About Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is a large island off the east coast of Suratthani
province in the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Phangan is located about 100
km off shore and about 15 km north of Koh Samui. Most well known for
its monthly full moon party , Koh Phangan features some of the most
spectacular beaches in Thailand, most of which are still only
moderately developed, providing visitors with easy access to either
a wild beach party or a relaxing and quiet beach holiday.
While Koh Phangan was once the exclusive domain of backpacker who
wished to escape the more commercially developed Koh Samui, there
are now resorts that cater to all travelers, from honeymooners to
families with children. That said , there are still many resorts
that embody the hippie spirit of Koh Phangan ís "founders" and draw
numerous budget backpackers looking to get away from it all, study
meditation or yaga, or engage in other holistic, Ayurvedic or health
Located in the Gulf of Thailand a short boat ride from Koh Samui,
Koh Phangan is a large , mountainous island covered with coconut
trees and surrounded by white sand beaches and aquamarine waters.
While each month thousands of young people flock to the world famous
full moon party in Haad Rin, where local and internatoinal DJs play
music on the beach, there are dozens of other beaches in varying
stages of development that are alternatively occupied by five-star
beach resorts, budget beach bungalows and a number of yoga,
meditation and health retreats.
Blessed with some of Thailandís most spectacular beaches and still
unspoiled interior, Koh Phangan is an ideal destination for those
looking to party , relax or engage in wellness programs, such as a
yoga or meditation retreat.
Ko Pha Ngan (or Koh Phangan, Thai: ŗ°“–ĺ–ß—Ļ) is an
island in the Gulf of Thailand in South East Thailand.
It is famous for its full moon party at Haad Rin Beach
and as a backpackers destination. Ko Pha Ngan has two
sister islands: the larger Ko Samui to the south and the
smaller Ko Tao to the north.
Koh Phangan is located in Jangwat (province) Suratthani
in the Southern Gulf of Thailand and is part of the
group of islands that make up the Samui Archipelago; a
group of over 40 islands fashioned in granite from age
old igneous formations.
The provincial capital is also called Suratthani and
acts as the main overland transport hub for the islands.
Koh Phangan is 70kms from the mainland and approximately
12kms away from Koh Samui which acts as the main air
link to Koh Phangan.
Phangan is most easily accessd via Koh Samui Airport
though it is slightly cheaper to fly to the regional
transport hub of Suratthani. From Koh Samui a fast boat
takes only 25 minutes whereas the journey from the
mainland takes around eight times longer. If you come
overland, the overnight train is the best option with a
frist class sleeper carriage ideal for families.
Buses are the most economic choice with a trip from
Bangkok costing only about 650 Baht, all the way to Koh
Phangan. Ferry services are more or less hourly
throughout the day from Koh Samui and every couple of
hours from the mainland; several boats also go regularly
from Koh Tao.
Koh Phangan has always been a beautiful and spiritual
place for the Thai people, it has been visited by no
less than four Kings of Thailand; with the Great Rama V
coming over 10 times, leaving his royal seal engraved on
a rock at Thaan Sadet Waterfall; and the current King
Bhumibol following in his footsteps.
The island was uninhabited until about 600 years ago
when passing monks realised its tranquillity and
spiritual importance and settled in Wat Phu Khao Noi
just outside Thongsala.
It is Thailandís fifth biggest
island and has an area of 167km2, thus over 90% of
Phangan is unspoilt tropical forest; and due to its
granite structure, there are several small mountains
where itís possible to trek and even camp.
There is an
abundance of wildlife from monkeys to birds of paradise
and then there is the amazing underwater world that
surrounds Koh Phangan; with over 10kms of vibrant coral
and 20 local dive sites.
And if you have any energy after that, there is the
nightlife that the island became internationally famous
for, with the globally renowned Full Moon Party and
weekly outdoor events in jungle and beachfront venues;
not forgetting the daily session that goes off in Haad
December to February
The cool season : temperatures can reach up to 30°C (86°F). Brief
tropical rain showers occur mostly in December. This is the best
season to visit Phangan.
March to June
The hot season : it becomes very hot - up to 40°C (114°F), with
little or no rain. You will appreciate your air-conditioned hotel
room during this time!
July to September
The pre-monsoon : it's hot with occasional rains. More or less nice
weather, depending on the years, september seems to be better
October and November
The rain season : it's the monsoon, and you'll see more rain than
any other months, though it generally doesn't rain every day,
neither all day, nice hot days can even happen. It's a good idea to
take a raincoat, when going outside....
100-125cc motorbikes can be hired from around
200 baht/day; larger capacity models cost
300-700 baht/day. Foreigners are without
exceptions required to leave their passport as a
Some rental shops overcharge for every scratch
or dent. They don't fix, but rather replace the
whole part - so note damages to the bike on the
rental contract. Be aware that your passport may
be held against you until you pay the exorbitant
repair cost. This practice is, justified or not,
very common all over the region. However, it's
quite rare (though not unheard of) that you
would actually have to pay for the damage you
haven't done. In most cases, it's the
combination of inexperienced and intoxicated
driving when accidents happen. If you don't know
what you're doing stay on the safe side and
stick with Songthaew.
Songthaew pick-up truck taxis criss-cross the
island for around 100 baht a ride, or 150 baht
for the less accessible destination of Thong Nai
Pan, if you share taxi car with other people. As
of 2009, taxi drivers have cartelized to fix
prices to 200 baht a ride - no bargaining.
It is important to note that ALL taxi service on
Koh Phangan is provided by songthaew. Should you
choose to go with a freelancer on a motorbike or
in a pickup, make arrangements quickly, quietly
and pay surrepitiously.
Boats cruise the bays with your snorkeling gear
until somewhere takes your fancy. The
round-the-island, all day boat trip is a great
way to see some of the best beaches in the
Beach on Ko Pha NganThan Sadet-Ko Pha-Ngan
National Park The park is named after the
river Than Sadet (lit. Royal River). The
river forms the largest waterfall on the
island, which was visited by several Thai
kings. Especially Rama V liked the placed
and visited 14 times.
- Visit the
beautiful waterfalls and lookouts in the
interior of the island.
- The herbal
sauna at Wat Pho is a great relief after
long party nights. It's near the 7/11 branch
in Baan Thai, on the south-western side of
the island. Don't forget to leave a
donation, always wear a sarong (over your
bikini) - remember that you are on
temple-territory and locals find nudity
offensive. This is not a European sauna,
sitting naked will get you into trouble.
If you're into fire, you'll find spinners
and twirlers on many of the beaches,
teachers abund and poi are easy to find.
- Visit Ko
Ma off the north-west coast of Ko Pha
Ngan.It offeres one of the best snorkeling
places on the island.
On the road between Thongsala and Chaloklum
is beautiful Chinese Temple with overlooking
on Chaloklum Bay.
There is a Elephant Camp on the way from
Baan Tai to Thong Nai Pan, take a photo or
try trekking through the jungle.
beauty of Phangan Island, through exciting
day, evening and adventure tours.
Experience, diving, snorkeling, kayaking,
speed boat excursions to Ang Thong National
Marine Park, Muay Thai, fishing trips,
cultural tours, elephant riding, enjoy the
beauty of nature that the Koh Maa area has
to offer and have a relaxing boat trip. With
so many things to see and do your time in
Koh Phangan will be truly memorable.
Koh Pha-Ngan has lovely sites around the
island which are perfect for both beginners
and trained divers. From easy dives off the
beach to longer trips by boat you can
experience the world of tropical diving. The
waters around Koh Pha-Ngan are much nicer
than most people know: fine hard corals with
a good range of reefs and tropical/pelagic
fish. Sailrock, undoubtedly the most famous
dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. Located
between Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao all the
wonders of this exciting site can be
explored by all levels of divers. This
spectacular rock rises out of the water
creating the best wall dive with a maximum
depth of 40 metres. Providing a great range
of marine life, spectacular underwater
scenery, rock formations. There are several
PADI dive-schools on the island, amongst
others, Scuba Fun Thailand by Cyana Beach
Resortlocated in Woktum bay, Haad Yao Divers
a small PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Dive Center
located on Haad Yao, Mae Haad and Haad Chao
Phao, Reefers Dive Resort located in Haad
Yao beach, Sail Rock Divers, Lotus Dive
Resort, both located in Chalok Lam, and
Phangang Divers, located in Haad Rin. You
will, however, find many more dive schools
through out the island.
Party - if you're after party heaven you
can't do better than Haad Rin, an expanded
village of beach bars, cheap chicken
burgers, and low cut figure-hugging outfits.
It is most popular one night a month - the
night of the Full Moon Party. Every bar is
hopping, the beaches packed with trance,
dance, buckets, and various other suspicious
substances. However, if the sight of
thousands of bottles and other trash
repulses you, make sure you leave the beach
area before the sun comes up, or grab a
garbage bag and help tidy up a little. If
you're not on Ko Pha Ngan during the full
moon, don't worry: there are other parties
to be had, including Half Moon (2 times a
month), Black Moon, Jungle Parties, as well
as the Shiva Moon party. There is always
something to do in Ko Pha Ngan.
Archery can be
attempted at the "First Bow and Arrow
Archery" close to Chaloklum on the road to
Thongsala. Four archers can have a go at the
same time, people are very friendly (German
spoken during high season) and helpful.
Hiking can be
done all around the island. There is a trail
that leads between Haad Rin and Haad Tien,
which many enjoy however the route can
become difficult to discern, and bringing
enough water is necessary.
Muay Thai gyms
such as "Jungle Gym" in Haad Rin and Thong
Sala Muay Thai offering training and work
out facilities, as well as camps such as
"Horizon" located in Haad Tien (east) which
is an intensive training camp. There are
also frequent matches in Thong Sala and Haad
Rin for spectators who don't want to learn
offered at multiple locations including
Agama Yoga, which is located in the
northwest of the island, and has month long
The Island One day in Paradise Safari Boat,
see everything interesting in one day trip.
Daily Tour. Visit Chinese Temple, Elephant
Camp, Bottle Beach, Thong Nai Pan, Thansadet
Waterfalls, see monkey show, wonderful
snorkeling.. have a fun with your friends.
Under Thai law, travel
agents that offer ticket, tours, tourism services, hotel
reservations in Thailand must be registered with the
Tourism Authority Thailand to improve quality of service
and help protect the customer from fraud. Please check
to make sure you are booking through a TAT registered
Both Thong Sala and Haad Rin sell pretty much anything
you can think of, and probably some things you don't
need at all. You can try to bargain, but realistically,
the prices are set. You may get a deal every now and
again, but it's the exception to the rule. Remember that
you're in a tourist area and that prices usually are
above the level of for say Bangkok.
Main purchases you will find on Ko Pha Ngan include
hammocks (check out "Hammock Home" in Thong Sala) as
well as some of the local artists works. Most of the
clothing is of the variety that you will find in
Bangkok, but generally it is a bit more expensive, as it
has been imported to the island for sale.
Art Galleries are also considered to be rising business
in Koh Phangan, most of the places will offer variety
works and services including custom orders and art
reproductions. These galleries have reputations in
affordable prices and fine quality artist skills.
Tesco-Lotus delicious inexpensive bakery, open 10.00 -
22.00, in Thongsala