Koh Phangan is an island in the gulf of Thailand well known in the party circuit for its monthly Full Moon celebration as well as the smaller Half Moon Festival. After spending a week on the island at the beautiful Buri Beach Resort for a Travel Bloggers Retreat we discovered there is a lot more things to do and enjoy besides the parties. Here we discuss hiking in Thailand through the jungles of Koh Phangan.
Meeting our guide Charlie
We had the chance to go hiking in Thailand on a jungle trek with a group of fellow travelers led by a great local guy by the name of Charlie. Besides leading groups of people through the jungles of the island he also plays competitive beach volleyball for hours each day and owns Koh Space (a co-working space).
We first met up with Charlie as he was sitting on some steps of a nearby half finished building. After a quick hello and a run down of our itinerary we took off on our adventure through the hills to a beach with only local boat access called The Sanctuary.
The Jungle Trek Begins on Koh Phangan
Once we left the small town of Baan Haad Rin, we began our ascent past abandoned buildings and large tree hanging vines. The temperature was hot and the air was humid and very sticky. Exactly what you would imagine trekking through a jungle would be like. If you had a bottle of ice, it would have already been melted and warm by this point. With a few quick stops to catch our breathe and some switchbacks through the dense trees we found ourselves at Stone Wall. This was huge pile of boulders towards at the top of the mountain overlooking the town Baan Haad Rin, beaches and the expanse of ocean in the distance.
Stone Wall on Koh Phangan
We stopped here for quite some time taking in the spectacular view and getting more than enough photos and videos to remember the experience. After a slug of water and a wipe of sweat from the brow we were off again. Again we began trekking into the jungle through vines, over fallen trees and around boulders. It was hard to know which direction we were headed and whether we were actually descending or ascending due to the thick dense jungle, various ups and downs and lack of a real trail. Thankfully we had Charlie who had taken this trip many times before, but even he had to stop at time to remember the route. It is always a good idea to get a local guide when trekking in unfamiliar territory.
Second View Point on the Jungle Trek on Koh Phanan
After another hour or so, we found ourselves at a second amazing viewpoint. This spot was a natural rock formation carved into the cliff face looking out onto Haad Yuan beach and Haad Tian beach. We had to watch our step carefully here as is was a long tumble down if you slipped and fell. As we snapped our photos and chatted among ourselves about the beauty before us, we heard a noise nearby in the trees. Yep, it was a monkey swinging from the branches and calling out to us “I see you! Do you see me?” Rather funny watching him watching us, but glad that he was quite a few meters away, especially since we were inches away from at least a hundred meter drop.
With the monkeying around done (pun intended) we began our descent to the beach below. The terrain down to the beach was tricky at times and you had to take care with your step and balance. As we reach Haad Yuan beach we were out of water, sweating like dogs and in desperate need of refreshment. We grabbed a cold beverage from a local selling beer and water and snapped some shots of the beach and its remarkable wooden bridges. The scene was like a jigsaw puzzle created from wooden poles and boulders.
The Sanctuary on Koh Phangan
We continued along the wooden bridges and around the bend of the coastline to our final destination, The Sanctuary (Haad Tian beach). This beach has no roads and barely even a trail to get you there. Besides the jungle trek we just accomplished, the only form of transportation to this beach is by boat. The beach is lined with a few bars , restaurants and accommodations for those wishing to live the seclusion for more than a day. We took a much needed swim in the ocean. Then we sat down for a bite and drink and enjoyed the sunset while looking back on our recent adventure. After sunset the beach lights up , the music begins and the atmosphere has a bohemian feel to it. Eventually it was time to depart and we set off on a local fisherman’s boat and headed back to Buri Beach Resort for a night cap and good night sleep.
The jungle trek was just one of many great experiences on the island but it was especially memorable because it was a good combo of nature, sightseeing and of course exercise. Remember, whether you are traveling to Koh Phangan or anywhere else in the world, seek out an adventure or unique activity you can do besides the typical tourist hot spot. You will have a more memorable trip with a unique story to tell others when you return home and you will get in a great workout. For more information on what else we did on Koh Phangan and what else you can do visit Live Dream Discover’s Post on Koh Phangan.
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World Traveling Blogger, Social Media Expert and Nerd who has a passion for Adventure and Fitness.