You’ve probably already seen the pictures of crazy revellers on Koh Phangan covered in UV paint, dancing and smiling with the legendary bucket in their hand.
Whether you plan to visit Koh Phangan for a full moon party or a yoga retreat, make sure you make time for a few days extra. Breathtaking viewpoints, waterfalls, hiking trails, food markets and incredible beaches are waiting to be explored on the 5th biggest island in Thailand.
One of our favourite trips to do whilst staying on Koh Phangan is the Angthong National Park Day Tour. It’s the perfect way to spend a day recovering from too much partying or just experiencing the beauty that Thailand has to offer.
New to Koh Phangan? Our compact Koh Phangan guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Koh Phangan!
#1 Dance the night away at an epic Full Moon Party
Are you ready for the wildest party of your life?
The number one attraction to Koh Phangan is the Full Moon Party that is hosted on the east side of Haad Rin Beach every month.
Every full moon, there moon is an open-air party that consists of numerous DJs, fireworks, live music, fire shows, and up to 30,000 people.
The music caters to most people with drum and bass, pop and hip hop, but the main music of choice is electronic music – techno, house, trance etc.
Even if this isn’t your go-to music, you probably won’t care after a few buckets of Thai whiskey-cola!
And if the Full Moon wasn’t enough for you, don’t worry, the party doesn’t stop there! Starting at 7 am, straight after the Full Moon Party, the Backyard Full Moon After Party at Moon Paradise begins!
Here’s a quick overview of costs for the Full Moon Party:
- Entrance fee: 100 baht.
- Bucket whiskey cola: 150-600 Bath depending on the type of alcohol and brand
- Bottled Chang beer: 80-100 baht
Check out the Full Moon Party Schedule for 2020-21 to plan your trip around this world famous event.
#2 The fun doesn’t stop there – more parties!
Thankfully, there are plenty of parties to get you in the mood leading up to the much anticipated Full Moon Party!
On the three days building up to the big event, Koh Phangan starts to give you a taste of what’s to come with some phenomenal pre-parties.
First up is the Pool Party, followed by the Waterfall Party and if you’re still not pumped enough, on the third day is the legendary Jungle Party.
Some travellers like the Jungle party even more than the actual Full Moon, so make sure to not miss out on this pre-party if partying is the reason for your visit to Koh Phangan!
And if you missed the date of the full moon, don’t worry there are also Half Moon and even Black Moon parties! Each being almost as crazy as the original Full Moon party.
Basically, what we’re trying to say if you never have to stop partying on Koh Phangan!
#3 Snorkel and dive ’til your heart’s content
Luckily the island is not all about partying!
Around Koh Phangan you will find more than 20 diving and snorkel spots with plenty of tropical fish and underwater coral gardens to explore. Some of the best spots include Mae Haad, Haad Salad and Haad Yao Beach.
And if you are really lucky, you might even get the chance to spot a whale shark on your diving trip.
Not an experienced diver? Don’t worry, there are countless diving schools on the island where you can take your PADI Open Water Diving course with qualified instructors.
You can also rent snorkelling equipment and stick closer to the shore if diving isn’t your thing.
PRO TIP: While Koh Phangan offers amazing diving sites, it can’t beat the neighbouring island of Koh Tao. Check out our island guide of Koh Tao to see why it is often called Thailand’s mecca for diving.
#4 Take a boat trip to explore Ang Thong Marine Park
Angthong is a protected archipelago of 42 islands featuring limestone mountains, lush jungles, white-sand beaches, waterfalls, and hidden lakes. It’s almost too much to fit in a sentence, let alone a day!
One of the highlights of this 100 square meters marine park is Ko Mae Ko Island, where you’ll find the Emerald Lake. An enchanting mint blue lagoon that looks just unreal and is also strictly off limits for anyone wanting to take a swim in the lake. We promise just admiring this natural beauty is enough!
Day tours typically cost 1,700 – 2,000 THB ($53-$62), but if you’re looking to save some money, we recommend booking online.
You can book the Angthong National Park Day Tour from Koh Phangan for only 1,400 THB ($42) and 800 THB ($25) for children.
Camping at Angthong National Park
If you feel like just spending the day at Ang Thong Marine Park isn’t enough, you can also book a boat trip that includes overnight camping in one of the few basic bungalows or tents at Ko Wua Talap. Just be aware that you’ll need to book this in advance because the number of bungalows and tents are very limited!
There’s nothing better than waking up to the sound of the birds chirping and the waves crashing rhythmically on the beach.
Whichever tour company you book with, bear in mind that the park entrance fee of 300 THB (150 THB for children) isn’t included in the initial price.
- Angthong National Park Boat Tour for $42
#5 Explore Koh Phangan’s best beaches
Haad Khuad – Bottle Beach (northwest of Koh Phangan)
Quoted by many as one of their favourite beaches on the whole of Koh Phangan, due to its hard to reach nature, Bottle Beach is an unspoiled, blissful haven.
To reach this beach, you can either take a taxi boat from Chaloklam or Beach Malibu or get your sweat on via a 2 hour trek towards Haad Hon. Once you’ve made the journey, relax under one of the many palm trees that border the beach or keep the energy up with a game of volleyball.
Mae Haad (northwest of Koh Phangan)
Want to see what it feels like to walk on water? Well, the stroll across the sandbar connecting Mae Haad beach and Koh Ma can give you a good idea of what it’s like.
At over 800m long, despite being one of the most popular beaches on Koh Phangan, it somehow always maintains the illusion of spaciousness and tranquility.
You can continue the sense of peacefulness by opting for a massage on the beach or stake your claim over a hammock and watch the world go by.
Haad Rin Beach (southeast of Koh Phangan)
If you’re staying in Haad Rin drowning your inhibitions every night, then this beach is a perfect short hungover stroll away.
Divided into two sections, Haad Rin Nok continues the energetic vibe the area is known for whilst Haad Rin Nai has a quieter, more reflective feel. Here you’ll have access to an ample number of restaurants offering a whole host of choices from beach BBQ’s, Mexican, Moroccan and of course traditional Thai food.
Other great beaches on Koh Phangan
#6 Chasing the 7 waterfalls on Koh Phangan
Get your hiking shoes on and head out to explore the jungles and 7 stunning waterfalls on the island.
Note that the waterfalls look at its best during the wet season (July to November).
We can’t think of anything better than swimming in the refreshingly cool waters of natural waterfalls, surrounded by lush greenery and fauna.
You may even see a few wild monkeys along the trails!
#7 Food glorious food
We’d be surprised if you hadn’t worked up an appetite after all that dancing!
To satisfy that hunger, head over to Thong Sala Night Market – also known to locals as Panthip Market. It opens at 4pm until late at night so plenty of time to fill your stomachs to the brim.
Here you will find all the food you could imagine, everything from traditional Thai dishes to falafel, pizza and burgers.
Locals and tourists alike will be shopping here and taste-testing the many foods as they stroll through the market. Whether you’re a foodie or just need a quick snack, this is the place to eat on the island.
Koh Phangan is fast becoming known for its selection of vegetarian and vegan scene. Some restaurants we encourage you to check out are Akasha Home for some tasty vegan meals and Art Cafe for a fresh tropical smoothie bowl in their artistic restaurant that makes you feel like you are in a treehouse.
#8 Push yourself at Challenge Phangan
Located at Sweet Water Lake, between Sri Thanu and Chao Phao bay, on the west coast of Koh Phangan, Challenge Phangan gives you the chance to perfect your face planting technique.
It offers a heart-pumping and exhilarating water obstacle course that you need to complete as fast as you can!
A day pass will cost you 500 baht, giving you plenty of time to master the rolling barrels, embody a monkey on the monkey bars and swing like Tarzan across the course.
Not to forget to catapult your friends +20ft in the sky with the massive blob.
Note: Challenge Phangan is currently closed.
#9 Hike up or enjoy the view with a drink at one of Koh Phangan’s viewpoints
Ready for your body to tingle with goosebumps and take in some of the amazing views Koh Phangan has to offer?
For those willing to put in the work, hike up Khao Ra, a 627 metre mountain in the north of Koh Phangan.
Don’t worry it’s not as daunting as it seems, the roundtrip takes around 3 hours and is relatively easy. Starting at Khoa Ra Retreat, just follow the marked path and embrace your surroundings.
Is it one of those days that you rather enjoy the breathtaking views from a hammock or laying backwards on a comfy cushion? Koh Phangan has several mountain top restaurants, resorts, and bars on the island offering spectacular views, including the popular A’dam Bar.
If you want to go for a bit more luxury, we recommend checking out Secret mountain. This restaurant is located high in the mountains and offers unparalleled views from their infinity pool. Watch the skies changing from blissful blue to vibrant orange and purple while enjoying your cocktail as the sun disappears for the day.
#10 Yoga & meditation courses and retreats
Whether you’re already a pro at relaxing the mind and body or can’t even touch your toes, Sri Thanu region is bursting with yoga classes, retreats and workshops for you to try.
The Yoga Retreat comes highly recommended as one of the best on the island. Start your day off with a morning yoga class costing 300 baht, or take it one step further and opt for a 3-14 day detox retreat to cleanse your body.
Not only will this make you feel completely rejuvenated, it can also help prevent illness and give your immune system an extra boost.
#11 Practise the art of traditional Muay Thai fighting
If fitness is your passion, then be sure to check out Muay Thai on the island. There are numerous training gyms with extremely experienced teachers available to teach you everything you need to know.
If you don’t feel ready to put yourself into the gym, you can also find several matches on Koh Phangan almost any night of the week during the high season.
Also check out How to get to Koh Phangan from other destinations in Thailand!
Benjamin's Hut - Budget Friendly
Benjamin’s Huts are very far from huts. In fact, they’re not huts at all. They’re spacious and modern rooms that offer a very comfortable night’s sleep. If there’s a group of you, opt for the two-bedroom village with its own private pool!
Staying here you’re seconds from the sea and a 10-minute drive from Thong Sala Pier. This accommodation proves that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a paradise beachfront stay.
- Modern and clean rooms
- Option for private pool
- On the beach
- Great value for money
Private rooms start from $29 per person.
Secret Garden - Budget Friendly
You don’t need to splash the cash to go for a splash in a pool on Koh Phangan. Secret Garden has a stunning swimming pool surrounded by greenery, sun loungers and beanbags.
The hotel is located in Thong Sala, putting you close to plenty of restaurants and cafes, but the onsite restaurant is the real hidden gem! Make sure to check it out.
- Beautiful swimming pool
- Comfortable chill spots
- Great location
- Delicious onsite restaurant
Private rooms start from $27 per night.
CheeVa Beach Resort - Mid Range
Just 500m from Baan Tai Beach, CheeVa Beach Resort offers a stunning place to stay. There’s an onsite restaurant, a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with sea views and a fully-stocked bar. You’ll even find a pool table on the beach.
Each room comes with its own sun terrace, comfortable beds, and air conditioning. Need help with something? The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful.
- Great location
- Beautiful swimming pool
- Tasty onsite restaurant
- Sea views from private sun terrace
Private rooms start at $35 per night
Baan Manali Resort - Mid Range
Baan Manali Resort is incredible value for money. You can get the beachfront bungalow experience for less than $50 per night. The bungalows are beautiful with a private balcony and hammock.
Enjoy a quiet location on the private Nai Wok Beach. Spend all day lounging on the white sand or swimming in the infinity pool overlooking the beach.
- Beachfront bungalow
- Private balcony and hammock
- On Nai Wok Beach
- Infinity pool
Private rooms start from $43 per night.
Mangata Boutique Bungalows - Treating Yourself
With an almost perfect rating, Mangata Boutique Bungalows ticks all of the boxes. Want to open your curtains in the morning and be greeted by stunning sea views? You can do that here!
Or do you want to swim in an infinity pool overlooking the beach? You can do that too. The rooms are absolutely stunning boasting unique designs and a balcony. This place feels like your own private oasis.
- Incredible accommodation
- Right on the beach
- Infinity pool
- Beautiful rooms with balcony
Bungalows start from $140 per night.
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