Koh Phangan Suratthani
Koh Phangan has long
been "the" favorite destination for backpackers and ravers from all
over the world. They still gather on the island all year long to
join the different parties that made it famous, like the Full Moon
Party happening every month for 20 years on Haad Rin Beach.
But the magical spirit of Koh Phangan makes it also perfectly
suitable for those travellers looking for tranquil and wilder
surroundings in a preserved environment.
The island also has heaps of quieter and undeveloped spots that will
remind you of Koh Samui as it was 15 years ago...
With a pinch of luxury, if you're in the mood, as many new resorts
offer for just a few years now, new services like swimming pools,
air conditioned rooms and even Spas and health centers, bringing
them closer to the hotel standard of Koh Samui...
Just like Samui, Koh Phangan has numerous heavenly white sand
beaches all along its coastline, some of them reachable only by
boat. But it differs from its elder sister with its wide mountainous
jungle in the center of the island, a large part of it being
actually classified "national park" by Thailand.
This preservation of almost half of its surface allows the island to
keep its natural and untamed character and, above all, to avoid
spoiling its wonderful land-scapes by an excess of buildings.
So, whether you like beach or jungle, silence or heavy party sound,
Koh Phangan will satisfy you and your soul, and you will easily find
out for yourself why this island is perfect for making the vacations
of your dreams.
Ko Pha Ngan (or Koh Phangan, Thai: ŗ°“–ĺ–ß—Ļ) is an island in the
Gulf of Thailand in South East Thailand. It is famous for its full
moon party at Haad Rin Beach and as a backpackers destination. Ko
Pha Ngan has two sister islands: the larger Ko Samui to the south
and the smaller Ko Tao to the north.
Koh Phangan is located in Jangwat (province) Suratthani in the
Southern Gulf of Thailand and is part of the group of islands that
make up the Samui Archipelago; a group of over 40 islands fashioned
in granite from age old igneous formations.
The provincial capital
is also called Suratthani and acts as the main overland transport
hub for the islands. Koh Phangan is 70kms from the mainland and
approximately 12kms away from Koh Samui which acts as the main air
link to Koh Phangan.
Koh Phangan is most easily accessd via Koh Samui Airport though it
is slightly cheaper to fly to the regional transport hub of
Suratthani. From Koh Samui a fast boat takes only 25 minutes whereas
the journey from the mainland takes around eight times longer. If
you come overland, the overnight train is the best option with a
frist class sleeper carriage ideal for families.
Buses are the most
economic choice with a trip from Bangkok costing only about 650
Baht, all the way to Koh Phangan. Ferry services are more or less
hourly throughout the day from Koh Samui and every couple of hours
from the mainland; several boats also go regularly from Koh Tao.
Koh Phangan has always been a beautiful and spiritual place for the
Thai people, it has been visited by no less than four Kings of
Thailand; with the Great Rama V coming over 10 times, leaving his
royal seal engraved on a rock at Thaan Sadet Waterfall; and the
current King Bhumibol following in his footsteps. The island was
uninhabited until about 600 years ago when passing monks realised
its tranquillity and spiritual importance and settled in Wat Phu
Khao Noi just outside Thongsala. It is Thailandís fifth biggest
island and has an area of 167km2, thus over 90% of Phangan is
unspoilt tropical forest; and due to its granite structure, there
are several small mountains where itís possible to trek and even
There is an abundance of wildlife from monkeys to birds of paradise
and then there is the amazing underwater world that surrounds Koh
Phangan; with over 10kms of vibrant coral and 20 local dive sites.
And if you have any energy after that, there is the nightlife that
the island became internationally famous for, with the globally
renowned Full Moon Party and weekly outdoor events in jungle and
beachfront venues; not forgetting the daily session that goes off in
December to February
The cool season : temperatures can reach up to 30°C (86°F). Brief
tropical rain showers occur mostly in December. This is the best
season to visit Phangan.
March to June
The hot season : it becomes very hot - up to 40°C (114°F), with
little or no rain. You will appreciate your air-conditioned hotel
room during this time!
July to September
The pre-monsoon : it's hot with occasional rains. More or less nice
weather, depending on the years, september seems to be better
October and November
The rain season : it's the monsoon, and you'll see more rain
than any other months, though it generally doesn't rain every day,
neither all day, nice hot days can even happen. It's a good idea to
take a raincoat, when going outside....