Koh Phangan: Things don’t always go right

Thing’s definitely did not go according to plan on the Koh Phangan segment of our Thailand trip. In fact, we cut our losses and ended up leaving the island after only 2 days. It’s funny how much planning you can do, and still have your plans go wrong. Things always have a way of working themselves
out though.

Planning Ahead

Our hotel in Koh Phangan was the only hotel we booked ahead of time before leaving the United States. Every other hotel we booked last minute, sometimes even the night before, and they all turned out fantastic. Since it was the week of Christmas, we wanted to be on the safe side and book our stay way beforehand. We also decided to splurge a little, it being Christmas and all, so we booked a “resort”.

On the way to Koh Phangan

We left the amazing Pinky Bungalows on sunny Koh Lanta early in the morning to start our long journey to the other side of the country. The family running Pinky’s even gave us breakfast to go! We were picked up in a mini van, and had a 1 and a half hour drive across 3 ferry crossings, to a bus stop. The seats tilted forward, not backwards, so poor Robert’s back was killing him by the time we got out.

Koh Phangan

Waiting to be picked up at Pinky Bungalows

The bus ride over was the scariest ride we ever had in our lives, but now that we are alive, it’s actually quite funny. We were in the very back row, and our AC vent did not work at all, so we were sweating up a storm. All of a sudden, we smelt burning and we looked behind us, and the back was smoking! The whole bus got so incredibly hot, it felt like we were in a sauna, and we could see everyone’s face start to look panicked. Things would start to go back to normal, and then the whole process would happen again.

Koh Phangan

On the scariest and hottest bus ride of our lives

It also started to downpour, and we had no clue how the driver could see out the front windshield. Not to mention he was driving super fast, and passing people by going onto the other side of traffic. So we were convinced we were either going to blow up, swerve off the road, or hit something because our driver couldn’t see. We sat white knuckled the whole 3 hour bus ride, and could not have been happier to get off the bus when we arrived at the ferry.

Arriving in Koh Phangan

After taking a ferry for about an hour, we finally arrived on Koh Phangan, where it was pouring down rain. Unfortunately, it was supposed to rain the entire week we were going to be there.We were very confused when we were dropped off at our hotel, since it was a completely different name than the one we booked. Come to find out, the hotel was actually operating under a different name, and had two different listings on Agoda. The listing we booked had a couple good reviews, while the listing with the correct name had pretty terrible reviews.

Koh Phangan

Arriving by ferry in Koh Phangan

The Resort

Our room was by far the worst we have stayed at in Thailand, and super uncomfortable. We were pretty used to staying in budget accommodations, but remember this was the “resort” we had splurged on for Christmas. The bed was as hard as a rock with the springs literally digging into our backs, and the comforter was as thin as paper. Oh, and our shower was directly over the toilet in a tiny box bathroom, so it was like doing yoga while taking a shower at the same time. Our room also didn’t come with wifi, which wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t pouring down rain and we weren’t stuck inside the room.

Koh Phagan

The swim up bar

Ants, Lizard, Mosquitos Oh My

Our window didn’t close so we ended up taping our towels over the window to stop the onslaught of mosquitoes and lizards. We also woke up in the middle of the night to ants pouring into our room. After massacring all the ants, we didn’t have any toilet paper left until the next morning when we could ask for some more. Unfortunately the ants were persistent and came back in droves the next day.

Koh Phangan

Duct taping our towels over the window

Leaving Koh Phangan

With the combination of pouring rain, windows that didn’t work, an ant infestation, the most uncomfortable bed, and showering over the toilet, we decided to leave early. We took an early morning ferry to the mainland, and flew back to Bangkok.

We’ve come to realize that no matter how much planning you do, life sometimes just gets in the way. Some things are just out of your control, so you have to carry on and make the best of it. We ended up leaving the island early, and had an amazing Christmas in Bangkok. In the end, we couldn’t have had a better holiday.


Happy to be in Bangkok for Christmas

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