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Published: February 17th 2019
If not wanting to leave is an indication of having had a good time, then Koh Phangan definitely meets the criteria. Leaving on such a note is quite effective at getting you back, as this is now our 3rd annual return to this laid back island in Southern Thailand. Each year presents different experiences, and each year we extend our time here. Our first visit was 2 weeks, last year 1 month, this year 6 weeks, and we are planning 2 months next year. We‘ve always stayed at the same small resort, having lucked out right from the get-go with a place that we love, and have now begun to feel a bit like family as well.
Our initial motivation for coming here was to find somewhere warm and dry in Thailand, where we could wait out the January rains of Indonesia, our ultimate destination. What has happened, in the process, is that we have become very fond of this island. We have a yoga school here that offers an excellent, extensive, continuous program of authentic hatha yoga studies that we enjoy and very much benefit from, and we definitely like the yoga culture that pervades the east coast of
Have I Mentioned We Love Biking?
The freedom and exhilation of drivng these little motor bikes is definitely one of the highlights of our time in Asia. Upon arrival on Koh Phangan, we have our own sets of wheels for the entire time. The process repeats itself as soon as we arrive Bali. Even better that almost everyone else is on a bike too!
the island, where we live. We enjoy that the island is large enough to offer numerous good road trip options for biking to beautiful beaches and fishing villages, but we also appreciate that the island does not have an airport, which would significantly increase traffic and change the vibe.
This year, I have also begun to study the Thai language at a college which offers classes in both conversational and written Thai. Like the yoga school, the courses offered can continue for years. It was not a decision I took lightly - I had been planning this for the past year - as I know that learning a language is a considerable investment of time and energy. ( i.e. over the past five weeks, 20 + hours of in-class instruction and 20 + hours of home study ). But this too inspires returning, as the learning process is so rewarding once the connections with the local population begin - which I am beginning to experience already - and this, of course, is the entire point of it all. It promises to be a very long process, as the Thai language is a tonal language with 5 different tones (
Read: 5 different ways to screw up the pronunciation of the exact same word, conveying 5 totally different meanings). And in case that is not challenging enough, the written language is a beautifully artistic but totally undecipherable code consisting of 44 consonants and 32 vowels. Can’t wait to tackle that next year!
It has been an activity filled month, with yoga and language classes, daily swims and guitar practices, island bike rides, a yoga graduation ceremony at which I performed, a birthday party for Stan that included a house concert, and even a Thai cooking class which we can’t wait to put into practice! All of this was accompanied by the warm and vibrant energy of this sweet island. It‘s no wonder we are not anxious to leave: affirmation of a truly positive experience!
But now we are Indonesia bound, excited to see our extended family and friends again, and to switch the language studies from Thai to Bahasa Indonesian. ☺️
Thank you for your interest in our travels.
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