It’s nice here on Haad Salad, Ko Phangan, slow travel just got even slower, we’re staying another month.
We have a villa almost on the beach, I can see the sea from my front door. We’ve got space, storage, a deck to sit on ( actually we don’t sit on it, we dry wet clothes and store beach toys on it) and the staff and service are great.
Long Term Accommodation on Ko Phangan and Haad Salad
Everywhere you go on this island you’ll see “House to Rent” signs. We’re told you can rent a place from 500 Baht/ month (about AU$17).
The best we could do in Haad Salad, close to the beach, was 500 Baht/night. That was for a 2 double bed room, small kitchen and bathroom. It was lovely, really clean, plenty of space, but a way back from the beach.
We’ve got used to coming and going easily between beach, room and restaurants. If we can’t let the kids run back to the deck for a forgotten bucket, it’s going to complicate matters. So we’re staying put in our Villa, it’s the cheapest place on Haad Salad for a family, by a long way.
We’ve negotiated a lower price ( we’ve given up our air-con) and they’ve given us a discount in the restaurant so we’re fine where we are. A kitchen would be nice, but, really, what am I going to cook?
I don’t want to cook! I enjoy going out to eat 3 times a day. I love our 2 hour breakfasts and 2 hour lunches while I read The Hobbit with Boo or Chef tells a story about Sir Milky Mix and The Doctor.
Self catering may save us money but shops are thin on the ground here. Being able to make my own coffee would result in me pouring gallons of it down my neck, rather than the respectable 2 cups/day I’m on now. Maybe we’d have cereal for breakfast, but I prefer eggs . We have a fridge for beer and water, that’s all we need.
Food is Expensive on Ko Phangan
We’re on an island, so higher prices are understandable. Everything is shipped over. A bottle of water is about 4 Baht extra. You won’t find any meals for 50 Baht, a soup or a curry is around 100 B, rice 30 B. We share, one between two.
Haad Yao, the next beach, is bigger than Haad Salad. It has a 7-11, prices are lower, but you need a bike, ( we’re reluctant to hire one again after our disaster), or a crazy Iron Man husband who runs up hills for fun, to get there.
What is There to do on Haad Salad?
Sand castles, swimming, playing, swinging, snorkelling and kayaking are taking up most of our time. Days are just melting away in a haze of sand and sunshine.
There is a kids’ pirate themed water fun ship thingum parked in the bay. Salad means Pirate. It’s got slides and “stuff”. The guy has been sick, so it’s been closed all week, the boys keep staring at it longingly.
I officially don’t like beaches, but they’re growing on me, it’s hard not to relax. I’ve developed an interest in sand castles and I can spend as long as you like gazing out to sea or watching the blizzard or red, pink and orange petals speed past our door when the wind picks up.
I work on the computer, the kids play games, Chef runs almost every day.
I’m getting back into the academic homeschooling for the next month, we’ve had weeks and weeks “off”. Lovely as it is to see them developing new skills and confidence in and around the water and learning naturally, Boo needs to start reading. His early promise as a child genius has been masked by a total refusal to pick up a book. We’re reading The Hobbit together and I’m doing my best to get him hooked. D needs to write something or he’ll lose the use of his hands, so we’re trying dictation. To say he’s reluctant is an understatement, heads, brick walls and bashing are my reality with him. But we’re giving it a go for now, just half an hour a day is plenty.
There are trips we could book, excursions to other islands, but best of all, there is Scuba Diving!
Operation Scuba Diving is ON!
Chef and I were mad keen scuba divers back in the day, we have our advanced PADI certifications.
A terrifying scuba mishap didn’t stop me, but kids did. I reckon we could fit in one dive trip each while the other grown up baby sits.
Sail Rock, isn’t far from here, it’s a great dive site, one of the best in the region. Dive trips leave from here every day. It’s whale shark season at the moment. I’ve never seen one. So operation scuba diving is underway, we’re gonna do this thing! If the sea is calm they tell us they’ll take the kids out to snorkel, too. My boys are fine with a snorkel, they’ve had plenty of practice on The Great Barrier Reef but they’re too young to learn scuba just yet.
I’ll let you know how we get on, I’m a touch nervous. I haven’t dived in years but rather like the Full Moon Party, to be here and miss it, would be naughty.
UPDATE: We have a new feature on World Travel Family. I’m launching our Cheap Family Accommodation Series. I’m going to show you exactly where we stayed, what we got for our money and what we paid. It should give you a better idea of what to expect and how far your travel money will really take you.
Our guide to Cheap Family Accommodation and Family Travel in Laos is already published. I’m working on Thailand right now. Sign up to follow us if you’d like to have it delivered straight to your inbox. Happy travels!