Plan Your Trip To Koh Phangan

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Ideal duration: 4-5 days

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

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Also Refered As:

Koh Pha Ngan

"Land of coconut trees and full moon parties"

Koh Phangan Tourism

Koh Phangan is an island that is part of the Chumphon Archipelago, located between the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao. Accessible easily from the mainland at Surat Thani via ferry or boat, the island does not have an airport of its own. Boats and ferries are also available from Koh Samui and Koh Tao. Koh Phangan is world famous for its full moon and half moon parties, and it peaks in tourist numbers during these events. In contrast to the wild parties, the northern part of the island is more relaxed, housing many family resorts and quirky and fun cafes and restaurants.

Almost a third of Koh Phangan island is a mountainous jungle known as Than Sadet National Park. Through the national park, visitors can find many hiking trails and waterfalls to visit. If persistent enough, some hidden jungle beaches are there to be found which are completely secluded. For the rest of the island, tourists are mainly greeted by coconut trees and white sand beaches. During the high tides, swimming is quite a wonderful experience.

Earlier, tourists usually preferred the more developed Koh Samui. But since the mid-eighties, due to the popularity of the full moon parties, Koh Phangan has been a destination attracting around twenty thousand people to itself. The coconut and fishing industries being the primary source of income for locals, have now been taken over by the tourism industry of the island. Koh Phangan has a lot of other things to offer, including fishing trips, diving, kite-boarding, and waterfall hopping, and it is also sometimes renowned for its meditation centres.

Must Know Before You Visit Koh Phangan

1. Donsak Pier in Surat Thani is the main pier to hop onto ferries and boats to reach Koh Phangan.

2. Haad Rin is the most popular area on the island. As a result, accomodation rates here are considerably higher than in other parts of the island.

3. If visiting during the full moon and even half moon party events, accommodation bookings should be made well in advance as rooms are quickly filled up.

4. Private taxis can be booked before reaching the island. This is advisable for families and larger groups.

5. For those on a budget, local tuk-tuks and bike rentals are available across the island and at the pier itself.

6. It is recommended to exchange money before heading to Koh Phangan as the exchange rates are higher on the island. Carry plenty of cash as small bars, and small stores do not accept cards or online modes of payment.

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Nightlife in Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is known for one of the best nightlife experiences 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 events in 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.

2 Day Itinerary for Koh Phangan

Day 1

Full Moon Party
Full Moon Party
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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
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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.

Shopping in Koh Phangan

  • Koh Phangan 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.

Daily Budget for Koh Phangan

A budget of THB 500-800 per day would suffice a budget traveller which includes THB 400 for food per day and THB 200 for travelling (taxis, bicycles). For a more premium experience, around THB 1000-1200 would be needed per day.

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.

Koh Phangan Customs

  • Koh Pha Ngan being an island, casual clothes are acceptable. However, shorts and sleeveless are usually more comfortable at the beaches.
  • At full moon parties, there are paint artists that throw fluorescent paint on everyone, so wearing good clothes is not advisable.
  • Visitors are expected to be appropriately dressed in the temples and other local places of cultural and spiritual importance.
  • Visitors must take off footwear before entering a Thai house or a Buddhist temple.
  • Wearing only a bikini or swimsuit while roaming in public areas is considered disrespectful.

Currency Exchange in Koh Phangan

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.

Languages in Koh Phangan

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.

History of Koh Phangan

Historians believe that the first people to migrate to Koh Pha Ngan were Muslim sea gipsies who came from the Malay peninsula by boat. Then, 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. However, with time, the full moon party gained popularity because of the good music and cheap alcohol.

Regional Religion in Koh Phangan

The majority of the population in Koh Phangan practice Buddhism.

Best Time to Visit Koh Phangan

How to Reach Koh Phangan

How to Reach Overview

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

How to reach Koh Phangan by flight

Chumphon International airport and Koh Samui International airport, both are connected to Koh Pha Ngan by ferry service. So one can arrive at one of these two airports, preferably Chumphon because it is cheaper. Another option is a flight to Bangkok, then a flight to Koh Samui and then a ferry to Koh Pha Ngan.

How to reach Koh Phangan by bus

Buses are cheap but the least comfortable way to travel to Koh Pha Ngan. There are bus services from Bangkok to Koh Pha Ngan.

How to reach Koh Phangan by waterways

Speed boats and ferry services from Koh Tao and Koh Samui are available.

Local transport in Koh Phangan

Walking is the best way to explore the island around Haad Rin, Thongsala and the beaches. It is recommended to hire a guide for the jungle walks. Bicycles are available on rent and are also a great way to move around. Motorbikes can be rented but they are not allowed on the beaches. Taxi services are also available on the entire island. Taxi stands are at Thongsala and Haad Rin.

Koh Phangan Photos

Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Pha Ngan - One of the Picturesque Hidden Islands
Sunrise at Koh Pha Ngan Island
Haad Rin Beach, Koh Pha Ngan

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FAQs on Koh Phangan

What are the places near Koh pha ngan?

The top places near to Koh pha ngan are Koh samui which is 24 km from Koh pha ngan, Surat thani which is located 100 km from Koh pha ngan, Phuket which is located 270 km from Koh pha ngan, Krabi which is located 219 km from Koh pha ngan, Pattaya which is located 367 km from Koh pha ngan

What are the top hotels in Koh pha ngan?

There are 1953 in Koh pha ngan which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Koh pha ngan are Whispering Palms Bophut, Baan Bon Khao, Villa Skyfall, Baan Leelawadee, Rinny Hostel, Villa Ayundra. You can see all the hotels in Koh pha ngan here

What is the best way 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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What is the 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.
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What is the best time to visit Koh pha ngan?

The best time to visit Koh Pha Ngan is from December and March as the humid season has started disappearing with monsoon still far away. 

December and January are the most crowded months as everyone is eager for the famous parties. Even though the prices go high and it gets super packed everywhere, a lot of travellers still wish to visit during this time due to the stunning night life of Koh Pha Ngan.
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What is not so good about Koh pha ngan?

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.

What is famous about Koh pha ngan?

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.

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