We Took The Red Pill

Ko Phangan with kids

So how is it in Ko Phangan ?
It is our second month here. We spent a month here, had a short visit in Myanmar for a new visa to Thailand and then headed back home, to Koh Phangan. And thinking that we were not even supposed to get in here. Since we have already been in the islands of south Thailand when we just started our journey. It was a month in Ko Tao. Not the greatest success as I already wrote here before.
When we got back to Thailand after The Philippines, we realized a bit late that we want to enter Thailand with a long term visa rather than the regular one month on arrival visa you receive at the airport. Apparently in some embassies it is possible to get two single-entry visas instead of one, but Singapore was not one of them. Bummer. Nevermind. We spent 16 days in Myanmar because of that. And then we discovered that two single-entry visas can neither be done in the embassy in Myanmar. So it turns that we are here until end of December and then we will probably exit for another visa run and come back. Because it’s like home here. Because there are amazing people here who became soul mates. And because there is great wi-fi here and we can work.
And then I thought, should I be writing a short post with only one word (HEAVEN)? Too disappointing. And I might also regret sometime in the future that I didn’t document all this amazing experience we’re going through in Ko Phangan. So I’ll try.
As I already admitted before, since I am not someone to conceal her mistakes, we were not supposed to arrive in Ko Phangan. But somehow and some point I felt this calling. I realized that I’ve got to get in here. I don’t know exactly why, but I’ve got to, a calling of the heart.
I started talking it over with The One, and just before I overtalked his brains out, we’ve found ourselves in Ko Phangan. Already equipped with friends who we met in Chiang Mai, we found a house in the same place and immediately felt at home. Magic.
On the ferry, on the first time we got here I was already excited. My heart came here willing to fall in love with this place, and that’s exactly what happened. I fell in love. To my joy everybody is happy here so we’re not moving from here until further notice.
When we returned here from Myanmar it was like returning home. We were all very excited. The Natives looked forward to meet again with their friends. We looked forward to return to all this bliss here with all our friends who are here and those who were about to come.
A small island that has everything. Tantra workshops, yoga classes, perfect beaches, kids The Natives can play and quarrel with, and in general be extremely social, kitchen for cooking and even an organic store. The heart opens here more and more every day. The neighborhood grows bigger and bigger with every passing day. What else can a woman ask for ?
We live in a small house on the west coast of Ko Phangan. WEST, I said which means, I hope it’s clear by now – SUNSETS!!! Sunsets here are amazing and that’s before mentioning the fireflies in between the trees, or a flying lantern emerging suddenly from behind the golden rock, or the sea that looks slightly different every day or the tan marks that slowly disappear.

Ko Phangan with kids

Our neighbordhood in Ko Phangan

Ko Phangan sunset

Ko Phangan sunset

My kitchen produces three meals a day. In our community’s Whatsapp group there’s always someone asking if their kids were to be seen, only to be replied with “At my place”. The shakes my neighbor makes are to die for. The One just bought a guitar so I anticipate some jams in our community.
Typical day in Ko Phangan ? There’s none like it. But it will always have natural wake up and sunset and it will almost always have the sea. Sometimes it will have yoga practice or meditation, tantra class or group cuddling, a good conversation with a friend or two, good food served out of our funny kitchen and many surprises. Every ride to town (some town…) always produces some unexpected ingredients to a meal I have thought of, or jeans I didn’t think I would fit into, or a guitar.
Stopping by the side of the road and saying hello to a friend can end up only three hours later with a take-away lunch for hungry The Natives.
All of a sudden the kids in the neighborhood plant a tree or paint mandalas or running around for hours between the trees. A boy joins one of the adults who prepares lunch in one of the kitchen. Another adult start a conversation with another, fruit shake passes hands, someone goes for shopping in town and takes orders from the other neighbors, bonfire and singing, a beach and a beautiful view.
It can’t be real. It can’t really be our lives. Each day is better than the one before. Don’t let it ever end.

Our daily routine, pancakes for all the kids around

Our daily routine, pancakes for all the kids around

The thing everybody is staring at is a gekko, a cute and noisy local lizard

The thing everybody is staring at is a gekko, a cute and noisy local lizard

And now let’s be a bit more practical, so you won’t complain that I’m writing posts and you don’t get anything out of it. You get in Ko Phangan by ferry from Samui (40 minutes) or from Surat Thani (two hours and a half). The ferries dock at the pier in Thong Sala, the main town in Phangan where we do shopping and other daily routine stuff. When I say stuff I mean things like cash withdrawal from the bank. And talking about cash withdrawal, be aware that it is much cheaper to withdraw cash from a bank branch than from ATM. Just don’t forget to take your passport with you.
We live in Sri Thanu village in the north-western part of the island. Sri Thanu is some kind of a spiritual center in the middle of Ko Phangan. There is an abundance of yoga halls under every coconut tree, vegan restaurants, and all that shit. Everybody here hug all the time, watch out for you have been warned. If you’re searching for a place where you can find every day a yoga class, or tantra or meditation or jam or singing songs by the fire, just ask me.
A bungalow or a house, right by the beach in Sri Thanu, can cost between 15,000 baht (450$) and 40,000 baht (1100$) a month, depending on the number of bedrooms and how fancy the place is. A dinner for a family of five in a local Thai restaurant will usually cost around 500baht (14$). A dinner in the food market is about 1$ per person. The night food market in Thong Sala is very good and Saturday’s market is even better.
You can rent a scooter for one month for 2500 baht (70$), a yoga practice costs 300 baht (9$) and if you buy a monthly pass it will cost much less. There is a nice “Wipe Out” style attraction for children here for 250 baht, islanders price (7$).
There are rumors about nice waterfalls and treks on the island, but we are too lazy for that, so we didn’t check it. There are also elephants here, but we don’t do elephants.

Meet Dukdik the pig at Maguy's place in Chaloklum

That’s Dukdik the pig at Maguy’s place in Chaloklum

4 thoughts on “Ko Phangan with kids

  1. Dominique Levin

    Reading your blog post makes me realize what has been missing from our trip so far: other kids. Our kids are craving friends, but we are unable to find it. We thought we would find it in campings in Australia, but we ended up chatting only to local retirees. We thought we would find it in youth hostels, where we typically befriend the staff, but have little interaction with other (backpack) travelers. When we set out we thought that we would stay one month at a time in a place, but it became one month per country (we only have six travel months total and wanted to see different countries), and we move around in a country quite a bit (about once a week). I would love to find a place like you have where there are other families and you can interact and become friends, but how do you do that from the Internet? How do you know before arriving in place? How do you commit for a month to a single location before you know what to find?

    1. wetooktheredpill

      Where are you guys right now? Are you familiar with the FB group “Families On The Move”? we highly recommend that you ask to join! Great group! We met 2 very cute families through FOTM!

      1. Bruno

        Hi. I was only in Koh phangan by my own, and now I am in Chiang Mai with my 9 year old son. I was hesitating if there will be enough for him in Sri Thanu. Then i met your post. Still I dont know what you mean with “wipe out” for children. My english its not good enough for that. So if you can let me know a bit more. More children to join? Places where he can go and burn his lots of energy? Thank you

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