☮ + ♡ = ☺
The Fubar Guidebook to Koh Phangan
This is the no-bullshit guide to this beautiful paradise as written by Fubar & co.
Or maybe you wanna tour the island in a rasta boat... Beach it on Haad Rin or go snorkel around the corner at another beautiful beach, then explore waterfalls and climb through caves at Than Sadej, relax at Wat Pho herbal sauna on the way back. Enjoy cheap market eats, and why not savour a wonderful sunset at Amst✩rdam bar, some sushi and mingling at Loi Lay, catch the sunrise in Haad Thien on a Saturday morning after a beautiful night out, then walk over the hill to catch the next sunrise at Eden if you’re a party pro... treat yourself to a tiramisu, enjoy a great massage within stumbling distance, win the full moon soccer tournament, get fit with yoga with Kate or Muay Thai with Marissa at Jungle Gym.
The list goes on...
HAAD RIN i
What is Fubar? Can somebody wash my clothes? Can you book my tickets?
Basic stuff you need to know!
If you’re staying at Fubar, you should know this:
A Fubar full moon party...
The Fu team have lived in Phangan for nearly ten years and have experienced hundreds of full moon parties as organisers, DJs, and party goers. So, trust us that we know how to make the most of a full moon party! We have some essential, tried and tested tips for making the most of your time here:
Brief history lesson
Fubar started life as Moonlight Cafe several years ago, a restaurant cafe started by Koh Phangan legend Marc Licodari. The venue morphed into an evening bar/restaurant/club known as Kaonashi, slowly evolving into the Fubar you see today. It is chiefly run by a core group of individuals currently comprising Joe, Guy, Pin, Ken and Jim. Fubar is a labour of love, constantly changing faces and evolving as every full moon passes. We’ve never made much money out of the business but that was never the idea. Most profits go back into continual upgrades and repairs, ensuring Fubar is always the best it can be, doing the best for the community and guests, and as long as that process allows us to live on this beautiful island, that is fine with us :)
We have a lot of people come and go at Fubar. Every month we meet more than 50 new members of the Fu Family, and we try to facilitate their enjoyment of Haad Rin, Koh Phangan and the FMP (full moon party). It is a lot of work for us as we like to handle things ourselves rather than having people that don’t care working for us! We are a small, basically family run business, helped by our friends that frequent the bar. If you see someone you don’t recognise behind the bar, rest assured it is an extended member of the Fu Family taking care whilst we are on other duties!
Please note that we are normally quietly stressed with our work at FMP time, as things break, the power cuts, parts don’t turn up, people cancel and events are delayed! So if we are sometimes a little off character at our busy times, please understand why. It’s not easy running a business in this crazy place! Also, just a note... during living on the island, our least favourite questions have easily turned out to be these four friendly, yet super unoriginal questions: How long have you been here? Why did you come here? Do you like it here? How did you do all this? Please avoid these if possible, they’re so boring :P The answers, if you must know, respectively, are: Long enough, because it’s beautiful here, yes we love it here, and we did it all with some cash and a lot of hard work and dedication. We have travelled extensively ourselves so we are sensitive of travellers’ needs, and nothing is too big or small an ask of us. When you’re with us we want you to know you are with people that care and are diligent of their profession. The difference is we care!
NOTE: PLACES FUBAR DOES NOT RECOMMEND TO RENT A MOTORBIKE FROM IN HAAD RIN:
POP (close to the pier for Samui)
If you’re going to rent a motorbike, please keep in mind Phangan is not the place to learn how to ride one! We’re deadly serious when we say be careful! The initial hills on the only road out of Haad Rin are notoriously mean (but totally manageable if you don’t panic)! On a serious note, all of us at Fubar have had serious accidents on the roads here, you really have to be careful. As my grandma said, “it’s not you, it’s the other idiots on the road” (especially around full moon time!), so beware of them and drive slowly, there’s no rush on this lush tropical island... Enjoy the serenity and remember where you are!
Bike rentals (automatics, although other kinds of bikes are available) start at ฿100 a day if you stay long term, although in Haad Rin be prepared to pay more like ฿150-200 a day for a short term rental. Two has the best option at the top of the street, he always takes care of Fubar guests! Fubar may have a bike around to rent, just ask. Jeeps are also a good option for small groups, going for around ฿1,000 a day, which, shared between 5+ people, depending on the sizes, is actually a pretty good deal. Gas is around ฿50 a litre at the gas stations (preferable), or ฿50 for a ¾ litre in the bottles you can see at the roadside, which lasts at least once around the island on a bike! The attendants will know what gasoline your vehicle takes!
Beware that you are not insured (or licensed) when you rent a motorbike in Phangan, and if you do happen to damage the bike you will likely be looking at expensive reparations (as your rent the bike you will sign a document with a diagram of the bike, indicating fixed prices for replacements of each part), although in recent months the police have taken a more stringent line on bike rental shops charging inflated prices for minor damages as has been the case in the past (and present unfortunately).
If you happen to crash your motorbike and get injured (we’ve all done it), here are some things you should do:
It’s probably best not to try to get the bike repaired before you return it, this sometimes leads to undesirable consequences! If you are not sure what to do, bring the bike back to Fubar and we’ll do our best to help you.
Getting to parties
For parties we recommend taxis for obvious reasons! If you would like to arrange a group taxi to any party, let us know a little beforehand if possible, and we’ll get you a taxi that doesn’t annoyingly hang around waiting for others to get in before setting off!
The layout and best points of Haad Rin, eating out, shopping, massages and the rest of it.
Basic geography lesson
You’re on a peninsula right now. This side, where Fubar resides, is on the eastern side, so this is sunrise beach (Haad Rin Nok) which in our opinion is the most beautiful beach on the island. The other side is sunset beach (Haad Rin Nai) which is not much of a beach to go swimming at, but it can be a nice getaway to catch the sunset. There is another hidden gem of a beach called Leela beach which is on the southern tip of the peninsula, a short walk from Fubar. The often referred to “Chicken Corner” is the crossroads you see if you turn right at the top Fubar street, 150m down the road. For a long time its been the epicenter of all that goes down on this side of town... Long staying hippies and people flyering gather and chat - it is a great place to hang out and people watch. It is also where you can pick up a chicken schnitzel from Mama’s Schnitzel for ฿60 which is an absolute bargain once you’ve tasted it.
We have our own restaurant in Fubar... End of section. Just joking :) But seriously, we serve only really good food using fresh ingredients. We have our own pizza oven and make crazy good pizzas. We make our own beef patties for the burgers, our own spring rolls... Basically everything is cooked fresh and made to order. Check the menu out for what’s available... However if we’re not serving food then there are plenty of other places in Haad Rin you can get your belly filled at...
Thai — Some of the best Thai food in Haad Rin is actually right in your crib! Honest! We make seriously tasty Pad Krapow and excellent chicken fried rice, along with many other traditional Thai food made by Jim in the kitchen. As a side note, our kitchen also makes scrumptious pizza, on a par with any of the Italian kitchens in town. For Thai food, the only other places we recommend in Haad Rin is down the “50 baht road”, where you can pick up cheap authentic Thai meals. Turn left after chicken corner at Greenpeace restaurant and walk about 200m until you get to lots of small Thai family run restaurants. They’re all pretty much the same, although there is a great vegetarian place at the end on the right called Pooh’s that we really enjoy eating at. For more decent Thai-made food in a more serene environment, scamper on up the hill after Same Same to where it says Sea Breeze on the left, go down there and take a right when the road forks down to an amazing little swimming pool and lounge area on the rocks with a superb view, known as Sun Cliff. It’s actually one of our favourite places to chill in Haad Rinl :)
Italian — There are lots of great Italian restaurants in Haad Rin. Most of them have actual Italians (real life Italians!) cooking the food, so you’re pretty much spoilt for choice if that’s what you feel like today. Where to start?! So the closest place for pizza is right here at Fubar...! Okay, so we’re not really Italian... but the pizza is bloody good! Then around the corner on Drop In Street is I Sappori, run by Gianni, Paolo and his wife. They make great pastas and bruschetta, and additionally are just lovely people. If you want something a little bit more upmarket there is Monnalisa, near to Outback bar on the other side of town. It’s a bit pricier (but very, very delicious), with a tiramisu to die for. Okay the lis is getting long now but there is a new place in town called Dai Tremendi, this is opposite I Sappori, behind Drop In. If all you’re interested in is pizza then Pino’s (outside of Fubar of course!) is probably the way to go. On Tommy street (go to the beach, turn left and walk along until you come across a huge boat built into the road, and go down the road, until you see Pino’s on the right), Pino’s was the first pizzeria in town by a long way. It’s great pizza too. He supplies the bases for most of Haad Rin so he’s obviously doing something right (we get our bases from him!). Try the anchovies or spoil yourself with four cheeses.
Israeli/Med — Paprika is our favourite place for Israeli/Mediterranean food such as falafel, hummus, shakshouka, pita and such, even if they might have two huge TV screens with Adele screaming into a microphone... Gallery Dorm is also very tasty and a much more chilled place, if a little more pricey. Our fav dish there is Papa Joel’s fried eggs (with naughty french fries all over it!) or the pesto penne.
Bakery — Nira’s (see here for the Thong Sala branch) is the longest established bakery on the island, making tasty croissants, pastries, desserts and such other yummy goods. They also have brilliant made-to-order sandwiches available at the deli counter, with delectable selectables such as pastrami, Dijonnaise mustard, salmon, olives, cream cheese and such... Yum. They have only a small shop now in Haad Rin, just near to Chicken Corner, a little further (away from Fubar), it’s on the right after 20m or so. Wakee (Secret Garden) is a newer establishment, and is supremely decorated. Located on the street parallel with the 7-11 road, so get to Nira’s and take the left outside and you will soon see the fancy lights and sofas. Wakee is not really a bakery, although they do sell some pastries and sweets at the counter. Good vibes and atmosphere, they also have a good book exchange going on (even if like all book exchanges you feel slightly short changed by the credit offered for your beloved reads).
We have a Fubar laundry service. Laundry at the standard rate will be ready the next day
In our opinion Nina has the loveliest clothes on offer in her shop Fusion, opposite Outback bar, close to Haad Rin pier (turn left at Chicken corner from Fubar, and keep on this road as it kinks once to the left). Right next door to Fusion is Pulp, offering more of a punk/indie selection (nice hoodies). There is also the luxury (sometimes expensive) option with AT-JI-MA, which have lots of pretty bikinis and also some nice geezer gear.
An hour long session in the right parlour can really do wonders for your energy around party time. Sore feet or party aches can be remedied leaving you refreshed and ready for another night of debauchery! There are many, many massage parlours around town but only a few actually worth going to. Of course these tips are all subjective (based on our opinion), so take them with a pinch of salt, but they are generally the better places to go. Sarikantang is a close-by place that is literally on the beautiful Leela beach. You will have to make an appointment for later the same day or maybe even the next during busy times, but you will feel right as rain after a relaxing back rub overlooking the gentle waves crashing the shore...! There is also Siam Spa Ya which is just around the corner from Fubar, go up the street and turn left, then just after Same Same on the other side of the road you’ll see it. It all depends on who you get of course... Don’t be afraid to ask for a certain person to do your massage; ask for an older, bigger lady. Can’t go wrong with that :)
Waterfalls are places where it is so easy to feel the raw energy of nature. Ancient rocks, rushing effervescent water, the birds... ahh, mmmmmm...
In our humble opinion the prettiest waterfall in Phangan. Possible to get to on a bike via the scenic road or via a boat taxi from Haad Rin, probably the best option (200-300 each). If you go by road, take the road to Thong Nai Pan (right at Baan Tai 7-11), and keep on it until you reach a huge “modern art” roundabout, turn right and go all the way to the beach, which is tiny yet beautiful! This road is sometimes quite tricky to navigate, if you find yourself in trouble (with just 1 person on the bike!!) turn around and don’t risk it! About 300-500m back from the beach there is a sign for Than Sadej (Sadet/Sadej, same same) waterfall on the left of the road, which takes you down to the river (there is also a sign for Prapaj, ignore this). You should pass a very old beautiful tree on the opposite side of the river with many roots in the water/rocks. That’s the place :) When you get to the main pool of the waterfall (just up river from the tree), you can actually swim across the pool and climb up inside the rocks to the side of the waterfall and come up at the top! Careful, it’s dark and scary... but very cool! Then you can use the rope to go back along and jump in! One of the must do things whilst in Phangan :) Note: you will normally go to this beach (from February-October, depending on weather) on the Reggae Maggic Boat Trip!
One of the highest waterfalls, and a great view when you get up there! Take the road to Thong Sala, then turn right at the old wooden high street (there is a defunct traffic light!)... Follow that road straight, you will go past the police station, then the road will veer left, but split in two, you take the right road that is heavily signposted for Phaeng waterfall. It’s a short walk up, and when you get there you can see all the way back to Thong Sala. Careful red ants!
Take the same road to go to Phaeng, but don’t turn off, stay on it for what seems like quite a while! You will eventually go past elephant trekking on the left, and then shortly after on the right will come to Paradise waterfall on the right. Not a huge waterfall but featuring an idyllic man-made pool with majestic vines and roots.
Not so big waterfalls but very lovely rock pools to chillax in! A really lovely spot for you and your friends to forget the world. Located in Baan Kai, take a right turn (if coming from Haad Rin) into the road with a huge billboard for the party (at the same place) and just before some lovely traditional bamboo bungalows, and carry on the path straight until you finally come to a small stream across the road, stop here if you’re not confident or ride through it and continue on until you reach a really, really big stream.. You can stop here :) The brightly coloured hangar is for the party obviously, but go up past and on the left is a charming restaurant and the tranquil rock pool just behind, with water gushing in from waterfalls (great for a natural back massage and a totally refreshing rush).
We got lots of beach stuff if you want to play frisbee, football, or go snorkelling in the sunshine :)
This is where you stay, lucky you! Okay so it gets trashed every night, and the bucket stands aren’t all that pretty, but get past that and actually Haad Rin is quite idyllic! You won’t find many beaches in the world that are so wide, flat and white - let alone the crystalline waters. If you’re a good swimmer you could always swim to the beach visible on the left (known as Haad Kontee), which takes about 45 minutes (it’s a lot further away than it looks!) So get out of bed and get on the beach, it’s practically all yours from 6am-midday! Oh, and that sunrise...
A little known jewel of a beach that is in Haad Rin, and just a 5 minute walk from Fubar! Go out of Fubar going left, then turn left at the top of the road. Follow the road around about 200m until you come to Same Same, where you turn left again. After another 200m you will get to Sarikantang turning right, walk down there and head straight to the beach. Where you arrive may have a few people, but if you continue walking down left to the end, you’ll soon be on your lonesome. We love the scratchy low hanging trees with butterflies, and the general cosiness of the bay. And what a sunset. There are no waves also because Leela faces Koh Samui, so gentle swimming abound if Haad Rin is too rough... Swim out about 50-100m and you will be all by yourself in some emerald tropical waters.... :D
Not so fine sand and a fair bit of coral once you get in the water (with channeled corridors cleared of coral, so swimming is possible), but there is something about the beach with the lonely sand bar stretching to (now desolate and a little bit spooky) Koh Maa that makes it irresistable. During low tide it is possible to walk across the sand bar and explore what’s left of the old resort on Koh Maa. Snorkelling around this area can be fantastic if you take some bread with you! Great for sunset too. To get here drive all the way up through the police station road until you are slowly coming back around on yourself along the coastal road. There is a huge sign for Mae Haad/Koh Maa on a part of the road that has a sharp corner, turn down here and go all the way to the end where you’ll find a small bike parking area, ignoring various signs for this, that and the other! Walk through the restaurant to get to the beach.
❤ Haad Khom
Beautiful lazy bay away from the world. Very chilled people around here, great snorkelling too if Mae Haad is too wavy. To get here drive all the way up through the police station road until you reach a sharp left with a 7-11 straight in front of you on the corner. Turn right down the turn just before (10m) this junction. You will pass Sail Rock divers on the right, keep going until the road turns to sand then turns back into concrete again, go past a couple of places until you see a wooden multi-sign advertising Haad Khom, good snorkelling, fresh fish, something like that :)
Thong Nai Pan (Noi/Yai)
Two devastatingly pretty beaches at the far north east of the island. To get here take the Half Moon road at Baan Tai, and drive all the way up until you reach the end (15km through lush hillside jungles with some breathtaking views)! Once very difficult to get to, the new large roads have made access easy now. There exists a very different culture here, much unlike that of Haad Rin or indeed the rest of the island. Chilled out to the max, you could say! Both bays are equally enticing, however you can initially stop at either one and walk over through a short jungle path to the other.
Okay, so Koh Phangan has lots of other things to offer... But you came to party, right? Some of the best underground partying is to be had here, you just need to know when and where to look for it!
A party at Fubar held weekly, we’ll always have the best resident and guest DJs playing, and a wicked local crowd plus others tearing up the lounge area all evening until the early hours, if you’re up for it. Come on, you can do it... It’s not like you’ve got far to get home after... Entrance free of course :)
Undoubtedly one of the best weekly parties in the world. An epic experience not to be missed if you are gracing the island over a Friday/Saturday. Just a quick taxi boat ride from Haad Rin itself (฿200-300, or a 1 hour 4x4 drive through the mountains if the sea is rough - pickup from Fubar available) is a completely independent, underground house/techno party, full of long staying hippies and like minded individuals wanting to share love and peace (as a party should be)! You’ve probably never seen anything like it to be honest. Far away from bucket stands and drunk staggering crowds, this is where to go if you want quality music, people, and a lovely venue. Don’t get there too early, it goes on until at least 10am, and (during high season December thru February) when they’re finished they will literally pack up the equipment and continue the party all through Saturday just over the rocks at Eden... Beware of serious party culture! Don’t forget sunglasses and ฿2,000 (just in case - there are no ATMs this part of the island!) Entrance free.
What was once a Tuesday evening party has also recently morphed into hosting the after party every Saturday day (until early Sunday morning sometimes) for Guy’s Bar. So now, twice a week the lovely people from Eden throw a beautiful party on the charismatic rocks of Haad Yuan bay. The Saturday event is truly magnificent, with the last of the best from Guy’s Bar, plus fresh arrivals all day long until the sun sets again, possibly through to the next morning. A truly gorgeous venue, the Eden party always has a super vibe and great music! Entrance free.
Down and dirty! For those that really know how to party, this is the afterparty to the full moon. When most are tucked up in bed nursing hangovers after the main night’s events, this is where it is really happening! Only the best house/techno music all day long, a stunning view across to Samui, and collectively the most messed up people you will see during your time in Phangan. Our staff usually semi-closes Fubar for the day and joins in the festivities with as much enthusiasm as anyone. We hope you join us to really complete your full moon experience... It’s not a full moon if you didn’t go to Backyard! Entrance free (sometimes ฿100)
A mesmerising, wonderfully decorated party in the middle of running water and natural rock pools. Another party with great house/techno music, it benefits from being quite easy to get to and from, being centrally located in Ban Kai (follow the directions to the Sramanora waterfall, it’s the same place). The party will be going on until the morning for sure, and there is a great upstairs area for dancing away from the crowd if need be. Drinks are a little expensive at the time of writing, special shakes are also available. Entrance ฿300 after 11pm.
Floating party! A new floating wooden party venue situated on the Ban Tai coast, just after Fisherman’s hut if coming from Haad Rin. Featuring superb views across the waters. Every Sunday night they have a party until the early hours of Monday morning, although the bar is open every day so it’s also a lovely place to catch a drink at sunset... Not the usual tech house scene, the owners are going for something a little more deep and loungey, and all of it floating on the ocean :) Near to Fisherman’s Hut, turn just before the restaurant itself. If you go at night on a Sunday night you will see beer bottles on fire to indicate the left turning. Entrance ฿100 after 10pm.
Once playing exclusively trance music, the family recently changed style and opened themselves up to house/techno music, completely morphing the sound, energy and feel of the party into something truly wonderful! The party is held twice a month, but the one the day before the full moon has amazing energy - we will usually make a warmup at Fubar then send you off at some point in an organised taxi if you’re up for it :) Set against a beautiful natural backdrop of nature, streams, jungle and decorations, it really is an idyllic location for a party. Entrance ฿300 after 11pm.
The younger brother of the full moon party, open one week before and one week after full moon! Completely different from the full moon party in that there is one stage playing one kind of music the whole night, and that is psychedelic trance! Lots of people always go to to Half Moon, which has a great venue and brilliant lighting and a very good sound system. The entrance is ฿500 which includes a free drink once you’re inside. Prepare to go until sunrise, where they have recently started a techno/house after party in the upstairs area. Turn right at Baan Tai 7-11 and follow the burning beer bottles on the floor! Entrance ฿500 after 11pm (including free drink).
The trance day party, open after nearly every full moon, half moon, black moon and Shiva moon parties! They sometimes throw their own night events also. Situated on a beautiful bit of beach, with totally psychedelic nature-inspired sculptures and paintings to go with the music. Quaint place to hang around and watch the messy people dancing with the fairies :) Entrance free.
Another trance music party held in the middle of Baan Tai, in a deep enclave in the middle of the jungle, playing more darker and psychedelic music than the other trance parties. Entrance ฿300 after 11pm (including free drink).
Trance music party held on the beach at Mac’s Bay. Lovely location and decoration. Entrance is ฿600 after 11pm (including free drink).
BARS WITH A VIEW
Want to stop and enjoy the view with a cool beverage or something more chilled? Look no further than these wicked bars with a view...
These are our bestest friends!! We make our boat trip with the Reggae House boat... Quite cheap and super lovely friendly Thai guys looking after this shack on the waterfront, on the opposite side of Haad Rin as Fubar. Perfect place to relax and catch sunset. Joints and special shakes available. These are quite specific instructions to get there, it is not an easy to find place... Go out of Fubar and turn left towards town. Top of the road turn right, go past busy “chicken corner” and take the next left at Greenpeace restaurant 50m after. Take this road all the way down (about 250m) until you come across “hostel street” as it is known, with lots of (inferior) hostels :) Get to the end of the road and turn right, then take another right when you get to another T-junction shortly after. Still with me? Follow this road about 100m past Lazy House and it will turn to the right, but you go straight down, off the main road. You will pass resorts, Black & White, Neptune’s, etc... Just keep on this road until it turns to a path and you reach the beach (500m or so)... Turn right and walk along about 30m until you hear the reggae music! Well worth the walk! :)
180°+ views from a quality restaurant/bar steeped on the hillside off of coastal village Sri Thanu. Okay, if you’re going on the road yourself, focus: Go to Thong Sala from Haad Rin, all the way to the last pier and a large old roundabout! Turn right and go for about 200m to a crossroads with a bank either side of the road. Turn left and go straight until you come to a T-junction. Go left and stay on this (sometimes sandy, drive slow!) road along the coast for about 3km when you’ll reach a big rock on the right with the Amsterdam Bar sign on it. Turn up here and you can either park the bike lower down (advisable perhaps) or take it all the way to the top (very steep!). Either way you have a tiring steep walk to the actual bar, but the view when you get there is even more breathtaking, don’t worry :) Chill out or enjoy a shake to the most gorgeous sunset around! Food is good too.
About 5km up the Baan Tai 7-11 road, up in the hills. Gong is actually the guy in charge now, and you couldn’t hope to meet a lovelier guy. Here is a hilltop refuge where Gong and his crew teach Muay Thai fighters (you can give it a go!), also hanging out with the friends and family there, enjoying the all-day-long superb view and some of their delicious shakes...
Infinity pool with a view! Take the police road up to the north of the island, keep going past the 7-11 you will see at Chaloklum until you are coming back down south on the coastal road. Somewhere a few km’s down the road from the 7-11 there is a 90 degree left turn with a big sign for Mae Haad/Koh Maa, and on the right a huge lovely archway that leads to Utopia :)
Mountain Bar/Kangaroo Bar
Both at the far end of the Haad Rin beach (go to the beach from Fubar, turn left and go to the rocks at the end of the bay). Kangaroo is first (stairs turning left) and Mountain is second, they are both pretty much the same. Mountain Bar has a better view, and there will probably be less people there as it is a little bit further to walk (literally 30 seconds, but you know what kids are like nowadays...) At both places you can chill out and enjoy a shake and the view over Haad Rin. Just beware people jumping off the edge thinking they can fly... :)
An amazing private bay with a bar/restaurant, pool table, swimming pool. Has lost most of it’s charm since being bought out and made over (previously the place was called Harmony, with bucketloads of rustic charm), but it is still an undeniably beautiful location.
Kind of person that needs to move/do something? We have a friend like this that gets up at 6 o’clock in the morning and rides around on his motorbike, running around on the hills looking for things to explore... These things are for you kind of people! Ask us if you need help partaking in any of these enjoyable activities.
The Fubar/Reggae Magic boat trip around Koh Phangan is the easiest and best way to see lots of the island, plus a great way to meet fellow Fu family members! Our friend Tuk and his crew will take you around Koh Phangan, stopping at various places (dependent on weather and waves at the time), including Than Sadej beach and waterfall, Bottle Beach, and snorkelling off Koh Maa. We make the trip the day before the full moon party. Includes fruit, water, alcohol, joints AND lunch! Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen! Highly recommended :) It costs ฿700, pickup from Fubar lounge at 11.45am, and you come back to Haad Rin around sunset.
❤ Khao Sok
A complete undiscovered gem of a place. Far away from anything that could remotely be called civilisation, and surrounded by vast crystalline waters, this is seriously the place to go for a relaxing day and night. Khao Sok is for some reason not well known amongst foreigners but have a quick search for Khao Sok and you will see why we’re so enthusiastic about the trip.
This is a very popular place for the locals. An intimate, basic sauna located within serene temple grounds, so you must wear decent clothing when you arrive (about 4pm is a good time, although they are open from 1pm until 7pm or so). Upon arrival you will receive some fabric to cover yourself with (entrance is ฿50 and the optional fabric rental is ฿10). Girls must put this above their boobs and let it hang all the way down, only showing shoulders, arms and bottom of the legs; guys similarly so, but they can have the fabric tied around their waste so their manly chests can show! Girls, please don’t go to the sauna with swimwear... The Thais won’t say anything (this is their polite way), but trust us when we say you are disrespecting their customs if you do this! If you want a massage, they have parlours on site, although our top, top recommendation (on the whole island) is Lek Massage which is just across the road from the sauna. Book ahead!
❤ Yoga/Muay Thai at Jungle Gym
Marissa has owned Jungle Gym for over 20 years now, and has an unrivalled knowledge and experience of Muay Thai, the traditional martial arts of Thailand. She is a great teacher and a good friend of Fubar, so it might be an idea to get down there to get your ass kicked by her! We have! If you’re more of a “lover not a fighter”, the gym also has yoga sessions every day at 4pm held by another friend of ours, Kate. She is a great yoga teacher with a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the ancient art of union. You should try one or the other whilst you are here, it can be a great experience for your mind AND body :)
Thai cooking classes
Learn to cook tasty Thai food, so when you get home you can still enjoy the spicy, delicious flavours of Thai cuisine. Based just around the corner from Fubar, the Thai cooking class involves visiting the local market and learning what ingredients are used, then actually buying your own stuff, going back to the school and cooking them up! You usually come home with a ton of food, don’t forget to share it when you get back :)
Natural beauty scattered amongst 42 or so closely situated islands. A national marine park (conserved area), which is possible to reach by boat in a day trip. The main island features a spectacular “emerald lake” which is a completely enclosed by limestone cliffs, but still connected to the ocean by an underground tunnel. Only accessible by a rewarding 40 minute walk from the shore, it is a sight you will always cherish. You can also take a boat to one of the smaller desolated islands for your own private beach for the afternoon :) There are bungalows and tents for rent. The base cost of the trip (getting to and fro), not including extras, starts from ฿1,200.
Full moon beach soccer tournament!
Prove yourself on the ultimate stage... Okay so you never quite made the world cup, never mind, there’s the (superbly named) full moon beach soccer tournament. We often have a Fubar team entered, so you can do us proud (and share the Fubar love!) and bring the cup home where it belongs. The furthest team Fubar ever reached was the semi-final. And we wuz robbed I’ll tell you that for nothing! Entry is usually ฿400 but we sponsor the team and pay half of all costs if you make a Fubar team! There are cash prizes and other stuff on offer if you do well..
Green dot trail
For those who are a little more adventurous (and good in the jungle), ask us about the green dot trail... It is a series of rocks and trees sprayed with green dots, going all the way over the hills to Haad Yuan (with spectacular views from the peak between the bays). From here you can easily walk on to Haad Thien, a very chilled quiet beach with an enjoyable, steep entrance to the crystal waters.
From tasty traditional cheap street meals to full on gourmet restaurants fit for treating yourself, there is something to be enjoyed at every budget
Where all the locals go to eat! The best value for money on the island for your dinner. There are all sorts up for grabs, from traditional sticky rice with mango, fried chicken, fresh seafood (a decent small fish for one can be had from ฿60!), fruits, to pastas, burgers... all the way to some old Thai lady that has started making cheap (and good!) sushi from ฿10 per slice!
Newly opened restaurant/cafe opened by long-term Phanganer, Dave. Dave is basically our uncle, so we eat there ourselves all the time. Always knowing how to please and taking care of your every wish, he’ll always be able to knock up something delicious to suit. Try the chicken schnitzel or the heart-warming goulash. If you like funky house and disco, it helps!
Superb French cuisine, very reasonably priced good quality imported steaks (served with Dauphinoise potatoes!) and amaaaazing chocolate brownies. And they have crocodile steaks. Seriously.
A staple diet of any long-term resident here, Nira’s has got the Koh Phangan bakery business on lockdown. Chocolate croissants (delicious with a coffee), blueberry cheesecakes, butcher ham & cheese croissant, coronation chicken baguette... The list goes on. There is a Nira’s in Haad Rin (just turn left at chicken corner towards the 7-11, it’s a large open area with seating), and there is also one in Thong Sala opposite the main pier. The one in Thong Sala has super-attentive and friendly staff, air con and two PCs with internet access free to use.
Lek and Amanda are a wonderful couple running this beautifully home-made restaurant on the sea. They even have an old longtail boat raised up from the water that you can dine on (if you get there early enough or reserve it in advance). Great decorations and music add to the best seafood experience on the island. Try the king fish or barracuda for some of the best tasting meals on the island. Superb dining.
This man is serious about his place. He’s serious about the garden, serious about the huge backwards sign, and serious about his food :) All in a lovely way. I personally reckon it’s the best pizza on the island (but everyone has a different opinion), and his side dishes such as spinach and broccoli are so gorgeous! Nice ambiance and outdoor seating too.
If you do feel the need for some fast food munch, you can’t do much quicker or better than Food Fac! Chicken burgers are more advisable, but also the newer salads are good (with large servings), and the pizza (after 5pm, before midnight or so) is highly recommended too. “Baan Tai City Pizza”. That’ll sort you out.
Marvellous mixed kebabs and hummus at this wonderfully named establishment. The chicken or pork giros is really good.
If you’re looking for somewhere a bit off the beaten track, a little head start over other travellers, look no further than our favourites of the island.
Just a sharp left off the main road near where you can see some remnants of a pier and some old boats (about 50 metres before Fisherman’s restaurant to be precise), not many people have the idea to go down where there is lots of white dead coral and a pretty little platform to enjoy the end of another great day in paradise...
Okay so the secret is kind of out with this guy... Nowadays regularly booked by all the long stayers (mainly in high season from December - February), you should still be able to get a session with him at some hour during your stay. Try get a massage booked in the morning when Mr. Lek still has some energy left! Down the 7-11 Baan Tai road, on the right just after the temple.
LIVE MUSIC - Jam (Saturday), Omega (Tuesday)
SHOPPING - Kwan’s, Chan’s painting/tattoos, Aud’s, Nina’s, Pim’s