Koh Phangan Revisited

Earlier on this blog, I shared my experience at The Sanctuary in Koh Phangan. I also spent some time on the north side of the island in the town of Chaloklum earlier during that same holiday. Chaloklum is a one street town. When I first arrived, I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't be able to meet anyone, but that turned out to be very wrong. One of my first nights there I wandered into a house/bar where a couple of Italians were sitting around drinking beers and watching old Pink Panther cartoons, and was invited to join the party. Next thing I know, I am being whisked away on the back of a moped to catch the sunset on someone's roof, with a whole group of new friends. The place was called Chalok Bar, and there was a cute used bookshop next door that provided me with plenty of entertainment.

The pristine Chaloklum beach

The main reason I was in Chaloklum was to go diving, and I decided on The Dive Inn, which was a very good decision as it turns out. I had a one to one diving experience with an instructor named Woody who was too much fun. We played games underwater with our weights, bobbing around and snapping photos of naughty divers who bumped into the man made reef. The dive site, Sail Rock, was full of never ending surprises and underwater critters. I also met many cool divers on the boat, and at the The World's End cafe next door where they hang out.

Me with scuba diving friends on The Dive Inn's boat

My bungalow in Chaloklum was ridiculously scenic. I ended up staying at a place called Malibu Bungalows. It was a sandy strip of land with water flowing in between tiki huts, patches of jungle, and a lush garden and swimming pool area.

The Malibu Bungalows are rustic but lovely

My jungle enclosed swimming pool

Thai islands can be overrun with tourists- it's like the Peruvian gringo trail of Asia. Koh Tao certifies 100,000 scuba divers a year, Koh Samui has rows of massive resorts, and Koh Phangan hosts the trashy Full Moon Party that destroys Haad Rin Beach. To find that peace and serenity, or a more local experience, you really have to do your research. After a bit of digging, I'm glad I found Chaloklum because it was just what I was looking for: low-key, chilled out, beach vibes with a Thai flair.

The entrance to Malibu Bungalow's restaurant

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