The name ‘Shiralea’ was taken from an episode of Star Trek, but don’t worry, you’re not about to land at a geeky sci-fi convention here! ‘Shiralea’ was the name of a planet “inhabited by free spirits, artists and poets, concerned only with love and pleasure. Here, music, strength and life come together in a single place. Famed for its mud baths and its concept of ‘laughing hour’, it is guarded by wild dancers and only those glad of heart may enter…”
Okay, so it’s a far-fetched way to describe the hostel, but you get the idea of what the owners are trying to create here in this little slice of paradise! And what can we say? They’re doing a great job…
Why does Shiralea Backpackers Resort make our Best Hostel List?
Set amidst tropical jungle on the west coast of Koh Phangan, near Haad Yao, travellers who stay at Shiralea will instantly realise that the island has a lot more to offer than the backpacker ghetto of Haad Rin, home of the Full Moon Party in the south. For those wanting to attend the famous party, it’s only a 40-minute songthaew (taxi) drive away and when you’ve finished raving, you can return to Shiralea to chill out and nurse your hangover in peaceful, idyllic surroundings.
From the hostel itself, you’re walking distance (100 metres) to gorgeous Haad Yao Beach (one of the best beaches on the island!) with many bars, beach BBQs and restaurants. You’re also a stone’s throw from cascading waterfalls, the best snorkelling reefs on the island and many walking trails in the lush jungle. And, you’re only 15 minutes from Thong Sala, the main town of Koh Phangan, where there’s a fun night market and some great local street food!
Referring to the hostel as a ‘resort’ is no accident. The bungalows, each with their own tropical garden view, are sprinkled around a large swimming pool set amidst a coconut forest. There’s a pool bar which serves cold drinks daily and sunbeds to relax and enjoy the chilled out vibe. For those needing a break from the sun, there’s also a TV/movie lounge and a games room with a free pool table. And because this is Thailand, there’s also a Thai massage hut on the grounds, just in case you need any more help to relax!
Variety of rooms and prices:
From backpacker dorm rooms to flashpacker bungalows, there’s a variety of accommodation options at Shiralea. Prices start at 200 THB for a bed in the Air-Con 8-bed ‘Deluxe Hostel’. Each bed has its own privacy curtain, clothes hanger, plug, light, sumptuous mattress and pillow, and built-in locker at the foot of the bed big enough to store your backpack. There’s male and female hot shower facilities and plenty of bathrooms so you won’t be queuing the day after the party if you’re feeling delicate!
As well as dorms, there are fan or AC bungalows, twin or double, starting at 540 THB, each one complete with its own balcony and hammock! The most luxury room at the resort will set you back 1,170 THB for a ‘Palm Leaf Bungalow’ with balcony and hammock that sleeps 4 people in 2 king-sized beds (Ideal for a group of travelling pals!).
Due to the resort-like atmosphere and the variety of rooms available, Shiralea attracts a mix of travellers; backpackers, flashpackers, digital nomads (who love the fast WIFI!), professionals, couples, solo travellers… There’s also a mix of local and Western staff, and always a friendly bartender to chat to and introduce you to other travellers. No one is left alone – unless they want to be of course!
If you’re heading to the Full Moon, Half Moon or Black Moon parties, slap on some neon paint and join in the ‘warm-up’ parties at Shiralea before hopping on an organised shuttle to the main event. At other times of the month, there are regular BBQ, pool parties, beer pong and other hostel games ongoing. The lazy vibe during the day contrasts beautifully with the upbeat atmosphere in the evening… And if you’re wanting to explore the island, the knowledgeable staff can give you great advice on tours, diving, waterfall and viewpoint walks, tattoos, snorkelling, restaurants and many other activities on Koh Phangan.
The Bar & Restaurant:
With an extensive Thai and Western menu at the hostel, your belly doesn’t have to suffer if the rest of your body feels like a lazy day. For those with a hangover, the Shiralea Big Breakfast should do the trick, or what about a burger, pizza, Indian curry, bangers and mash or even fish and chips! The Thai food is also excellent with all your favourite Thai curries, spicy salads, noodles and rice dishes. There’s a fully stocked bar with local and premium liquor, beer and cocktails and more importantly, daily happy hours to take advantage of! Don’t miss ‘Messy Hour’ from 6pm-9pm where mixed drinks are 99 THB. There’s also free self-service tea and coffee available all day/ night from the bar!
Get in touch!
- Prices from: $6 USD for a dorm bed. $16.50 USD for a twin or double room.
- How to find the hostel? When you arrive by ferry to Koh Phangan’s main port town of Thong Sala, you’ll find taxis galore waiting to take you to your destination. Let your driver know you are heading to Shiralea in Haad Yao (West). From the pier, it is a 15-20 minute journey and will cost 150-200 THB per person.
- Website: www.shiralea.com
- Facebook: Shiralea Backpackers Resort
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