We arrived on the Haad Yuan area of Ko Phangan for our longest stay during our trip, we would be there a full 7 days.
This was close to the half way part of our trip, and it’s an interesting thing when you spend so much time in a place outside of your normal life. The new lifestyle in the new location actually becomes your reality after a while. It’s no longer a feeling of being on vacation with your home being your real life, the vacation becomes your reality and is your life. Sure you can think back to your life back home, remember your old job, or think about your family and friends, but your present reality becomes stronger than the reality you’ve lived in for so long. I think this is important to notice because we should recognize that things are always in a state of change. If you feel trapped in your present situation it’s because the reality of it is stronger than anything else you know. In truth the now is all there is, and once you make a change and put yourself in a new reality, the old reality you thought you were trapped in will fade away and you’ll wonder why it was ever so real to you in the first place. This is especially valuable for anyone feeling suicidal, to know that your life can change so fully and drastically that the old feelings you had don’t even seem real anymore can really help.
We stayed at the Big Blue bungalows. It was a really nice setup with decent rooms, a huge restaurant that played great movies at night, a little basketball court and pingpong table and tons of beauty everywhere. It was also right on the beach and close to all the best bars.
The beach in Haad Yuan was really beautiful, the water was amazing, the sand was clean and the beach was set up with lots of chairs for sun bathing and rope swings to hang out on.
It was here in Haad Yuan that I learned the absolute best way to funnel a beer!
Our area of Haad Yuan was shaped like a big semi circle with the beach in the middle, bars and restaurants on the left, and huts and bungalows on the right. There were some beautiful rock formations along the outsides on the semi circle, and it was cool to watch the waves splash into them.
It was very interesting to see small huts that people actually lived in, in such an amazing location in the world. Imagining living cheaply on such a beautiful beach, enjoying the world’s finest weather, swimming in the ocean daily, meeting travelers, going to awesome bars and dance parties… can all really make you consider how much you need your mortgage or your car or all the material possessions you have back home.
This kind of life is in no way fancy or extravagant in any way, but like one girl from England told me, she would much rather be relatively poor but happy living a relaxed life on a beach in Thailand, than miserable and stressed working hard in the big city.
At night in Haad Yuan there were many bars to check out. But our favorite was a place I’m going to call happy bar (cause I can’t remember its real name!)
Happy bar was by far the most chillen bar I had ever been to. They played incredibly chillaxed music, and had some really neat black lighting going on. The artwork was also quite trippy.
To top off the awesomeness of the bar they also had twister painted on the floor, and a glowing twister spin board.
Someone please tell me why we don’t have twister painted on the floors in the bars back home! Such a phenomenal idea. You can also order Hookah pipes with different flavors of tobacco to smoke. Conversing with friends over a hookah pipe is quite relaxing, and it tasted really good too.
In the back of happy bar was an outdoor patio area with a campfire. The bar also supplied bongo drums to play in this area. I remember thinking one night around the fire, with friends rocking out with guitars and bongo drums, that this is all anyone could ever need in life to be happy.
On the walk back from the bar you had to make sure to watch your step! The paths from the bar to the beach are a little… unique!
Our area of Haad Yuan was the more relaxed chill area of Ko Phangan, but we could also take a 10 minute taxi boat over to the more action packed Haad Rin. This is the area where the full moon party is held every month. The beach of Haad Rin looked pretty similar but behind it was a town which was full of lots to do, awesome food and shopping and was way more packed full of people.
One day our leaders organized a massive scavenger hunt in Haad Rin. It was a lot more fun than a regular scavenger hunt, and there were some crazy things that needed to be accomplished. One girl in my team even got a tattoo to fulfill one of the items that gave the most points. Other things we had to do involved building a massive sandcastle, singing the German national anthem with German tourists, getting a picture of the most harry man on the beach, getting part of your body waxed with before and after photo (I sacrificed my chest hair for this one), taking a picture with the most cheering people in it, and many more.
The most memorable part of the hunt for me was when my friend Rebecca and I were given the task of taking pictures of the most topless girls possible. They were pretty easy to find on the packed beach, but some were a little hesitant about the pictures. Luckily Rebecca was very encouraging and even exposed her own boobs multiple times to get the women into it. We ended up winning the most boobs award, I’ve never had so much fun as a camera man!
On a more somber note I also managed to lose my bank card while getting an ATM receipt for the hunt… you win some, you lose some. ><
The waters around Ko Phanang also had some good Scuba Diving. I’ve never Scuba’d before and I was very excited to try it. I did really well in the pool training, so the next day I was off to jump in the ocean. I went with a few friends and it was quite the unforgettable experience. A few days ago I was excited when there were fish swimming at my feet, but during this scuba trip I was swimming through entire schools of fish only inches from my face. The coral was equally as impressive and beautiful there’s so much life going on around it. Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to see and huge turtles or sharks, but I still saw many types of amazing fish that I never even knew existed. I wish I had an underwater camera to share the sites, hears some pictures from the internet so you can get a realistic idea of what I saw.
There were many other things to do around Ko Phanang like Yoga classes, or Muay Thai fighting training lessons, but the biggest thing we were looking forward to was the upcoming full moon party!