Koh Phangan | Thailand

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 9.06.54 PMWe were hesitant to visit the nearby island Koh Phangan due to their full moon party reputation. We are talking about a Phi Phi crowd times 10! Google "full moon party haad rin" and you will find this. It's one part hoochie mamma and one part poser and together you get 100% debauchery. Our original dates we had planned landed right in the middle of full moon swing, so we delayed a day hoping the antics would be over. I also made a concerted effort to find us some lodging that was FAR from the scene of Haad Rin Beach. My efforts proved to be a success! While Haad Rin is at the south end of the island, we stayed at Thongtapan Resort on the north east side located on Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach. The 45 min drive to get there was well worth the rough roads. It was cozy, remote, and there was no full moon mayhem in sight.

Our garden bungalow was a short distance from the water and the beach was surrounded by lush, mountainous terrain.

KOH_PHANGAN_1 KOH_PHANGAN_2 KOH_PHANGAN_3 KOH_PHANGAN_4 KOH_PHANGAN_5 KOH_PHANGAN_6 KOH_PHANGAN_7 KOH_PHANGAN_8Just south of Thong Nai Pan Noi is Thong Nai Pan Yai. I know. The verbiage gets confusing. It requires a decent walk and an uphill, sweaty battle around a hill to get there.

KOH_PHANGAN_9 KOH_PHANGAN_10 KOH_PHANGAN_11 KOH_PHANGAN_12 KOH_PHANGAN_13When we finally reach the beach, we understand why it's known as Thong Nai Pan Noi's less attractive sister. It's still quite beautiful but there is less wave action here which means the shore is dotted with anchored boats. It makes for glorious photos, but not so glorious swimming.

KOH_PHANGAN_14 KOH_PHANGAN_15 KOH_PHANGAN_16 KOH_PHANGAN_17 KOH_PHANGAN_18 KOH_PHANGAN_19 KOH_PHANGAN_20 KOH_PHANGAN_21 KOH_PHANGAN_22So while we initially shied away from the famed full moon island, we found a nook that felt nothing like a howling rave.

STAY: Thongtapan Resort

WHERE: Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach | Koh Phangan

PRICE: $21 (fan double standard bungalow) booked on Agoda.com