Koh Phangan is an island paradise in the Gulf of Thailand
located about 100 km from the coast of Southern Thailand's Surat
Thani Province and about 15 km from the famous resort island of
Koh Phangan is the largest of Samui's neighboring islands with
an area of 168 square km. Over 70% of its total area is
mountains and tropical forest. The lowlands are beaches and
The island has 9.2 sq. km of coral reef, which is 100 to 1000
meters wide, with its widest part in the Wok Tum area. 50-70% of
the reef is alive with 300-500 meters covered in seaweed. The
most abundant fish is the Mackerel.
About 14,000 people live on Koh Phangan. Some are Chinese, whose
ancestors migrated from China more than hundred years ago. The
main population lives in Thong Sala Town.
Standard Thai is used as the official language, but the southern
dialect is more widely spoken among the local people. English is
understood in business circles and tourist areas. More than 95%
of the population is Buddhist, but there are a few Muslims in
Baan Tai village. Koh Phangan is a district (Amphoe) of the
Surat Thani Province in the Southern Region of Thailand.
The most important product of Koh Phangan are coconuts. Each
month Koh Samui and Koh Phangan produce more than 1 million
coconuts for export to Bangkok. Another prominent island
industry is fishing and of course the growing tourism business.
Koh Phangan Beaches
Haad Leela (Haad Sarikantang)
Travelers seeking a beach that offers a little bit of everything
will be truly satisfied when they discover this coconut lined
stretch of white sandy beach. A relaxed atmosphere and a great
social scene await you. Only a 10 minute walk from Haad Rin.
When the tides are high in Dec to Mar Chaloklum provides good
swimming in many parts of its two and a half km beach. Beautiful
stretches of beach can be found on either side of Ao Chaloklum.
Thong Nai Pan Beach
Only accessible by a jungle road or by boat, a double crescent
bay with a gently sloping beach surrounded by swaying palms.
Adults will find great nightlife at Funky Buddha, Game Bar, Dive
Bar and Flip Flop Bar.
Only accessible by boat or trekking through the jungle trail
this fine white sandy beach is perfect for people who want to
get away from it all. Enclosed by granite rocks making it great
for swimming and snorkeling. Just be wary of the weather, as the
boats can only travel in good weather.
This beach offers great views of the sunset over the long
stretches of white sands running from Thong Sala down to Baan
Mae Haad & Koh Ma Beach
Mae Haad Beach and the tiny island Koh Ma is located on the
northwest tip of Koh Phangan. In low tide a sand bar connects
them both. The months of December through March are the best
times to visit as the rest of the year the tides are too low for
swimming. Mae Haad provides a long stretch of beach with views
of sunsets over Koh Ma.
Haad Rin Beach
Located at the SE point of the island you find two beaches, Haad
Rin sunset and Haad Rin sunrise. Both these beaches are
beautiful with fine white sand, crystal clear waters and a
jungle backdrop. Haad Rin sunset is the quieter beach with
shallow corals with Haad Rin sunrise being the more beautiful
with many restaurants and bars.
A beautiful and secluded beach known by the Thais as an old
place for pirates who came here to hide out until their ships
were full of booty until moving off to trade. In the high tidal
season of Nov to Apr Haad Salad provides good swimming and a
reef of 150 meters just offshore.
Said to be one if the prettiest beaches on Koh Phangan with
stretches of white sand and a good drop off for swimming. Both
ends of the beach have good corals off the rocks. If you are
looking for a postcard view this is the beach for you.
Haad Son Beach
This very laid back beach attracts many families as the beach is
perfect for young children. Even during the low season the
beaches are still excellent for swimming.
Here the famous Than Sadet River meanders down the mountainside
though the dense jungle and exits into the sea. White sand and
crystal clear blue water make this a perfect place to relax far
from the crowd. The neighboring smaller beach of Thong Reng
boasts clear waters and a unique rustic feel of the old Koh
Haad Yuan Beach
A secluded beach, accessible only by boat or by trekking through
the jungle. Swimming here is possible for most of the year. With
its white sandy beach an ideal place for families.
The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party takes place on Haad Rin
Beach every month. The Fullmoon Party in Koh Phangan is by far
the biggest party in Thailand and is said to be the world's
biggest beach party. The Full Moon Party in Thailand attracts
thousand of party revellers every full moon, in high season the
crowd can be up to 25,000.
On the night of the Koh Phangan Fullmoon Party every bar in Haad
Rin is hopping, the DJ's playing everything from psy-trance,
techno, drum and bass to hip-hop and R'n'B on huge sound
systems. There are over 10 clubs on the beach, where the party
goes on until (and after) the sun is up, but there are also a
large number of clubs and bars in Haad Rin town where many
prefer to warm up before heading down to the beach.
The first Full Moon Party in Thailand took place on Haad Rin
Beach in 1987. Since that the Fullmoon Party's reputation as
well as the size of the party has grown.
If you're planning to visit Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party,
make sure you book your room way in advance, as the island gets
packed during the days leading up to the party and accommodation
can be hard to find.
Expected Full Moon Party Dates
Saturday 26, January
Tuesday 26, February
Tuesday 26, March
Thursday 25, April
Saturday 25, May
Sunday 23, June
Wednesday 24, July
Wednesday 21, August
Thursday 19, September
Saturday 19, October
Sunday 17, November
Tuesday 17, December
Wednesday 25, December
Tuesday 31, December
Thursday 16, January
Saturday 15, February
Sunday 16, March
Tuesday 15, April
Wednesday 14, May
Friday 13, June
Saturday 12, July
Sunday 10, August
Tuesday 09, September
Wednesday 08, October
Thursday 06, November
Saturday 06, December
The Fullmoon Party dates do sometimes change due to Buddhist
Half Moon festival
The famous Pha Ngan's best music and dance festival is
presented by the Harmony Team, which provides the latest sound
system, highest quality equipment and DJ's. The event is indoor
and outdoor dancing arenas. The area is covered by professional
artist's UV decorations. There is fire show across from the main
Location: On a beautiful tropical island "Koh Pha Ngan", Ban Tai
Half Moon Festival takes place twice a month - one week before
and one week after the Full Moon Party.
Things to see
Koh Ma is a small island connected to Koh Phangan by a
sandbar on Had Mae Had beach. Easily accessible, Koh Ma has only
a few bungalows. Many people refer to this island as "Paradise"
and find it extremely hard to leave.
Koh Ma is surrounded by an amazingly colourful, living reef.
It's an ideal location for snorkeling or learning how to dive.
The island itself is lush, with papaya and coconut to help
yourselves to. If you want to climb to the top of the island, we
recommend you bring yourselves a sturdy pair of walking boots!
The Chinese Temple exists today because of the faith of one
woman - Mrs Malawan. Years before in 1990, when Koh Pha-Ngan was
still largely without electricity, Mrs Malawan came to Sangthom
Temple on Koh Pha-Ngan from Bangkok for the ceremony of
presenting the robes to the priests (Todkathin). During one
night, sleeping outside with friends, Mrs Malawan dreamt about
the Chinese Buddha, Jaomae Kuanim. The Buddha told her to build
a firelight for the people.
With intent to fulfill the requests of the Buddha, Mrs Malawan
returned to Bangkok to raise the funds necessary to build the
Temple. Building was completed in 1992, and continues today.
Now the Chinese Temple is a place where many people come to try
one's luck or trust in luck. There are three main festivals
during the year which are special for the Chinese Buddha:
January, May and August. Every year during these periods, people
come to the Temple to show their faith and ask for blessing.
The Chinese Temple opens at 8.00am until 5.00pm.
Kao Ra is the highest mountain peak on Koh Phangan and
offers the most spectacular viewpoint on the island.
There is a long winding foot trail leading up to the scenic
vantage point from the village of Ban Madua Wan. The trail can
be steep and dangerous in places, so it is advised that
travellers should take advantage of the guide service available
at Phaeng Waterfall. The guide service should cost about 500
Baht per trip.
Alternatively, the peak can also be reached along a trail
starting from the road from Ban Khai to Thong Nai Pan.
The main waterfall is a steep 250m walk up a jungle trail, and a
further 200m up the path will bring you to a fantastic
mountaintop viewpoint. Nearby, there is also a long winding foot
trail that leads up the mountain Kao Ra viewpoint, which begins
in the village of Ban Madua Wan.
The trail is very steep in places and can often be difficult to
follow - in some places dangerous. It is recommended that you
take advantage of the guide service at Phaeng Waterfall, which
costs about 500 Baht per trip.
Koh Phangan is most easily accessed via Koh Samui airport.
Bangkok Airways operates about 20 daily flights between Koh
Samui and Bangkok. International flights from Singapore, and
Hong Kong run on a weekly schedule. There are more than 10
passenger boats and one car ferry between Koh Samui and Koh
Phangan every day. The trip takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
Koh Phangan is about 3 1/2 hours from Surat Thani Province and
45 minutes from Koh Samui Island by boat. The easiest way from
Bangkok to Koh Phangan is to buy joint tickets from Songserm
Travel Center who operates joint ticket (Ferry and Express
boats, bus, train, air) to Koh Phangan:
- Bangkok (Head Office) Tel: (66-2)9845600-49, 5740251-4
- Bangkok (Kao San Road) Tel: (66-2)2811463-5, 6290400-1
- Surat Thani (Ta Thong) Tel: (66-77)285125-6, 286342
- Surat Thani (Town) Tel: (66-77)286340
- Koh Phangan Branch Tel: (66-77)377046, 377096
Another Ferry boat operator is Raja Ferry :
- Don Sak office Tel: (66-77)371205-6 Fax: (66-77)371530
- Phangan office Tel: (66-77)377452-3 Fax: (66-77)377452.
There are a few boats daily from Chumporn to Koh Phangan via Koh
Tao. Tickets can be bought at any travel agency in Chumporn.
You can buy joint tickets for bus and boat to Koh Phangan at
most travel agencies in Bangkok and all major cities around in
Thailand. It is also possible to buy a bus ticket to Chumporn or
Surat Thani, from where you can take a boat to Koh Phangan. In
Bangkok buses to Chumporn and Surat Thani depart from the
Southern Bus Terminal.
You can buy joint tickets for train and boat to Koh Phangan at
most travel agencies in Bangkok and major cities around in
Thailand. It is also possible to buy a train ticket to Chumporn
or Surat Thani, from where you can take a boat to Koh Phangan.
In Bangkok trains to Chumporn and Surat Thani depart from Hua