Last week I chose not to spend almost one day in buses and ferry to get to the full moon party in Koh Phangan, but to have a relaxed weekend in a place where tourism almost doesn’t exist, at least not how you would expect it.
It’s called Khanom, one hour distance from Surat Thani. I saw Khanom the first time in 2013, right after I came back from a trek in Nepal and after the cold and the mountains I felt that I arrived in heaven: the water was perfect, warm, clean, calm like a lake; you could feel that you’re Robinson Crusoe in this small village by the sea because the tourists are just you, the English teachers that come from Surat to have a party at the reggae bar and mostly that’s about it.
The quietness, the simplicity, the local spirit give you a feeling of home from the first time you see it. The bungalows are right on the beach, the reggae bar makes great pizza and has a book on the counter where you write yourself the number of beers that you took from the fridge and pay later, it feels like you are part of a big family.
If you want to do something except sunrise gazing at the beach and swimming with the plankton in the night, you can go with a boat trip to see the pink dolphins, if you’re lucky to see more than a fin. In fact, Khanom is a nice touristic attraction for the Thai locals: they come with the families and chill by the coconut trees, make barbeques and laugh all day, just having a good time.
Mornings seem almost deserted if you don’t see some children playing in the water, evenings feel the same if the moon is not keeping you company. But it’s the good kind of silence, the peaceful one that makes you enjoy the nature, the sea, the moon the real things in this world.
The place is so relaxed that a friend of mine from Romania moved there for a couple of years. I asked him, what’s changed since 2013 when I saw you the last time? He said, nothing, all is the same like before.
Perfect that is. Especially if you look for something secluded, where almost no farang has gone before.