Koh Phangan in Thailand – Fullmoon Party and more!
Koh Phangan in Thailand is absolutely incredible! No doubt about that. This island is mostly known for the world famous Fullmoon Party, but it has way more to offer. There are so many spots and places, which will leave you speachless. Maybe that’s the reason why so many travelers go there every single year.
I would consider Koh Phangan in Thailand to be underrated in terms of what it actually has to offer. As said, most travellers only think of the Fullmoon Party when they hear the name “Koh Phangan”. It’s like Koh Tao, where everyone instantly only thinks of scuba diving. Or when tourists hear of Byron Bay, where every single one of them thinks of nice parties with hundreds of other backpackers.
The sayings might be correct in a way, otherwise they would not be sayings, but people quickly forget, that there is much more to discover at any of these places. So, let’s jump right into it.
Koh Phangan in Thailand – General information
Koh Phangan in Thailand has a size of about 125 km² and it has around 10.000 inhabitants. It was found hundreds of years ago and is mainly used for tourism purposes today. The inhabitants of the island either earn their money from farm work or tourism. Especially party tourism is a big thing in Koh Phangan in Thailand.
How to get there
You can only reach Koh Phangan in Thailand by boat. You might also be able to fly in the next couple years, because the Thai goverment is trying to built a small airport on the island. But transportation by boat is the only option at the moment. It takes about 2-3 hours to get there by boat, which only costs you a couple dollars.
Short tip: If you get sea sick, then prepare for it. The boat ride can be bad, depending on the weather conditions.
Most people start their journey from Bangkok. I either recommend you to fly down south, which is the fastest way, or go with a night bus, which costs about 10 -20 $, depending on the deal you get. Both options are quite good. The domestic flights don’t cost to much and with the night bus you won’t lose any time either.
Short tip: Just make sure to keep all your valuable stuff with you and don’t put it in the backpack under the bus. Some companies steal your stuff, which happend to me (300 $).
Short tip 2: Take some warm clothes with you during the night drive. Southeast Asian people love a freezing air conditioning.
How to get around
On any island I always recommend you to get a scooter. Always, always, always… It is the fastest, most affordable and most convenient way to get around. You can decide for your own, when and where you want to go, when to stop and so on. It costs about 5 $ per day to rent a scooter on Koh Phanghan in Thailand, which is quite decent, I think.
You could also get around by using the “Tuck Tuck”, take a bus or even use a taxi. All of these options are alright too, but they all have a little catch. Either they are a little inconvenient, uncomfortable or something else. So, make sure to rent your own scooter.
Weather and climate
The weather on Koh Phangan in Thailand is very consistent in terms of the temperature. But because of the fact, that this island lies in the subtropical area, it is shaped by the dry and wet seasons. From February till September it is dry season. The rest is wet season. Make sure to avoid the wet season.
But I can definitely agree, that the weather is very nice during the dry season. It is warm, it’s sunny and the air itself is very pleasent. The temperature sets around 23°C to 32°C all year long.
You have all types of accommodation to choose from at Koh Phangan in Thailand. You can book a first class hotel like the Anantara hotel or go for cheap backpacker hostels. Additionally you have the opportunity to live with the locals in a homestay/ guest house, which is quite cheap as well.
It’s also pretty cool to get to know a local familiy. I have done that in Bali in Indonesia. You get to know their habits, their lifestyle, what they eat, how they think and much more. So, basically a little inside on how they live.
So, if you can find a homestay, take that. If you can’t, then I can recommend the Phangan Beach Resort. It is pretty decent for the price you pay. It has its own pool area, a bar, good breakfast and standard fen shared rooms for about 12 people. I payed about 600 Baht (20 $) per night, because it was during the Fullmoon Party. That is quite expensive for Thailand, but, if you book early enough, then you’ll get a better price.
Most hostels are located in the south west, but you could also stay in the north east or north west, which are both really beautiful areas (read below).
The food on Koh Phangan in Thailand is typical Southeast Asian food. You won’t find that many streetfood vendors, but the restaurants are pretty cheap and you always get a decent meal. Just be aware of meals with fish. They need to be fresh.
Short tip: If, you want to be sure and not get ill by food poisoning, then eat where the locals eat. Most of the time it’s the freshest/ best food for a small price. You can’t get anything better.
Koh Phangan in Thailand – Highlights, what to do and to see
The first and biggest highlight on Koh Phangan in Thailand definitely is the Fullmoon Party. Travellers come from all over the world to enjoy this awesome event. It’s once in a month during fullmoon. Obviously that is also where the name comes from.
The Fullmoon Party is on a beach called “Haad Rin” in the southeast of the island. If you stay in the southwest where most people stay, then it will take you about 20-30 minutes to get there with a small bus. Most of the time, the hostels offer a shuttle service, where you will be brought to the Fullmoon Party with about 15 other travellers – all in one shuttle.
It is a beach party and once you arrived, you will probably be pretty impressed. About 10.000 people celebrating at one big beach, listening to electronic dance music and having a great time. Everyone has painted faces and is in a good mood. The party runs the whole night. It doesn’t cost anything and drinks/ food is very cheap
Short tip: Watch out for your drinks and valuable stuff. Some idiots try to steal your wallet or throw pills in your drink for no reason.
Overall it is a crazy party and you should definitely have a look at it, even, if you are not into big parties that much.
The 2nd thing you should see and definitely go to is the halfmoon party. I even liked that one more than the Fullmoon Party even though the Fullmoon Party was on my birthday. The Halfmoon Party is in the middle of the jungle of Koh Phangan in Thailand. It looks a little bit like a mini version the famous Tomorrowland festival from the way the stages are set up. Really cool!
They play electronical music and before the party starts you can even see a proper amateur Thai Boxing match, which I found quite cool too, because I am really into sports 🙂 Make sure to check it out. You gonna have a blast. Promised!
Guys, Koh Phangan in Thailand has heaps of different parties. This one is the last one that I am gonna mention. Reason being is, that I would still sit here in two days writing about all the parties and that is not everything Koh Phangan in Thailand is about. But still, the White party is also something you should see in my opinion.
When I was there, it was 1 day after the Fullmoon Party. So, not that many people came to this party. But still, it was absolutely fantastic. Everything is set up in white and you have Thai people performing entertaining fire shows. The White Party is in the middle of the jungle as well. A really cool occasion!
The Amsterdam Bar is THE bar in Koh Phangan in Thailand in my opinion. I have not seen many other ones on this island, but everyone says the Amsterdam Bar is the best one anyway. It lies on a small hill from where you have the perfect sunset view. The best one on the island. You can see all along the west coast. Absolutely stunning!
Additionally it obviously is a really cool bar. Otherwise it would not be that popular. You can smoke shisha, have a couple drinks, listen to Reggae music and enjoy a relaxed night with fellow travellers from all over the world.
Make sure to go for a short “road trip” while you are in Koh Phangan in Thailand. Of course, it is not a proper road trip as if you would explore Australia or the coastline of Croatia. But it will take you at least one day to explore the whole island. I would rather plan with two days, because there is a lot to see. I really loved the drive itself. It’s very scenic…
When you drive around the island, you will drive through the jungle, along some mountains, maybe see some wild monkeys and eventually enjoy some incomparable views onto magnificant beaches and bays.
It is just a nice ride and I promise: You’ll love it!
I just love the northeast of the island! The north east of Koh Phangan in Thailand might even be my favourite spot on the whole island. Maybe even from everything I have seen in this country. I know this is a big statement, but it really is absolutely amazing. The beaches are perfect. White sand, turquoise water, just a few tourists her and there, nice restaurants, all kind of water sports and especially… peace and harmony. No real party scene. Relaxing all day long. That’s what I call “picture perfect”!
And the view when you come from the mountains towards the ocean… really took my breath for a second!
Have a look at these beaches when you drive up to the north:
- Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach
- Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach
- Bottle Beach
The northwest also has to be on the list of things to see in Koh Phangan in Thailand. Why? Because it is equally as beautiful as the northeast. The only difference is, that the northeast seems to be a little more secluded. It is a bit harder to reach, but therefore it is even more peaceful. Nevertheless the northwest is absolutely great. The beaches are not inferior in any way.
So, if you are searching for a little piece of paradise you could easily go here as well, if this is closer or easier to reach for you.
Thaan Sadet Waterfall
I want to mention this one, because not many travellers have it on their list of things to see in Koh Phangan in Thailand. It is quite a cool waterfall in the east of the island. They say it is a holy waterfall where even the king has already been swimming in 🙂
Guys, obviously Koh Phangan in Thailand does not only stand for parties and beautiful nature. You can have a great time by doing various cool activities. To name a couple:
- Jet ski driving
- Scuba diving
- Jungle trekking
And there is so much more to do. Mostly you will find exactly the stuff, which you would think of when you think about a paradisaic island in Thailand. But, if there is something you could imagine additionally, which you can not find on the island, then just ask the Thai people. They will sort you out 😉
Koh Phangan in Thailand – What I have learned
You guys know I can not end a post without having said something about what I have learned from this journey to Koh Phangan in Thailand. It is as valueble as everything else I have learned on the go so far. This one is very important to me, because I try to be a good person and I try to treat everyone equally. Does not matter, who is standing in front of me. It’s actually two lessons, but they go hand in hand.
Don’t listen to sayings. Figure stuff out for yourself
First have your own look at things. Then have an opinion
Each and everyone of us has an instant opinion on other people, places and anything else. It is just the way we have all been raised. Older people, family and friends tell us to “Be careful”, “This/ that is not good, because…”, “I have heard of it. It is like…” and all this other stuff. I know they all say it to protect us, to help us or just to give some kind of advice.
What to do instead
But Koh Phangan in Thailand showed me once again, that we must not listen to this, because most of it is just not true. We have to figure stuff out for ourselfs. Otherwise we prejudge and that’s “death” for anything you do in life. It’s like judging someone you don’t know based on things you have heard. It is just not the right thing to do.
And it is the same with travel destinations. Everyone of us has a different kind of view on things. So, make sure not to lose this attribute, just because others tell you stuff, which isn’t necessarily true.
Have a look on your own and then make up your own opinion on things, places, people and anything else you can imagine!
Want to know more about Koh Lanta? Read here