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Koh Pha Ngan

3.5 / 5 34 votes

Country rank: 6 out of 52 Places To Visit In Thailand

Sub-Region: Surat Thani


Weather:

Ideal duration: 4-5 days

Best time: June to September, December to February (Read More)

Nearest Airport: koh samui (Check Flights)

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"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.

Hotels in Koh Pha Ngan

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Major population of Koh Pha Ngan follow Buddhism.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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How to Reach Koh Pha Ngan

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

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