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One of Thailand’s most famous islands, Koh Phangan is located in the Gulf of Thailand, approximately 100 kilometres from Surat Thani and 15 kilometres from neighbouring island, Koh Samui. Check out our beautiful range of Koh Phangan accommodation for a relaxing and sublime experience to remember.
The population of 8,000 is made up of Thai and Chinese residents whose ancestors immigrated over a century ago. The main language is Standard Thai, but due to the high level of tourist activity, English is widely used and understood.
The island itself is 168 square kilometres in size, with over 70% of the area made up of mountains and tropical forest, making for a lush tropical climate.
In the lower parts of the island are coconut fields and beautiful beaches, the most famous being Haad Rin beach where the popular Full Moon Party occurs every month. The Full Moon Party was conceived by a group of tourists who believed that the most beautiful moon could be seen from Koh Phangan, and so organised a party on Haad Rin beach to celebrate. Ever since, travellers from around the world travel to the island for the party alone, and today you can expect to see ten to thirty thousand people on the beach at any one event. The most popular party is held on New Years Eve, with the beach being lit up by revelers with glow sticks, flaming skipping ropes, buckets of Thai liquor and smiles from ear to ear. If you can’t wait for a whole month to lapse, there are also Half Moon and Black Moon Parties that are held inland amongst the tropical forest.
Not much of a party person? No problems. There are loads more activities on Koh Phangan that will keep you occupied both on land and water. At most hotels and guest houses, the hosts keep a bunch of scooters for travellers to hire and tour the island. The scooters cost very little to hire per day, so make the most of your wheels to get out of Haad Rin and explore the wider, less touristy Koh Phangan. You can also take to the water on a boat trip and go snorkelling or scuba diving off the coast of the island.
The neighbouring islands are also beautiful, and don’t take long to get to if you’re up for a day trip. Or, if you’d prefer to just stay put, there are various places to relax with a traditional Thai massage or spa treatment. Then top it off with a tropical cocktail in a beachside bar to fully embrace your island escape.
When it comes to food and drink, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice by, especially within the main Haad Rin area. Thai food is the dominating cuisine in Haad Rin, and you’ll find favourites like Pad Thai and Pad See Ew at a fraction of the price that you’d pay at your local Thai eatery. There are also plenty of juice bars where you can grab yourself a fresh watermelon juice or young coconut, straight from the tree. Be sure to explore a little out of the tourist area too, for some even cheaper and more authentic dining.
To get to Koh Phangan, the easiest option is to catch a ferry from Surat Thani. It takes just under an hour to get there, but it also stops at Koh Samui, so you can even add an extra leg onto the end of your trip if you aren’t quite ready to go home yet. If this sounds like your type of getaway, then scroll through the handpicked hotels below.