Why Visit Koh Phangan?
Koh Phangan is an island which is the midst of a very subtle but noticeable change. The once remote backpacker island which came alive once a month for the hedonistic full moon party is starting to become upmarket and package tour friendly. Roads are being tarmaced, old shack lodging replaced by expensive complexes and upmarket eateries are appearing.
Koh Phangan Overview
Thankfully Koh Phangan is still 15 years behind Koh Samui and the masses have not yet fully arrived. The islands atmosphere is still backpacker and chilled but the small stretch of water separating Samui and Phangan will not hold back the flood of tourism, visit Koh Phangan now before the exotic undiscovered feel is completely lost.
Practically Koh Phangan is so much better than it's larger brother Koh Samui in almost every sense, the deserted beaches to the north win hands down. As the seas are less crowded there is more marine life and coral has not been trampled on by careless tourists. The roads are much quieter and safer to drive on, though not all roads have been tarmaced yet. The vibe is more relaxed with less old western new chasing for Thai brides. Oh, and the island hosts the largest beach party in Asia every single month.
Koh Phangan is possible the best beach island in the Thailand Gulf, it has a careful balance between tourist amenities while still a paradise destination. The two main towns of the island, Laem Hat Rin and Thong Sala both lie on the south coats of the island with tourism spreading along the eastern coast.
The centre of the island is dominated by large mountains and very dense jungle coverage, this has partially limited the development of the north as the main road passes through these steep hills and is still dirt track in sections. The highest mountain on the island is Khao Ra and from the summit of 630m there are spectacular panoramic views over the island. The northern beaches are regarded as the best of Koh Phangan but there are numerous other great beaches along the western side.
The two towns offer all expected facilities of a tourist resort with a range of restaurants bars and shops. Thong Sala has a excellent food market which mainly caters for Thai's but provides the best value and tasting food on the island.
Top Activities During a Holiday to Koh Phangan
Relaxing on the most secluded beach of the island, Haad Khuat (Bottle Beach)
Partying all night long at the Full Moon Party (or the half moon and black moon parties)
Hiring a scooter and getting to the north beaches of Koh Phangan.
Watching the sunset over the Gulf of Thailand and the Ang Thong National Park.
Snorkeling day trip to the amazing Ang Thong National Park.
Sampling traditional Thai food at Thong Sala Food Market.