Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan is half the size of Koh Samui can be reached by a 45 minute ferry boat.  This island is home to the world famous Full Moon Party which attracts close to 30,000 party goers once a month for an all night beach rave.  More than half the island is designated as national park and can be explored within a day.

Why visit Koh Phangan?

  • Nightlife and party atmosphere
  • Amazing beaches
  • Affordable beachfront accommodations

Where to stay?

  • North Island Mae Haad Beach:  The north end of the island is home to the best beaches Koh Phangan has to offer.  If you’re looking for beaches this is your place.  However, the nightlife and cultural interaction is lacking.  Nothing wrong with a cozy seat at your hotel’s beach bar, but you won’t find shops or busy markets.
  • Thong Sala Beach:  Is where the ferry drops you off and is the main “town” on the island.  The town stretches a few miles and is full of tourist shops, night markets, hospital and plenty of budget accommodations.  You can easily walk from one end of the town to the other within 30-45 minutes.
  • Haad Rin: Home to the infamous Full Moon Party.  Lots of backpacker accommodations with a few pricier hotels sprinkled in the mix (Best Western).  Beaches aren’t that great and generally full of younger travelers.  Would only recommend this area as a last resort.
  • Hing Kong Beach:  Situated between Thong Sala and the North Island beach.  This beach is home to the Freeway bar and amazing sandbars that boast breathtaking sunset views.  Accommodations are spread-out along the beach and are rather small, so book in advance.

What to do?

  • Full Moon Party on the beach and Half Moon Party in the jungle
  • Rent a scooter and head north

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  • Visit Mae Haad Beach and walk on the sand bar.

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  • Drinks at the Freeway bar

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What we liked?

  • Less vacationers and more young travelers (backpackers).
  • Smaller hotels and beach resorts.  Not a lot of massive compound hotels.
  • Northern beaches and ease of scooter travel
  • Coco Gardens Beach Front Bungalows.

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What we didn’t like?

  • Trashy backpackers/hippies with no money
  • Full Moon Party brings too many out of control travelers.  Scooter accidents and drunk driving.
  • Night market didn’t offer much
  • Scary scooter roads to Haad Rin
  • Lots of seaweed on the southern beaches

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