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 hand.
As most will know, Koh Phangan is the island famous for its full moon parties. Every full moon, 20,000 to 30,000 travellers from all over the world gather on the beach of Haad Rin to party the night away.
However, Koh Phangan is much more than just a party Island. While the south of the island is all about the full moon, the north is centred around meditation, yoga and healthy lifestyles. Vegan cafes and yoga studios are popping up in the northern part and changing the reputation of this well-known island.
Regardless of where you stay, Koh Phangan is an island that is too beautiful not to explore. Whether you plan to visit Koh Phangan for a full moon or a yoga retreat, make sure you plan a few days extra to explore it’s breathtaking viewpoints, waterfalls, hiking trails, food markets and incredible beaches.
The contrast in atmosphere between the south and north of Koh Phangan creates the illusion that you’re on two different islands. Whether you’re looking to party hard or carelessly relax, there’s a place on the island that’s perfect for you.
Location #1: Haad Rin -live and breathe the party atmosphere
If the reason for your trip to Koh Phangan is to tick ‘attend a Full Moon party’ off of your bucket list, then Haad Rin is the place for you.
On the southeast of the island, you’ll be at the heart of all the activity and parties, encompassed by numerous bars, restaurants and fellow travellers. Accommodation around here can get booked up well in advance of a Full Moon Party, so make sure to plan ahead.
Tip: Most accommodation in this area require a minimum booking of 3-5 nights around the time of the Full Moon Party, so bear this in mind when you’re planning your itinerary.
Location #2: Baan Tai – the perfect balance between good accommodation and party
Baan Tai is perfect for those looking to be close to the action on Koh Phangan, but not too close!
You’ll have no issue finding that idyllic secluded spot, and it’s still bustling with beachfront restaurants, funky bars and lively nightclubs to occupy your evenings. The only problem you’ll have is trying to fit them all in.
And if you feel like you’re missing out on the action back at Haad Rin, no worries. A short taxi ride of 15-20 minutes, will have you back at the centre of it all in no time.
In Baan Tai there is a large choice of good quality accommodation that is well-spaced along the 8km long beach. The beach runs largely uninterrupted, apart from the rivers that spring from the surrounding mountains.
Location #3: Sri Thanu -Yoga, co-working and vegan cafe’s galore
If you don’t fancy being at the epicentre of the party, head to the northwest of Koh Phangan and find your perfect accommodation in Sri Thanu.
Beginning to generate an alternative reputation for Koh Phangan. Sri Thanu is home to a 24hr coworking space, Beachub, several health conscious cafes, cooking courses and an abundance of yoga classes and retreats.
How to get around Koh Phangan
Getting around Koh Phangan is extremely easy and has been made even easier over the past few years with improvements to roads and new infrastructure connecting more areas of the island.
As with most Thai islands, if you crave freedom and independence then hiring a motorbike is probably your best option. They also tend to work out cheaper than exploring everything by tuk-tuk or taxi, especially if you enjoy exploring every crack and crevice of Koh Phangan. Motorbike rental for the day should cost around 200-300 baht.
Be aware that the roads have a lot of hills and can be quite windy through some areas. We would not suggest driving a motorbike up into the mountains if you are not an experienced driver.
Taxi (songthaew and motorbike)
Taxis in the form of motorbikes and songthaews can be found driving along the main road every few minutes. Both are relatively safe options of getting around the island, and can simply be flagged down from the road.
Motorbike taxis can be recognised by their bright orange vests that clearly say taxi on them. They have no set fees or routes, so make sure to agree on a price before getting on.
Songthaew taxi prices usually start at around 50 baht and increases depending on your destination.
Located in Baan Tai, just 70 meters from the beach, the hostel is set in an ideal location. There is a restaurant, bar, and shared lounge on-site for socializing, and a large terrace area for taking in all the views. Car and bike rentals are available at the property, as well as a tour desk to assist with all your excursions. You will be treated like family by the warm and welcoming staff.
70 meters to the beach
Onsite bar and restaurant
Very friendly staff
Single bed in dorm room starts at $6 - Be aware that these prices may increase around the time of the Full Moon Party
This beachfront accommodation offers stunning views, white sandy beaches and the sea at your fingertips. You’ll find a restaurant, bar, and garden on location for your enjoyment and convenience. The property also offers a terrace for relaxing and taking in the surrounding sights. Well known for hospitality, the staff here will great you with a warm welcoming smile.
Located in Haad Rin, just a few steps to the beach and Full Moon Party, Lily: a beach hotel is a great place to stay for travelers of all types. You will find a shared lounge and bar onsite for your enjoyment as well as evening entertainment and a tour desk. With the beach just steps away, the staff welcoming you with a warm smile and offering a cold drink, there’s really no better place to stay when in Haad Rin!
Great location for Full Moon Party
Steps to the beach
Bar and live entertainment on site
Clean and comfortable rooms
Private rooms with sea view start at $31 per night
Set in Baan Tai, just 500m from the Baan Tai Beach, CheeVa Beach Resort offers stunning accommodations. An on-site restaurant, a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with sea views and a bar are just a few of the luxuries here. Each room comes with its own sun terrace, comfortable beds, and air conditioning. Highly recommended for the excellent hospitality.