A songthaew is a combination of a taxi and a bus and is usually a utility vehicle or pick-up that has been converted to carry people. They work much in the way that public buses do but without bus stops, fare collectors or timetables. Thus if you want to travel at normal price, the car may wait to fill up then pick up and drop off as passengers wish to embark. The most popular route between Haad Rin and Thongsala has a set price of Bt100 per person; but expect this and other prices to double after the last boat arrives.
A few years back the only way to get around Koh Phangan was on a longtail boat and it is still a great way to see the island. The east coast beaches of Haad Yuan, Thian, Yao and Yang (map on page 139) are best accessed from Haad Rin Nok via longtail taxi boat as is Bottle Beach from Chaloklum Pier (see page 147); boat taxis are also available from Haad Rin Pier, Thongsala, Baan Tai and most beaches. Costs are similar to songthaew prices.
Motorbike & Jeep Rental
Motorbikes & Mopeds
Mopeds such as the Honda Dream with gears but no clutch and the fully automatic Yamaha Mio are available from Bt150-Bt250 per day. Dirt bikes such as the Honda MTX125 are more suitable for the rougher roads and the more experienced rider, but expect to pay Bt200-Bt350 per day.
Always check the bike before you take it!
As a word of warning, the roads on Koh Phangan are not the best; many steep hills, potholes and patches of dirt and sand. It is easy to end up out of control causing damage to the bike and probably yourself. Wear a helmet and drive carefully; the island is not a race track.
Finally, never drive around with valuables in the front basket; this is a danger and is also an easy target for thieves.
If you are first time driver we recommend that you either take a taxi or get those legs working by renting a mountain bike.
4WD Suzuki Caribbean jeeps are the best way to get around and can be cheap if shared by a group. They range in price from Bt700 for an old banger to Bt1200 per day for a new one. Most are not insured so if you have an accident you will be in for a hefty bill. Shop around if you want insurance and always ask if there is any. Again, do not be tempted to drink and drive, there are very few road barriers and a lot of cliffs.
NO DRINK DRIVING. The police have been instructed to hand out a steep fine for offenders.