Koh Phangan is a cool place to be and as we had earlier stated in our three months check-in a quiet place in recent times due to the coronavirus pandemic. We ended up making Koh Phangan our digital nomad home despite that our initial plan was to go to Bali. The question now is if this location is good for a digital nomad right? First of all, you should know that Koh Phangan can be busy every other ordinary time of the year and there are a lot of things that any digital nomad should be aware of when visiting Koh Phangan.
For the benefit of the digital nomads’ community and those who wish to visit Koh Phangan, here is a list of pros and cons to help you make your plans.
PROS of Koh Phangan for Digital Nomads
Cost Of Living and Housing
Generally, Living in South East Asia is very affordable. Other digital nomad destinations (like Bali our initial destination) can be pretty expensive but even though Koh Phangan is an island, living here is very cheap. It will be more comfortable for you if you are still working and earn money in your local currency. So, the cost of housing, cell phone plans, transportation within the city, food among others is very affordable. Yes, going to a couple of restaurants while you’re here implies you spend a considerable amount of money, but compared to other places, you get the best prices in Koh Phangan.
Nature and Lifestyle of the Island
Koh Phangan is a beautiful island and I’d be inclined to say that it is naturally endowed. Life here is more reserved and easy going. It is not difficult to get around here, not many people speak English but a couple of people do – some might be a bit scrappy, but okay. Finally it a good place to relax and if you have any goals – either professional or personal – this is a good place to focus and get them done.
Spirituality and Mindfulness
The majority of what is practiced here is the vegan lifestyle. Also, the environment around is very calm and quiet and good for you to practice your yoga or meditate
Activities and Proximity
In Koh Phangan, there are a lot of activities to engage in. you could go diving, hiking, surfing or even attending parties. Also, the island is close to the mainland and other islands in the region so you can go on a little trip.
Yes, Koh Phangan is safe. There are no issues with crime here and besides every person here treats the other with a high level of respect. We’ve left the door unlocked as well as left our phone in our scooter plenty of times. Luckily, we’ve never had to worry about safety.
The People and Their Culture
Thai people are very kind and respectful people. We only wish we had learned some more Thai. Everybody is very nice and helpful. They don’t call it the land of smiles for nothing!
Places to Work
There are a good number of places you can relax and do your work aside from where you stay. While here, we have not had any difficulty finding a good place, but, we suspect that in normal circumstances, these places might be filled with people.
Just as I earlier mentioned, the cost of food is cheap. Adding to this, the good thing about this island is that there are a lot of food options to choose from both local and international. These places might not be very fancy but they are good as well as cheap. There are lots of fresh food and shakes, and if you are vegan, then you’re right at home
CONS of Koh Phangan for Digital Nomads
This island has a tropical climate and as such you will experience a lot of heat. I mean a LOT! Get ready to sweat. There is also the dengue disease and a lot of bugs in the area.
This is always a downside of the beauty of island life. While it’s totally worth it in our opinion, sometimes it’s nice to have a break.
The Full Moon Aftermath
We didn’t experience the full moon parties while we were here. While they look like a lot of fun, we know that some of the locals and permanent expats don’t enjoy the aftermath. Usually, after full moon parties, you find a lot of drunk tourists stumbling around and leaving trash everywhere.
Digital Nomad Community Isn’t Strong
We didn’t feel a strong presence of the digital nomads’ community while here. We could feel the energy and innovation in Medellin but it was a different scenario here. A lot of this was due to COVID and we expect it to change soon!
There are not a ton of modern facilities here such as malls, indoor gyms, etc. This could be a con for many people, but for us, it made the island vibe that much more special. Still, don’t expect to find a gym or a Starbucks or anywhere in sight.
Finally, we’d like to say that this island is still developing and there is still a lot of upgrades to be done, but in all this is a very interesting place to experience your digital nomad lifestyle. We imagine that when the world opens back up, Koh Phangan will be the perfect place for digital nomads.