Rainbow over Chaloklum Bay Koh Phangan Thailand
Photo by J Scott Edwards

Perhaps to its detriment, the island of Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand has become infamous for the Full Moon parties that rage monthly through the town of Haadrin. International media coverage and even local perception in neighboring provinces is often unfavorable. I often find, that, when Koh Phangan comes up in conversation, Thais and tourists alike raise their eyebrows slightly, give a knowing smirk, and make a dismissive remark about the island as if crazed partying were all that Koh Phangan had to offer.

The reality could not be farther from the truth.  While the entire island does see an influx of tourists during the full moon, only the the strip between Thongsala and Haadrin truly comes close to living up to the island’s party reputation,  and that is only true for a few days on either side of the Full Moon Party. Haadrin is located on Koh Phangan’s Southern tip, overlooking the highly developed neighboring island of Koh Samui. It is separated from the rest of the island by a steep mountain range that can only be traversed by a narrow two lane road to the main town of Thongsala. Peace is not as difficult to find as you might think.

If you really are put off by the notion of the Full Moon Party but still wish to experience Koh Phangan, there is a solution. Located on the Northern side of the island, as far away as you can possibly get from Haadrin by road (or by boat for that matter), is Chaloklum Fishing Village, or Baan Chaloklum, as it is known locally. Chaloklum and Haadrin could not be more different, despite the fact that they both occupy the same 168 square kilometer slab of rock in the Gulf of Thailand. Where Haadrin seems overrun with sun-kissed and alcohol crazed, gap-year backpackers on a tear, Chaloklum is a laid-back fishing community which has managed to keep its Thai charm while providing a high level of services, activities and amenities for tourists, travelers and long-stay residents. [read the full article…]

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Post image for Nuis Issan Restaurant

Nuis Issan Restaurant is located just outside Chaloklum on the main road to Thong Sala, between the Elephant Sanctuary and the petrol garage. Serving excellent Thai food at (almost) street food prices, Nui (the owner) has very quickly built up a reputation as one of the best Thai food outlets in the village.

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Gai Joe’s

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One of the newer Thai food restaurants in Chaloklum, Gai Joe’s can be found right opposite 7-11. It’s a great spot to stop for a very reasonably priced cold beer and simply watch the world go by at Chaloklum’s busiest intersection. The ever friendly Joe (pictured) offers real Thai food at real Thai prices. Highly […]

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Nois Authentic Thai food

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For those who want a more authentic Thai food experience, Noi’s presents a great option. Nestled in a coconut grove and set back from the main road on the western outskirts of Chaloklum, you’ll find yourself perched on plastic chairs at home made tables. Noi’s offer Thai favourites such as Naam Dok (spicy pork), pork […]

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The Holy Grill

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The latest addition to Chaloklum’s bar and restaurant scene, the Holy Grill offers barbequed skewers, burgers, ribs, fresh fish and a large selection of tasty sides. The Holy Grill is located right in the middle of the village with a covered bar / restaurant area and a large, grass lawn garden with covered tables. Facilities […]

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Thar be Elephants — Phangan Safari

Thumbnail image for Thar be Elephants — Phangan Safari

Coming towards Chaloklum from Thongsala your first introduction to Phangan Safari is an elephant crossing sign just after the mountain pass. Another hundred meters or so along the road a large sheltered area confirms the sign isn’t just a joke. Thar be elephants. Phangan Safari is home to about 5 or six elephants, ranging from a skittish adolescent and a […]

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The Gallery

The Gallery Chaloklum Koh Phangan Thailand

Fitting in well with Chaoklum’s long established ArtMusic ethos, the newly opened Chaloklum Gallery provides a space for Koh Phangan artists to display their creations. Providing a work and display space for local resident and  owner Matt Canty, The Gallery sits directly opposite Cucina Italiana and  former tenants Chaloklum Diving who have moved across the street to […]

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Kitesurfing, Kiteboarding at Malibu Beach

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When the monsoon comes to Koh Phangan, wake boarding season goes into temporary hiatus in Chaloklum due to winds and rough water and the adrenaline junkies appear at Malibu beach for a new fix — Kiteboarding. Kiteboarding, or kitesurfing  is the ultimate monsoon sport, taking advantage of the wind and the rains that would otherwise grind village life to […]

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World’s End By Night — Beers and Bloody Mary’s

World's End Chaloklum. Beers, Benedicts and Bloody Marys

Adding yet another nighttime venue to the list, The World’s End, at Chaloklum Pier in the village center, has started opening evenings with  a stripped down menu consisting of music, beers Bloody Marys, and mixed premium spirits all served by DiveInn Jim, Chaloklum’s jolliest lad about town. While the World’s End has been serving Chaloklum’s best breakfast, and what […]

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Crow Bar Village and Bar

Crow Bar in the Jungle Chaloklum Koh Phangan

The Crow Bar is hidden in the jungle outside the main Chaloklum village  along  a winding and rutted dirt track . With a loyal local following, the bar offers sanctuary and a change of scenery from the village main road. Built on a wooden platform, Crow bar is like a cozy village local pub in the […]

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Zhaba Jazz Bar

Zhaba Russian Jazz Bar Chaloklum Koh Phangan Thailand

Zhaba Jazz Bar is the newest addition to the Chaloklum nightlife and bar scene. Located in a beautifully refurbished traditional wooden seaside shop house on the Chaloklum main road, the bar’s interior is decorated in refinished wood with soft lighting and posters of old jazz shows and performances past. As the name suggests the vibe is Jazz, with a wide […]

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