Koh Phangan – The Ultimate Travel Guide!
Koh Phangan is one of the most beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand and therefore it is a popular destination for backpackers, individual travelers, luxury tourists and, above all, nature lovers. Tropical beaches and paradise bays are waiting for you to be explored. But also, Koh Phangan has plenty of other exciting attractions and activities to offer. So, the island is characterized by deep jungle, many hills, wonderful tropical waterfalls, Buddhist temples and breath-taking viewpoints. Currently, most areas of Koh Phangan are compared to its neighboring island Koh Samui still very calm and unspoilt. Yes, that island is really worth a visit and a fantastic island for a holiday. But more about it in our Koh Phangan Island Guide!
In this blog post we provide all important information and an itinerary for an unforgettable holiday on Koh Phangan. Also, we will show you the attractions, activities and accommodation of this wonderful holiday destination.
Things to do in Koh Phangan
Actually, Koh Phangen is really known for the famous Full Moon parties. But beside that, this beautiful island has much more exciting activities and attraction to offer! Here are the best things to do in Koh Phangan:
Exploring the Temples
The history of Koh Phangan goes way back. 600 years ago, passing monks took notice of this spiritual island, and so today there are more than 20 temples to discover. In any case, the absolute highlight of any island tour is the Chinese Temple, the Guan Yin Temple, which offers from its impressive pagodas and buildings a wonderful view. This holy place is really worth seeing and one of the most famous attractions of Koh Phangan. Here you will find more beautiful temples on Koh Phangan.
Rent a scooter
Discovering the most beautiful attractions and places on your own with a scooter, is probably one of the best things to do in Koh Phangan. With the wind at your back, you can explore breath-taking jungle landscapes, hidden waterfalls, amazingly beautiful viewpoints and unspoilt beaches. But be warned, riding a scooter on Koh Phangan is not just fun, it can be quite dangerous too. Rain, wild dogs and very steep roads can quickly become an obstacle here. Therefore, we recommend this experience only to experienced scooter riders.
Scooter rentals are found all over the island and also many accommodations provide a scooter hire. The scooter rental price is around 250 baht per day and can be negotiated if you rent it a few days.
Getting around in Koh Phangan can be also organized by guided island tours or with the island taxis, which starting from the main beach areas.
Due to Koh Phangan being very hilly, the island offers a variety of magnificent viewpoints. These views are often more than spectacular and so a visit to such a viewpoint is one of the must-does at the holiday island. Our favorite one is the Koh Ma Viewpoint at the Three Sixty Bar. Having a cool drink and enjoying the breath-taking view down to the blue sea and the islet of Koh Ma is definitely one of the best things to do in Koh Phangan.
Other spectacular viewpoints which are really worth a visit are the Thong Nai Pan Viewpoint and Sadet Beach Viewpoint. The pictures can be found below in the blog post.
Visiting Koh Phangans Waterfalls
One of Koh Phangans main attractions are the deep jungles and the lush waterfalls. So why not cool off in one of the many tropical waterfalls? A true experience for all senses. If you plan a visit, don`t forget your swimwear, most of the waterfalls on Koh Phangan are suitable for swimming!
Than Sadet waterfall
If you want to swim in a waterfall, then we have a very special tip. Visit the Than Sadet Waterfall! It offers large and some smaller pools in which you can actually go swimming! A really unforgettable experience.
Phaeng Noi waterfall
The Phaeng Noi waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Koh Phangan and an absolute must see. It can easily be reached by a short hike through the jungle. Perfect if you are up for some amazing photography or just a cool dip in the cool water.
Best Beaches and Best Areas
Koh Phangan offers some of the best beaches in Thailand. And so the island is one of the top beach destinations in the country. Around Koh Phangan there are a variety of picturesque bays to discover. But which beach and areas are worth a visit? Here are the best beaches and areas:
Beaches in the South
In the south of the island you will find the famous Haad Rin Beach, the beach where the famous Full Moon Party regularly takes place. Surprisingly, when there is no party, this beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Koh Phangan. Not far from there is the Haad Yuan, an absolute dream beach that can only be reached by boat. Many love the seclusion of this beautiful bay. Just around the corner from the Haad Rin you will also find the beautiful Leela Beach, which has also totally thrilled us.
If you want to stay in this area and are looking for a really amazing accommodation tip, then you should definitely have a look at The Cabin Beach Resort!
Beaches in the East
The east coast of Koh Phangan is still very original and unspoilt. The beaches are beautiful and guarantee bathing pleasure at its best. If you are looking for a quiet area, you should visit the Haad Sadet beach. Tip: The Silver Cliff Resort and Plaa`s Thansadet Resort offer spectacular views of the amazing beach.
Really nice are also the two bays of Thong Nai Pan. Here you will also find a few extremely luxurious hotels. For a special holiday experience, we recommend the Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort and Spa.
Tip: From Thong Nai Pan Yai Viewpoint you have a breath-taking view over the double bay.
Beaches in the Northwest
Also, the west of Koh Phangan has some great beaches to offer. Especially recommended is the Haad Salad, with its overhanging palm tree, which has actually become a popular tourist attraction on Koh Phangan. Not far away is the pretty Haad Yao Beach. Another beach gem is the Secret Beach, the Haad Son, which has one of the coolest bars on the island!
If you are looking for budget accommodation in this area, then we can recommend Le Balcon on the beautiful Haad Yao Beach.
Beaches in the North
Another nice spot for swimming is the Malibu Beach. Here in Chaloklum you will find some cheap accommodation, bakeries and restaurants. Nearby, the Bottle Beach is THE beach in the north. Here you will find a small, secluded beach paradise. Read more about this unspoilt beach here: Bottle Beach – Beach idyll on Koh Phangan.
Here you will find a large selection of the best beaches of Koh Phangan.
Koh Phangan is surrounded by some great diving spots. The coral reefs around the island are still really intact and so you have the opportunity to enjoy at fantastic underwater world. Among others, snorkelling is possible at following beaches: Koh Ma, Haad Tien, Haad Yao, Haad Salad and Secret Beach. Snorkelling trips and tours can be booked in one of the local agencies.
STAND-UP Paddling & Kayaking
Kayaking is a great option to discover the extremely beautiful coast of Koh Phangan. Kayaks can be rented at most beaches for just a little money. Another cool activity is SUP. Stand-Up Paddling is currently one of the most popular water sports activities on Koh Phangan.
Daytrips and Excursions
Not having enough of exploring Koh Phangan, you still have the opportunity to do some exciting day trips and excursions. One of the trip highlights is definitely a visit to the Ang Tong Marine National Park. There are 42 islands to discover and there are great coral reefs for snorkelling. The visit to the famous Ang Tong Viewpoint is really sweaty, but definitely a must do.
Due to the excellent location to the beautiful neighboring islands Koh Samui and Koh Tao you can also explore these two islands quite comfortably within a day trip.
The City Thong Sala
Thong Sala is the main city of the island, where the ferry port is located. In addition, there is a good tourist infrastructure with travel agencies, souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and cheap hostels. Also pharmacies, ATM for cash withdrawals and money exchanges are located here in the city. If you would like to visit a night market on Koh Phangan, you should take a look at the Thong Sala Night Market.
Partys and Nightlife
The range of parties and nightlife on Koh Phangan is huge. Every day of the week at least one Party is taking place on the island. If you love to party, then theoretically you can always find a cool party on Koh Phangan. Especially popular and famous is the Full Moon Party, which always takes place once a month at full moon. At this time in the south of the island is a state of exception and who prefers quietness, should then avoid the area around the Haad Rin. Other cool events are the Waterfall Party, a Jungle Party right in inside Koh Phangan rainforest and the Eden Party at the dream beach Haad Yuan.
Best Travel Time
The best climate on Koh Phangan is in January, February and March, when it is the driest and the most pleasant weather. Also, in the months of March, April, May, June, July and August, you will have great weather days, only the humidity is much higher in this time. From September to December you have to expect more rainfall.
How many days?
Koh Phangan is the fifth-largest island in Thailand and if you are not sure how many days you should stay we would recommend at least 4 nights or better more. As you can see, the island has so many amazing things to see and plenty of awesome beaches to explore.
How to get to Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan does not have an own airport. The closest airports are Surat Thani on the mainland and the airport of Koh Samui (the neighboring island). For cheap domestic flights from Bangkok, check out Skyscanner or Kiwi.
If you don`t really want to fly, you can also book combi tickets with bus + ferry, or train + minibus + ferry. Good transportation for getting to Koh Phangan can be found on 12goasia.
Where to stay at Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan offers a wide range of accommodations and bungalows. Whether as a backpacker in a budget beach bungalow by the sea, accommodation in the jungle or a luxury hotel right on the beach, on this island every tourist finds their perfect place to stay.
We especially liked the wonderful bungalows of Kiri Tawan. These lovely bungalows are located right in the middle of nature and the location with the huge round rock formations is an absolute dream. Especially if you are looking for peace and a few days off, we can recommend this family-run resort. With the scooter you are at the sea quickly and can explore the island on your own.
Have a look at the amazing reviews for Kiri Tawan.
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