Ko Samui and Ko Phangan Islands, South Thailand 

Now when you think islands generally we think more expensive, and rightly so. But these islands are not so remote, there are plenty of  locals living on these islands, so you know they are not paying pharang (western) prices. Lets live a day like them!

Food 

Ko Samui

is one of the largest islands in the south, you can find everything you need here which makes me feel very silly for loading up on a purse full of CUP of noodles and laundry detergent (and instant coffee). It’s practically the same deal as on the mainland, there are markets with food for 25-30-40 baht. More generally you see 50-60 on busy touristy streets but considering your on an island I was pleasantly surprised with these good deals. 

I’m not just talking about one market for the entire island, each sector of each island has more than one market area, which makes it great place for vegans and cheapskates alike ! Lol 

Passing by 30 baht cold drink shops, see if you can hold out for a street or two where you can most likely find 25-20baht for the same drink. 

Ko Pha-Ngan

There are many restaurants on the road for good prices and delicious food. My favorite place to eat, was the Food Market on the Thong Sala side of the island

General supplies 

Plenty of everything 20 baht stores to buy flip flops, basic cloths, towels razors, hygiene products, electronic products.. etc 

It’s like a super dollar store, but more like 60cent store for all your needs. 

Trying to be more eco friendly keep an eye out for boxes of second hand cloths or flip flops. These are as cheap as 10-100 baht, mostly on main roads. 

Transport 

Fucking taxis of every kind will start off 300-200 baht to get wherever you want to go. If you are stubborn enough and convince them that all you have is 50 baht, that to me sounds like a good price. That will fill up their tank for the day so don’t see any reason to not accept that price. 

When bargaining make sure that the price is crystal clear ! If they can they will pretend that they didn’t understand the deal at the end of things. 

 Me and my cousin got picked up after walking an hour mid day toward our destination and we only hopped on the scooter taxi because he said twenty baht each, multiple times over and over again. Only to get to our destination and then all the sudden he knows how to say two hundred baht, and gives us a very confused look when we try to pay him 40 baht. 

Thong Sala Pier is going to have the cheapest ferries the most often 7-5 everyday.

Extra tip

Never show your wallet!! Never show more money than the agreed on price! 

If you didn’t already get your set money out before hand try to get it ready while in the car or back of scooter. 

Rather than keeping my money in one stack I keep each bill individually and in different stash points of my purse or pocket, or in my case my bra is my favorite spot so I don’t have to russel around in my purse or worry about it falling out of my pocket. By keeping each bill individually I won’t accidentally show them too much and confirm  what I said about not having the amount of money they originally wanted 

To Do

Hiking and Waterfalls

These islands, especially Koh Phangan have a lot of preserved nature spots to enjoy.

Live music and Bars

Full/Half Moon Party, Koh Phangan

This is what most people go to the islands for. Insane party on the beach, surely to be after parties leading to the next night!

Paradise water falls, Koh Phangan 

I was thinking I’d seen enough waterfalls. There were so many, so how can I continue to enjoy waterfall after waterfall right ? 

There is only One sign and it’s only facing one side of the road. So when I almost passed it I didn’t think it would be much at all. 

Take your scooter up a torn up uphill road and you will go up to the right which almost looks like someone’s home until you see the very small sign that says waterfall. 

This is a place to discover if anything. Then on the porch if the home the landowners charge 20 baht entrance but then also give you a free water, which anywhere else would charge you 30 baht for anyway. So I like this deal. 

At the bottom of the waterfall there is a small but deep enough swimming hole to swing from rope fly into the water. 

I recommend jumping in here before you start your climb up the water fall because it gets hot ! 

 But my favorite part of this waterfall is the view from the top. You slowly climb above the tree line and get a view of the entire island looking over green mountain and into aqua water and glowing white beach along a curvy peninsula. 

Shade, sun, water, trees, can even hike further and further up the mountain for fuller views. 

My stoner ass could easily spend all day here with some good music, journal and book to read.  Ah and a a picnic !!

Places like this, I think of my Canadian friend from Colombia. “What a special place in the world” 

Koa Tao 
Is a favorite of many of my friends. It is a more remote and much smaller island with crystal white sandy beaches. I saw it as being a more expensive trip, especially in the cost of ferry ride and accommodation.