About Koh Phangan
With a landscape that ranges from verdant jungle to white-sand beaches, Koh Phangan caters to nature lovers just as much as dawn-till-dusk ravers. The island is known for its world-famous Full Moon Party, the beach party that draws tens of thousands of travellers every month for its fire-throwing dancers, UV paint and night-long music. Complete with turquoise-blue Andaman Sea views, Koh Phangan's a classic bucket-list destination on Southeast Asia's backpacking circuit.
You'll find hostels in Koh Phangan where you can hop straight from bed to the poolside. Travellers can also choose from rustic huts nestled in the jungle or hostels with social communal areas right on Haad Rin Beach, home to the Full Moon Party. After a run of late nights, Koh Phangan hostels with post-party pick-me-ups like free breakfasts and coffee make those lazy mornings all the more indulgent.
The southeastern peninsula, Haad Rin, tends to be the liveliest area on the island. Travellers looking for a more local vibe might want to head towards areas like Ban Tai (outside of the twice-monthly Half Moon Festival that's held here), which is well-placed for exploring with a bike or scooter. You'll find a 5km-long stretch of beach, with plenty of accommodation options nearby. It's a short drive to the Thong Sala night market, where you can pick up tasty Thai street food such as mango sticky rice. Srithanu has more of a spiritual atmosphere, with a growing number of veggie cafés and yoga retreats.
If you haven't timed a visit for Full Moon or the other regular events (like the Waterfall Party, Jungle Experience and Loi Lay Floating Bar & Lounge Party), there's still plenty to keep you occupied on Koh Phangan. Rent a scooter to make your way to the waterfalls dotted across the island or to Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park – you can swap your ride for a kayak to navigate its caves. For some underwater exploration, Sail Rock is a hub for diving. You can also hike up Khao Ra for epic views.
The closest place to fly into is Koh Samui, a neighbouring island, and arrivals from here tend to come by speedboat to Haad Rin Beach. You can also book bus and boat package deals from all over Thailand, including from Surat Thani Airport. These usually land travellers at Koh Phangan's main pier, Thong Sala. Baht buses (a form of shared taxi) loop around the island at set prices and are cheaper than private cabs.