Vagabonding Field Report:Taking the broken path to paradise in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan beach in front of the Sanctuary Resort


Cost/day: $45/day-room, $10 per class, average $10 per meal


What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen lately?

The coconuts here!!  The coconuts here are magic coconuts. I am staying at the Sanctuary Resort on Koh Phangan and, here, the coconut water inside of them is green.  It comes with spirulina and all kinds of grasses already mixed in.  Oh, and the coconuts that drop onto the ground seem to grow words.  Everywhere you look they are giving you messages that you just needed to read right that second.


You are soul coconut on Koh Phangan

Describe a typical day:

Well, most days, I get up early because my room starts getting hot, having no air conditioning.  I have one of those green detox magic coconuts and a beautiful breakfast from the delicious food at the Sanctuary Resort restaurant.  I then go to one of the classes, either yoga, or dance meditation, or my favorite class, Intuitive Painting. Then it’s time for exploring!  For my first several days, I just stayed on the Sanctuary Beach which you can see from the picture above.  But, then my curious nature, got the best of me, and I knew that it was time to explore the rest of the island.  So, yes, I crossed a very dangerous, rickety bridge to the next beach over and found the beach I called Paradise!! I liked that beach even better.  Reminded me of how in life, we often settle in for what is “good enough.”  It’s not until we go down that path that seems a little scary that we discover what we had been searching for all along.

Bridge on Koh Phangan beach

Describe an interesting conversation you had with a local:

Well, I had been enthralled with the magic coconuts that had been everywhere on this island.  Funnily enough, on the way back from the Paradise beach, I ran into a man that was grating coconuts by hand.  He was sitting on this stool that had a grater on the end of it. He had the biggest smile on his face, and you could tell he was completely in the moment with the work that he was doing.  It was those unspoken words and that moment that meant more to me than the words we actually spoke. But, I thanked him for his smile and asked if I could take his picture.  Now, when I find myself outside of a moment that I’m actually in, I remember the coconut grater and bring myself back to the present!

Coconut grater on Koh Phangan

What do you like about where you are? Dislike?  

I loved the interesting people at the Sanctuary Resort the best.  I met lots of like-minded people and people who seemed to treasure other people and life itself.  The Sanctuary was located on a beautiful bay that I could have sat and just watched for hours, (and I sometimes did!)  However, I thought the rooms there were kind of pricey for Thailand, especially for what I got.  I spent $45/night and had no air conditioning, just a very basic room filled with lots of bugs.  I am not the type of person who always needs air conditioning, but it was so hot there, you really needed it. They do have rooms with air conditioning, but those are even more expensive, and they were sold out of those.  Plus, the cost of taking the classes was pretty high as well.

Beach on Koh Phangan

What new lesson did you learn?

I learned to pay more attention to my adventurous urges and listen less to my fear.  I went across that rickety bridge because I could already see the beautiful beach that was on the other side.  In life, we don’t always get to see ahead of time what lies across those scary bridges, but I think if we will just envision Paradise, then that will be what we create.  Of course, things may not always be what we imagined on the other side, but those things, I think, are things we are supposed to experience to get there.  If we envision Paradise, that will be enough to give us the courage to cross the bridge.  If we envision all of our fears, it takes our focus off the other side, and we will trip over our fear.

Beach with a boat on Koh Phangan

Where next?  

I am back temporarily in the place I was living before this journey, Oregon, so that  I can wrap up some things, sell my house, and move onward to a life of full-time vagabonding.

 For more about my travels and great advice on beaches and islands, check out my website This Way To Paradise  and my Facebook page!


Val in Koh Phangan




Posted by | Comments (3)  | June 5, 2013
Category: General, Vagabonding Field Reports

3 Responses to “Vagabonding Field Report:Taking the broken path to paradise in Koh Phangan, Thailand”

  1. SPierce Says:

    Great article & nice way of looking at things. Interested to see where your path leads next after selling your house. And cheers to rickety rompin!

  2. Derek Says:

    Thanks for the information! I’ll be passing through Thailand in a cpl months and am still trying to figure out where to go and what to do 🙂

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Great photos! This makes me even more excited for our trip to Thailand later this year!