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The Tropical Island of Ko Pha Ngan

From our guesthouse in Bangkok we booked the trip to the tropical island of Ko Pha Ngan. It is located near the touristic island of Ko Samui, and we are told it is as beautiful, but less crowded. To get there we take the night bus to Surat Thani, from where we take the boat to the island.

Watching the sunset under a palm tree on the beach in Ko Pha Ngan

Apparently, we have a thing with bus rides, none of them goes smooth. This time, first the bus didn't move beyond the second gear. It took an hour to repair, after which it started to rain. And surprise, surprise, the wipers didn't work. So we had to stop every kilometre or so to clean the windshield. During a stop at a restaurant this problem was solved, and the driver could try to make up for the lost time. We raced over the Thai highway south, which made sleeping on the bus almost impossible.

Rough Sea

But, we reached the boat in time, only to sea it was pretty crowded already. After us, another busload needed to get on board, but then we could leave. After a quiet start, once at open sea the waves became pretty high. People got sea sick one after another, but we managed to keep it inside until we reached Ko Samui. But after that, we had another hour to reach Ko Pha Ngan. We were glad to get off the boat, our stomachs still full, but are legs a bit unsteady.

Bungalow Cabins

Bungalow cabins on the beach under the palm trees at Ko Pha NganOn the boat, a tout offered us a bungalow, with free transport from the boat. It seemed like a good idea, so we arrived in a wooden cabin on top of a rock with a view over the sea. Not bad, but we fancied a bungalow on the beach, so we only stayed one night. The following day we found our little paradise in a cabin on a beach lined with palm trees.

We wanted to take the opportunity on this beautiful spot to relax and take it slow for a few days. Funny how our bodies take these opportunities to get sick. This time, Patrick got diarrhoea, which prevented us from doing anything other than reading, swimming and sun bathing. And once in a while watching the boys from our cabins to climb a palm tree for some coconuts for the guests.

Motorbike tour

When Patrick got better, we decided to hire a motorbike to visit the rest of Ko Pha Ngan. But the island is not very big, and before we know it we have seen all places of interest. So we stop at a snorkelling beach, where we hire some snorkelling gear and see some nice coral. Not spectacular, but nice.

In the evening, there are some festivities at our bungalow cabins. A pig is roasted and big pieced of meat are sliced from it to be offered to the guests. We turn it down, however, to give our stomachs some more rests.


The beach of Ko Pha NganWe take one more slow day before we leave Ko Pha Ngan. Swimming and sun bathing while we wait for the beautiful sun set. All of a sudden, there is a commotion. We hear there is a bush fire and are requested to help to fight it. Everybody takes a bucket and runs to the place of the fire. It is a bit further on the beach, where people were burn down the vegetation in order to build a few more cabins. But the fire grew out of control, no wonder considering the dry vegetation here.

Quickly, the tourists get organised. We are lined up passing buckets of water from the sea to the fire. Since we have our sandals on, we are able to get a little closer to the fire, or better, small fires. We manage to kill some of them, but others are coming up as quick as we can kill them. We work up a sweat, and are relieved when after a while a fire truck arrives to take over. With a big hose the fire is quickly under control, and we can retreat. Everybody is cheerful and proud of our achievement, banging each other on the shoulders. So this is what it feels like being part of a fire brigadeĀ…

After almost a week we leave Ko Pha Ngan. It is a beautiful island with lovely beaches. But we have rested enough and got tired of doing nothing. For the trip back to the mainland we take a big ferry, which is better equipped against the high waves.

Follow our World Journey!! Next Stop: Songkla
Return from Ko Pha Ngan to Southeast Asia
Return from Ko Pha Ngan to Adventure Travel Tales and Tips

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