about 45km to the south you will
reach Koh PhaNgan, just between Koh Tao & Koh Samui
and with Koh Yippon & Angthong Marine Park to its west.
With 167km2 it is 2nd largest after Koh Samui in the archipelago
of 40 islands. During the past it has been repeatetly visited
by four of Thailand's Kings, who left their royal signatures
engraved in rocks, which are worshipped by Thais until today.
Initially discovered by the bacpacker crowd, PhaNgan became
famous for its worldwide acknowledged Full Moon parties,
attracting thousands of visitors every month. However, if
this kind of open-air techno music carnival is not your
cup of tea, it shouldn't stop you from checking out all
the other things the island has to offer. The size of the
island makes it easy to get away from any noise and discover
somebeautiful remote beaches with relaxed people and simple
wooden huts. Also for the more upmarket clientel there is
plenty of luxurious resorts offering all amenities in natural
surroundings. Highrise is not allowed and the original beauty
is widely preserved. Rain forest covers still 80% of the
island and its fantastic rock formations invite to trekk
& explore. Koh PhaNgan provides all sorts of exciting
outdoor activities including exciting outdoor activities
including exciting dive trips to the nearby Angthong National
Marine Park but also caters for the spiritual/health oriented
with a variety of retreats, healing & spiritual arts
centres, meditation schools & spas. Cuisines from every
corner of the world will treat you with their culinary delights
and as mentioned before there is a very lively party scene
catering for every musical taste. The island can be easily
accessed from any port around, so be it just for the monthly
big rave or a few quiet island days, Koh PhaNgan is well
worth a visit.
PhaNgan... A must visit place in Suratthani
Province and indeed another heaven of the gulf of Thailand.
Among the three most popular islands like Koh Tao and Koh
Nang Yuan, Koh Phangan is very well known to adventurous
Thai and foreign visitors for its admiring natural treasure
in the most conserved state.
this island, visitors usually are attracted to the beauty
of the local waterfalls, awesome beaches and stunningly
beautiful underwater scenes around the island. Agreed by
most visitors, Koh Phangan offers a unique world class experience
for every nature lover.
of the most popular events that most visitors always look
for is the Full Moon Party at Haad Rin, which is to be held
regularly when there is a risen full moon. Breathtaking
view of radiating full moon on the water can be seen on
a full moon night at Haad Rin, this perhaps could be the
most beautiful moon on a beach you would ever witness.
1887, King Chulalongkorn the Great (King Rama V. of Thailand),
visited Koh Phangan for the first time and thereafter named
three waterfalls as follow: Nam Tok Thansadej, Nam Tok Thanprapaad
and Nam Tok Thanprawes.
majesty King Rama V was very impressed with Nam Tok Thansadej’s
beauty and tranquility and in deed paid visits to the same
fall 14 times while on the island. It is the pride to the
local islanders for their history; the king’s engraved initial
can still be seen on a big rock at Nam Tok Tansadej until
until now Koh Phangan has welcomed countless visitors from
all around the world. For visitors’ convenience, travel
accommodations can be reserved in advance. The town official
accommodates visitors with the most reliable transportation
while consistently maintained safety for all visitors so
everyone can have an enjoyable visit.
the motto states: “Koh Phangan, beautiful moon clear water
and white sand, precious treasure of natural beauty, rare-find
coral reefs, diamond of the gulf of Thailand, is essentially
a home of kindhearted residents.”
Koh Phangan is approximately 100 km away from the town of
Suratthani and is located between Koh Samui (ca. 16km) and
Koh Tao (ca. 40km); the total area is about 120,625 rai
(168 square km); from north to south it measures ca. 46
km and ca. 34 km from east to west.
the population of Phangan is about 12,000 (April 2005),
the most important careers of which are coconut plantations,
fishing and tourist businesses. Mostly its land area is
of mountains, virgin forests and plains. In the middle of
the island stretches the Khao Ra Mountains, the peak of
which is 635 meters high. The only plain is in the west
of the island. Along the seashore there are a lot of boulders
and rock formations.
average temperature of the year is at 27.2°C, the highest
(35.5°C) in May and the lowest (24°C) end of December.
There are 2 seasons on the island: Rainy and Summer. Rainy
and Summer. Rainy Seasons starts May till January and it
rains about 2 hours in the afternoon. The northeast monsoon
may bring heavy rain and high winds from October until January.
Summer starts from February until April, it is the most
pleasant time to visit Koh Phangan Islands Generally, visitors
can make a trip to the island throughout the year.
majesties have been visiting Koh Phangan : The Majestry,
King Rama V., Chulalongkorn (1868-1910) has been 14 times
between 1888 and 1909 on Koh Phangan and set up 3 signs
imprinted in rocks in Thansadej. Also the Majesty, King
Rama VI., Prajadibok (1925-1935) and the Majesty King Rama
IX., Bhumibol Adulyadej, the currently govern and admired
majesty since 1946 did come to this beautiful island.
Koh Phangan are recordings existing that first settlement
on the island has started with Muslim Sea Gypsies more than
2,000 years ago. 200 years ago, Chinese people did come
to this island and started doing business in producing coconut
oil for exportation and harvesting tin mines.
tourist business started about 20 years ago with building
the first bungalows on this island and it continues with
growing speed. Koh Phangan now offers you everything for
unforgettable holidays by meeting every budget. Welcome
to the romantic Island!
TO KOH PHANGAN
Driving your own car, when arrive at the town of Suratthani,
take Highway 401 to Nakhon Si Thammarat and then turn left
at the fork road at Tambon Baannai. This is Highway 4142
leading to Donsak District. There are road signs to guide
you through to ferry jetties. For the Ferry Schedules.
TRAIN OR BUS
Upon arriving at Suratthani train station, you can contact
the service buses at the counter available at the train
station to continue your trip to Koh Phangan. Such transportation
as express boats, operated by Songserm Company and Seatran
Company, orferries, run by Seatran Company and Raja Ferry
Company are provided according to schedule.
those who prefer travelling by direct buses run between
Bangkok and Koh Phangan, there are 999 buses operated by
the Transport Company available 2 trips daily, one in the
morning and the other in the evening. Lomprayah provides
and boat-and-bus service directly to Bangkok twice and day.
In case you arrive in the town of Suratthani late in the
afternoon, there are night boats to leave for Koh Phangan
at 11:00pm and arrive on the island at 5:00am.
This is provided by Bangkok Airway. Once reaching samui,
you can ask for a vehicle to drive you to Phra Yai or Big
Buddha Pier to go on your trip to Phangan. In this case,
you will arrive in Phangan in the south of the island, on
Haad Rin Beach by Haad Rin Queen, operating 4 trips a day.
There are also some companies direct to Thong Sala with
the speedboat or the high speed Catamaran from Big Buddha
Pier or Bo Phut Beach.
These are minibuses, which are available all around the
island, the most of them at the pier in Thong Sala. The
fare depends on the distance; normally it is 50 - 200 Baht
a person. Usaully the taxi starts when full; to go immediately
the fare may be up to 500 Baht per person. Also, you can
hire a minibus with air-con for 800-1,500 Baht a day.
There are three types available : Jeeps, motorcycles
and mountainbikes. You can ask for where you stay. The charge
for a jeep is about 800 - 1,000 Baht a day and a motorcycle
at 150 - 500 Baht a day, depending on the size and quality.
If you want to rent a car, it is advised that it be
4-wheeled. Koh Phangan is quite mountainous and dirt roads
are still common. However, if you wish for a better road
condition, you are recommended to make a trip in the west
of the island, this part is mostly plain. If in the northeast
and the south, the streets can be more dangerous, especially
in raining season.
The traditional longtail boat takes you quickly and
convenient to all snorkeling spots and leisure trips. But
it is also used as regular taxi; the concrete roads were
built in the past 5 to 10 years - until then there were
just the dustroads, which sometimes are unpassable, especially
in raining season. As there is no road in the east at all,
any trip on this side of the island must be made by longtail
boat. A Taxi Boat can be chartered by contacting the hotel
or resort. Also you can request for the service at the beach
where you stay, usually there are some boats on Haad Rin,
Chaloklum and Thong Nai Pan.
To go around Koh Phangan you have some more choice of
vehicles you can rent to explore this beautiful place, as
there are: quad drivers, kayaks, jet skis, kite-surfing
& wind-surfing, speedboats, sailing or fishing boats,
some resorts also have tuktuk service. Last but not least:
- Drive on the left side!
- Don't drink and drive!
- On bikes, wear a helmet and good clothes!
- Drive slowly & relax! You're on holiday!
Thong Sala, in the southwest of Koh Phangan, is the
largest community of the island. Here is the pier where
most boats from Surratthani, Don Sak, Koh Samui and Koh
Tao dock. On arrival to Thong Sala you are usually welcomed
by many thais to drive you to one of the bungalows. Here
is also the main taxi station to go to all the places you
want to visit.
with ATM, telephone and fax facilities, internet access,
travel and tour agents, hotels, food shops, department stores
and markets are situated in the streets of Thong Sala. All
in all it is the shopping center for locals and tourists
as well and also a good place for dining out. The nightlife
is not as much as in Haad Rin but there are many restaurats
and bars and some more on the way to Baan Tai. In The center
near the 7-11 is the night market where you can get real
thai food. Usually around fullmoon you can watch a Muay
Thai boxing fight in one of the boxing stadiums.
you find the municipal office, the ampoe (district officer,
registration office), the police station, hospitals and
the post office as well as one of the most well-know temple
of this island, the Wat Ratcharoen.
ISLANDS OF KOH TAE NAI & KOH TAE NOK
These small islands are only about 400 meters from the Phangan
mainland. It is easy to come there via kayak to find many
kinds of shallow-water coral reefs and have a nice view
to the south-west of Koh Phangan.
This beeeach stretches out about one kilometre south with
a quiet and natural feel to it and, on clear days, a nice
view to Koh Samui, Ang Thong and Don Sak.
AO Nai Wok
In the north of Thong Sala is a cove called Ao Nai Wok.
A white, sandy beach stretches about 1 km along the cove,
it’s a good place to admire the beautiful setting sun.
HAAD PLAI LAEM
About 1.5 Kilometer north of Thong Sala is Haad Plailaem
where you can walk peacefully along the fine sandy beach
with alternately strangely-formed boulders. From the beach
you can stand watching the clear and beautiful view of Koh
Tae Nai and Koh Tae Nok. Many tourists go there late in
the afternoon only to have a good look at the beautiful
AO WOK TUM
Not very far from Haad Plailaem is a small fisherman
village, Ao Wok Tum, where long-tailed boats are build and
always seen along the beach. An excellent viewpoint is the
hill called "Kao Hin Kok". The Beach is the southern
part of Haad Hin Kong and lined up with mangrove trees.
Most of it is shallow water with a coral reef about 300
meters off the beach.
HAAD HIN KONG
The beach is only about 5 meters to the street, on high
tide just a small stripe of sand and on low tide about 300
metres wide. Then you can watch the locals busily looking
for a kind of shellfish called "Hoyklom". The
residents here did set up a figurine of "Hoyklom"
This village actually has two centres: one near the
beach, here is what fishermen use as a shelter when the
strong monsoon winds are blowing. And the one more north
is a growing place with fresh fruit markets, supermarkets
and street side restaurants providing tasty food at great
prices for tourists and residents. You also find internet
shops and two bakeries.
beach is about 700 meters long with nice shady pine trees
with crystal clear, calm water and is almost all year round
good for swimming, snorkeling and beach fishing.
LAEMSON TALAESAP SEETHANU
In the old days, the cape, in Thai "Laem",
had come into being a tin mine. Now, the old tin mine hole
is the island's only sweet water lake, called Talaesap seethanu,
HAAD CHAO PHAO
As the beach has 600 meters of very white, fine sand,
it is considered to be the pride of Phangan, Here is a good
spot for kayaking and snorkeling providing a spectacular
coral reef and the atmosphere is more private and quiet.
The beach of Haad Son is one of a very few on the Island
which has remained Virtually undeveloped and it presents
a perfect picture of an idyllic desert island cove with
300 meters of virgin white sand fringed with tall shady
side of the broad beach, huge granite formations form protective
arms around the cove, cutting it off from the neighboring
beaches and adding to the feeling that it is you very own
This beach is also a private place and is located on the
cape right between Haad Son and Haad Yao. It is like a secret
place, good for secluded sunbathing and the perfect starting
point for exploring the magnificent underwater world.
This beach is like stepping in a postcard. Located in the
west of the island, it is one of the most beautiful and
inviting beaches of Koh Phangan, Second only in Haad Rin.
The "long beach" is 10 km away from Thong Sala
and really suits the name, it is almost one kilometer long
and that makes it perfect for beach activities like beach
volleyball etc. The semicircular beach with sand like powder
stretches into thick coconut trees, under which lovely bungalow
offer a quiet, clean, relaxing and friendly atmosphere.
Near the road, there are several supermarkets, bars and
restaurants as well as on the beach you find a relaxed nightlife
and beach parties. The rich coral reef is haven for marine
life and the spectacular sunsets are unforgettable.
HAAD THIAN & HAAD KHUAD
These very peaceful and calm sandy beaches are located between
Haad Yao and Haad Salad. They are suitable for doing shallow
dives, enjoying a peaceful sunbathe and enjoy life in paradise.
This is a about 800 meters white sandy secluded beach,
abundant with shallow water coral reefs, which start from
Haad Tien going up to Koh Ma. Very easy to explore with
the kayak and one of the best swimming and snorkeling sites
of the island. In former times this bay was used to be a
pirates hideout and until now you can still feel the romantic
MAE HAAD AND THE ISLAND KOH MA
Up in the northwest of Koh Phangan is the small island
called "Koh Ma". The place is on low tide easy
accessible by walking over a sandbar from the beach of Mae
Haad, a beach made of soft and fine sand which stretches
more than 800 meters so there is enough room for solitude.
The surrounding water and coral reef is designated as a
National Marine Park because of the rich sea life. This
spots a local diving site, so it is easy to get there for
diving, snorkeling or with a boat trip.
At this beach the building of bungalows has just begun,
so it still keeps a kind of inhabited atmosphere that starts
getting rare on the west side of the island.
The beach of chaloklum Bay is about two and a half kilometers
long, with a small fishing village in the middle. Every
day the fishing boats anr coming in and bring fresh seafood.
Particularly the fishermen lay the squid and fish in abundance
for dry in the sun.
Haad Khom is perfect for snorkeling, diving or only
swimming as there is as well a coral reef present. Between
Chaloklum and Haad Khom is one of he best fishing spots
KHUAD (BOTTLE BEACH)
Bottle beach is a quiet isolated beach up north with
only a few bungalows. The only way to get there is a long
walk trough rocks and forest or with the longtail boat from
HAAD THONG NAI PAN
This bi-semicircular cove consits of two beach : Thong
Nai Pan Yai and Thong Nai Pan Noi, separated trough a small
cape. They are very popular for very fine sand, the water
here is very clean and you can go swimming all year round.
is yet another waterfall, "Than Prawes". The name
was granted by HM King Rama V. on 25. June 1898 and also
the king's initial "Jaw.Paw.Raw.117" was engraved.
Tourists can reach the fall through Thong Nai Pan Noi route.
There are about five more steps the water is falling down,
but some of them need some climbing to get there.
Haad Thansadej and Thansadej waterfall are at the east
coast of Phangan and reachable by the Thong Nai Pan road.
Once you arrive at Baan Tong Nang, turn right and go on
for about 3 km, then you will come to Haad Sadej and the
waterfall. The Phangan residents believe that the water
at the fall is sacred, as it is the place where many kings
of the last centuries as well as the present, HM King Rama
IX. Used to have a stay; especially HM King Rama V. repeated
his visit as many as 14 times. Haad Sadej and the nearby
Haad Thong Reng are beaches made of with sand and surrounded
by huge bolder. The sea is deep enough for year round swimming
though the waves can be rough..
You can reach this beach in the east only by boat or
using a branch dustroad passing some woods and rubber plantations
for about 4 km (only for experienced drivers!). Directly
on Haad Namtok is no accommodation available, it is a beach
like visiting Robinson Crusoe with a waterfall coming down
and flanked by steep green hills with untouched nature.
On the road to Haad Namtok is a waterfall called "Than
Prapaad", named by HM King Rama on 5. August 1889.
Also he had his initial "Jaw.Paw.Raw.108" engraved
on a stone.
This beach is only reachable by hiring a longtail boat
from Haad Rin or Thong Nai Pan. Here you find nothing more
than crystal clear water and pure nature surrounded by vibrant
jungle wildlife. All along the eastern coastline are huge
and massive rock formations and the water is quite deep
with sometimes very rough waves. The sunrise view is worth
all the trouble to get to the very few bungalows.
HAAD YAO (EAST)
A relaxed beach in the south east of Koh Phangan with
few accommodation and nothing else as coconut trees and
jungle growing up the hills. On both sides are amazing rock
formations and the water is steep without a coral reef.
Access is only by hired longtail boat or by a mountain path
for experienced walkers about eight kilometers from Haad
WHYNAM, HAAD THIAN & HAAD YUAN
These are all beaches in the east without accessible
roads; if you want to reach these beaches you have to hire
along-tailed boat from Haad Rin or take a boat trip. For
experienced walkers it is also possible using a mountain
path from Haad Rin (about 5 km). It is possible to stay
overnight, but there are not many residences available.
These places are perfect for swimming and sunbathing, the
water is indigo blue to deep green and you can get away
of it all and just enjoy peace and privacy in an idyllic
A very small and beautiful beach not far from Haad Rin
Nok (Just 5 min with the longtail boat or walking a jungle
HIN LOR & HAAD BANGSON
These beaches are very close to each other. They are
private, but open to those who want to stroll along. There
are a lot of residences for tourists, some are built on
rock formations. The beach is an ideal place to go swimming;
however, the most suitable time is during November - April.
The mountains are up to 400 meters high with tropical rainforest
and huge boulders providing a spectacular view to Koh Samui,
Thong Sala, and the Ang Thong Nation Marine Park.
This very quiet beach in the south, right when the hills
start has refreshing clear sea water and is ideal for people
seeking solitude but not stay too far from the action. The
bay is quite broad in places and countless coconut palms
populate the lowland Plaines of the area. The name Baan
Kai, loosely translated means "camping village",
has its origin in the year 1858 when the beach was used
as a camp for gold miners. On the way to Thong Sala keep
to the right for the street to the Sanora Waterfall. It
is a short way driving and then walking a little bit to
get to the place where usually the Black Moon Parties were
HAAD BAAN TAI
About 4 kilometers from Thong Sala is the fishing village
called Baan Tai. On the opposite side of the beach, mountains
of coconuts are prepared for processing. You can see how
people from the village peel and dry the coconuts for export.
The villages primary industry is fishing, thus there is
a small marina where you can hire boat and fishing trips.
The road is almost continuously built all the way to Thong
Sala with a lot of shops for handmade articles, furniture,
flowers and everyday needs. All the way are restaurants
and street vendors and in the nighttime more restaurants
and karaoke bars open.
far from the centre of Baan Tai is a small road to Wat Khao
Haeng. From here, you can get a sight of the island's mountainous
scenery. Short way ofter the marina, on the left side near
the 7-11 supermarket, the road to Thong Nai Pan begins.
This is also close to the area where the Half Moon Parties
take place. The beach is a long stretch of white sand that
runs from Baan Kai right the way up to Thong Sala. The sunset
view on Koh Samui and Ang Thong Marine Park sometimes is
really spectacular. The coral reef is about 200 meters away,
but on low tide, swimming is not always possible. With good
winds, this is the best place on Koh Phangan for water sports
like kite surfing etc.
Phra Buddha Chaoluang or HM King Rama V. made his first
visit to Koh Phangan on 31. August 1888. On that same day,
he named the stream "Than Sadej".
year later, on 18. July 1889, when he repeated the trip
to the same stream, he had the name "Than Sadej"
engraved on the nearby rock surface. This is the first stream,
which is also the waterfall, having been granted the name
by the king.
waterfall is not a very huge one. It has three level, each
named as "Prudaeng", "Prusamchan" and
"Tong Nang". Near the stream under the fall are
nine engraved royal initials of the kings.
V. THAN SADEJ
Rattanakosin Year 107 (1888) - Thansadej Waterfall "31st
August 1888, Friday 9th month the 9th waning moon night,
the King anchored at the East of Koh Phangan at 5.00 a.m.
and landed at the stream of the waterfall. This stream used
to only be stated to have freshwater. When the king visited,
he found that it was a big stream that was comfortable and
could be full of fun therefore he named "Thansajej"
and it was his favorite place for his own period. At 2.30
p.m. he returned to the boat and left at 3.00 p.m."
Year 108 (1889)
"18th August 1889, At first he wanted to anchor at
Koh Samui again but the wind was so strong that he could
not. The Stream at the Sadej Bay of Koh Phangan was favored
therefore he ordered to go back and anchored there. Also
he ordered the inscription of the name of the stream "Thansadej"
at the cliff at the place of taking a bath visited and requested
Praya Chaiya to build the hut at the stream and went back
to the boat and left at about 2.00 p.m.". (Log Book
: King Rama V. Visit Malayu Peninsula Rattanakosin Year
HAAD RIN NOK
This is where the worldwide famous Full Moon Party takes
place every month. The party is set for every day of full
moon, when tourists from Koh Tao and Koh Samui come together
at Haad Rin Nok to dance the night away until the morning.
For more information and the party schedules.
Rin Nok is a long, semicircular beach with very white fine
sand. It is considered the most beautiful beach of Phangan
Island and is therefore the most popular among tourists.
All kinds of accommodation are available as hotels, bungalows,
resort and guesthouses ranging all budgets from basic huts
to luxury suites. But be aware that around full moon, most
of the accommodation is already booked.
Rin Nok is also called the Sunrise Beach with great views
and big boulders to climb on for a sunbathe or meditation.
The sea is most of the year good for swimming and snorkeling,
but around Christmas the waves can get very dangerous. During
the day, the beach is a quiet place full of sun-worshippers
and people shopping and relaxing for the party. At night
the place really gets alive, with a wide spectrum of dance
music played in the biggest concentration of clubs and bars
of the island. Haad Rin is a fast growing, cosmopolitan
town with a culture and spirit second to none.
HAAD RIN NAI
This beach is connected with Haad Hinlor and Haad Bangson
and is also called the Sunset Beach. Here is where a pier
was built to facilitate tourists between Samui and Phangan.
Tourists are very well served by the Haad Rin Queen, they
offer 4 trips a day between the two islands. Many people
prefer to stay on this more quiet side of Haad Rin with
just a 5 min walking distance to all of the parties.
Haad Seekantang, also known as Haad Leela, is located
on the western tip of the Haad Rin Peninsula, about 15 minutes
walk from the town centre. The beach here is famous with
beautiful fine white sand as well as clear and clean water.
Rows of coconut trees and mangroves are grown naturally
along the beach very unique to this topical region, creating
the peaceful atmosphere. The beach is said to be most suitable
for swimming at any time.
THE BEGINNING... At one end of the sunrise beach, Haad
Rin Nok, lay Paradise Bungalows. Travelers would enjoy the
primitice lifestyle, living in wooden huts without any mains
electric and eating local foods with the family. One such
friendship led to a farewell party which Sutti organized
for an Australian friend in May 1989. Quite by chance it
happened to fall on the night of the full moon. The evening
entertainment was centered around fires on the beach with
a generator-powered stereo playing rock music.
50 people showed up that night, dancing around the fires
until down. Everyone agreed that the full moon had indeed
helped to create a magical atmosphere. Sutti was inspired
by the idea if this full moon celebration and planned another
beach party the following month.
good time was once again enjoyed by all and so began the
legendary Full Moon Party at Paradise Bungalows, Haad Rin.
Gradually over the following months, these parties became
more and more popular, gaining recognition from the visiting
tourists and local Thais alike.
that time, there existed only one discotheque, Casablanca.
Pretty soon, even they would close on the night of the full
moon to join the festivities on the beach at Paradise. Since
that time, over a decade has passed, during which Haad Rin
has grown, developed and expanded rapidly. So too have the
Full Moon Parties, evolving to the present world-famous
status, attracting up to 10,000 people each month.
party itself now extends the whole length of the beach in
order to accommodate the growing numbers of party-people.
Paradise Bungalows continues to thrive and plays host to
many international DJs, who provide a professional standard,
mixing the latest dance music and helping provide an enjoyable
time for all.
MOON PARTY ON HAAD RIN BEACH
This white sand beach is known as one of the most beautiful
places of the island. There are two popular beaches: Haad
Rin Nai beach (western coast) and Haad Rin Nok beach (eastern
coast). The pier on Haad Rin Nai beach serves boats from
the north coast of Koh Samui. If you come over from Koh
Samui for the party, take one of the daily ferries from
Big Buddha Pier of Bo Phut Pier on Koh Samui or hop on one
of the frequent speedboats. Haad Rin Nok beach is famous
for its monthly full moon parties, featuring all-night beach
dancing and several establishments blast techno, house,
drum 'n' bass, reggae and R&B. This is the place to
see the fullmoon in the most beautiful view and meet friends
and ravers from all around the globe to party all night
: Be watchful of you personal belongings and personal
safety. Don't. keep valuables in your bungalow, it is a
big night for break-ins. Keep in mind that is one night
you can expect people who never otherwise take drugs or
drink to much. There are also more than 200 local security
helpers for taking care of your health and safety.
: If you arrive on party day or even the day before,
especially on fullmoon, you can forget about finding a vacant
room or bungalow on Haad Rin Beach. Many ravers travel to
Koh Phangan four or five days in advance to nail down a
room and get prepared.
the Boat : The most of the partygoers come with the
boat over from Koh Samui during the afternoon, have party
all night and take the boat back next morning. If you are
just a night tipper, all you need is a change of clothes,
swimsuit, sarong (for sitting or sleeping on the beach)
and sure some money.
: This police often set up inspection points on the
road between Thong Sala and Haad Rin on days leading up
to the full moon party. Every vehicle, including motorcycles,
is stopped and the passengers searched thoroughly. Also
there is some Bangkok police and more plainclothes cops
who get a bonus for catching drug users The Thai law hands
out harsh penalties for drug users and no one should think
to just pay some money to get out of the problems again!
most important : Please enjoy and take care of yourself
and respect the people and the beautiful nature here.
the past we've been known for the parties and still there
is no other place that can rock it like Koh Phangan. The
days leading up to FM party are still the best with everybody
moving in for the big night. You get a chance to reconnect
with people you've seen while traveling or meet new people
just hanging out. But if that's your plan, make sure you
reserve your room ahead of time as the island books up and
accommodations are scarce.
our last issue we told our readers not to let taxi drivers
ruin your trip by stressing you out over an extra 40 Baht.
I had a lot of people come up to me and tell me how sound
that advice really is. It's not that you let anyone take
advantage but at the same time don't get knocked off your
game just for a buck! Most taxi drivers run by the supply
and demand principle anyway. Which means that if it's 2am
and you're all by yourself wanting to get across the island,
chances are the price is going to raise.
are a few new places that must be checked out and highlighted.
Nic's Tapas in Haad Rin behind Warm-up Bar has one of the
coolest venues I've seen in a long time. The owners are
long time residents and know what's happening. Also check
out Kimera food & wine restaurant with its Mediterranean
cuisine and cool atmosphere.
Bar is back to claim it's a-list status as one of Haad Rin's
most friendly and happening places. The staff treats you
like family and their fat-ass furniture makes it comfortable
while you listen to the music and feel the positive vibes.
again for all your support and have a good time in the island.
A hundred years ago, Koh Phangan was not just some unknown
island. On the contrary, every Siamese at that time knew
that Koh Phangan was one of the most favorite places of
their King, King Chulalongkorn or Rama V. on his way to
visit Europe and the Malay Peninsula he had come to visit
Thansadej or "The Royal Stream" as he named it
visiting a total of fourteen times between 1888 and 1909.
the history of Koh Phangan did not start from those days.
The Bronze Drum of the Dongson Culture (500 BC-100 BC) that
was found in Koh Samui in 1977 and is evidence that there
were settlements of people on Koh Samui & Koh Phangan
more than 2000 years ago. Some historians and archeologists
believe that the first group who migrated to Koh Phangan
were the Muslim S Sea Gypsies (Pigmy, Semung & Proto
Malaay) who traveled by boat from the Malay Peninsula.
name of Koh Phangan came from the word "Ngan"
(meaning sand bar) for there are sand bars offshore around
the island. These sand bars can be seen at low-tide and
they protect the island from the strong monsoon.
next occupation of Phangan was by the Chinese migrants from
Hainan about 200 hundred years ago. The first group earned
their living by fishing and later from the tin mines. In
the reign of King Chulalongkorn, a royal officer reported
that 300 families lived on Koh Phangan and most of them
were Thai & Chinese.
Phangan was under Chaiya administration until 1897 when
it became a sub-district of Koh Samui for 63 of its own
big change on Koh Phangan started after the first bungalows
were built to welcome foeign tourist travelers about 20
years ago. The islanders changed their ways of life to grow
with the tourist industry.
Thai culture is deeply rooted in traditions and religion;
the vast majority of Thais are Buddhists. The traditional
Thai greeting is a 'wai' (like putting your hands together
and lowering your head).
basis of Thai culture lies in the family; the young are
taught to respect parents, elders, teachers and Buddhist
monks. All Thais love their King and find any words or actions
against the King or religion offensive.
speaking about traditional Thai culture the Wat cannot be
left unmentioned. After Buddhism spread to Thailand the
Wat became the center of the village. This can be seen in
Koh Phangan, where numerous ceremonies, attended rites and
festivals are held regularly at temples such as Wat Po in
Baan Tai and wat Ratjalearn in Thong Sala.
- Do not touch a Thai person on the head (the head is considered
to be very sacred).
- Do not point your feet at anyone or anything.
- Do not step over anyone, instead walk around them.
- When entering a Thai house/shop/restaurant make sure you
take off your shoes.
- One will not see Thai Couples hugging, embracing or kissing;
explicit affection is considered disrespectful.
Pho - herbal sauna
You can relax and enjoy the many benefits of a traditional
herbal steam sauna at Wat Pho. Lemongrass is added to a
boiler, which is heated by a log wood fire to create the
herbal steam that is fed into the sauna.
you have been partying too hard or just feel like doing
something good for yourself then come on up to this place.
Herbal sauna has many health benefits not limited to reducing
high cholesterol levels to the treatment of skins diseases
such as eczema.
Boxing / fitness center
At Jungle Gym's two locations (Haad Rin & Thong Sala)
you can lift weights and learn the art of Thai boxing or
Brazilian jujitsu. Yoga and belly dancing workshops are
also available at this full service fitness center.
Diving Swimming Pool Party
MTF Diving School and Weangthai Resort located in Baan Tai
sponsor the best swimming pool party on the island just
2 days before the full moon. The party DJ's start, 12 noon
till late. Enjoy the delicious beach BBQ and a variety of
beach games and activities.
Specialists in wakeboarding with a custom designed speed
boat, professional equipment and instructions. The best
wakeboarding experience in the Gulf of Thailand, beginner/advanced.
Also available for private charter.
Orion Cruises offers cruises around the island, to Angthong
Marine Park, and also to Koh Tao. Full equipped with snorkeling
equipment, bar, toilet and buffet lunch on board. This is
the most comfortable and luxurious way to experience the
island and beyond. Also available for private rent.
Located on the road heading north from Thong Sala to Chaloklum
stands the Chinese temple. This temple was created because
of a dream of one woman. 15 years ago Ms Malawan came to
the Sangthom temple on Koh Phangan from Bangkok. The purpose
of her visit was to partake in the ceremony of presenting
the robes to the priests. The story goes; while Ms Malawan
was dreaming Buddha spoke to her and asked her to build
a firelight for the people. When she awoke she began planning
and working on the temple. Today the temple is considered
a place of luck.
Just outside of Baan Chaloklum on the north side of the
island you can enjoy 30 - 90 minutes of elephant trekking
in the mountainous jungles of Koh Phangan.
The viewpoint is located on the trail to Phaeng Waterfall
to Domsila. The trail begins at Phaeng Noi waterfall and
continues along the small streams of water. One of the most
beautiful areas is Tan Gluai, where there are tons of orchids
and where other jungle wildlife is plentiful. This combination
of exotic plants and a spectacular view make it worth the
trip. Once at the top you will be able to see views of the
island and for the more romantic types a wonderful sunset.
Although staying for the sunset also means walking the jungle
in the dark, so bring a flashlight (torch). The trail is
about 1.5 km and takes about 1 hour to walk.
How many of us when we get home crave delicious Thai food.
Why not try your hand at learning Thai cooking. Same-Same
have a Thai Cooking School, which is certified by the ministry
of Education Thailand. They offer courses for 1,3 or 5 days
with an English Speaking Chef.
Making and Design Class
Learn how to create your very own, one of a kind silver
jewelry at the "Workshop Silver" located in Thong
Sala. Study the techniques of traditional jewelry making
right here on Koh Phangan. The "Workshop Silver"
provides an excellent easy learning environment where anyone
can discover their creative side. This is a hands on class
and the students' creations are theirs to take home. No
experience necessary. 1, 2 & 3 day courses start at
Son Beach & Ao Chao Phao
From the main port town of Thong Sala, about a 10 minute
drive along the west coast of Koh Phangan just past Laem
Son Lake you will arrive at two wonderful beaches Haad Son
and Ao Chao Phao.
Son Beach is a smaller more contained area that is ideal
for snorkeling. The coral reef that stretches along the
beach sustains an abundance of corals and marine fife. The
low-key atmosphere is perfect for relaxing and enjoying
the clear blue-green water.
If you are in Haad Son, visit the haad Son Resort. One of
the longest running resorts in the area that offers a full
range of services, from simple fan rooms on the beach to
Deluxe Rooms with a private pool. The casual atmosphere
has made Haad Son Resort a superb choice for family holidays.
Excellent food and stunning sunsets will make you want to
stay forever. Haad Son has recently added a back up generator
to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.
Chao Phao is another great beach along the west coast. Just
a minute's drive from Laem Son Lake is Chao Phao beach with
its small comes and bays that are great for exploring and
swimming. Accommodation can be found at the newly constructed
Sunset Cove Boutique Resort.
Leela (Haad Sarikantang)
Travelers seeking a beach that offers a little bit of everything
will be truly satisfied when they discover this coconut
lined stretch of white sandy beach. A relaxed atmosphere
and a great social scene await you. Only a 10 minute walk
from Haad Rin.
When the tides are high in Dec to Mar Chaloklum provides
good swimming in many parts of its two and a half km beach.
Beautiful stretches of beach can be found on either side
of Ao Chaloklum.
Only accessible by a jungle road or by boat, a double crescent
bay with a gently sloping beach surrounded by swaying palms.
Adults will find great nightlife at Game Bar, Dive Bar and
Flip Flop Bar.
to Thong Nai Pan Noi & Thong Nai Pan Yai, easily two
of Phangan's most beautiful beaches. This northern paradise
boasts two breath taking white sandy beaches surrounded
by mountains covered with lush green forests. Thong Nai
Pan Noi has the more spacious and remote setting with a
very laid back atmosphere situated in a lovely bay. Its
deep waters ensures long days of swimming, kayaking or just
floating on an air mattress.
Panviman Resort : Situated upon a steep cliff
side overlooking the Thong Nai Pan beach is the place for
sophisticated travelers craving tranquility and natural
beauty. Choose from 75 comfortable air-conditioned standard
cottages, deluxe cottage and family cottages all stylishly
furnished and fully equipped with all the modern amenities.
Guests can relax by the pool or spoil themselves in the
you are going to Thong Nai Pan, get up to see the Pool Deck
Bar at Panviman Resort. Panviman's pool bar is great for
a night out or a way to spend a relaxing afternoon with
someone special. Happy Hour: 5.00-7.00pm, 20% off on all
drinks. The Duo Band from the Philippines performs daily
at the Pool Deck Bar at 9.30pm.
Stone Beach Restaurant presents a special BBQ Buffet Dinner
every Tuesday and Friday night. A great variety of Seafood,
Beef, Chicken and Pork and soon.
newly opened Santhiya Resort and Spa has its own private
beach just north of Thong Nai Pan Noi. Spectacular panoramic
views, a peaceful sense of privacy and modern Thai Teak
Panburi Resort : has prided itself on being one
of Koh Phangan's best natural resorts. Located just a short
walk from its private white sandy beach, guests will be
surrounded by wonderful gardens & peaceful huts set
in a relaxed atmosphere.
Resort : Offers a variety of nice clean rooms
on a quiet stretch of beach. There is a nice restaurant
located on the beach. There are also kayaks for rent on
Cottage : Choose from fan rooms or air-conditioned
rooms. This centrally located resort offers a full restaurant,
Internet service, and water sports rentals.
Only accessible by boat or trekking through the jungle trail
this fine white sandy beach is perfect for people who want
to get away from it all. Enclosed by granite rocks making
it great for swimming and snorkeling, a beach popular by
families with small children. Just be wary of the weather,
as the boats can only travel in good weather.
This beach offers great views of the sunset over the long
stretches of white sands running from Thong Sala down to
Haad & Koh Ma
Mae Haad Beach and the tiny island Koh Ma is located on
the northwest tip of Koh Phangan. In low tide a sand bar
connects them both. The months between December and March
and the best times to visit as the rest of the year the
tides are too low for swimming. Mae Haad provides a long
stretch of beach with views of sunsets over Koh Ma.
Located at the SE point of the island you find two beaches,
haad Rin sunset and Haad Rin Sunrise. Both these beaches
are beautiful with fine white sand, crystal clear waters
and a jungle crystal clear waters and a jungle backdrop.
Haad Rin sunset is the quieter beach with shallow corals
with Haad Rin sunrise being the more beautiful with many
restaurants and bars.
A beautiful and secluded beach known by the Thais as an
old place for pirates who came here to hide out until their
ships were full of booty until moving off to trade. In the
high tidal season of Nov to Apr Haad Salad provides good
swimming and a reef of 150 meters just offshore.
Said to be one if the prettiest beaches on Koh Phangan with
stretches of white sand and a good drop off for swimming.
Both ends of the beach have good corals off the rocks. If
you are looking for a postcard view this is the beach for
This very laid back beach attracts many families as the
beach is perfect for young children. Even during the low
season the beaches are still excellent for swimming.
Here the famous Than Sadej River meanders down the mountainside
though the dense jungle and exits into the sea. White sand
and crystal clear blue water make this a perfect place to
relax far from the crowd. The neighboring smaller beach
of Thong Reng boasts clear waters and a unique restic feel
of the old Koh Phangan
A secluded beach, accessible only by boat or by trekking
through the jungles. Swimming here is possible for most
of the year. With its white sandy beach an ideal place for
Drinking & Driving, lack of experience and crappy roads
are the potion for many injuries on Koh Phangan. Just check
out the boys and girls in bandages and you will see what
we mean! BE CSREFUL Motorbikes are the number one cause
of injury to visiting tourists! The roads to and from Haad
Rin and Thong Nai Pan are very dangerous. If the roads are
going to be attempted then we suggest wearing a helmet,
overboard on "the Buckets"
Drinking is a blast and these "Buckets" can be
insane fun with your mates. Thai Whisky is strong and unforgiving!
Drink too much and you will be dancing and acting like a
SPAZ making you an easy target for criminal elements prowling
the party. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
are No Fun at the Full Moon Party
Come on Guys, the Full Moon Party is now world famous for
illegal substance abuse and this might be seem a great reason
to get in on the act and participate. WRONG! Thai low hands
out harsh penalties for those caught participating in this
cycle. The incumbent government also believes that foreigners
are (1) providing a market and (2) creating a bad example
for Thai youth across the country! There are dozens of plainclothes
cops at the party and they get a bonus for catching drug
and Disrespecting Locals
This is a sure way to get yourself beaten up or have a bottle
smashed over your head no matter how tasty you are. Be cool,
smile and walk away from any potential conflict. You will
enjoy your holiday so much more!
Prices can vary but generally prices are 150 Baht for motorbike,
200 Baht for the bigger/enduros 125cc, and about 400 Baht+
for 250cc. Just a reminder, damged motorbikes will eat into
your travel budget.
Jeeps are normally 700-1000 Baht. Each place normally asks
for your passport or quite a substantial deposit. As with
anything you rent make sure you check out the vehicle so
that is in proper condition.
Prices vary depending on how many people and what time of
day or night it is. A short trip starts at 30 Baht. For
a longer trip you can end up paying as much as you did for
your flight ticket to get here. In Thong Sala you'll find
the taxi stand at the round about, just off the pier. In
Haad Rin it's located between Phangan Bay shore and the
Care of Your Valuables
Don't take your valuables (i.e. money, cameras, passports)
to the beach on a party night and be very careful during
the day. On party nights you are sure to get drunk or if
not, carried away within the euphoria. It only takes a split
second lapse in concentration and an opportunist will be
away and hidden in the crowd with your belongings and your
night, possibly your vacation will be ruined!
Us Keep our Beaches Clean
All of us on Koh Phangan are very concerned about keeping
our environment and beaches clean. Be part of the solution
and not part of the cause! Put your trash in a bin and look
out for free fag containers for your cigarette butts. Volunteers
to assist the Green Cross are welcome.
On full moon party night it would be a wise decision to
wear shoes to protect yourself from (1) burning cigarette
butts and (2) broken glass. At a previous party I had the
unfortunate opportunity to come across a really hot babe,
feet pierced like a voodoo doll because she stepped onto
some broken glass. At other parties I have come across many
rangers whose night has been spoilt due to burning cigarette
What am I, your Mama? You know the deal, act responsibly.
MOON PARTY SAFETY STOP & SLEEP ZONE
What is it? => A FIRST RESPONSE TEAM. With they're now
famous "SAFETY STOP & SLEEP ZONE"
can sleep at the safety stop? => Just about anyone who
is in need of First Aid, tired, sleepy or just in need of
a little rest during the FM Party.
is it located? => Location #1 - Directly in Front of
Phangan Bay Shore Resort. Center of Full Moon Beach (Haad
Rin). Location #2 - In front of Pardise bungalows at the
end of the beach.
was it started? => To help all visitors to Haad Rin especially
during the Full Moon Party.
do they do? => Assist anyone in need of basic first aid
or help in getting to an emergency care unit. Acting as
the first response for people who need to see a Doctor or
go to the hospital. While also providing the "SLEEP
ZONE" for party goers that need a little R&R on
FM night in a safe area.
does it cost? => At the moment it is FREE thanks to donations
from travelers and local businesses. The First Response
Team is made up of volunteers (which by the way are also
needed) and the generous donations of people who want to
support a safe party.
So you have been in Thailand a while and your visa has finished
but you want to stay longer, what's your options? Depending
on what kind of visa you have, you might be able to extend
it at an immigration office. The nearest immigration office
to Koh Phangan is at Nathon on Koh Samui. It is always a
good idea to phone the Immigration office and check opening
times as it may be closed for public holidays and only opens
until 12pm. On Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.
of you who have already used your extension, but wish to
stay even longer, need to do a visa run to one of Thailand's
neighboring countries. Likewise if you received a 30-day
visa upon entry you will need to leave the country to gain
another 30 days visa. There are a number of different options,
with the quickest one for Koh Phangan being Myanmar via
Ranong on Thailand's west coast. Ask at your resort for
information or see local travel agents for visa trips such
as X-Net or Backpackers Information Centre.
Trips usually leave with the night boat from Thong Sala
arriving back in Koh Phangan the next evening. Alternatively
you can go by yourself and take a boat to Surat Thani and
then a minibus to Ranong. With this option you will have
to stay the night in Ranong or Surat Thani and return to
Koh Phangan the next morning, make sure you check boat times
if you plan to go alone.
Penang, the small island off the west coast of Malaysia
has a Thai embassy for those of you who would like to apply
for a tourist visa. Have a look on Internet for tourist
visa options. You can go by bus or train from Surat Thani,
the trip down will take around 12 hours. You can book the
trip through a travel agent.
If you feel like going on a little longer trip when your
visa is up, Vientiane in Laos is a pleasant destination.
You can go by bus, train or fly from Bangkok.
The Arayana Phratet - Poipet border to Cambodia is only
a few hours by bus from Bangkok. Many travel agents in Bangkok
arrange 1-day visa runs from Bangkok to Cambodia. These
trips leave in the morning and return to Bangkok in the