Koh Phangan (also known as Ko Pha Ngan or Ko Phangan) is an island in Thailand, which is a unique travel destination for many reasons. The major highlight of the region is its monthly full moons, which results in thousands of people taking part in all-night Full Moon Party festivities. You can take a ferry to Koh Phangan from Samui Island.
During daytime, Koh Phangan is a place where you can indulge yourself in sandy white beaches filled with coconut trees. You can sunbathe, build sandcastles, or play beach volleyball at this time. If you’re a diver, you should definitely wall dive at Sail Rock. The best beaches to go to on this island are Mae Haad, Haad Yao, Chalok Lam, and Haad Khom.
Expectations and Realities
You’ll never run out of things to do on Koh Phangan. To wit:
- Archery: The great thing about Koh Phangan is that it defies conventions when it comes to activities. For 150 baht and for 15 minutes, you can indulge in “First Bow and Arrow Archery” activities that’s on the road to Thong Sala and close to Chalok Lam. For archers are allowed to go at the same time to hit four targets.
- Muay Thai: Known as Thailand’s premier combat sport, you can practice this kickboxing style on a whim while vacationing in Koh Phangan. It’s known as “The Art of Eight Limbs” because it’s characterized by its use of shins, knees, elbows, and fists with great physical training that makes for an efficient and deadly full-contact kickboxer.
- Phangan Island Tours: You can’t have “tourism” without “tours” for sure. There are evening, day, and adventure tours of Phangan Island available. It’s through these tours that you can avail of cultural tours, elephant riding, speed boat excursions to Ang Thong National Marine Park, fishing trips, kayaking, snorkeling, and diving over Koh Phangan. The relaxing boat trip at the Ko Maa Area is particularly of note.
- Freediving or Wall Diving: This is where you can dive like you’ve never dived before. You get to learn how to hold your breath for more than three minutes at a minimum and dive at the deepest depths of Phangan in a free-form, freestyle manner. In Koh Pangan, this is all possible. Fair warning, though: Freediving can get quite addictive, so brace yourself. The Freediving shop is located in the Chaloklum Village’s pier and courses include a Sail Rock boat drip.
- Full Moon Party: This party includes hanging out on the beach during a full moon while music plays and a lot of people dance. Haad Rin is an expanded village where all this takes place, and it’s filled with people sporting low-cut figure-hugging outfits, cheap chicken burgers, and an expanded village of beach bars. If you love bar hopping, entrancing dances in the moonlight, buckets of alcohol, and socializing with other nocturnal people, then this is the party for you.
The best time to visit the island is during December up until March. This is when the water is clean, high, and great for swimming. It’s also during winter to early spring that the temperatures are at their most pleasant.
Another great season to visit is during July to August, after the dry season. The water rises delectably at this time. Avoid going to Koh Phangan during April to June, because all the best beaches are useless for swimming during that time.