Sitting in the Southern Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan is a tropical beauty that attracts over 30 000 holidaymakers once a month for its full moon parties. Although its fame is derived from legendary beach parties, the island has so much more to offer than that alone, with its natural splendour the true standout feature. It offers a peaceful atmosphere and magnificent, pristine beaches to enjoy, while the jungled mountains are a dense, vivid green paradise for you to explore. Sister island to both Koh Samui and Koh Tao, this island is overflowing with stunning substance.
Visit the Full Moon Party
Once a month Haad Rin Beach hosts an absolutely epic full moon party that attracts up to 30 000 holiday makers that travel to Thailand to get to its shores. Founded by a group of avid travellers amazed by the encapsulating beauty of Koh Phangan’s full moon, these parties see the entire beach packed with eager party-goers from all over the world. Drum and bass, trance, and hard house pump throughout the night as you can participate in fire skipping, watch fire eaters, or simply party the night into oblivion. The party atmosphere along with the mesh of different world cultures makes for a unique experience and one you’re not likely to forget (or remember) depending on how you like to party.
Go for Sundowners at Amsterdam Bar
If you’re looking to have an amazing dining experience or just a drink with a view, look no further. Amsterdam Bar offers delicious cuisine, a broad array of drinks, and arguably the best sunset view in all of Thailand. The wooden deck outside is perfect for sundowners, where you’ll be able to see Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and the ever-beautiful Ang Thong Marine Park.
Go Eat at the Night Market
Thong Sala Night Market is a wonderland of options for your taste buds. The food on offer ranges from authentic Thai to sushi rolls and western finger snacks. All the vendors sell amazing, locally sourced fresh food, so no need to worry, just indulge and enjoy the experience of market eating in Thailand.
Rent a Motorbike and Explore
Easily the cheapest way to get around the island while on holiday, the independence means you can go anywhere whenever the mood strikes. Travel the length and breadth of the island exploring temples, beaches, viewpoints and more. The island itself is quite hilly, so experienced riders will likely fare better than novices.
Take a Cooking Class
Hello Islands fell in love with Thai food a long time ago, and the bond is as strong as ever. If you’re much the same, we recommend spending a couple of hours of your holiday to take one of the many amazing cooking classes available on the island. Learn how to cook, eat your delicious creations, and add another level to your knowledge of the local Thailand food culture. As always Hello Islands has our favourites, so check out Same Same in Haad Rin, C&M Study Centre, and Jang’s Thai cooking school.
Chase the Waterfalls
There’s always something awe-inspiring about a waterfall, and in Koh Phangan, the same applies. The island has seven of its own, each definitely worth a visit for the nature lovers. Be aware though that some can dry up completely during the dry season. The seven are Paradise, Phaeng, Thaan Sadet, Thaan Prapaad, Sramanora, Wangsai, and Thaan Prawes waterfalls.
Visit the Beaches
Koh Phangan’s beaches are incredible. White sand meets a crystal blue ocean, and there are over 30 to choose from. Haad Rin is the most developed and popular beach on the island, but there are many secluded beaches to discover where you will likely have it all to yourself. Sit back, enjoy your holiday with a cocktail from one of the many beach bars, or simply relax and catch a tan in the Thailand sun.
Prepare to feel physically inadequate as you challenge yourself to a Wipeout-style obstacle course! Challenge Phangan is designed to mimic the course from the TV show and offers timed laps, as well as a leader board featuring people from around the world. Located in Seetanu, Challenge Phangan is an unforgettable holiday experience, with impressive wipeouts guaranteed, and a day full of activity and laughs.
Yoga is very popular in Thailand especially on this island, with many yoga schools offering classes and courses if you’d like to stay for the six months it takes to become a yoga instructor. Relax and revitalise your body and mind, dropping in for a class can be as cheap as 300 THB.
Tour the Temples
Thailand is covered with temples of various religions. Take in the cultural scenery of Koh Phangan by visiting some of the amazing temples on the island. These religious sites offer a window into Thai spirituality, as well as providing you with some great photo opportunities to add to the memories of your holiday.
Thong Nai Pan
Stowed away on the northeastern side of Koh Phangan you will find the unbelievably stunning Thong Nai Pan. This double bay comprised of Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai is breath-taking, with the bays surrounded by an amphitheatre of steep rock invoking a secluded atmosphere. The sand is soft and white, the water is clear, and the memories to be made here of your holiday in Thailand will last a lifetime.
The three official seasons in Thailand – hot, dry, and wet, are segments of a constant summer holiday. The hot season run from March through to June, with April and May reaching the highest temperatures throughout the year. The monsoon (wet) season is accompanied by heavy rains and occasional rough seas and can vary from year to year. It can start as early as May on the Andaman sea (Phuket, Phi Phi, and Koh Lipe) although it starts officially in June and continues into November. This starts much later on the Gulf Coast (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao) in October or November, and typically runs into January. Most days it will rain for between one and two hours a day (sometimes only ten minutes) and dry up almost immediately, although in the heat it is often a welcome visitor that seldom overstays. It can, however, be torrential when the rains do appear. December through February is categorised as the dry months, although to tourists it will most likely still feel hotter than “home”. Travel tip: Whenever you decide to grace this summer paradise, be sure to pack light, breathable clothing and plenty of high SPF sunscreen, as you will underestimate the sun at your own expense. At least there is sunlight in abundance for everyone to enjoy.
Bottle Beach, also known as Haad Khuat, is referred to as one of the best beaches in the WHOLE of Thailand, which is in caps because it’s the damn truth. It is a secluded, and irrepressibly beautiful beach, attracting a more relaxed holiday crowd. There are a few bungalows and a restaurant in case all the beauty awakens your appetite.
A peninsular beach area and a town famous for the full moon parties on Sunrise Beach, Haad Rin is an idyllic one kilometre stretch of beach that attracts a myriad of beach goers. The long, curved beach is not short on activities, as well as bars and restaurants. The cove is flanked by volcanic peninsulas and overlooks a spectacular sunrise right in the middle of the horizon.
Hat Sadet beach is an isolated slice of paradise within a national park on Koh Phangan’s east coast. This laid back, perfect holiday feel, white sanded beach has little to no cell phone reception so make sure to plan ahead. It is also very close to the Than Sadet waterfalls, another popular attraction on the island. This beach has significance to the people of Thailand as it has been visited by three of the country’s kings, each of whom has carved their names into rocks on the side of the main waterfall near the beach.
Mae Haad is a quiet, gorgeous, and laid-back beach with resorts, bars, and restaurants stretching a single kilometre backwards. Many people’s vision of a dream beach holiday, this picturesque coastal haven is also fantastic for snorkelling adventures, as there is a small colourful coral reef 20 metres off shore, with a great variety of fish and sea urchins to swim amongst. The deeper sea, off the coast, holds more amazing wonders, as you’ll be able to see giant shoals of fish, and if you’re lucky, some tiger striped barracuda.
Now considered to be the Riviera of Koh Phangan, Thong Nai Pan is a stunning beach with fine, white sand and beautiful jungled mountains enveloping it. This beach is perfect for older couples or families as it’s unlikely that there will be a boisterous atmosphere, much better suited to kicking back and soaking up the rays of the Thailand Sun. There are a few restaurants and bars to satisfy your appetite for whatever suits your fancy while you enjoy your holiday…
For all that Koh Phangan offers, its beachside dining will leave you speechless. The combination of incredible views and delicious cuisine make for an atmospheric and unforgettable night out, with sand between your toes and the Thailand sky overlooking the festivities.