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TO KOH PHANGAN
By Air: look online (Bangkokairways) for flights going to Koh Samui. These range in price from 2,000-3,000 baht/$50-90 US one-way. There are flights every hour. The first and last flight each day are the cheapest. The flight takes about an hour. From the airport, take a shuttle to the Big Buddha pier (5 mins drive). There are ferries going to Had Rin on Koh Phangan at 10 am/1 pm/4pm. The fare is 150 Baht and it takes 50 mins to Had Rin. By Train: there are clean and comfortable sleeper (sleeping berth) trains leaving at around 6 pm from Bangkok’s Hualompong train station. You will arrive in Surat Thani about 12 hours later, and be put on a bus to the 8 am Koh Phangan ferry. The ferry arrives in Tong Sala on Koh Phangan around midday/1 pm. The train/bus/ferry ticket costs about 850 baht to Tong Sala, and can be arranged at most travel agencies in Bangkok one or two days ahead. From Tong Sala, you will take a ‘songthaew’ through to Had Rin (100 baht/45 mins ride).By Bus: Buses go from Bangkok every evening, and the ticket price (400-600 Baht) includes the ferry through to Koh Phangan. You will arrive in Tong Sala on the same schedule as the train (see “By Train”). WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE BUSES. Nearly everyone who takes a bus has their luggage looked through and valuables stolen. You will not sleep much or well. It is worth spending the extra money on the train!
Had Rin Note: this is the last place to go to the ATM/bank. No atm or moneychanger on Had Tien..
FROM HAD RIN to HAD TIEN: you will take a long-tail taxi boat to your last stop Had Tien. These are always waiting next to where the Samui ferry drops you off, called “sunset beach”. The fare is 150 baht and the ride is 20-30 minutes.If the weather is bad or the waves are big, both the fare and time will be more.The last boat to Had Tien leaves at about 5 pm, before it gets dark. IF the weather is stormy, it is better to stay a night in Had Rin and wait until the morning. In any case, be sure to wrap your valuables and luggage in plastic rubbish bags, as they will usually get wet at this time of year. If the sea is flat like glass, you don’t need to cover them. You can expect to get a little wet as well. “Dry Bags”can be bought in Bangkok or Had Rin if you have a laptop or other valuables. ‘Best not to wear your best clothes for the last part of the journey. You will be dropped off on Had Tien Beach, and that means on the beach, so you will be carrying your own luggage. If you travel with alot of luggage, you might consider leaving some things in Bangkok (many hotels offer left-luggage facilities) or Samui. Students have often been surprised to arrive wet and with alot of luggage to carry themselves along the beach, so keep this in mind! Apparently, there is now a road from Baan Tai (between Tong Sala and Had Rin) to Had Tien. As it was just built, we have no information about it, but perhaps this is an alternative when the boats don’t go.
Getting to the Yoga Terrace:
A few important notes: we are NOT at the Sanctuary, and they will not help direct you to our classes either, so use these directions or just ask for Why Nam Beach, a 5 minute walk from Had Tien. Classes are no longer at the Had Tien house where Kirsten and Rolf first taught . From Had Tien Beach, you will walk along the path going through the coconuts away from the Sanctuary, parallel to the sea and the sea on your right. Walk for a few minutes, go up the hill toward Why Nam Beach (you will see signs). Once you are at the top/there will be steps going down to Why Nam. You will see the Yoga Terrace on the cliffs to your right. If it’s raining/windy, keep going down the steps to the beach and you will see a yellow space just left of the restaurant. Otherwise, class is in the space on the cliffs.
Note..we list the following information as a guideline only, we don’t do bookings or travel arrangements. this was updated in 2011. It can be difficult to find accomodation around the full moon, so plan accordingly and avoid arriving at that time if possible.
Most of the accomodation in the Had Tien/Had Yuan/Had Why Nam area is ‘bungalows’, which usually have a double bed, mosquito net, toilet/shower and balcony. These range from 300-600 baht per night, less if you stay longer-term. Most visitors will arrive on Had Tien, leave their bags for an hour at a restaurant, and look around on foot for whatever is available.
Why Nam: quiet, low-key beach. nice bungalows with good views of the sea. 400-500 baht. They do require that you eat minimum one meal per day at the restaurant (not included in the price of course).
Had Tien: Walk away from Had Tien Beach with the Sanctuary area on your left. Keep following the path and you will see signs on ahead. Here you will find “Family” and “Love-Lip” Bungalows; both are basic bungalows set back on a hillside walk. The Had Tien Resort just next to the Sanctuary has decidedly basic bungalows and some very run-down ones as well; they are popular so they’re often full. They will let you keep your bag there for 1-2 hrs to look for something else if they’re full..
Sanctuary has nicely appointed bungalows, but in a higher price range.
We cannot recommend the other bungalows around Had Tien.
Haad Yuan: This is where most people like to stay so the bungalows are often full. “Eden” on the path between Had Tien and Had Yuan (10 mins walk) has simple bungalows (200-400 baht). It’s more of a party atmosphere, loud music, a rougher vibe. “Bamboo Hut” is the favorite for bungalows and food. Nearly always full (350-450 baht). Set in a nice garden. Run by the hospitable “Mr. T”. Worth checking, just in case. From the Bamboo Hut, follow the wooden walkway toward Had Yuan and you will see ”Pirate’s Cove” bungalows (300-400 bt) on the cliffs. Once you’re on Had Yuan beach, you have “Big Blue” Bungalows, which are well-kept (300-1000 bt) and have a range of accomodation from standard bungalows to a 2-rm house. Further down the beach is a new resort, with modern amenities and a pool (Pariya Resort, info/booking available online. $100-250 US) . Past the resort is “Barcelona”, which has the most spacious bungalows of all the beaches, most are standard but there are fancier ones as well, nice views (300- 600 bt). Finally, there is another wooden walkway with 3 different groups of bungalows on the rocks and up the hill that are simple but decent (200-300 bt) and certainly have the nicest views.