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The Islands Near Koh Samui in Spotlight - Koh Phangan

The Islands Near Koh Samui in Spotlight - Koh Phangan
23 February 2018

The Half Moon Party is more than just a party, it is an experience waiting to be lived out loud! The explosive energy there is bound to leave you feeling the whole spectrum of emotions.

It is a place where you can leave all your fears behind and release all your inhibitions while dancing till you can feel your feet no more. When you go there try to make the most out of the experience and have some dance-offs with your friends or even some strangers, become an opportunist and lose yourself in the moment of pure youthful joy. This party is not a place for sorrow and wondering what could have been, it is a place for now! It is a place where everyone has only one goal and one goal only and it is to have fun. What are you waiting for? Book your trip and join the party!

Located in Koh Phangan, in Ban Khai Jungle. The Half-Moon party or the Half Moon Festival is a much-anticipated event happening not once but twice every month and it is a gathering to celebrate the formation of a new half-moon, resembling this everlasting yet temporary cycle of life and time.

Koh Phangan is a very popular island in Thailand as it has its very famous Full Moon party which lasts a complete night. This bustling celebration draws the public to the peninsula, in Haah Rin. Sun Beach is the spot where most festivities take place where backpackers can stay in simple but comfy bungalows. Koh Phangan also has many quiet beaches with white sand like Khuat and Hat Thian.

Koh Phangan is the fifth biggest island in Thailand with about 167sqkm, just twelve km from Koh Samui and seventy kilometers from the mainland. When getting to Koh Phangan, we have to rely on ferries from Koh Samui or the mainland as it does not have an airport. Koh Phangan features about 20 nearby sites to dive with lots of white soft sand beaches and an unspoiled beauty with lush tropical jungles and hills predominantly formed of granite.

Phangan IslandThere are two important points to disembark Thongsala and Haad Rin where we can find some banks and ATM machines. Here we do not have Tourist Police but Phangan’s police station is just outside Thongsala. Koh Phangan provides many ways to go around the island such as taxis, rental jeeps or “song teaows” pickup trucks that run the hilly roads as well as motorcycles, here we have to be cautious between Haad Rin and Ban Tai where the roads are not in good condition and they are too hilly and dangerous especially at night or in bad weather conditions.

Koh Phangan has become famous as it celebrates the Full Moon and Half Moon Parties at New Year’s Eve and attracts thousands of revelers who come from everywhere to party all night long on this enchanting and almost endless island. Koh Samui’s little sister has about ten thousand inhabitants and it is known that for its Full Moon Party it receives about thirty thousand visitors.

Koh Phangan has that atmosphere of Samui with idyllic beaches. Phangan has some difficulties with the transportation. Roads are somehow dangerous as they are so hilly and there are some beaches just reachable by boats so its development has been kind of slow in their favor to maintain a natural environment around the island.

Koh Phangan is just twelve kilometers from Koh Samui and has two important ports Haad Rin and Thongsala. It is just 10km from Haad Rin to Thongsala and two sleepy beaches Thong Nai Paan Yai and Noi.

Climate and Weather

Phangan IslandKoh Phangan is located in a tropical area consequently, it has a rainy season and a dry (hot) season with a humid climate. We can experience the hot season from January to April and the rainy season from May to January.

The Temperature in Koh Phangan varies from 24 °c to 32 °c, but it depends on some atmosphere factors and can go down to 20 °c or rise to 36 °c.

When we have high temperature the breezes from the sea can maintain the environment cool and enjoyabl.

How to get to Koh Phangan?

Phangan IslandKoh Phangan is not so far from Samui Island just 12km and we can go from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui, Koh Tao through the ports at Suratthani and Don Sak for ferries and be transported inland through overnight buses and trains.

We do not have airports at Koh Phangan, so air passengers arrive at Koh Samui then take ferries or Catamaran ferries from Bohput Pier or ferries from Samui’s Nathon at 9:00 and 11.00. It just takes 45 minutes.

Koh Phangan Activities

ATV ActivitesIn Phangan, there are lots of things to do, most things are related to activities on the mainland and water sports activities such as wakeboarding or excursions. Most things to do are related to life on the ocean and on the mainland, we could practice archery, yoga, meditation, and ATV riding.

Sports like volleyball or football are found at beaches. And for those who love boxing, there are some schools in Thongsala and Haad Rin. Many people love being in good shape so in Koh Phangan, there are two gyms called Jungle Gym and Arena Gym located specifically at Haad Rin with good facilities and in Ban Tai, there is a gym that includes an air-con.

Phangan is an area that is suitable for challenging activities like trekking but we have to use a guide in order not to get lost due to the thick jungle around this little gem.

Let’s dive around Phangan

UnderwaterThe location of Phangan island is ideal for diving into the Thailand Gulf. This is a perfect place to dive and to admire the reef in Chaloklum and in the north-west coast as well as a dive off at the beach.

Sail Rock is just one hour away with an excellent sea life at 16-41 meters below level and has become a great diving spot in the Gulf.

Here we can see marine life creatures such as turtles, unicorn fish, leopard shark and more. Koh Panghan is definitely a paradise of diving.

Let’s travel to Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Tao and Ang Thong by boat

Koh Nang YuanWe can visit from Phangan the Ang Thong National Park to enjoy the nature in a total tropical environment.

This park has plenty of exotic species and we can explore the waters by Kayak. We can admire 42 surrounding islands and stunning views of the interior lake while we climb to the main ridge of the island.

Here we can admire the colorful fish in the turquoise water and it takes fewer time to go to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan.

Trekking in Koh Phangan

Elephant TrekkingThis is a virgin tropical area, wild and enchanting for trekking, bushwhacking or camping.

The best places for this sport is Trekking in the eastern coast, in the mountains as well as the central part.

Here we have the Khao Ra at 630 meters and overlooks Thong Nai Pan and Chaloklum. We have to be alert in order not to lose the route as it easy to do so on the island’s trekking routes.

We can hire a guide on the island at Phaeng Waterfall National Park to be more confident and enjoy the trekking, they cost more or less than 500 baht per day.

Let’s practice Archery

Archery is practiced for many tourists in Phangan and the only place is The First Bow & Arrow Club and offers classes outdoors with different memberships. In Phangan, we can find some bars with some combination and setups for relaxing after sports activities, these bars are near Chaloklum Village.

Why not go kayaking in Phangan?

Kayaking in Phangan IslandA good way to explore the beaches is renting a Kayak which we can find in most beaches as well as enjoy the adorable coastline which is most of the time calm and perfect when the sea is not very stormy and it is recommended not to kayak by yourself near sunset and be very cautious with the current as it is sometimes difficult to fight it when you are returning.

It is remarkable to drink a lot of water and keep cover from the sun and if you need a camera, they are available in Haad Rin and Thongsala.

Let’s try cooking classes at Phangan

Cooking ClassesSomething important that we can do at this island is participating in cooking classes at the most popular Thai Cooking School, in Haad Rin called Same Same.

Here the courses are in good English and certificated by the Thai Ministry of Education.

You can take up the five-day course or one day as well as study to become a professional chef and work in Same Same as a full-time chef.

It is located at Ban Tai and Haad Rin.

Fitness and Sauna at Haad Yao Lounge

This is the number one fitness center that offers a bar & a restaurant at Herbal Sauna. We can have three meals to enjoy the western and Thai food as well as Shakes, Cocktails and Juices.

This place features free WiFi, the best sunset, relax areas, work-out rooms. Good location at Moo 8 Haad Yao West, Koh Phangan.

Let’s do Yoga and Meditation

As well as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan has an extraordinary story and spirituality that attracts many tourists looking for meditation and beachside yoga. Koh Phangan offers certainly a gamut of places for joy and relaxing.

Let’s go Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is a fulfilling activity in Koh Phangan at Wake-Up Bar. It is located close to Chaloklum Beach on Haad Mae Haad Road specifically near the Chaloklum pier, the only place where we can find professional boarding outfits as well as coaches who speak English in the Gulf of Thailand.

Koh Phangan Nightlife

Here on this island, there is a plenty range of ambiances to satisfy mostly all budgets. The perfect place here to stay is Haad Rin. It offers many bars and nightclubs concentrated hard to find anywhere in the Gulf of Thailand. The others areas of Koh Phangan are just tranquility and peace. The moon party in Ban Tai is legendary while Thongsala offers some pubs and attracts more expatriates than tourists. This moon parties at Haad Rin attracts many tourists and accommodation are fully booked for those days before and after. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a peaceful beach or dance at the rhythm of the hip-hop or techno in a faraway beach.

Phangan is growing its population as it has the king of the parties residing every month there; the full moon party was celebrated for the first time in 1985 and has become so famous and now draws many tourists to the island allowing the city to construct a great range of bars, clubs, hotels, accommodation to satisfy the demand.

What made Koh Phangan so famous? Well it is nothing than the full blown Full Moon Party. The Full Moon party was first celebrated in 1985 exclusively for hippies. Nowadays, 5000 people come to dance under the glowing moon each month. Koh Phangan also developed its touristic value with bars, clubs and events that can only happen right here in the wild Koh Phangan.

Full moon party

Undoubtedly moon celebration has made Koh Phangan famous throughout the world as we can party on the jungle or beach. Now they celebrate Full moon party and Black moon party becoming the Mecca for party animals.

Good tips about the Full Moon Party

Full Moon PartyIf you are planning to attend the moon party, we can give you some points that could enjoy the festivity. Try to arrive to the island two or three day before as the accommodation are full for that day. If you are going to take a speedboat to come to Phangan it is important to wear a lifejacket as boats are overcrowded and if you bring electronic devices protect them with waterproof bags.

Leave your valuable things at your hotel reception and be careful of pickpockets they are operating on this night party. If you are driving a motorcycle just be aware of the roads to Haad Rin heading for Thongsala, they are precipitous and dangerous and be careful with the stalled cars, they have been involved in car accidents.

If you do not want to be bandaged or limping on Koh Phangan, try to wear protected clothes and a helmet. Koh Phangan has slow drivers so try to fit in and takes thing easy. Wear shoes as there could be broken glass on the sand as alcohol are consumed in quantities on this night and be careful with illegal drugs, westerns are targeted first by undercover police.

Some places to enjoy the nightlife in Koh Phangan

Mercaba Beach Club

This place is located at the entrance of Haad Rin close to Blue Hill Resort. This is a new trendy beach to chill out, party outside or inside with national and international DJs, a swimming pool with a comfortable relaxing area, the best sound, a friendly environment as well as a professional management at affordable prices.

The Jam Bar

This bar is located on the beach Hin Kong with a tropical style built with bamboo and thatch, this place is visited by musicians all around the world to perform with musical instruments provided by Jam Bar. This is the musical meeting spot for professional musicians in Koh Phangan, where we can have our sundowner or get something to eat at decent prices.

Where to eat in Koh Phangan

Where to eat in Koh Phangan

In Koh Phangan, we can find a venue for everyone’s taste, each beach has its own color and atmospheric restaurants. The sunset and cool breeze as well as the beachside dining characterized these places in Koh Phangan with food from Mexico, Italy, Halal or Thailand.

Thais love food and offer smiling hospitality to make dining a memorable experience. Thongsala offers genuine Thai food and has a big cultural experience. There are contenders of course, that offers fresh seafood, healthy vegetable dishes, fast food eateries.

Here the dining scene is moving constantly to satisfy the tourists who are coming to the island with eclectic choices from international food to Thai food.

Fisherman Restaurant

This is an old-established venue since 1997 offering local seafood under the direction of Chef Lek who was born in the village of Baan Tai from a fishing family using the best fresh ingredients to preparing dishes like BBQ ribs, a fusion of Western-Thai fish cake, homemade fish pie and more.

It offers a great choice of cocktails, a variety range of wines as well as dessert every day sitting on a modified boat to feel the atmosphere of a tropical island at Baan Tai Pier.

Luna lunch restaurant

Luna Lunch is located so close to Thong Nai Pan Noi, northeast coast of Koh Phangan with that bohemian style as well as the local and international food that allows you to feel as if you were at home touching a tropical cool atmosphere with top-notch wines and food and a good attention by the staff and management who give everything to make you have a great time at Luna Lounge. Prices are according to the high quality but still affordable.

Koh Pangan in two days

The first day is good to visit the best beaches in the north of Koh Phangan such as Chaloklum, Mae Haad, Had Khom Beach. Mae Haad has the smallest island and the best spot for snorkeling and in Chaloklum, we can enjoy the fish as it is the fishing port in the north of the island.

If the first day we dedicated to knowing the northern beaches, the second day we can dedicate to better understand the interior. Here we can find inside the small natural park that is on the island, Phangan Waterfall, the largest waterfall on the island where we can also climb to a spectacular viewpoint where we will have a breathtaking view of both Samui, Ang Thon Marine Park and Koh Tao.

After a while in the waterfalls, it would be ideal to have lunch at the Pantip Plaza, the famous food center of Thong Sala or the main nucleus of the island.

Koh Phangan can be part of your great vacation and here in Ferrysamui,
we will help make that holiday unforgettable.

Book your ferry now!

While you’re here, check out this cool detailed article and know more about the wild Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party!