King Chulalongkorn’s boat trip, well respected Luang Phor Phet, beautiful moon over crystal clear water, clean white sand beach, colorful corals, diamonds in the middle of the bay and pleasant local people. Not only is it famous for its scenic beauty and historical royal visits, but Koh Phangan is also famous for beaches, temples, forests, waterfalls, diving sites and countless number of other tourist attractions. The most wonderful experience is the observation of full moon over crystal clear water at Rin Nok beach. Now, Koh Phangan is highly modernized. All the shops, restaurants, entertainment establishments, resorts, accommodations and facilities for all types of budgets are available. Phangan is a corrupt form of the local term ‘laung ngan’ which means ‘sand ridge’
Like traveling to Koh Samui, you have to go to Surat Thani first and take a boat to Koh Phangan. Alternatively, you can take a Bangkok Airways flight to Koh Samui, and stay there for 2 nights (or you can choose not to stay there) before taking a boat to Koh Phangan. The boat trip takes only one hour.
Take the Thonburi – Paktor Highway and drive along until you get to Paktor-Ratchaburi junction. Turn left into Highway 41 and drive towards Chumphon. Drive along for approximately 644 km. to get to Surat Thani. Then, turn left at Ban Nai intersection, and drive for 60 km. from the city center to Don Sak to get a ferry to Ko Phagnan.
At Southern Routes Bus Terminal, many companies operate daily air-conditioned coach service between Bangkok and Surat Thani. The journey takes 10 hours. When you arrive Surat Thani you can take another transport to Don Sak district to get a ferry. It is advisable that you start your journey from Bangkok during nighttime so that you will wake up in the morning in Surat Thani.
Hua Lumphong Station operates a train service between Bangkok and Surat Thani daily. The train takes you to Phun Phin which is 12 km. away from Surat Thani city center. From there, you can take another transport to Don Sak.
The journey takes 2 hours and 30 minutes.
There are many different ways you can travel on Koh Phangan.
TIPS Whether you bring your own car or hire a car, it is advisable to drive on the south because they are in better conditions, and they do not have too many twists and turns or steep hills.
A semicircle quay where many fishing boats are moored to. It is a very crowded place where you can find all types of accommodations and shops selling fresh and dried seafood.
Located on the west of Ko Phangan, Yao beach is about 1 km. long with clean white sand fringed by crystal clear water. Coral reefs can be found on both sides. The beach may not be an attractive sight to look at, but it is definitely ideal for swimming.
This beach is only 400 m. long. It is quiet…almost like a private sanctuary. There are not a lot of accommodations. You can take a boat to the waterfront for fishing. There are plenty of groupers and snappers. You can also go snorkeling to admire exotic and colorful corals. You can rent diving gears at low price.
Ao Chao Phao
A clean white sand beach measuring 600 m. lined with rows of coconut trees that serve as sunshades. It is ideal for lying down and reading at leisure. The beach’s gradual slope makes it perfect for swimming.
Ao Sri Thanu
A beautiful and tranquil beach measuring 800 m. long. It is an ideal location for those who love a quiet retreat, sunbathing, reading, swimming and admiring gorgeous sunset.
A serene beach with only a few people. There are not a lot of accommodations. Rocks scattered at intervals along this beach only add to its attractiveness to beachgoers! You can go snorkeling while admiring exotic and colorful fish. The highlight is the most stunning sunset behind the romantic background of Koh Tae Nai and Koh Tae Nok.
A beautiful beach measuring 1 km., located on the south of the island. There is a quay for large ships. In the local community, you can find all the facilities such as cybercafés, restaurants, gift shops, car rental service, etc. During the low tide, the beach looks very wide. This is an ideal spot for admiring the awe-inspiring sunset.
Located next to Thong Sala beach and overlooking Koh Tae Nai and Koh Tae Nok, Ban Tai is another beautiful and tranquil sand beach lined with lush coconut trees. The water is not too deep. It is an ideal spot for admiring the most attractive sunset.
The beach has acquired this name because gold miners camped out here in the past. This beach is quite near Rin Nok beach, but it is easier of access and has cheaper accommodations. Therefore, many people who want to attend the full moon party at Rin Nok beach prefer to stay at Ban Kai beach.
Haad Rin Nai
This beach is not as lively as Rin Nok beach, but it is quite attractive with exotic and colorful corals at the waterfront. On the spot 100 m. beyond the coral reefs, the water is at the right level for swimming. A lot of accommodations are available.
A clean white sand semicircle beach measuring 2 km. long with crystal clear blue water. It is famous for the full moon party. During waxing moon, the reflections of the moon on the water are dazzlingly stunning that Rin Nok is regarded as the most beautiful beach on the island. There are many seafood restaurants, clothes shops and cybercafés, but the price is rather high.
Si Kantang Beach
An exquisitely beautiful clean white sand beach with crystal clear blue water and lined with lush coconut trees. It is ideal for swimming or admiring the sunset. It is indeed one of the most romantic beaches. Only a few accommodations are available.
Ao Thong Nai Pan
An attractive semicircle beach which measures 1 km. long with fine white sand and rustic surroundings. It is the largest beach on the east coast. Those who love to stay away from noisy city center will find this place to be the most perfect destination. Here, you can go snorkeling while admiring exotic and colorful corals and fish of wide varieties.
A quiet beach measuring 800 m. At the waterfront, you can admire exotic and colorful corals in abundant under shallow water. The water level is perfect for swimming.
Tharn Prapas Waterfall
It is a large waterfall located only 1 km. from Namtok beach. King Chulalongkorn named this waterfall ‘Than Prapat’ when he visited it. In the middle of the waterfall there is a large basin which is ideal for swimming.
It is a 3–tier waterfall. The name ‘Than Sadet’ was also given by King Chulalongkorn. A journey by car can be quite rough because you have to go through a steep laterite road. It is better to travel from Sadet beach. Other interesting waterfalls are Phaeng, Paradise, Than Prawet, Wang Sai and Wang Thong.
A quiet small island within a short walking distance from Mae beach. It has the most attractive coral reefs in this area. It is ideal for diving.
A tranquil island with a clean white sand beach and beautiful corals. It is only 400 m. away from Thong Sala beach. The journey by boat to this island takes only a few minutes. Although it is not as beautiful was Koh Ma, it is ideal for strolling Picturesque Sites
It is the highest hill on Koh Phangan (627 m. above sea level). The path leading to Ra hill is lined with lush trees of many varieties. On the top of the hill lies a 50-km2 plain where you can clearly observe all parts of Koh Phagan.
Full Moon Party is world famous for its exciting activities. On the 15th day of the waxing moon when the moon reflections on crystal clear blue water are dazzlingly awe-inspiring, an all-night party is held with lively music, alcoholic drinks and wild dances.
Genesis of the Full Moon Party: More than 20 years ago, a tourist stayed at Rin Beach and admired the full moon. Feeling impressed by such divine beauty, he wrote in a tourist magazine with the highest circulation in the world an article saying that Ko Phangan is the most perfect location for admiring the mystic full moon. His article has attracted a large number of tourists that there are many enough of them to hold a large party.