After leaving Koh Samui with a bitter taste in my mouth, I was keeping my fingers crossed that Koh Phangan would be more to my liking. After scouring for beaches to go to, I settled upon Haad Yao, a long stretch of beach on the north-western coast of the island. And this time, I decided to put my backpacking skills to the test and not book my accommodation in advance but scour the beach for a hut when I arrived.
So, I arrived at the beach, and indeed the view that greeted me was one of fine sand and clear waters – hoorah! Better yet, there wasn’t a fatty spilling out of his speedos in sight. So much did I like this Haad Yao beach that I became fearful that a humble backpacker like me would be priced out. Walking along the beach with my full backpack on, a woman shouted out at me asking if I needed a room. And I did. So what would be the harm in looking? “I have a nice room for 700 baht for you” she said. At which point I grimaced and she could clearly smell the cheap backpacker all over me and so led me to another bungalow, clearly the most neglected of the bunch. When she told me it was 350 baht, I was on board – after all, it had everything I needed and was right on top of a stunning beach.
In case you were wondering just what you get when you rent a £7 a night beach bungalow, here is a tour of my humble shack.
Here she is. What you don’t see is that on the other side there are no steps leading on to the porch, so every time I wanted to enter the front door, I had to make a leap for it. Not recommended for anybody without a spring in their step.
This is a fan room in the most basic sense. There is not a fan on the ceiling, but a fan plugged into the one power socket, so that when I needed to charge my phone or my computer, I had to make do without being aerated. In fact, the room did a great job of keeping cool on its own so I rarely felt the need to turn on the fan.
Power cuts are a common occurrence on Koh Phangan. Ever thoughtful, my host provided me with a candle inside a bottle of Chang beer. But nothing to light it with.
Woo hoo – this is where the magic happens! And by magic, I mean sleeping, working, and watching countless episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
And just in front of the bed is a washing line. Perfect for a penny-pincher like me who is too cheap to pay someone else to do his washing.
Where I make myself beautimous. Notice the extra-strength hair serum. I do not know what I am going to do when I run out of this magic formula. Also take note of the complete absence of a mirror. I had to get ready in front of my web cam.
Oooh gurl, is that a squat toilet? It sure is. And to make it extra special, it doesn’t have a flush. So after doin’ your business, you have to take water from the trough on the left and flush it away manually.
And that is that. It may not seem glamorous, but I bring enough glamour to the occasion without needing luxuries like toilets that flush. In case you are interested in staying here, the place is called Euphoria Bungalows and you can contact them on +66 (0)77 3491967. Don’t let the squat toilet put you off, a lovely woman runs the place and the wi-fi signal is super strong. And then of course, there is this waiting for you right outside your door…