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BIKING, HIKING & NATURE

 

In terms of development Koh Pha-Ngan is still way behind Koh Samui and the other main tourist hangouts such as Phuket and Pattaya, which is the main reason why is still attracts many travellers.

While the tourist industry has taken off, many resorts have forgotten to preserve the natural habitat and surroundings. According to the local residents, Koh Pha-Ngan will be different. Koh Pha-Ngan is way behind the other resorts in terms of western luxuries and while surely these will come it is the planning of this development which is important.

The east of Koh Pha-Ngan is still largely undeveloped, and it is still not possible to access certain beaches by motorised vehicle. There is a beautiful walk from Had Rin, north to Had Yuan and Had Thian up to Thong Nai Pan and then onto Had Khuat (Bottle Beach).

If you don't fancy taking on anything on your own then we've found someone who will organise a simple trek into the jungle of Koh Pha-Ngan for you. Located on the road from Ban Khai to Thong Nai Pan you'll find a friendly store owned by Pii Kwan Chai, a local from Koh Pha-Ngan. Pii Kwan Chai can organise simple treks into the jungle where you are likely to see monkeys, wild pigs, deer and many types of bird. We were recommended two different treks (both of which can be done alone, but is safer in the hands of a local) - up to the tallest peak on Koh Pha Ngan, Kao Ra, which at 627 metres (2,069ft) high you'll be able to see a 360 degree view of the entire island. Another choice is a 2-3 hour trek upto the viewpoint overlooking Had Rin, along the way you can expect to encounter cool waterfalls along the way (best after the wet season - December to April).

If you want to stay in the jungle overnight Pii Kwan Chai can organise camping in a simple wooden structure and cook you some lovely local Thai cuisine. And don't forget to take some essentials: camera, binoculars, waterproofs. You can expect to pay about 200 Baht per hour or 500 Baht for a stay overnight which includes everything you'll need to stay. Contact Pii Kwan Chai on 01-0868479.

As an alternative, Phaeng Waterfall National Park also offers a good hike. The main waterfall is a steep 250m walk up a jungle trail, and a further 200m up the path will bring you to a fantastic mountaintop viewpoint. Nearby, there is also a long winding foot trail that leads up the mountain Kao Ra viewpoint, which begins in the village of Ban Madua Wan. The trail is very steep in places and can often be difficult to follow - in some places dangerous. It is recommended that you take advantage of the guide service at Phaeng Waterfall, which costs about 500 Baht per trip.

MOUNTAIN BIKING
MOUNTAIN BIKING

Koh Pha-Ngan has good facilities for people who love cycling. The island is a perfect size and has a large flat area on the south and west with a variety of sights. Everything is within a 20km ride. There are also many dirt tracks and paths to explore and enjoy the scenic views. Mountain bikes can be hired in Thong Sala, Had Rin and many bungalows on the island for between 50 and 80 Baht per day.




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