Koh Phangan is my favourite island within the Gulf of Thailand. It’s well-known for the total moon celebration which was one of many first issues I realized about Thailand (sadly sufficient) nevertheless it affords a lot extra. The complete moon celebration is just within the very south of the island and happens as soon as a month. The remainder of the time, there are ton of fantastic seashores, unbelievable mountain climbing, and scrumptious meals to eat. Koh Phangan has additionally turn out to be a digital nomad hotspot in recent times attracting quite a lot of long run keep folks.
I actually appreciated Koh Phangan and located it to be way more lovely and enjoyable than their western counterparts in Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. I spent every week within the island on my journey round Thailand and might undoubtedly advocate visiting!
Tips on how to get to Koh Phangan
Attending to Koh Phangan generally is a little bit of a mission. Whereas the journey is sort of frequent and simple to guide, it simply takes a very long time to achieve Koh Phangan.
By Ferry from Surat Thani
The primary technique is to fly into Surat Thani airport and take the bus to the ferry terminal. There are a number of each day flights to Surat Thani from hotspots like Bangkok or Chiang Mai for very low cost on AirAsia. Conversely, you may also take a bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani however this can take 11-12 hours so I don’t advocate this technique.
From Surat Thani, you’ll then take a shuttle switch to the ferry terminal at Donsak Pier which is about 2 hours away. From the pier, you’ll then board your ferry which is one other 2.5 hour journey. All in all, you’ll be able to finances about 5 hours from touchdown on the airport to arriving within the Thong Sala pier of Koh Phangan.
The value for this switch varies relying on the ferry firm you guide. You’ll be able to prebook this switch on-line or buy the tickets straight on the airport the place one can find quite a few stands for corporations promoting the switch. I paid 500 THB for the shuttle and the ferry and prebooked the switch on 12go.asia. The ferries cease working round 18h so be sure to plan accordingly, in any other case you might need to remain the night time in Surat Thani.
By ferry from Koh Samui
The simplest solution to get to Koh Phangan is by flying into the island of Koh Samui. Koh Samui is the larger brother island of Koh Phangan is positioned simply 1h by ferry south. From the airport, it’s a brief 10 minute drive to the pier the place you may have a number of ferry corporations working the journey between the 2 islands.
I took this journey on my method out of Koh Phangan as a result of I didn’t need to repeat the identical journey from Surat Thani so I booked flights out of Koh Samui. I paid one other 500 THB for this journey which incorporates the ferry to Koh Samui and the shuttle switch to the airport.
Throughout excessive season, I might extremely advocate reserving these ferries upfront as a result of there’s nothing worse than displaying up and being advised the ferries are booked for the day!
Greatest time of yr to go to Koh Phangan
The islands within the south get pleasure from break up seasons relying which facet of the nation you’re on. The Andaman sea to Thailand’s east enjoys the alternative season because the Gulf of Thailand. The very best occasions to go to the Andaman sea (Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Similan islands, Krabi) are between November and April. Conversely, the perfect time to go to the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Koh Tao) is April to October.
I visited Koh Phangan within the off season months in December however the climate was virtually good the whole time. Conversely, I’ve had buddies which have visited in June and had been greeted to torrential down pours day in and day trip. Whereas there are “seasons” to visiting Koh Phangan and the Gulf of Thailand, it’s the tropics so you’ll be able to by no means have something assured!
The place to remain in Koh Phangan
There are quite a few resorts, personal rooms, finances lodging, bungalows and homes on Koh Phangan. We have now stayed in a number of lodging as we have now additionally been to the island a number of occasions. On common we paid €15-20 per night time for each of us for a beachfront bungalow with fan and fundamental lavatory.
You may get a mattress in a hostel for as little as €5 per night time. However you may also hire a villa with a pool or keep in one of many luxurious resorts. On Koh Phangan one can find the appropriate lodging for each finances.
Particular lodging on Koh Phangan:
Tips on how to get round Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is a comparatively giant island that’s principally unconnected with one another by public transport. There aren’t many choices to talk of from what I gathered and the one mode of transport across the island is by scooter, songthaew (native shared taxis) or by personal taxi.
The native songthaew taxis go away at designated occasions all through the day however principally join the primary cities of Koh Phangan. Taxis are moderately priced however you’ll be able to’t use Seize or any journey hailing apps on the island making them unreliable.
The very best technique of getting round Koh Phangan is unquestionably by scooter. You’ll be able to hire scooters on Koh Phangan just about anyplace. The costs will differ relying on the time of yr however you’ll be able to anticipate to pay between 150 and 250 THB for a fundamental 125 cc scooter.
Koh Phangan has extensive paved roads that make scooter driving very straightforward and pleasant. There’s hardly any site visitors on this island (besides throughout peak occasions) so that you don’t must take care of the craziness like in Bali, Indonesia for instance.
Full Moon Occasion of Koh Phangan
The Full moon celebration is legendary world wide for being one of many craziest and epic events in Thailand. That is actually the very first thing I knew about Thailand simply from phrase of mouth. It occurs on the night time of the total moon so virtually each month. It’s positioned on Haad Rin Seashore which is definitely fairly lovely. It’s became an enormous outside seaside celebration on the eve of the total moon.
Bars are filled with celebration goers of all ages (principally youthful let’s be sincere), sand buckets stuffed with liquor and blend, and Singha beers on free circulate. The celebration goes to the early morning hours of the day and you may anticipate to see 1000’s of individuals on the seaside.
On the celebration there may be principally digital music on the ears. From time to time even internationally recognized DJ’s come to the island. The celebration then goes on till dawn the following day. The Full Moon Occasion on Koh Phangan normally takes place precisely on the total moon day of the month. Once in a while the celebration can be postponed due to spiritual days. Ebook your lodging accordingly upfront. Relying on the time of yr, it may get fairly crowded on the island.
I visited in December 2021 throughout COVID and this celebration is after all not occurring till additional discover!
Greatest Seashores in Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is spoiled with unimaginable seashores everywhere in the island. I might say the seashores in Koh Phangan are nicer than those in Phuket. Maybe it’s not as lovely as a Koh Phi Phi Leh however for the way straightforward it’s to get to, Koh Phangan affords among the higher seashores in Thailand.
I explored the attractive Chaloklum Seashore and the considerably hidden Bootle Seashore. You’ll be able to attain it by boat or by scooter on very tough gravel roads (no less than that’s the way it was again then). We didn’t discover the seaside that lovely, there are actually nicer seashores. We wouldn’t take the horror path by way of the jungle once more. However this seaside additionally has its lovely corners.
South of Koh Phangan
Within the very south and south-east of the island is the attractive Leela Seashore and Haad Rin Seashore . The sand at Leela Seashore is extremely white, the water crystal clear and turquoise. You’ll be amazed! Within the east of the island is Than Sadet Seashore . This one is just a little gem. The palm bushes attain for the sky, the restaurant is cozy and the lodging are authentic. The rocks on the left and proper in addition to the picket bridge, which leads you over the small arm of the river, are notably lovely
Northwest of Koh Phangan seashores
I discovered the seashores within the northwest of Koh Phangan to be probably the most lovely. These all had extensive sandy seashores with lovely palm bushes, cliffs, and crystal clear water. Throughout excessive season nonetheless, you’ll be able to anticipate these seashores to get fairly busy which could make it much less pleasant.
Certainly one of my favourite spots is the so-called “Secret Seashore” . It’s in no way “secret” however merely stunningly lovely. We notably appreciated the rocks within the water, the clear sea, the colours and the peace and quiet. Haad Salad can be a phenomenal seaside proper subsequent to the What’s Cup cafe.
Bottle Seashore Viewpoint
For the perfect views of Koh Phangan with an added hike, go to the Bottle Seashore Viewpoint in Koh Phangan’s north. You’ll be able to drive near the doorway level with a scooter after which stroll one other 20 minutes by way of the bush to the perspective. From the perspective, you may have a shocking view of Bottle Seashore and the Gulf of Thailand!
I discovered the 2 seashores Thong Nai Pan Yai & Thong Nai Pan Noi very lovely. These are positioned within the east of the island and are simply accessible by highway. On Noi Seashore one can find virtually solely luxurious resorts, whereas on Yai Seashore there are good and cheaper lodging. The seashores are lovely and positively price a go to!
Haad Sadet is one other very off the overwhelmed path seaside on Koh Phangan’s east coast. This seaside may be very distant so that you gained’t discover the standard crowds right here. It’s positioned within the Namtok Than Sadet Nationwide Park and also you’ll need to pay an entrance price to enter this park.
The seaside itself is sort of fairly nevertheless it’s most likely not as lovely because the seashores on the west coast. There are some bungalows the place you’ll be able to keep in addition to a nudist seaside close by.
Silver Cliff Restaurant viewpoint
My favourite a part of this seaside is the restaurant on the clifftop. It’s a brief stroll from the seaside however the views listed below are unimaginable. I had lunch and coconuts right here and it was completely gorgeous.
Greatest Cafes in Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan has seen an enormous inflow of top quality cafes in recent times. There are actually loads of lovely, fashionable, and digital nomad pleasant cafes positioned all all through the island. In fact, Koh Phangan’s cafe choice nonetheless pales compared to Bali’s cafes however you gained’t go away disillusioned!
Bubba’s espresso is likely one of the most well-known cafes on the island. They serve wonderful brunch model meals from everywhere in the world in addition to make scrumptious espresso. They’ve a number of areas on the island however you’ll be able to anticipate the identical high quality all over the place. I got here right here quite a few occasions for his or her breakfast objects as there isn’t a lot native Thai dishes to talk of on the island.
You’ll be able to anticipate a big crowd at this cafe as it is extremely in style with vacationers and digital nomads alike.
Orion cafe positioned within the northwest of the island is the right place to chill out and chill by the seaside. It’s positioned actually in entrance of the seaside and is a very talked-about spot with the digital nomads. There’s ample seating and plush couches for these on the lookout for a cushty spot to work.
What’s cup might be my favourite cafe on the island. Positioned within the northwest of Koh Phangan close to to Haad Salat seaside, this cafe is the final word spot to have espresso and brunch meals with a view. Actually, have a look at this photograph beneath and inform me that you would be able to’t discover the that means of life with this view!
This place will get very busy within the late mornings so be certain to return early for the perfect tables. The meals can be remarkably tasty which makes the view even higher. I beloved working from right here because it was a calming place after the morning rush and the views had been spectacular.
What to eat in Koh Phangan
As with anyplace in Thailand, you’re by no means far-off from wonderful scrumptious meals and naturally that is the case in Koh Phangan as properly. As it’s a giant island, you’ll discover all of the Thai classics in addition to quite a few western model eating places to combine it up. These are among the highlights of the eating places I visited however there are numerous extra that I didn’t have time to go to!
Phantip Evening Market in metropolis middle
You’ll be able to’t go flawed with avenue markets in Thailand. Actually by no means.
Phantip night time market is the primary night time market in Koh Phangan. There are just a few smaller ones positioned exterior of the primary city however undoubtedly keep on with this one.
As with every night time market, you’ll be able to look forward to finding all of the scrumptious choices right here from cooked meals like Pad Thai, Pad see ew, Pad Gra Prao, inexperienced curry and so on. to avenue dishes like satays, Thai pancakes, mango sticky rice, fried rooster, and way more.
Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar
This was most likely my favourite restaurant on the whole island. It’s a barely extra upscale seafood restaurant positioned on the seaside south of the town middle. This restaurant has a phenomenal seaside in entrance with quite a few Thai model lengthy boats laid out on the seaside for tables and lounge seating.
The meals itself is completely unbelievable with among the strongest and tastiest curries I’ve had in Thailand. Ensure that to get the combination seafood curry which was most likely among the best issues I’ve eaten throughout Thailand. The restaurant additionally serves unbelievable cocktails which is tough to search out. Costs are on the upper facet however is to be anticipated with this sort of setting.
Ensure that to make a reservation earlier than hand!
Siri’s Island Cafe
Positioned simply north of the Thong Sala metropolis middle, Siri’s island cafe is the spot to go for scrumptious Khao Soi. I lived off of Khao Soi in northern Thailand and was actually craving these scrumptious noodles as quickly as I had left. Siri is likely one of the solely locations on the island that served this scrumptious noodle soup. The proprietor was additionally very pleasant.
For scrumptious Thai meals that everyone knows, go to Pum Pui within the northwest of the island. This restaurant serves all of the classics however is likely one of the finest locations to do it.
Bann Boontom Somtum & Gallery
Presumably the perfect genuine Thai restaurant on the island! This place makes a speciality of northeastern isaan delicacies, however has its personal distinctive model. That is actually totally different from most Thai eating places on the island directed at foreigners and vacationers. This was the true deal spicy and scrumptious Thai taste that I had not tasted beforehand.
Ensure that to strive the assorted Larb dishes in addition to the fried pork!
Go to Koh Tao Island
In case you have just a few extra days, I’d additionally advocate visiting the island of Koh Tao. It’s world well-known for its diving though the corals have seen higher days with the onset of local weather change. Previous to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Koh Tao was referred to as an absolute manufacturing unit for open water programs. It was full of dive colleges and the dive and celebration life-style was the best way right here. It was so overpacked with diving that just about a 3rd of all open water certifications on this planet had been completed in Koh Tao. That’s completely insane.
The island is far smaller than Koh Phangan and many individuals want this vibe. Koh Tao might be reached by ferry from Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, or Surat Thani. The quickest solution to attain Koh Tao from Bangkok is to fly to Koh Samui and take the ferry to Koh Tao.