Did you come here to party? Or are you looking for a little spiritual enlightenment? Big fan of the marine life? Or do you want to get lost in the Jungle? Well friend, Koh Phangan really has something for everyone. And you’ve come to the right place.
Yes this one is pretty obvious, but we have 35 beaches! Some secluded, others full of life why would you not see them all? for example, In the south, a fine white beach stretches from Thongsala all the way to the rocky outcrop that marks the start of the Haad RinPeninsula. Most of this beach is referred to as Baan Tai Beach. The portion of the beach nearest Haad Rin is marked off by a small creek and is called Bankai. Near the centre of Baan Tai Beach is a small pier where you can organize boat transfers or fishing trips. On both sides of the pier are some great stretches of beach.
Much of Baan Tai is peaceful beach fringed with coconut palms. The water is blue and in the distance you can see Koh Samui. Most nights of the year there is a wonderful sunset.
The resorts are spread out and the road is some distance from the coast.Moreover there is a coral reef about 200 meters from the coast. This means that during the low tidal seasons (May to October) the water is shallow until the reef. It is great to paddle in but is not the beast beach for swimming.
During the windy months Baan Tai becomes the best place for kite boardingin Koh Phangan. So if you like to party at night and do extreme sports during the day Baan Tai is the ideal destination.
The Parties and Events
While Koh Phangan is worldwide famous for its Full Moon Party in Haad Rin, Ban Tai has its call in the party and nightlife.
For those who prefer live bands there are also bars such as Outlaws Saloon and BM Barthat have a fun live music venues.
The Restaurants and Bars
Baan Tai is probably the area in the island with the greatest variety of places to eat and drink. You’ll find are cheap, local restaurants serving Thai food as well asWestern cuisine. There are also beautiful seaside restaurants and bars likeLa Casa Tropicanaor more exclusive restaurants such as Fisherman’s Restaurantwhere you can get great food enjoying a beautiful sunset. For those who prefer fast food there are plenty of places to get pizzas, burgers and fish and chips such as The Food Factoryopened 24/7. For those looking to experiment Eastern cuisine you’ll find the best Russian restaurant Friends Cafeand the brand new delicious Silk Wayserving Uzbek cuisine.
For those wanting to self-cater the supermarkets of Thongsalaare just a few minutes away too.
Baan Tai has a lively nightlife with many beach bars like Infinity Beach Club as well as fun bars where you can play pool, showcasing live music and great variety of beers like BM Bar. You are never far away from a bar that suits you.
Koh Phangan is a pretty big island, fourth largest in Thailand in fact. The best way to see it and the surrounding ones is to book one of the island tours! Go by boat, jeep, or bike, these companies will show the best of Koh Phangan.
Phangan Bicycle Tours
Mingalaba Road Trip
Asia Blue Tours
Ocean Drive Speed Boat Tours
Spa & Massage
While Koh Phangan is known for it’s crazy parties like the infamous Full Moon Party, it is also famous for its massages and wellness centers.
Thai massage is of course the signature massage in Thailand, being originally performed by the monks to heal the body and mind. Indeed, Thai Massage is an ancient healing practice that combines acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures.
However, you can find many other types of massages such as the aroma oil and a full range of skin treatments in the numerous spas around the island. Enjoy a massage or a full day spa package to leave you refreshed, and recharged.
Here are our recommended places on Koh Phangan to get your body relaxed.
Gaia Nature Spa
Cocohut Resort & Spa
Santhiya Resort & Spa
Paradiso Beach Spa
Pure Relax Spa
If your looking for a little adrenaline rush, or want to see why Koh Phangan one of worlds best Scuba diving spots, check out our friends with the water sports below. Make the most of your trip in Thailand!
Slip N Fly
Wake up Wakeboarding
Asia Blue Tours & Scuba
Reefers Scuba Diving
Haad Yao Divers
The best of Mind Body and Soul
Koh Phangan is a true heaven for yogis around the world. You should know that Koh Phangan is a famous destination for Thailand yoga holidays, as well as Thailand yoga teacher training programs. More than a deeply relaxing island, Koh Phangan yoga retreats will deliver a unique experience to remember forever. Take your time to marvel at the endless sunny beaches or the lush coconut forests.
Orion Healing Center
Wonderland Healing Center
The Sanctuary Thailand
Pure Flow yoga
We could honestly keep going on, there are too many options. Browse our site and find something that’s good for you!
Read our other guides for more info about Koh Phangan:
Learn all about Koh Phangan’s history with these fun facts, figures and the story of how Koh Phangan is the way it is today.
Do you know the meaning of “Koh Phangan”?
Let’s start with the basics, one cannot learn the history of an Island without knowing why it is named this way…
KOH = island
PHA = meet or find
NGAN = beach visible at low tide
Koh Phangan is Thailand’s firth biggest island
Koh Phangan is an island paradise in the gulf of Thailand, located 70km from the mainland and just 12km from Koh Samui, Phangan does not have an airport (yet) and relies heavily on ferries from the mainland and Koh Samui.
AREA: 125 km²
POPULATION: 11,846 (2004)
PROVINCE: Surat Thani Province
What is Koh Phangan known for?
Parties – It is world-famous for its monthly Full Moon Party. This boisterous night-long celebration, which is tied to the lunar calendar, draws revelers to its southeastern peninsula, Haad Rin.
Beaches – We have some of the best in the world! And we are not being biased. To see a description of all 35 beaches – click here.
Culture – More than 95% of the population are Buddhist, but there are a few mosques and churches that can be found around the island. One Buddhist holidays you can see many locals go to the temples and celebrate. To visit the temples – click here.
Lifestyle – Apart from tourism, another prominent industry for the island is fishing. You can find many lovely restaurants selling the freshest fish – what is the catch of the day?
Each month Koh Phangan and Koh Samui produce and export 1 million coconuts to Bangkok!
History of Koh Phangan
A hundred years ago, Koh Phangan was not just some unknown island. On the contrary, every Siamese at the time knew that Koh Phangan was a favoured destination of Thai Royalty, most notably King Rama the Fifth, also known as Chulalongkorn, who lived from 1868 until 1910.
Chulalongkorn is reported to have visited the island at least 14 times between the years of 1888 to 1909 after he purchased a steamship which allowed him to cruise the Gulf of Thailand. His imprint can be found carved into in the rocks of the waterfall at Than Sadet.
Prior to this, was the Bronze Drum of the Dongson Culture (100-500BC), that was found on neighboring Koh Samui in 1977, identified that there were settlements of people on Koh Samui and Koh Phangan more than 2000 years ago.
Other reports state that some archeologists and historians believe the first group of people who migrated to the island were Muslim Sea Gypies (Pigmy, semung and Proto-Malay) who traveled by boat from the Malaysian Peninsula.
Then after the Hainan Chinese migrants were among the first permanent settlers in the area approximately 200 years ago.
Koh Phangan has always been a melting pot of various cultures, with: Malay, Thai and Chinese influences, all living peacefully together.
Modern Koh Phangan
The big change on Ko Phangan started after the first bungalows were built for foreign tourists to come and visit around 20 years ago. From there the island has rapidly developed with roads, infrastructure and internet access everywhere on the island.
The islanders changed their ways of life to grow with the expanding tourist industry.
However Ko Phangan is much less touristic than its neighboring island Koh Samui and still has it deserted beaches, and hidden spots. To find these out – check out Phangan Explorer’s view points and hidden gems.
Phangan Explorer has seen the damage to the people who didn’t respect and listen to this advice … they didn’t end up so well.
In this Koh Phangan Guide, here are a few pointers on how to make sure your memories are terrific, not traumatic.
Drinking and driving, lack of experience and crappy roads are poison for many injuries on Koh Phangan. Just checkout the walking wounded you can find every time you look around and you see what I mean! BE CAREFUL! Motorbikes are the number one cause of injury to tourists. The roads to and from Haad Rin and Thong Nai Pan are very dangerous. If the roads are going to be attempted we strongly recommend wearing a helmet.
Going “overboard on the buckets”
Drinking can be the source of some great times, and insanely fun when spent with friends. However Thai whisky is strong and unforgiving. Drink too much and you will dancing and acting like a rag-doll with no bodily awareness, making you a target for criminal elements prowling the party. Take care of yourself!
Come on guys, Full Moon Party is now the most famous for illegal substance and drug abuse and this might seem like a great reason to get in on the action. Wrong! Thai law hands out harsh penalties for those caught participating in the cycle. The incumbent government also believes that foreigners are providing market and creating a bad example for Thai youth across the country. There are dozens of plain clothes cops at the party and they get a bonus catching drug users.
Fighting and disrespecting the locals
This is a sure way to get yourself beaten up or have a bottle smashed over your head no matter how tasty you are. Be cool, smile and walk away from any potential conflict. You will enjoy your holiday so much more.
Also NEVER speak ill or any of the kings/royal family. It is an extremely serious offenses, and results with imprisonment, where they will lock you up and throw away the key.
Prices will vary, however they are generally around 300THB per day for a motorbike. The bigger ones/ 125cc are a little pricier at 400THB plus per day.
You will need your passport when renting, and to sign a waiver form in the case of accidents. Check what you are going into as you don’t want to be paying a lump sum for repairs due to a knocked over bike.
Prices can differ depending on where, and what time you are travelling. Regular price from Thong Sala (main pier) to Haad Rin Beach (Full Moon Party Beach) is 100THB, even on Full Moon night! However if you are going solo to the top of the island, prepare for a costly visit.
You can try to bargain however most drivers now have fixed rate sheets. Recommended to get a group of you together for big trips.
Taking care of your valuables
Don’t take your valuables to any parties, or beaches. Then you won’t even have to worry about risking losing them. Simple. It only takes a split second, when you concentration is on the music or alcohol, for some sleaze to take your possessions away into the crowd. Save yourself to agro!
Help us clean the beach
All of us on Koh Phangan are very concerned about keeping our environment and the beaches clean. Be a part of the solution not the cause! Put your trash in the bin and look for free fag containers for your cigarette butts.
7/11 minimarts will force an excess of plastic on you from bag to straws to spoons. But do you really need all that for one bottle of water?
Beach Volleyball Thailand sets up daily and hosts beginners to seasoned vets on their white sandy courts. Yes, national, olympic, and professional competitors make their way out to train and play with these guys. Even if beach volleyball isn’t your things, it’s worth making your way down just to watch them go at it! But don’t fret, they have plenty of training sessions available, kids can train too! Looking for a full week immersion? They’ll video tape, review, exercise and improve every aspect of your game. Check them out on our page here.