Why Nam Beach, Koh Phangan
We spent a relaxing five days in Koh Phangan, working, swimming, and drinking a whole lot of fresh coconuts. That description might surprise some familiar with this island in the Gulf of Thailand — Phangan is known for its all-night, neon-hued Full Moon Parties (and Half Moon, and Three Quarter Moon, and There’s-A-Moon-Let’s-Rage Parties).
But Koh Phangan is far more than its party reputation. The island is densely covered with jungle, which runs right up to the striking coast made up of small, secret-feeling coves. We stayed at one such cove called Haad Tien, accessible only by boat or ATV, at a resort-retreat called The Sanctuary (we found ourselves kind of in the minority because we didn’t do yoga and did drink beer). It ended up being a fantastic place to regroup, get a bunch of work done (with multiple swim breaks, of course), and soak in the beauty of the feel-good scene.
The best part, though, was Haad Tien’s access to two other small, gorgeous coves, reachable by scrambling over rocky paths. Haad Yuan, to the south, had a slightly denser population of resorts, bars, and bungalows (including Bamboo Hut, a super solid restaurant perched on a rocky cliff with a stunning view of the bay below). To the north, we found Why Nam Beach (pictured above), a tiny cove with one set of bungalows, one vegetarian cafe, and a beach that would be easy to post up at for months at a time.
Why Nam was an equally good place to regroup, work, and swim – in addition to the requisite fresh coconuts, they had a stellar Burmese tea leaf salad (topped with a runny-yolked fried egg), and a rope swing. Not a bad office for an afternoon.