Koh Phangan: From Past to Present
Based on historical and archaeological evidences, Koh Phangan was believed to be first settled over 1,300 – 2,000 years ago. The first group of people arriving in this island was believed to be Chola explorers, better known as Tamils, who were natives of southern India.
In the past before electricity, Koh Phangan natives hauled their water. They cooked on wood burning stoves, waited for the month of June to arrive in order to have water from the rainy season to work on their homegrown agricultural. Coconut was the main specialty for the natives. They gathered 300-400 coconuts daily, travel with water buffalo and traditional cart; later, trade with Chinese vessels. Other common occupations were fishermen, farmers, wild honey hunting and tin mining.
Apart from once-in-a-lifetime experience of a world famous Fullmoon Party, a strong community of Koh Phangan is at its best with great traditions, rich culture and remarkable ways of life. The island isn’t just a party island after all. Plus, it is home to a great spiritual community.
If strolling around the island to see unspoiled nature, you will find that all beaches circling the island have unique charms and identity: Wok Tum and Nai Wok bays, Thongsala, Sri Thanu, Haad Yao, Haad Salad, Mae Haad, Chaloklum, Haad Khom and Haad Khuat beaches in the North, Ban Tai, Ban Khai, Haad Rin Nai, Si Kantang, Haad Rin Nok, Haad Yuan and Haad Thian in the East and even Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai on the northeastern. People on Koh Phangan are living the local lives and traditions with culture that are tied to nature in which, nowadays, still remain. There are still many corners of Koh Phangan to explore, especially in terms of nature and friendliness of people.
Koh Phangan is haven of cultural diversity and the truly local food whose recipes are unique to Koh Phangan. Seafood certainly plays the most important role to the locals; however, remarkably strong and spicy is local favorite flavor. Conserving food was indigenous knowledge back in the days when there was no electricity of refrigerator. Grilled shrimp paste in the coconut shell has been a favorite dish. They also conserved pork in the container and put in the ground, dried fish is stored up by smoke and made all unspoiled.
Among the transformation of cultures with the growing population affecting the island of Koh Phangan, its community still glue together for the family traditions. It appears to be seen nowadays that families often bond together by having food together during the week or at some local traditions.
story edited by Khane Chompreeda