadn’t journeyed for long at all, but it had been a few hours since breakfast. The resort had a small but decent menu so we tried a couple of the dishes. The prawn pad thai was delicious! The meal was just what we needed to carry us through to dinner. Since there did not seem to be any restaurants nearby, we were pleased to see that if we needed to order food from here, we could! For us, this is the perfect kind of getaway spot – everything that you need in one place.
In the evening we took a walk to see what was in walking-distance of Charm beach. The palm trees along the road were like something out of a dream and I wished that I could sit down and sketch them before the sun disappeared…
To celebrate our first evening with a beautiful sunset – right outside our bungalow’s front door – we decided to buy some food at the grocery store, and have a picnic on the beach. About a 5 minute walk from Charm Beach we found a huge grocery store, and they had all kinds of delicious snacks, fruits, cooked foods, and drinks. What a pity that we couldn’t have some sundowners (cocktails as the sun goes down), but we’ll be back in Thailand again soon, when we’re not expecting a baby, and then we can buy some drinks from the beach and do all of this again.
This is what we found for dinner: Chicken Green Curry, Rice, salad, salad dressing, wasabi broad beans, some chips, and watermelon for dessert. We set our towels down on the sand and got comfortable so that we could enjoy our food and watch the beautiful sky change colours.
This little mutt sat by us the whole time, and he never begged for food. He was such a good dog! We were thoroughly impressed with our new location, and the fact that our bungalow was right on the beach where we could swim, relax, and watch the sun go down every evening. We had no idea how long we would stay, but we booked a few nights and then settled in to relax. As you can see above, the water was very shallow at Charm Beach, so we could walk out for miles during low tide. When the sun had completely disappeared and our bellies were full, we went for a long walk, taking the dogs with us to play in the water.
More on our stay at Charm Beach coming soon…