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Is a trip to Thailand really complete if you didn’t venture to Koh Phangan? Arguably no, as this island is one of the country’s most famous and for more reasons than one. Whether you are drawn to the idea of dancing the night away at the Full Moon Party or if the island’s many stunning stretches of sand are beckoning both you and your bikini, every traveler will likely want to extend their stay on this dreamy paradise. Here, a complete guide to Koh Phangan, Thailand.

 

Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

What to Know Before you go to Koh Phangan

The island of Koh Phangan is found in the Gulf of Thailand in the Surat Thani Province. It is one of 40 islands that make up the Samui Archipelago. It is about 70 kilometers from the mainland and arguably one of the top contenders for being the best island Thailand stakes claim to.

 

What to Know Before you go to Koh Phangan - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

Best Time to Visit Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan has three distinct seasons: dry, monsoon, and hot. The best time to visit, as its name suggests, is during the dry season. Temperatures are normally in the 80s (Fahrenheit). With that being said, that is also considered the high season and the island gets its largest influx of tourists. For this reason, some businesses and accommodation options will up their prices. The same goes for the low (monsoon) season. Prices drop as the rain comes in, though we do not recommend visiting during this time. Koh Phangan is visited by most with the hopes of doing nothing but lounging on the beaches for the majority of their trip. During the monsoon season, this is nearly impossible.

 

Best Time to Visit Koh Phangan - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

Top Attractions and Excursions on Koh Phangan

There are so many other things to see and do other than layout and soak in the sun on Koh Phangan. Before heading to the island, be sure to check out all of the top things to see and do there!

 

The Top Things to do on Koh Phangan, Thailand

Filling up your itinerary with amazing things to see and do is easy on the island on Koh Phangan. Backpackers who need some R & R time need to get a massage on the beach. Some of the top places to do so include Tuk Massage, Orion Healing Centre, and Siam Healing Center and Yoga. After getting pampered, spend the day at Slip N Fly and get an adrenalin rush by heading down one of their epic, 40-meter long slide. Afterward, grab a delicious, Southern Thai dish at one of the top restaurants around town. Visitors must also add walking to the island of Ko Mah on their itinerary. Be sure to check out all of the top things to see and do, here.

 

The Top Things to do on Koh Phangan, Thailand - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Bluerama on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

Top 12 Things to do in Koh Phangan that are Free

Visiting Koh Phangan doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavor. For one, you can spend the entirety of your vacation checking out the incredible beaches. Some of the top ones include Secret Beach, Salad Beach, and Leela Beach. Secondly, the sunsets on the island will freakin’ blow you away — simply pick a stretch of sand on the west coast and watch the sun go down without spending a dime. There are also temples, waterfalls, markets, and hiking trails that are 100 percent free to visit. Be sure to read our entire article on the top things to do on Koh Phangan that are free.

 

Top 12 Things to do in Koh Phangan that are Free - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Hiking trail on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

The Best Spas and Where to get Pampered on Koh Phangan, Thailand

No trip to Koh Phangan is complete without a little pampering. For one, doing so is incredibly cheap. You can get a 60-minute massage right along the Gulf of Thailand for about $5. Secondly, spas and retreats are in abundance on the island — you can’t go far without running into a spa or two. With that being said, our favorite places to get pampered on the island are Orion Healing Centre, Siam Healing Center and Yoga, Tuk Massage, The Dome, Cocohut Spa, Kanda Massage, and Ple’s massage. Find out why each of these is worth putting on your R & R itinerary in our complete article.

 

The Best Spas and Where to get Pampered on Koh Phangan, Thailand - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Massage place on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

10 Awesome Reasons to Visit Koh Phangan, Thailand

The beautiful beaches, the delicious Southern Thai cuisine, the most spectacular sunsets…shall we go on? Might as well! Koh Phangan is one of the country’s top destinations for travelers. It draws in backpackers with its promise of epic parties and also those travelers who want to do nothing more than relax. While we could list off hundreds of reasons to visit Thailand, our top ten are:

  1. To party
  2. To drink coffee
  3. To enjoy the weather
  4. To indulge in one too many Southern Thai dishes
  5. To shop at the Saturday Night Market in Thong Sala
  6. To lounge by the beach
  7. To watch the sunset
  8. To go diving
  9. To go snorkeling
  10. To visit the neighboring islands

Be sure to read the entire article about why you should visit Koh Phangan, Thailand!

 

10 Awesome Reasons to Visit Koh Phangan, Thailand - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Palm tree on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

 

Where to Eat & Drink on Koh Phangan

Thai food is some of the best in the world. In addition, each region of the country has staked claim to popular dishes that originated there — the jury is still out, but we would guess that Southern Thailand is home to some of the best food around. In addition, the nightlife on Koh Phangan one-ups all other islands with its promise of late-night parties that don’t stop until the sun rises. Be sure to keep reading to discover the best places to eat and drink on the island.

 

Koh Phangan Restaurants: the Best Places to Eat on the Island

Koh Phangan is swarming with restaurants, and an overabundance of options is not always a good thing. How do you know which ones to dine in on your trip to the island? Fret not, as we at Mad Monkey ate our way through Koh Phangan for you. First and foremost, venture to Bluerama. This rooftop bar equipped with an infinity pool provides diners with some of the best views in town but without costing you a fortune. Vegetarians and vegans will want to venture to Eat.Co — this meat-free eatery has enough delicious finds to please even the omnivores who visit. Want to eat on the beach? Then dine at Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar. There are chairs and tables set up right in the sand, and it is a great place to watch the sun go down over the Gulf. Check out our complete guide to eating out on the island, here.

 

Koh Phangan Restaurants: the Best Places to Eat on the Island - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Fishermen’s Bar and Restaurant © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

The Best Koh Phangan Restaurants for Local Thai Food

One way in which to spot the best restaurants around Thailand is by looking for locals — if a restaurant is packed with Thais, it will likely be serving up some of the best food in town. It is for this reason that we rounded up the best restaurants for local Thai food on the island. One of our favorites is Mama Pooh’s Kitchen. This laid-back venue is so local the staff doesn’t even speak English; fret not, there is a system in place for customers to write down their orders. Another local favorite is Coral Bungalows. This restaurant sits right on the Gulf of Thailand and is serving up some of the most delicious Thai meals around and for affordable prices. For more information about where you should go to eat like a local, check out our entire article.

 

The Best Koh Phangan Restaurants for Local Thai Food - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Thai dish on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

The Best Koh Phangan Nightlife

If you ventured to Thailand with partying as a priority, Koh Phangan is the place to be. Of course, try to add the Full and Half Moon Party to your island itinerary. The Full Moon Party takes place on Haad Rin Beach and is only ฿100 to party, and this shindig lasts all night long. So does the Half Moon Party, though this after-hours event resembles a music festival of sorts as it sports different DJs at different stages. In addition to these epic parties, the island has its fair share of bars — enjoy a drink at sunset at Top Rock Bar or Bluerama or instead sip a cocktail along the coast at Loi Lay Floating Bar. Other nightlife venues worth visiting include Maya, Echo, and Infinity Beach Club.

 

The Best Koh Phangan Nightlife - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Half Moon Party © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

 

The Best Coffee Shops on Koh Phangan

The caffeine scene on Koh Phangan will excite even the biggest coffee connoisseurs. All of the coffees on the island won’t cost you more than a few bucks, as well. Take Bubba’s Coffee Bar, for example — they import all of their coffee beans from the northern city of Chiang Mai, with espresso starting at only ฿60. Then, there’s Art Cafe Library and Tea House. This coffee shop will gift you a free coffee in exchange for a used book donation. Other delicious coffee shops on the island include Luna’s Cafe, Hundred Islands Coffee Bar, and Dot’s Coffee. Also, each one of these cafes has a milk substitute on-hand for all our vegan travelers out there. Be sure to read the entire list of our favorite coffee shops on Koh Phangan before heading to the island!

 

The Best Coffee Shops on Koh Phangan - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Karma Kafe © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

Things to Know Before Visiting Koh Phangan

From tips on getting around the island to how to budget your trip, here are some things you need to know before visiting the stunning island of Koh Phangan!

 

11 Ways to be More Health-Conscious on Holiday to Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is one destination in Thailand that makes it easy to be health-conscious. Sure, you’ll probably spend a night partying until dawn and regretting it later — but hey, that’s what cheap massages are for, right? One way to be more health-conscious on the island is to visit a health and wellness center in addition to getting a massage. You can also get your sweat on in the ring by partaking in some Muay Thai, the country’s national sport. If Muay Thai isn’t your thing, there are a handful of gyms and plenty of yoga studios found scattered around the island, including Agama Yoga, Orion Healing Centre, and Siam Healing Center. For a complete list of ways to make your trip to Koh Phangan a healthy one, check out our entire article.

 

11 Ways to be More Health-Conscious on Holiday to Koh Phangan - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Massage on the beach on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

How to Get to Koh Phangan: a Transportation Guide to the Island

Koh Phangan is Thailand’s fifth largest island. Its massive size alone is enough to have visitors wary as to how it is they’ll get around. Luckily, it’s pretty simple — for one, songthaews (trucks with two benches in the bed) circle the island and pick up travelers trying to get from Point A to Point B. Many of their routes have set fees; for example, you can normally get from Thongsala to Haad Rin for about ฿100, depending on the season. There are also plenty of motorbike shops around the island where you can rent a scooter, but we recommend avoiding doing this if at all possible; the roads aren’t the best and are hardly flat. You can also explore the island via long-tail boat. For more information about the most popular piers, how to get to Koh Phangan from Bangkok, and much more, check out our complete transportation guide.

 

How to Get to Koh Phangan: a Transportation Guide to the Island - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Songthaew on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

How to Travel Koh Phangan on a Budget

As we mentioned before, there are plenty of free things to do on the island that can make traveling Koh Phangan on a tight budget not as difficult as you may think. In addition, be sure to venture to one of the markets on the island — the Panthip Market is a great place to start. Souvenirs are cheap and you could certainly do plenty of people watching instead of purchasing. You can also save loads by opting for a hostel instead of a hotel for your accommodation option. Luckily for your, Mad Monkey is opening a hostel on the island this year, so be on the lookout for that! Another way to save a bit of baht is to avoid tourist hot spots, like Haad Rin where the famous Full Moon Party is found. Instead, venture off the beaten path, if you will, and see all that there is to discover on the beautiful island. If you want to know even more ways to travel Koh Phangan on a budget, read our complete guide.

 

How to Travel Koh Phangan on a Budget - Koh Phangan: a Complete Guide to this Thai Island
Temple on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

Top Thai Phrases You Should Know Before Visiting

Before visiting any foreign country, it is always important, if not essential, to learn a few phrases of the local language. Thai is a tough one, though having these top ones memorized will help make your trip a much more enjoyable one. Be sure to note that women should say kâ after they speak and men should say kráp. It is the respectful way to address locals! Be sure to check out our entire article on which Thai phrases to know before venturing to the Kingdom!

 

Hello Sà-wat-dee
Yes/No Châi/mâi
Thank you Khòp koon
Excuse me Khŏte hôte
My name is ___ Pŏm/chán chuu ___
How are you? Sà-bai-dee măi?
I am fine Sà-bai-dee
I do not understand Mâi kâo jai
Do you speak English? Pôot paa-săa ang-grìt dâi măi? 

 

 

More Information about Koh Phangan, Thailand

Did you love this article about Koh Phangan? Do you want even more information about how to make the most out of your time on this incredible island? Then be sure to check out the articles we have rounded up for your reading pleasure!

  • Koh Pha Ngan Travel Guide by Nomadic Matt
  • 10 Awesome Things to do in Koh Phangan, Thailand by Anna Fausting for The Adventure In You
  • Top Things to See and do In Koh Phangan by Kyle Hulme for Culture Trip
  • Great Local Places to Eat Thai Food on Koh Phangan for Phanganist

 

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About the Author

Kelly Iverson is a vibrant and cutting-edge digital content creator and social media manager with a passion for hospitality.