Koh Phangan Life on the Beach
Koh Phangan Life on the Beach

Over recent years Koh Phangan has been the recipient of some colourful comments and articles. Mainly due to the Full Moon Party which is held once a month and lasts several days on the beach at Haad Rin; with revellers and partygoers topping the twenty thousand mark most months, it is not hard to imagine the fun and games that this particular event unfolds into.

That said Koh Phangan should certainly not be overlooked when choosing a holiday destination, especially if you are searching for glorious beaches and rich tropical views. This island deserves exploring; it is also a perfect retreat for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Koh Phangan has a wealth of beaches which truly must be seen to be believed, there are literally dozens and all going through their various stages of development, some more suited to the backpacker with beach bungalows.

There are even several yoga and meditation retreats, scattered throughout the island offering, the perfect island sanctuary for those that prefer a more tranquil setting. There are of course other beaches offering a more western experience and are home to five star resorts.

How to Get to Koh Phangan and Around

Koh Phangan - An Elephant taking a break
Koh Phangan – An Elephant taking a break

Located in the Gulf of Thailand and only a quick boat ride from Koh Samui, Koh Phangan is a mountainous island covered in lush tropical jungle.

The closest airport is on Koh Samui International Airport. This little quaint airport has frequent flights from Bangkok, Phuket and Singapore, and several direct flights each week from Chiang Mai and Kuala Lumpur.

The next nearest airport is at Surat Thani on the mainland. Flights from Bangkok are generally cheaper than if flying to Samui, as several of the low-cost carriers fly into there, and even ThaiAirways charge less to Surat Thani than to Samui.

Anther airport which is overlooked is the one at Krabi and as it is only a few hours’ drive from the ferry terminal at Surat Thani. It is worth considering using this airport with many flights a day to Bangkok. It is also possible to catch a flight to Kuala Lumpar, Singapore and main land China including Shanghai. Flights into Krabi are also cheaper than flying direct to Koh Samui. It also may be worth considering the airport at Chumpon too.

There are many ferries each day operating a round trip service to all the three main islands and it is the ferries that are obviously the cheapest route. If arriving at Surat Thani airport it is relatively easy to get to the ferry terminal and there are many departures a day with the last one early evening.

Here the answer to “How to get from Phuket to Koh Phangan

When to Travel to Koh Phangan and the Climate

Koh Phangan Beaches
Koh Phangan Beaches

Koh Phangan is situated in the Pacific Ocean causing the climate is a little different from that of Phuket as February to August is the more settled time in the area for weather. During this time there is little or no rain and the sea in the Gulf of Thailand is very calm.

Like most of the country the climate is tropical, you can be assured of very hot weather from March to May, with high humidity from June to September. The rainy season is similar to everywhere in Thailand and are the at their highest in October through to December

Where to stay and Best Beaches

Haad Rin

If it’s the Full Moon Party you are after then head over to Haad Rin and indulge all your senses. The Haad Rin population is at its peak come full moon and every bar and is throbbing to the beat of the biggest party in Asia.

If beaches packed with young, body-painted revellers all dancing the night away, while drinking buckets of alcoholic concoctions and other even more suspicious substances is your thing, then Haad Rin is for you. If however you feel a more tranquil settling is for you, then there are many quieter beaches to be found.

Bottle Beach

Haad Khuat is a very special out of the way beach. It is not straight forward to find as some of the beaches, but definitely well worth the trip. Catch the boat from Chaloklam as it’s not too far from there. Once there you can sit back relax unwind and let all your worries fall away. The beach is pure white fine sand.
It also well worth the trek up to the view point where you can catch sight of breath taking views of the surrounding area including the spectacular aquamarine seas.

Haad Yao

Haad Yao also known as long beach is situated on the north-west coast of Koh Phangan. It’s a real stunner of a beach and is easily accessible by boat, bike or songthaew from Thong Sala. There are numerous places of accommodation with many places built on the hills offering excellent sea views. There is a laid back yet welcoming feel to the place, another well worth visit.

Haad Salad

Further up the coast from Haad Yao is perfect little cove. Haad Salad feels different again from most beaches on the island and a world away from the southern part of Koh Phangan people come here to chill out and kick back.

It’s close to the nearby town and is also quite close to several other beaches in the west and north of the island. Spending just a few days here will leave you feeling blessed and refreshed and the panoramic views of the beach below are worth the visit alone.

Than Sadet

Koh Phangan’s most-loved and treasured east-facing beach Than Sadet is famous for its superb sunrises. This beach is truly a nirvana, not always easy to get to, however this said, it does tend to keep the hordes at bay and pretty much guaranteeing a quieter beach to enjoy.
There are several beach bungalows for rent and what better place to watch the Thai sunrise than lying in your hammock on the veranda of your beach bungalow first thing in a morning a true paradise.

Places to visit

Than Sadet-Ko Pha Ngan National Park is named after the river ‘Than Sadet’ “Royal River”. The river causes one of the biggest waterfalls on the island which can be a little tricky to reach on motorbike, one might be better taking a local elephant trek for this trip.

There are other beautiful waterfalls to visit too. None more spectacular than the one at Pheang also from here is a great viewpoint only 15 minutes away called Domesila. Also along this route you can find the Wat Khao Tam. Another viewpoint worth visiting is in Chalok Lam on the road to Haad Khom, it’s well sign posted from the main road.

There are several temples on the island though none more beautiful than the Chinese temple which overlooks Chalok Lam Bay.

There is some great snorkelling to be had on the beaches and many of the resorts offer Scuba Diving try dives and courses for the beginner. There are other sea sport activities like water-skiing and Para-sailing as well as jet skis.

Speedboat are also available to hire buy the hour with the Ang Thong National Park being a popular place to visit too. Kayaking and island hopping is another great way to see the area.

There is elephant trekking as well as 4×4 Wheel Vehicles to hire enabling you to infiltrate the islands more remote interiors. Other pastimes available are archery which can be found on the Thong Sala road towards Chalok Lam.

There are cookery courses to undertake, Fishing trips to go on, watch the Muay Thai Boxing or even have a go yourself. There are several different cultural tours to undertake, really there is just so much to see and do please contact us at Easy Day for an even more detailed schedule available.

Koh Phangan Pros and Con

To have an easy holiday we believe it is important to say what we think is good and what we think is not so good about Koh Phangan. So this is what you should also know.

Not So Good – Koh Phangan has an estimated population of about twelve thousand people, which swells to three times that amount during the full moon party. Also this tends to put a strain on the water supply, especially during the drier months and also the water quality is not as good as it is on the mainland- The tap water is not safe for consumption.

Also one can expect more electric outages than normal, of course this is a paradise island in the Pacific Ocean these things can be expected and easily forgiven.

The quality of the roads is questionable and can sometimes flood in the rainy periods also be careful at night particularly on motorbikes as there may be some hidden pot holes and it is best to wear a helmet if motor bike is your preferred mode of transport. And remember to drive on the Left.

Being an island everything needs to be shipped or flown in so things tend to be a little more expensive than the mainland again this is not a massive spike in prices, but it is best to be aware if on a very limited budget.

As for the shopping you will not find any major shopping malls, there are however many quaint souvenirs shops and places to find your best bargains. Koh Phangan is more of a beach holiday place than a shopping mecca.

Koh Pahngan truly is a perfect island hideaway and now more than ever perfect for families. With very little traffic and many different beaches and sights to see, it’s a wonderful place for your next vacation also being so close to Koh Samui and Koh Tao you can really visit many islands.

There are many ferries throughout the day making access easy. The local people are particularly friendly and the food on the island is to die for especially the sea food. There some great –places for massages and spas are dotted about the island and there is all sorts of things for a young family to enjoy.

For further information about this island in the sun contact us at Easy Day Thailand we are here to help you.

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