Travel, Culture, Leo

The Rise of the Suitcase on Koh Phangan

10 Jan 2020

Backpackers were named backpackers for a very obvious reason, they traveled with a backpack.

Backpacking is a different type of traveling from a normal holiday and even has its own kind of culture you could say. The image that comes to mind when you think of a backpacker is someone without a fixed plan, traveling the world, spending time in culture with no time frame and without the need of many material belongings, instead choosing experience.

Koh Phangan has always been a hotspot on the backpacking tour of Thailand and is one of the reasons why the Full Moon Party began with backpack-style travelers discovering it was one of the best places to witness the full moon.

But have you noticed that there are not so many backpacks adorning travelers these days, instead there is a rise in the suitcase!

In general it’s those suitcases on wheels, the ones with a handle to help you pull them along.

Maybe it’s just easier for people “why carry when you can drag” as one Phanganist reader says.

And although it is somewhat true that a small suitcase is actually cheaper than a lot of backpacks now, it’s actually the really big suitcases on wheels that we see more of! So do people travel with more stuff these days?

Is the art of backpacking dying out? We’re sure it’s not but the type of traveler is definitely changing. Koh Phangan is becoming more well known and so people come more on a ‘holiday’ as well as following the backpacker route. Travelers probably require more luxury items from home now and so feel the need to bring more with them, hence the suitcase.

Maybe the weight of luggage on your back is just too much for the current generation and they prefer the ease of a suitcase?

Whatever it is, travelers to Koh Phangan are changing. People are staying longer, making it their semi home for a few months and tourists have higher standards. Spot the backpack now, it’s a rare species.