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Koh Phangan: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!!!

Chaloklum

Welcome!!!

Welcome!!!

The village of Chaloklum is located in the north of the island, and is a sleepy, laid back fishing village. 4 of the scuba diving schools are based out of here and for most of the year the dive boats leave from this pier. There is really only the main island road and a short village road with shops and restaurants on either side. We have everything from delicious Thai food, great street food, delicious western food and even TWO Italian restaurants! While Srithanu is the yogi hang out, Thong Sala is the “city” and Haad Rin is the party, Chaloklum is that perfect in between with everything you need from quiet to party and an amazing group of locals and expats that make it feel like home!

we are a drinking village with a fishing problem…. so come over and join the fun

My Beautiful little village

My Beautiful little village

The World’s End International Cafe Bar and Restaurant

For the perfect morning coffee or a sumptuous sandwich for lunch… World’s End is the perfect spot. Situated in front of the pier you have an incredible view of the boats coming in and out and can watch the day to day life of a fishing village pass you by.
Run by Lotta for the last 6.5yrs it was originally opened in 2005 and is pretty much a landmark and meeting place for every expat in the village and indeed, the island. Lotte has lived on Koh Phangan for 13yrs, arriving here with her husband and working as a dive instructor. As it happens to so many of us, they came for a few months and never left, ultimately making the island their home.
Among all the incredible options on the menu such as huge baguettes with a wide range of fillings, to quiche, full English breakfast, oatmeal and fruit shakes to die for you will find the most popular item, the Eggs Benedict, truly something worth treating yourself with.
Another plus to the incredible little gem is the options for vegetarian, vegan and even gluten free, making sure there is something for everyone.

For those of you wanting to get married on the island, here is a little secret, Lotta makes the most delicious, stunning wedding cakes!!! So be sure to look her up!

If do one thing in Chaloklum be sure to visit The World’s End!

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AA Massage

This fantastic little gem is run by a wonderful Thai lady named “A”. She has had it for 3yrs and it is conveniently located behind the 7/11 on the curve of the “main” street of Chaloklum. She often has 1 or 2 helpers that are under her training and they all do a phenomenal job. 350baht (around $11 USD) for a 1 hour oil massage is my preference, I try go at least once a week. If you are looking for a great relaxing massage to help work out the kinks of travel, visit AA Massage!

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Genny’s aka Cucina Italiano

Genny’s is the ultimate treat while you are on the island and a place I always remember when I leave. Located right on the beach on the “main” road of Chaloklum, means you get to sip red wine while dining on homemade pizza or pasta made by Genny, a local legend! Watch as the tide comes in and on quiet nights you might get serenaded by Genny when he brings out his guitar… The food is amazing and the atmosphere is one of a kind. If for some reason it is full on the terrace, no worries, you can sit next door at Lost Dog and enjoy a drink while still ordering your food at Genny’s, ’cause this is how we roll on the island, relaxed and laid back!

Lost Dog

Located right next to Genny’s is another great stop, they make delicious burgers and have cold beer. Also a pool table for some fun in the evenings. You will find a lot of the local expats gathering here each night and they are always happy to welcome a newby… also if Genny’s is full, you can still order pizza while enjoying drinks and the sunset at Lost Dog

Holy Grill

Meat eaters rejoice!!! This is the place for you, but fear not they have veggies too for those of a more discerning palate. Holy Grill is run by the phenomenal couple, Hinch and Francis, they will welcome you to the Grill and make you feel at home. With the all you can eat BBQ buffet for 220baht, it makes me drool just thinking about it. Hinch’s master BBQ skills produce varieties of chicken, beef, pork ribs (my favorite), fish, veggies (another favorite), add to that bread, salads of all varieties and an apple if you wish. It is well worth the price and definitely worth the atmostphere.

On top of that Hinch and Francis are amazing for other reasons, they provide many BBQ’s for fundraising, just recently it was for the Scuba Drivers bid to save Sail Rock (our prized diving site) and before that an awesome event to raise money for our local humane society, PAC.

A definite itinerary stop where ever you are on the island.

Indy Kitchen / Chaloklum Travel

Needing to book a bus ticket and a little peckish at the same time… well have no fear, Bea and Go have you covered at Indy Kitchen and Chaloklum Travel. Located near AA massage on the “Main” road of Chaloklum. This family run business right out of there home makes you feel welcome and part of the family, especially when the kids are around. Bea and Go have to be 2 of the most amazing people in the village, Bea’s cooking is outstanding (I recommend the crispy pork on fried rice) and both of them are experts on anything travel related within Thailand. I take all my friends and couchsurfers to see them. They are honest and clear and don’t try and make you buy the most expensive choice. Truly wonderful people, with the cutest kids!!! Oh and Bea bakes delicious yummies…..

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North Beach

For the best sunset drink you need to follow the dirt beach road passed 7/11 to the end and there you will find North Beach, a great spot for an afternoon drink while watching the sunset.

Photo by Sarah Train

Photo by Sarah Train


For the best

Crow Bar

On the way out of Chaloklum on the road to Tong Sala you will see the sign for the Crow Bar, run by a wonderful couple Chris (Estonia) and A (Thailand), it is often the home away from home for many of us. Warning this is not a ONE DRINK bar!!! Most of us only leave in the wee hours of the morning and if you are too inebriated to drive you can always crash the chairs until you sober up. Thursday have phenomenal live music and if A is cooking you are assured of an incredible meal! Just be careful when someone convinces you to “squeeze the chicken” as there are consequences… It is the Thai version of the Cheers pub, where everyone knows your name.

Mae Haad

Just outside of Chaloklum is a beautiful beach with a little island attached by a sandy strip. Mae Haad beach is a stunning place and one of the best places to go snorkeling, they even saw a whale shark there once. White sand, lots of coral, and massages right on the beach.
Here is a little clip of something exciting I saw while snorkeling :

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in Thailand, Travel

 

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Snorkeling and Recovering

I had decided on a self-imposed dive ban for a few days and this was day 3. After diving 6 days in a row the previous week and with my mysterious night time non-fever fevers* and the rash like markings all over and a left ear that seemed permanently water logged, I felt I needed a break to get my body more adjusted. So I began making sure I was drinking copious amounts of water, which of course involved pee’ing more. Staying out of the sun as much as possible, which is harder than it sounds as it feels so wonderful. I dowsed myself in prickly heat cooling powder (only in non-sensitive areas) and baby powder, which seemed to be soothing the rash. And finally forced myself to eat at least 2 good meals a day. It seemed to be working as my non-fevers were a lot less intense, the rash was almost completely gone and my ear sounded less like being stuck in wind tunnel. But I sure was getting ‘ancy to dive again.

*Non-Fever fever is when I felt like my skin was on fire every night but didn’t actually run a fever.

Snorkeling Adventures

Urs had invited me for breakfast at Malibu Beach Resort. He had extra tickets and so meant it was free and involved bacon and eggs and cereal and coffee and juice and and and…. delightful!! It was quite pleasant sitting on their very well maintained little island of a beach. You crossed over a bridge to get to it and it was more in the inlet of a small lagoon than right on the shore of the ocean, but it was beautiful to sit and look out at the boats.

Malibu Beach Resort's Beach

Malibu Beach Resort’s Beach

We decided to grab some snorkeling gear and head to a place called Haad Kom or Coral Bay Resort Beach. Luckily his resort had a shuttle and it was reasonably priced, they picked us up at Lotus and drove us the up and down road to the entrance. We had to hike down a rather steep path but then discovered a little scoop of paradise. Haad Kom is just a short stretch of beach with a few bungalows scattered along it, but being out of the way of the main traffic of Chaloklum meant it was unbelievable quiet and peaceful. I went for a short swim and then decided to brave the glorious sunshine and sunbathe a little. While Urs went snorkeling I found a hammock, rather an old one with a few precarious holes in it, but after multiple attempts and idiotic moments I was able to get in… wondering how I was going to get out.

Haad Kom Beach / Coral Bay

Haad Kom Beach / Coral Bay

As beautiful as Coral Bay was, Urs was disappointed in all the dead coral and felt it should be renamed Coral Grave instead. It seems as if pollution and over use had reached this little sanctuary, however, further out closer to the boat markers it was meant to be healthier, but that was an awful long swim on a relaxing day. We opted instead to grab a drink at the little open air cafe’s nearby and I ordered the most impressive looking iced mocha ever!

Iced Mocha, Beach and Books

Iced Mocha, Beach and Books

After relaxing and watching the ocean, perusing the book shelf and me picking up “Fifty Shades Darker” (may as well see what all the fuss is about) we headed to the resort where we hoped to pick up a ride back to town. A perfect morning and afternoon with a good friend. We decided to meet up for dinner at Cafe Del Mar at their all you can eat, first come first serve, till it’s finished Greek Night, 150baht ($5).

Urs and Me

Urs and Me

Carol, the other DiveMaster trainee, decided to join us as her Thai boyfriend had to fly home due to a family emergency and she needed the company. The food was sublime and sooo much to choose from. Hinch and Francis, the Dutch owners, had made pitas, hummus, moussaka, tzatziki sauce and so much more. I mounded my plate with a bit of each but soon realised my eyes were bigger than my stomach and struggled to finish as the food coma threatened to take over.

Glorious Greek Food

Glorious Greek Food

Parade… Thai Style

Sitting at the shop again on day 4 of my self imposed diving exile, I worked on my blog and played office girl for the morning. Around noon, music started up right outside Lotus Dive Center and there was a large group of Thai’s with money trees (I mean trees made out of money that made all of our eyes pop out, 1000’s of baht). It was a Buddha day and also time to give, armloads apparently, to the temple. Of course this had to be done with music and dancing and singing and parade through the town to show everyone what was going on and just who had the biggest tree. It was all rather amusing and great fun and we were all herded into the middle to join the merriment. The walk was a reasonable distance, especially at the heat of the day, but after the presentation to the monks and the temple food was freely provided (way to spicy for me) and free drinks. Including these strange jello like liquids, that would really good and yet a wee bit unsettling as you sucked chunks down.

Here are a few photos to give you an idea of the craziness and fun:
Waiting For The Parade To Start
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Money Trees Followed By Music And Dancing
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Thailand (118)
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BBQ!!!

After the strangeness and heat of the afternoon I opted for a few laps to clear my head and get some training in the pool. Then home to shower and finally dinner at the Holy Grill, a second restaurant run by the Dutch couple Hinch and Francis. Urs joined Carol and I and we all feasted on ribs and kebabs. DELICIOUS!

A very strange and yet satisfying day!

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Thailand, Travel

 

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