An Ultimate Travel Guide to Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan (also spelled Koh Phan Gan) is an island located in southern Thailand. If you’re looking for it on a map, first find the Central Gulf Coast region, then look a little to the south. That’s where this island can be found. The best time to visit this area of Thailand is between the months of December and March. The rest of the year is either too dry or too rainy. If you’re planning a trip to Koh Phangan during this time span, then you’ll find plenty to do.

Visit the Beaches

Since Koh Phangan is an island, it’s surrounded by beaches. One of the best to visit is Haad Yao, which is just to the north of Haad Chao Phao. Haad Yao is a more developed beach. This means that it has plenty of space to spread out your beach towel or chair and rest, but it also has restaurants and other things nearby. When you get tired of just relaxing, you can explore a bit. You’ll find some of the modern comforts of home, such as a 7-11, but at the same time, there are beach bars and slightly more traditional things to do.

Another great beach is Haad Khom. This beach is located near Chalok Lam and is a good place to go snorkeling. You do need to be careful about what time of the day that you visit since this area is rather undeveloped. That’s code for there are only five rooms available for tourists at a very small resort. If you’re there too late in the day, you may not be able to find a room or a ride back to a more developed area, so be careful. Unless you’re willing to spend the night sleeping on the beach!

The final beach worth visiting (out of the dozens on the island) is the most remote. It’s called Bottle Beach, or Haad Khua. Bottle Beach is only accessible by boat, and you’ll have to catch a ride in a longtail-style fishing boat from Chalok Lam. Although you can take a motorbike there, the ride is very bumpy and expensive. You’re better off traveling by boat. Once you get to Bottle Beach, you’ll find a lovely patch of sand and an upscale resort. Since the area isn’t particularly touristy, you’ll have to eat at the resort. You only have a few options, but the beach is well worth it.

Check Out the Fishing Village of Chalok Lam

Chalok Lam is a very traditional Thai fishing village. It’s not a very touristy area, so you’ll get to see a slice of real Thai culture and a way of life that hasn’t changed in centuries. While there are some tourist centers nearby, including the aptly named Malibu beach, you definitely want to take a boat down to Chalok Lam and spend some time there. You might find an excellent restaurant or two offering authentic cuisine and extremely fresh seafood.

Visit the Elephant Camps

There are two elephant camps on the island. Both are located on the way from one village on the island to another. One is located between Chalok Lam and Thong Sala, and the other between Thong Nai Pan and Baan Tai. The elephant camps offer similar experiences. You’ll get to see the elephants up close, and possibly ride them, depending on the options that day. One thing to note – never pay the amounts listed on the admission and option signs. Always bargain. You’ll get a much better deal.

Spend a Day At Than Sadet-Ko Pha Ngan National Park

The national park is named after the river that runs through the park. The Than Sadet, or Royal River, winds its way around the land and ends in a spectacular waterfall. Other cool things to see in the park (which is free to visit) are a beach, a bunch of wildlife, and some pristine, untouched land. You won’t forget your time spent here. Just make sure to stay on the trails, lest you get lost.

Attend the Full Moon Party at Haad Rin

The Full Moon Party is exactly what it sounds like – a monthly bash thrown on the night of the full moon. You’ll see fire twirlers, dancers, and hundreds of other partygoers. All of the bars in the area, especially the ones on the beach, are open for business that night, and the bash tends to rage until dawn. Make sure to wear hard-soled shoes to the party, since all of those partygoers tend to get a little rowdy and you don’t want to step on any broken glass. The worst part about the party is the clean up (and hangover) the next day. How many of you want to be able to say that you partied like you were back in your 20s again while in Thailand?

Author Bio: This  guest  post  is  written by Paul  Lee  in  support  of  Ferry  Samui.  If  you  wish  to  travel to Koh Phangan this summer, don’t forget to check this awesome resource here-