Koh Phangan

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Koh Phangan Overview

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is a charming, barely developed land located 12 kilometres away from Koh Samui. Despite being more underdeveloped than other islands, Koh Phangan offers a treasure trove of natural beauty, entertainment and some of the best beaches in the country.

The island is considered Thailand’s hidden gem, and there’s a pretty good reason why it has that moniker. If you thought Koh Phangan was beautiful on the surface, wait until you get underwater. Koh Phangan is the haven for people looking to swim beside colourful fish, coral and exotic marine life such as whale sharks and manta rays. Additionally, it’s also a place where you can become a certified scuba diver!

But before you book a trip to Koh Phangan, here is everything you need to know about the island.

When To Go To Koh Phangan

Like the rest of Thailand, Koh Phangan has a tropical monsoon climate. However, while the weather in Koh Phangan is glorious for most of the year, there are months when the days are marked with bouts of rain.

Koh Phangan has three seasons: dry season, wet season and off-season. The most popular time to visit Koh Phangan is during the dry season. The temperatures are perfect for spending days out on the sandy beaches, swimming in the cool waters or exploring the lush jungle interior.

Hot Season

Most tourists flock to Koh Phangan during the cool season or high season. During this time, travellers are greeted with endless clear blue skies and hours of sunlight. The average temperature during day time rarely drops below 80 degrees. At night, temperatures hover between 73 to 77 degrees.

Rainy Season

Like nearby Koh Samui and Koh Tao, it is rare to see rains lasting the whole day on Koh Phangan. As a result, you are more likely to experience late afternoon thunderstorms during the rainy season instead.

Despite the rain, temperatures will still remain warm, primarily due to the island’s tropical climate. As a result, people visiting Koh Phangan during this season can expect an average high temperature of 82 degrees.

Transitional Period

Temperatures may drop slightly between September and November as storms and high winds become more frequent around the late afternoon and early evening. Due to the heavy rainfall and cold temperature, November is the cheapest time to visit Ko Phangan. During this time, the prices for accommodation are at their lowest.

Best Time To Visit Koh Phangan

March – June

Between March and June, tourists visiting the island are likely to encounter crowds eager to participate in the island’s famous parties. Although this is the best time to visit the island, travellers are advised to prepare for booked-up accommodation, higher prices, and crowded months. Therefore, it is best to book a hotel months in advance if you plan to visit Koh Phangan during the peak season.

Key events:

Full Moon Party in Haad Rin, attended by over 30,000 people monthly

Half Moon Party, features three stages of music at the Ban Khai jungle

Songkran, an annual religious festival where foreigners and locals alike can partake in the biggest water fight in the world

December – February

December to February are the most popular months for Koh Phangan visitors looking to enjoy their next holiday destination at a more affordable price. Beginning December, the prices of hotels and activities will be much lower. Additionally, there will be fewer crowds.

Koh Phangan

Key events:

Koh Phangan New Year’s Eve, known as one of the most legendary parties in Asia

His Majesty the Late King’s Birthday, celebrates the birth of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Jungle Experience Koh Phangan, features a unique nightlife experience with dancing, art, and incredible performances

Getting To Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is one of the many islands that make up the Samui archipelago. The island itself is the fifth largest in the entire country. But while Koh Phangan has a port in the Thong Sala pier, the island has no airport, which means you have to fly to a nearby airport and then travel to the island.

Samui International Airport, also called Koh Samui Airport, is the closest airport to Koh Phangan. If you are coming in from other places in Thailand, the only airlines you can get on to get to Ko Samui International Airport are Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways.

Here are some of the best ways of getting to Koh Phangan:

From Koh Samui

Koh Phangan By Ferry

There are two ways to get to Koh Phangan by ferry from the airport. One departs from Bang Rak pier; the other comes from Nathon Pier. Ferry tickets are usually available to buy from the 12Go website. A ferry ticket from either port to Koh Phangan can cost up to 350 Thai Baht per adult.

Three ferries travel between Bang Rak and Thong Sala, with the first ferry leaving at 8:00 am and the last leaving at 4:30 pm.

Six ferries travel between Nathon Pier to Thong Sala. The first ferry to Koh Phangan departs at 11:00 am. Ferry services at the port end after the last ship departs at 7:00 pm.

There is no other way to get to Koh Phangan once ferry services end apart from a private speedboat. While there will be far less travel time, you should be prepared to shell out anywhere from 8,000 Thai Baht to 25,000 Thai Baht.

From Surat Thani

Flying into Koh Samui can be fairly expensive. If you are on a budget, a cheaper alternative is to board a direct flight to the Surat Thani Airport. The airport services more affordable airlines, including Nok Air and Air Asia. Both airlines also offer flying and ferry services, so you won’t have to worry about hopping on a boat after.

Ferries from Surat Thani travel from Don Sak Pier to Thong Sala Pier in Koh Phangan. The travel time from Donsak Pier to Koh Phangan takes between 90 to 150 minutes.

Travel agencies also offer ferry tickets with prices that range from 500 THB to 700 THB.

By Train

The nearest train station to the Surat Thani Airport is in the Phun Phin District. While the train is slow, it is a more comfortable option than the public bus. You do not need to book an overnight train from Surat Thani as it only takes four hours to reach Ko Pha Ngan. You can book train tickets on the 12Go website.

From Bangkok

Koh Phangan By Bus

Koh Phangan is a long way from Bangkok. However, it is possible to travel most of the way from Bangkok to Koh Phangan by bus.

Buses from Bangkok will travel to Surat Thani. The bus will depart from Sai Tai Mai station every half hour and may take between 10 to 12 hours to reach Surat Thani. There are several overnight bus options available: VIP, airconditioned, and fan.

While it’s not the cheapest way, the most comfortable option is to take the VIP bus as it gives travellers the option to sleep through most of the journey comfortably. Additionally, booking a VIP bus would ensure the safety of your belongings.

You can also drop by one of the travel agencies along Khao San Road. Many agencies offer full-package tickets from Bangkok to Koh Phangan. Generally, the agencies would charge you between 890 to 1,500 THB

Once you reach Surat Thani, you can board a high-speed ferry to Koh Phangan.

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan From Other Islands

Koh Phangan is seated between Koh Tao and Koh Samui Island. This makes it easy for travellers to jump from one island in Southern Thailand to the next. Ferries connect all three islands, which means you can be in Koh Samui in the morning and spend the night at Haad Rin at the beach’s famous Full Moon Party (it’s also perhaps one of the most famous parties in Southeast Asia.)

Koh Phangan

Getting Around Koh Phangan

Being the fifth biggest island in Thailand, Koh Phangan offers travellers all types of sceneries. There is always something for everybody, from its lively nightlife to its serene white sand beaches. However, you can’t experience Koh Phangan to its fullest if you don’t travel out of Haad Rin.

Here is a quick guide to the local transportation option in Koh Phangan.

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan Longtail Boat (Boat Taxis)

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Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan Speed Boat

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Koh Phangan Songthaew Taxi

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Koh Phangan Car

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Koh Phangan Motorbike Taxis

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Koh Phangan Bikes

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Koh Phangan Scooter Rental (Motorbike Rental)

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Where To Stay In Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is an island paradise dotted with luxury resorts, luxury hotels, and several beachfront property options. In addition, there are tons of towns and villages to choose from, which can be pretty overwhelming. That is why we wrote this guide for where to stay in Koh Phangan.

Jump to location

Baan Tai Beach

Koh Phangan

The charming and beautiful town of Baan Tai is perfect for first-time visitors looking for where to stay in Koh Phangan. The area is known for being the perfect example of an island paradise that boasts stunning views of sunsets and the nearby island of Koh Samui.

Baan Tai has all the essentials you need for your stay in Koh Phangan, including ATMs, travel agents, internet, and stores. In addition, the beautiful beach is also ideal for leisurely strolls and water activities, such as snorkelling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

There is a good number of restaurants and beach bars serving Thai dishes and international cuisine. At night, the beach transforms into a party scene with a plethora of live music venues that operate until dawn.

Baan Kai Beach (Ban Kai Beach)

Koh Phangan

Baan Kai is an idyllic town situated just a few minutes away from the pristine beaches of Baan Tai and Haad Rin. It is a very popular place to stay in Koh Phangan for people wishing to take advantage of its close proximity to the island’s beach parties.

In addition to its proximity to the full moon parties, the cosy community is also home to affordable yet good-quality accommodations with air conditioning.

Haad Rin Beach

Haad Rin is one of the best-known places to go to and stay in Thailand. The beach is divided into two sections, Haad Rin Nok (Sunrise Beach) in the north and Haad Rin Nai (Sunset Beach) in the south.

The northern part of the beach is famous for its monthly Full Moon Party. The area’s full moon parties attract more than 30,000 revellers monthly who want to experience the unique night scene Haad Rin offers.

While the north is filled with bars, clubs, hotel rooms, and beachfront restaurants, the southern area prides itself as a haven for travellers looking for great lodging for a fraction of the cost of accommodations on other beaches. Haad Rin Nai is more exclusive and secluded, allowing visitors to sleep or sunbathe in relative peace. Additionally, the area also offers plenty of water sports and Thai eco-resorts complemented by the stunning views of the sea.

Koh Phangan

Haad Salad Beach

Koh Phangan

Haad Salad can be easily considered as Koh Phangan’s best-kept secret. Haad Salad is not a private beach. However, it’s often overlooked for other white sand beaches in the area.

Koh Phangan Haad Salad offers travellers blissful fine sand and warm, shallow waters. Underneath the waves is a trove of gorgeous coral formations housing a wide variety of fishes. There is also a diving school nearby if you’re feeling up for a bit of adventure.

If you’re tired of swimming, you can also explore the lush jungle just a short walk from the beach. Haad Salad is also an excellent jumping-off point to explore other sights on the island, such as LaemSon Lake and the Chinese Temple.

Haad Salad is peppered with accommodation options for all kinds of travellers. Some are perfect for people hoping to save a bit more money, while others offer luxurious amenities for tourists looking for a place with a higher price range.

Thong Nai Pan Noi

Thong Nai Pan is a scenic neighbourhood located on the northeastern side of Koh Phangan. While there are no parties in Thong Nai Pan, it is a great destination for those who want to see breathtaking natural beauty, a range of wildlife, and enchanting jungle waterfalls.

There are plenty of bars and restaurants serving traditional Thai cuisine, but they are more likely to be a bit more expensive than food served in other areas in Koh Phangan. The slightly higher price point also applies to resorts and bungalows in the area.

Koh Phangan

Thong Sala

Thong Sala is the main fishing port town and is the best area for people looking for top-notch fresh and delicious seafood. In addition, the fishing village is a useful stopping place where tourists can rest and orient themselves with everything the island offers.

Thong Sala has accommodation options for every type of traveller. But its primary selling point is its night food market, which features rows upon rows of delicious food stalls selling only the best catches of the day.

Koh Phangan


Surrounded by towering coconut trees, Srithanu is one of the unique places to stay in Koh Phangan for travellers looking for some time away from the city. The natural formations surrounding this stunning neighbourhood provide yogis, couples, and families with a quiet haven to see different sorts of aquatic animals and fauna.

There are plenty of places in Srithanu that gives you access to kitchens, allowing you to whip up your own version of the Thai curry. However, many accommodations here are on the higher end.

Koh Phangan

Haad Yao Beach

Koh Phangan

Haad Yao, which translates to Long Beach, features powdery white sands that contrast strikingly against the deep blue waters. Haad Yao is the perfect spot for snorkelling and diving, with many travellers spending a whole day exploring the coral reef and swimming along with the incredible sea creatures that flock to the island.

Haad Yao is a little less developed than other parts of the island. However, it offers small bungalows and rooms for rent for families who love waking up to the sea and the greenery.

Mae Haad

Mae Haad is the definition of “chilling out.” Unfortunately, there are only a few resorts to choose from in the area. And while there are some lower-end hotels, Mae Haad is more oriented toward tourists looking for a luxurious place to relax.

There are good places to dine in Mae Haad. Aside from serving Thai dishes, tourists are also treated to plenty of fresh fruit to snack on.

Many people don’t consider Mae Haad as a tourist destination. This means you are less likely to see crowds on the beach.

Koh Phangan

Things To Do In Koh Phangan

Over the last few decades, many travellers have visited the Surat Thani province to get a chance to experience the magic in Koh Phangan, Thailand. The area’s white sand beaches, especially Haad Rin beach and Koh Ma, shot to prominence for their moon parties, attracting 30,000 revellers each month. The success of Koh Phangan’s moon parties has established the area as the premier nightlife destination in the country.

Despite being known for its parties, there are many things to do in Koh Phangan (also called Ko Pha Ngan) that do not include partying.

Some of the best Koh Phangan attractions allow travellers to try out the most authentic and classic Thai food. Others, like the Challenge Phangan on the West Coast, offer a fun and exhilarating adventure perfectly suited for families. Other people visiting Koh Phangan can also partake in a yoga retreat or explore the lush jungle on the tropical island.

If you’re looking to plan your Koh Phangan budget, here are some activities you should definitely consider putting on your list.

Revel Under The Moonlight

Koh Phangan is anything but boring. There is no hour of the day that this island sleeps. And for a good reason!

Of all the Thai islands, Koh Phangan is considered the haven for people who enjoy basking in the sun during the day and dancing under the spotlights when the night takes over. There are tons of parties happening on the island throughout the year. Here are the most popular parties you should not miss!

  • The Famous Full Moon Party
  • Half Moon Party
  • Jungle Experience
  • Black Moon Culture
  • Eden Garden Party

Wind Down With Food And Drinks

Partying is tiring. What better way is there for you to regain your strength and prepare for another day of dancing than to try out authentic Thai cuisine. Koh Phangan offers a wide range of classic Thai dishes, including sticky rice, som tam with salted egg and the world-famous Pad Thai.

Here are markets and food places in Koh Phangan to explore!

  • Thong Sala Night Market
  • Amsterdam Bar
  • The Masons Arms
  • Secret Mountain
  • The Fisherman’s Bar

Feel The Sand Between Your Toes

Eating feels good. But eating at a place with a view is even better! Koh Phangan offers great views of the sea and the horizon, regardless of which beach you plan to go to. You can also join in some of the games that locals play on the beach, such as volleyball and frisbee.

  • Thong Nai Pan Beach
  • Mae Haad Beach
  • Coconut Beach
  • Waterfall Beach
  • Bottle Beach

Explore The Island

There is no better way to round up your trip than by hopping on a boat or a 4×4 to explore the beauty and wonder that Kho Phangan has to offer. The island is home to several jungle areas and national parks, including the Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park. If you don’t feel like trekking in the woods, you can also sign up for a cooking class or learn how to scuba dive.

Travel Guides

Koh Phangan Travel Tips: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Koh Phangan known for?

Koh Phangan is a stunning paradise island that is home to the famous full moon party, a monthly event that features a wide range of music ranging from reggae to trance. The full moon party, held on Haad Rin beach, also features fire skipping ropes and alcohol buckets.

In addition to the full moon party, Koh Phangan also hosts two other kinds of moon parties, namely Black Moon Culture and Half Moon Party.

What are the best white sand beaches in Koh Phangan?

There are plenty of beaches you should visit on Koh Phangan Island, including:
Bottle Beach – Haad Sadet Beach – Haad Salad Beach – Haad Yao Beach – Haad Yuan Beach – Hin Kong Beach – Leela Beach – Mae Haad Beach – Secret Beach – Thong Nai Pan Beach – Thong Nai Pan Noi – Zen Beach

What are things to do in Koh Phangan?

The Samui archipelago, where Koh Phangan is located, is known for its vast amount of activities for travellers of all types. Here are some of the best things to do on the island, as recommended by an expert Koh Phangan travel guide.
Attend parties: Monthly Full Moon Party – Half Moon Party – Eden Garden Party – Jungle Experience – Waterfall Party
Learn new skills: Get a scuba diving certification – attend a Thai cooking class – swim at Paradise Waterfall – take muay Thai classes at Diamond Muay Thai
Explore new places: Koh Samui – Koh Tao – Koh Ma – Thong Sala Pier – Sail Rock – Big Buddha Pier – Wat Phu Khao Noi
Taste delicious Thai food: Koh Phangan Night Market – Amsterdam Bar – Ritual Bar (Secret Mountain) – Loi Lay Floating Bar
Others: Get a Thai massage – Lounge under the tall palm trees – Swim with the manta rays – Experience scuba diving: Koh Phangan style – Walk along the ferry port – Explore the different dive sites – Enjoy the nightlife in the Southern tip

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