Koh Phangan hotels

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Cool Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan, in the southern Gulf of Thailand, is a backpackers’ paradise. Small wonder, then, that much of the action in Alex Garland’s ode to backpacking, The Beach, takes place here. With a hippy feel, this party island is the sort of place that will have you nursing a hangover while lying beneath a coconut tree on Haad Leela Beach; as opposed to a place where you sip cocktails in a trendy bar.

And although Koh Phangan is increasingly spotted with bulldozers as the trendy resorts move in, there are still untouched wonders like the cove at Haad Yao. Either way, Koh Phangan has you covered. Revel in the atmosphere of the famous full moon parties on Hat Rin Beach, then ease your way back to health in the clear green waters the next day.

Koh Phangan's Top 10

10. Ban Tai Now better known for all the adult clubs rather than the beach itself.

5. Haad Khom Enjoy some of the best snorkelling from this beach. Here fishy, fishy…

9. Wat Pho Sauna The perfect retreat after a big night.

4. Kao Ra Take the long winding trail to the top of the Koh Phangan’s tallest mountain for the best view on the island.

8. Chalok Lam Come visit this little fishing village and while away the day under the coconut trees.

3. Than Sadet National Park Home to the island’s largest waterfall and lots of other cool things.

7. Haad Mae Haad Snorkel out into the National Marine Park to see some fantastic coral and ocean creatures.

2. Eco Nature Tour Ride an elephant, snorkel with some fish and visit an ancient temple – just an average day in paradise.

6. Bottle Beach One of the most isolated and beautiful beaches on the island.

1. Hat Rin The most crowded and built-up village is also home to the island’s famous full-moon parties.

Koh Phangan History

  • Chinese Temple – This Chinese-style temple in Koh Phangan has a brief but interesting history.
  • Bronze Drum of Dongsan – This drum found near Koh Phangan offers proof of an ancient civilization.
  • Wat Nai – One of the oldest structures on Koh Phangan, this temple is over 400 years old.
  • Lam Son Lak – An old Chinese mine active until the 20th century.
  • Wat Phu Khao Noi – One of the oldest temples on Koh Phangan, built in the 1400s.

Koh Phangan Art & Culture

  • U Art Gallery – A gallery featuring modern works by local artists.
  • Art of Buddha Boutique – This unique gallery features Buddhist-themed works.
  • Full Moon Party – Amazing Koh Phangan experience as revelers dance the night away.
  • Beautiful World – This interesting Koh Phangan gallery features local and international works.
  • Nature Art Gallery – Featuring paintings based on the abundant natural beauty of Koh Phangan.

Koh Phangan Shopping

  • Thongsala – The main shopping area of Koh Phangan offers a great selection of crafts and souvenirs.
  • Haad Rin – A great place to take a walk while doing some shopping.
  • Bamboo Artist – This Koh Phangan store has unique handmade arts and crafts by local artists.
  • Indy Island Store – This store sells everything for 50 baht, making it a great spot for bargain hunting.
  • Tattoo Parlor – Visit this shop to get some ink or buy local handicrafts.

Gay & Lesbian Koh Phangan

  • Rainbow Scuba and Tours – A gay-friendly tour guide that provides for all of your adventure needs.
  • Cocohut Village Beach Resort – Catering to the gay and lesbian traveller in Koh Phangan, this resort is full service and can arrange day trips.
  • Serenity Residence – A gay and lesbian resort located on the west coast of Koh Phangan.
  • Holiday Beach Resort – A gay- and lesbian-friendly resort on Koh Phangan that features a beautiful stretch of beach.
  • Haadyao Bayview Resort – The poolside at this Koh Phangan resort is a great place to meet people.

Koh Phangan Outdoor

  • Khao Raa – One of the favorite destinations for trekkers on Koh Phangan.
  • Phaeng Waterfall – This waterfall is one of Koh Phangan’s largest and offers great views of the entire island.
  • Thaan Sadet Waterfall – Many go to this hard-to-reach Koh Phangan location for a nice swim.
  • Khao Ra – This is Koh Phangan’s tallest mountain, which can be reached by foot.
  • Laem Son Sea – A popular spot for swimming in Koh Phangan.

Koh Phangan Sport

  • Learn Thai boxing on Koh Phangan at the Horizon Muay Thai Boxing Camp.
  • Play beach volleyball or football in Koh Phangan at Ao Thong Reng Beach.
  • Scuba dive and snorkel off the island of Koh Ma near Koh Phangan.
  • Mountain bike around Koh Phangan with a bike from Thongsala Mountain Biking.
  • Kayak around Koh Phangan with a rented boat from Baan Tai Beach.

Koh Phangan Events

Full Moon Parties take place every month (on the full moon, funnily enough). There will be at least 10,000 party animals attending. In the high season, you can double that number.

To keep the party going (and cash in on the teenaged tourists) Half Moon Festivals now take place twice a month in the jungle.

Every January or February at the Chinese New Year Celebration, you are sure to see red – as the locals deck the halls in their lucky colour.

A healthy break from all the partying is the Koh Phangan Marathon in October, featuring both Thai and international runners.

Similar to the Full Moon Parties is the massive New Year’s Eve Countdown, which takes place on the beach. Buckets of Thai whisky (and vodka and a strange Red Bull-type drink) runneth over.

When To Go

  • The best time to visit is between December and March, when the water is high and the weather is great.
  • Between April and June, you cannot swim at the majority of beaches due to shallow water.
  • Daily average temperatures are a pleasant 24 to 32°C (75-90°F)

Getting Around

  • Bicycles can generally be hired on the island and are a good way to get around the main areas.
  • Many of the secluded beaches can only be reached by boat. If you can’t afford to charter one by yourself, make some friends and do it.
  • Roads on the island are pretty rough, but if you think you can handle it there are motorbikes for hire.

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Hotels in Koh Phangan

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