(snapchat: lil.fel for live adventuring and work life).
January 2012. This is my top pick for Thai islands, hands down. On Koh Chang, meaning Elephant Island, you'll find insane partying, adventure with waterfalls and jungles, beautiful pristine beaches, and laid back hippie chillin times. While Koh Phangan and Koh Phi Phi are amazing as well for party and adventure (my fav), this island has a more laid back and hidden gem ambiance. It is less overrun with tourists making it one of the cheapest islands you can do in Thailand (this is rapidly changing), but yet it is insanely dynamic and fun. If you're travelling as a couple, Koh Chang is perfect for hottie romance as well. I spent one month living here teaching migrant Cambodian children English before my internship in Bangkok as well as spent over a week on the ile with my old amour. It was so amazing we did it twice, hence why I want to share every gold nugget of advice that made the experience unforgettable slash mad affordable with you.
December 2014 Update: As of late, it is poorly trying to imitate the debauchery of Koh Phangan's full moon party and grossly falling short. The result are massive sound systems and ostentatious stage displays set up with gap year kids with their thigh fat spilling over their overly tight jean shorts.The difference from the original full moon party, you ask? The music is terrible and there is the awful stench of trying too hard. If there is one thing FMP in Koh Phangan is lacking it is not organic buzz and excitement. Lonely Beach on the other hand is going through the awkward pubertal phase of transforming from a sleepy chill beach zone to being one of the big breasted popular girls starring in the Southeast Asian party trail. Can you imagine Tina Fey trying hard to be something she's not? Major awks.
NONETHELESS. Despite these awkward night episodes passing off as parties, Lonely Beach is still my preferred beach because of its epic beauty, sense of neighbourhood friendliness and unspoken magic rompin about..and let's not forget beach volleyball. There are many cool young expats who visit the island (like my hombres) that help battle the impending backpacker whiteout.