Koh Phangan – Backpacking Thailand part 3 –

From creepy roommates, first scooter rides and affectionate Thais to epic waterfalls, stunning sandbanks and treacherous coconut palms…

In my last post I’ve talked about Koh Tao – the mysterious death island. After 4 days on that little island we took the ferry to the next island: Koh Phangan.

Most of you might know Koh Phangan because of its famous full moon parties but it’s so much more than just a party island. We just missed the full moon party, so the island wasn’t too crowded- YES!

Our Hostel was the Treechart hostel. It was important to us that our home for the next days is in walking distance to the pier. We checked out the app Hostelworld to see what’s near by and inexpensive and just started walking. That’s how we always found our hostels or homestays.

In the pictures online it seemed to be a party hostel but when we had stayed there, not many other people were there. We slept in a 12 bed room , only with men. One of them was hiding behind a towel/blanket building and the other weren’t in the room when we arrived. Later it had turned out that they were sleeping right next to us ( the beds didn’t have any space between each other, just a metal rod). I don’t want to be mean but they were really weird 😀 One of them had a music box and was listening LOUD to some heavy rap songs, also he was totally into Nina as he called her babe or baby one time?! The other two guys always gave me a wink and smiled smarmy. All of them were like 5-10 years older than us. To be honest: I was really happy I didn’t have to sleep completely alone with them in a room.

The hostel had a pool and many chill areas, too and everything was in a very good condition. We asked about renting a motorbike and there was a rental service right next to the hostel.

My morning buddy
My morning buddy! Not gonna lie, it was hard to get ready sometimes with this cutie trying to climb on you.

My first scooter drive

Neither Nina nor I have a driver’s license for scooters in Germany. In Thailand you are allowed to drive with scooters if you have an international drivers license ( which is just a translated drivers license). When we asked to rent a bike no one asked for a drivers license though.

A young guy ( probably around 15) was working there and since we didn’t know how to drive a scooter , we asked if he could show us. His English was really bad , so he brought his mum. We explained our situation and she advised us to not rent a motorbike. We knew that the traffic in Thailand can be really dangerous. Even if you drive careful, the others probably don’t. The most Thais don’t even wear a helmet.

Our plans depended on a motorbike though. We wanted to see as much from the island as possible and the local taxis didn’t drive you anywhere. We had to make a decision. We decided to give it a try. No risk no fun ;D  Nina wanted to drive which was totally fine with me. Luckily our hostel had a courtyard – the perfect place to practice. Nina made a few rounds alone and then she tried it with me on the back. To cut the story short: we almost crashed into an ice chest and I ended up driving.

Our motorbike on Koh Phangan
I took a few pictures to document the condition of the motorbike. I’ve read too much about tourists that had problems with wrong accusations. Better safe then sorry!

I am taller and heavier so that was the better decision anyway. It wasn’t easy with another person on the scooter and I was a little nervous to leave our little safe zone and enter the real street. So many cars and scooters… But I knew that I had to be strong and cross my lines, so that we could make our trips and explore the island. Of course we had helmets! Not the most perfectly fitting ones though… Nina was guiding me with google maps and so we just drove to the next beach. The streets were crazy! Up and down… But it was fun! It was the day we arrived, so we just checked out the local surroundings and had dinner at super cute place. Ahhhh I can’t tell you how much I miss the Thai food .

For the next day we had planned a trip to several waterfalls, beaches and a viewpoint.

funnfy sign
Luckily we could escaped and they didn’t catch us.
scooter ride (1)
That sunset though…

Exploring the island and being a heart breaker

Our first stop was supposed to be the Than Prawet waterfall. There was no direct route to the waterfall ( in was just in the middle of a little jungle) so we had difficulties to find it. Also Nina and I had to go to the bathroom really bad ( we had a huge fruit salad and a smoothie for breakfast) so we stopped at a small restaurant and and asked about the waterfall, showed it on google maps ect. . The woman said it would be 15 min away. Surprisingly she said that her son, who was around 19, could show us where it is. We thought: great he will take us to the path we would have to take. Yeahhh… but this did not gentirely as planned.  Actually he took us ( he was driving in front of us) to a completely different waterfall, that was 20 min in the wrong direction… But that wasn’t the problem in the end. We had arrived at the little hiking path to the Than sadet waterfall, Nina and I told him how thankful we were and that we would see him at the restaurant ( we wanted to have lunch there originally). He said he would show us the waterfall. Weeell okay, thanks. We didn’t want to be rude. He asked me how hold I was. I said I was 18 and then he smiled and kissed my hand. WHAT? Just a second later I had found myself in a close hug. “No,no,no,no – I have a boyfriend!” That was my reaction 😀 I didn’t expect him to come so close to me in just a few seconds. His English was terrible and he didn’t seem to understand. He uttered a few incomprehensible words followed by some weird gestures. I don’t know what he ended up thinking but considering his gestures and drooling smile he might have thought he was talking to two lesbians. It was SO weird. The path went steep down and was full of rocks – nothing that we couldn’t handle- but the guy constantly wanted to give me a hand.  I felt so uncomfortable. Even at the waterfall he didn’t want to leave. He said he would stay with us to protect us. At first we tried explaining to him that would like to have a few hours alone at the waterfall. He didn’t understand. We tried it via google translate . He wrote strange texts that said that he would like to stay with us, meet us in Germany and more. Even after 20 minutes he still wasn’t about to leave. He was waiting for us on a big stone. I felt awful. After we had promised him multiple times that we would see him at his restaurant and after some “go away gestures “, he FINALLY left. With much patience and our nerves completely on edge we finally had time without our new wannabe lover. We were unanimous that we would have lunch anywhere but at his restaurant. Sorry!

The waterfall was mind-blowing though. It was in the middle of the jungle and I was stunned by natures beauty. It didn’t take long and other people also came and relaxed on the rocks. Nina and I still took our pictures  – even the topless ones. Don’t worry they couldn’t see us – I think :D. Totally felt a connection to nature at this wonderful place.

At the Than Sadet waterfall on Koh Phangan , ThailandThe waterfall and IIn the middle of the jungleHonestly, I’ve never felt so connected to nature before!

It got pretty late, so we only made it to another beach this day. On our way back we stopped by a night market. Sooo many vegan, freshly made desserts! The best thing: you can usually try everything! They also had some vintage clothing, which was pretty nice too. After dinner we had a little night swim in the pool – what a day!

Adventurous roads & a hidden waterfall

We had extended our rental for the motorbike for another 24 hours, filled up our gas, had breakfast and started our second day trip. Our first destination was a waterfall in the west, I believe. It was really hard to get there, because there is a “climbing down a waterfall” park and we weren’t sure if we could go there without tickets or anything. Luckily we just had to climb a little bit and the waterfall didn’t belong to the park.

Waterfall shower on Koh Phangan, Thailand, at the Wang Sai Waterfall


The Wang Sai waterfall
This was taken with my phone, the colors were more vibrant in reality though!

That place was heavenly. We didn’t want to leave! But time was running and we also wanted to get to a view-point. We got back to our scooter and decided to check out the “bottle beach” too. We were shaken when we saw the road to the beach. I’m not sure if you can even call it a road. Two guys on a motorbike, who came back from the beach, warned us about the last part of the route. They had fallen down a few times although they have been driving for years. Well, I had been driving for two days! We did what they told us and parked our scooter near the road before it got too dangerous. Even by foot it was really hard to get down the road. We had flip-flops on and the road was sandy, steep and slippery. We were really happy when we arrived at the beach. Unfortunately we had to leave pretty soon because it was already getting dark and we had to get back up the steeply road to our motorbike. Also we couldn’t find the trail to the view-point?! It was too late anyway and let’s just say that we were more than glad, that we’ve survived this little trip 😀

Road to bottle beach on Koh Phangan
Nope that was not the part of the road I’m talking about!:D

Our last day – a stunning sandbank &  dangerous coconut palm

We still had our scooter rented until 16:30 pm and we wanted to use that time to explore some beaches at the west coast. WOW – crystal clear water! The other beaches we had seen before weren’t that pretty. Or maybe it was the weather. The beaches at the west coast had calm and beautiful water, perfect for a little swim. On our way back we stopped at the most stunning sandbank ever! We left our helmets and clothes at the beach and walked through the water towards the sandbank. I was wondering why everybody was walking so slow and careful, head down watching their steps. So I had a closer look in the water too. Jellyfishes. EVERYWHERE. They were blue and pretty small though. We made it to the sandbank and although we were in a hurry, I enjoyed every minute in this fascinating place. Unfortunately I don’t have any good pictures. Sooo if you’re visiting Koh Phangan I highly recommend exploring the west coast!

Also we were almost hit by a coconut, that fell down from a coconut palm. They are actually many people who die because they got hit by a coconut, so pay attention where you chill or walk.


Bye, bye Koh Phangan!

The day before we left we booked our transportation to Koh Lanta ( 1. Night boat 2. Bus ) as an all in one package. An hour before our boat was leaving we walked to the tourist office where we bought out tickets. The owner took us with his scooter to the pier. I went first and let me tell you: this was the craziest taxi drive I’ve ever had! The owner had a big dog who was driving with us 😀

The night boat was not as fun as we thought though… tiny mattresses, no pillows or blankets, no English-speaking people, no fans, suuuuper loud engine noises and so on. That’s probably why it was the cheapest option 😀

The next and last place we went to was Koh Lanta! Stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts 🙂


Hugs, Gina