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Koh Pha Ngan

3.5 /5 34 votes

Weather:

Best Time: June to September, December to February Read More

Ideal duration: 4-5 days

Nearest Airport: koh samui Check Flights

"Land of coconut trees and full moon parties"

Koh Pha Ngan Tourism

Koh Pha Ngan is an island that is part of the Chumphon Archipelago, located between the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao. It being world famous for its full moon parties on Haad Rin, usually the rest of the time the island remains half empty. But Koh Pha Ngan is so much more than just parties. This vast inland jungle is very peaceful and it's serene bays can be just as beautiful for families and backpackers.

Most part of Koh Pha Ngan island is a mountainous jungle, and the rest of it is coconut trees and white sand beaches. Earlier, tourists usually preferred the more developed Koh Samui to their comfort. But since the mid eighties, due to the popularity of the full moon parties, Koh Pha Ngan has been a destination that's driving around twenty thousand people to itself. The coconut and fishing industries being the major source of income has now been taken over by the tourism of this island. Koh Pha Ngan has a lot of other things to offer including fishing trips, diving, kite-boarding, waterfalls and is also sometimes renowned as the a meditation centre.

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Shopping in Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is not majorly a shopping destination, although, Thongsala is much cheaper than Haad Rin and is well known for its food market. There are many craft shops, jewelery shops, hammock shops, and other beach accessories at both the beaches. Haad Rin shops are famous for their fluorescent beach wear for the moon parties. Handmade jewelery and crafts can be some great souvenirs for family and friends.

Regional Religion

Major population of Koh Pha Ngan follow Buddhism.

Koh Pha Ngan Customs

Koh Pha Ngan being an island, casual clothes are acceptable. Shorts and sleeveless are usually more comfortable at the beaches. Although, in the temples, everyone is expected to be fully covered. At full moon parties, there are paint artists that throw flourescent paint on everyone so wearing good clothes is not advisable. Shorts, mini skirts, bikini tops and tshirts are advised. Thai's are known to welcome all guests gracefully, however, some general manners are necessary to be followed. You are expected to take off footwear before entering a Thai house or a Buddhist temple. Wearing only bikini or swim suit and roaming in oublic areas is considered disrespectful.

Daily Budget 

A budget of 500-800 bahts per day would suffice a budget traveller which includes 400B for food per day and 200B for travelling (taxis, bicycles). If you're looking at more of luxury, then you would need around 1,000 bahts per day.

Nightlife in Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan is known for the best nightlife in Thailand. All the bars and clubs are mainly located in Haad Rin. The world famous full moon parties, half moon parties and black moon parties are the main attractions of Koh Pha Ngan. Some of the best bars in Koh Pha Ngan are the Merkaba Beach Club, the Jam Bar, the Infinity Beach Club and the Loi Lay Floating Bar.

Read in detail about the Full Moon Parties.

Language of the Region

Thai is the national language spoken. However, many local people there are keen on learning English and would appreciate your time in helping them with some phrases. In hotels and restaurants communication is not a problem as most of the people do speak English. It is a good idea to learn some basic Thai phrases like 'Swasdee' is Hello, 'Khobkhun' is Thank you.

Currency Exchange

It is advisable to exchange currency at Bangkok because prices in Koh Pha Ngan are a little different. However, there are money exchange options at the island too. Credit/debit cards are easy and safe to carry. Although, carrying some bahts in hand is always important.

Local Currency

There are plenty of ATMs in Haad Rin and Thongsala to exchange money from credit/debit cards. Most of the hotels and restaurants accept cards but some small bars might not, so carrying cash is advisable.

History of Koh Pha Ngan

Historians believe that the first people to migrate to Koh Pha Ngan were Muslim sea gypsies who came from Malay peninsula by boat. Approximately 200 years ago Chinese and Thai migrants came to Koh Pha Ngan and made a living by fishing and working in tin mines. The full moon party at Koh Pha Ngan was earlier just a low-key event held at Haad Rin where the hippies went. With time, because of the good music and cheap alcohol, the full moon party gained popularity.

Traveller Tips

  • Haad Rin is the tourist hub of the region. With packed tourist crowds, an accommodation or a party here would be almost 28% higher than any other part on the island.
  • Koh Pha-Ngan tap water is not drinkable. Packaged and bottled drinking water isn’t as safe either. Hence, it is essential to carry a bottle with a purifier such as LifeStraw.
  • Bargain to the most as sellers tend to set up higher prices for tourists.
  • Bulk purchases happen to be the best way to save up.
  • Prices at Full Moon parties would increase as they come. Beware of mindless deals that may bump your way.
  • Alcohol can get expensive, 7-Eleven is one of those places to hit up a few glasses at affordable prices.

Itinerary

Day 1

Full Moon Party
Full Moon Party
Source
Reaching Koh Pha-Ngan

Take a ferry from Koh Samui to reach Koh Phan-Ngan early morning, so that you have ample time to explore the place. 
Best Dive Spot
Touch upon Sail Rock for an unbeatable dive under the authorisation of some of the top operators and dive schools on the island. April to October is the most preferred time to go diving here. 
Lunch
Lunch out at some of the top diners on the island such as Jumpahom Restaurant. Stay on the lookout as most of the restaurants do not vibe up until dusk. 
Trek or Relax
You could burn out some calories on a trek to Bottle Beach or you could choose to relax on the island. 
Full Moon Parties
In case you happen to visit Koh Phan-Ngan during the full moon season, you’re in for a wild night! Full moon parties are pretty much the highlight of the island. Prices and services would depend on the party location.
Return or Stay
You could either ferry back to Koh Samui or can book a hotel or resort on Koh Pha-Ngan.

Day 2

Than Sadet Waterfall National Park
Than Sadet Waterfall National Park
Source
Khao Ra Hike
Wake up to either an adventurous hike up Khao Ra. The paths are not navigated well, which can be an opportunity for some irreplaceable memories. 
Self-Exploration
Rent a bike if you do not wish to go by the book and explore this fascinating island by yourself!
Seafood Hub of the Region
Milky Bay on Baan Tai is noted to be the seafood galore of the island. Visit the restaurant for some fine sea-dining. 
Koh Pha Ngan Waterfalls
Koh Pha-Ngan houses the Pheang Waterfall, Than Sadet Waterfall National Park, Paradise Waterfall, Wangsai Waterfall and Than Prawet Waterfall. A relaxing walk to one of these after a hearty meal would be quite the afternoon scene. 
Snorkel, Sauna or Yoga
You could either snorkel at Mae Haad Beach or take some self-pampering time out at The Baan Tai Herbal Sauna or any of the other massage parlors on the island. If you want some quiet self-time, you could also choose to spend some meditative time at any of the yoga centres close by.
The Thong Sala Night Market
With almost all calories busted, it is quite the mandatory bucket list strike off to visit The Thong Sala Night Market for some intense gastronomical indulgence.

Restaurants and Local Food in Koh Pha Ngan

Like any other city in Thailand, Koh Pha Ngan is known for its Thai food. The Thongsala daily food market is a great place to experience the local culture and delicious Thai food. The whole island offers fresh seafood and also a lot of vegetable items. One of the best seafood restaurants is Fisherman's Restaurant. Besides Thai food, the island also has some brilliant Italian and English restaurants, some of them being Cucina Italiana, Fabio's and Mason's Arms. A must try when you're in Koh Pha Ngan are the street Pad Thai, coconut cake, mango with sticky rice and spicy sausages at Thongsala.
View Top Restaurants in Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan Photos

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Moon parties are a huge rage at Koh Phan-Ngan. The water sport adventures here would seal the perfect beach vacation. Since the islands are closely knit, beach-hopping would be one of the ideal ways to explore the region.

What's Not So Great?

Transportation might pose as a barrier as there is no direct flight connectivity to reach Koh Phan-Ngan. The only mode of transport would be a ferry ride from Koh Samui or the mainland.

How To Reach Koh Pha Ngan

Take a flight to Koh Samui or Chumphon airports, and then ferry to Koh Pha Ngan.

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