Home Visit ThailandVisit Koh Pha Ngan Koh Phangan Island in the Gulf of Thailand: Tourist Guide

Koh Phangan Island in the Gulf of Thailand: Tourist Guide

by Pierreto
Koh Phangan Island in the Gulf of Thailand

Koh Phangan is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, north of Koh Samui, known for its beautiful beaches and famous full moon party.


Province of Surat ThaniThe island belongs to the province of Surat Thani, it is located just 15 km north of Koh Samui and is populated by 13 500 inhabitants.

Every month, the island welcomes thousands of tourists from all over the world who come for its heavenly beaches, it’s diving sites, and its famous full moon parties.

More than half of the island’s surface area is declared a National Park and is therefore protected from property developers.

Koh Phangan’s Full Moon party

Full Moon party of Koh PhanganThere are Full Moon parties all over the island, but the most important ones take place on Haad Rin beach, the beach where the first parties would have taken place.

To know more about the Full Moon and dates in 2019 – 2020  see :
Full Moon Party in Thailand: description and dates of the 2019 – 2020 party in Koh Phagnan

Cities and beaches of Koh Phangan

Places are listed clockwise from Thong Sala, bottom left on the map.

Koh Phangan’s map

map of Koh Pha Ngan

Thong Sala

Capital of the island and main port.

Ao Nai Wok

Also known as Baan Manali for the beach of the hotel of the same name, it is a quiet bay with a long white sandbar.

It is the first bay north of Thong Sala (only 7 minutes walk) and one of the best places for sailing, windsurfing or kayaking.

It is due to its year-round wind orientation and the proximity of the two small wild islands, Ko Tae Nai and Ko Tae Nok (about 10 minutes to paddle in a kayak from Tae Nai)

Sri Thanu

A volcanic peninsula south of Haad Son and Haad Yao, the beach is beautiful, but the water quality is average.

Haad Son

A beautiful little bay with a beach and clean water, poor development, quiet for a family with children.

Haad Chao Phao

A small quiet beach on the west coast of Ko Pha Ngan.

It has some seaside resorts and bungalows offering economy rooms with complete facilities.

It has several bars and restaurants where you can dine and drink while the sunsets.

To get there from the main pier by taxi, it takes about 15 minutes and 20 minutes by motorcycle.

If you need a real escape, it’s here. There are also Moon parties at the Pirate Bar, regularly a few days before the Full Moon Party.

Haad Yao

A long white sandy beach just north of Haad Chao Phao.

A slightly more developed place with more beach bars, a 7-11, ATMs, and restaurants, but clean but with a beautiful sea view, beautiful sandy beach with lots of palm trees providing shade.

You will find accommodation at prices from 150 to 200 baht.

Perhaps the best beach on the west coast because of the excellent quality of the water, sand, and infrastructure.

In the morning you don’t need to go far from the coast to be in deep water, convenient for swimming.

Haad Salad

An idyllic cove with several upscale resorts on the northwestern part of the island.

The beautiful sandy beach here is very narrow, and there is plenty of shade from trees nearby.

It is a friendly and family beach.

Haad Mae Haad

A wide sandy beach that joins Ko Maa, a marine national park, by a sandy tongue.

One of the best diving and snorkeling sites on Pha Ngan, even if the quality of the water and sand here is not so good.

There are a small village, restaurants, and bars.

Thonglang Bay

Between Chalok Lam and Mae Haad.

This almost unknown bay offers you a pleasant stay away from the crowd.

Chalok Lam

A fishing village with a picturesque beach, a long sandy bay at the northern end of the island.

They are not a lot of tourist due to the few boats that make the trip.

Haad Khom

A 20-minute walk east of Chalok Lam on a sloping concrete road or a few minutes’ motorcycle ride from Chalok Lam.

You will find a beautiful quiet beach with a clean sea and white sand where you can relax and do some snorkeling.

Be sure to dive that in the morning at high tide, later during low tide, it can be dangerous because of the rocky bottom.

Bottle Beach

Also known as “Haad Khuat,” one of the island’s most isolated beaches on the north coast.

It is accessible by long-tail boat from Chalok Lam (150 baht/person) or by a difficult 2 to 3-hour hike from Haad Khom beach.

Quiet beach with some rooms, but the prices are very reasonable (from 250 to 300 bahts/bungalow).

It is a beautiful long and wide white sandy beach with clean water for swimming, even during the dry season.

There is only one disadvantage, because of its isolation, there are no ATMs or restaurants or 7-11s, so you have to buy everything at inflated prices at your accommodation (for example, 90 baht for fried noodles).

But what you pay for meals will save you money on accommodation costs, and you will be able to enjoy one of the most beautiful and isolated beaches on the island.

Thong Nai Pan

A panoramic view of the northern part of the island which includes the nearby seaside resorts of Ao Thong Nai Pan Yai and Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi, twin bays with two fantastic beaches.

Thong Nai Nai Pan Yai is the greatest.

It is the ideal place for families with children and those looking for a beautiful beach.

Here you can swim safely all year round except during the monsoon season from November to mid-December.

Both beaches have a wide variety of restaurants ranging from cheap Thai food to international 3-star cuisine.

Haad Thien

Welcome to Sanctuary Resort, a top-of-the-range resort with a pleasant atmosphere.

Haad Yuan

A beautiful sandy beach on the southeast corner.

Haad Rin – (Hat Rin)

The most touristy/crowded village, with all the necessary services for travelers and the origin of the famous Full Moon Party.

The biggest Full Moon Party on the island takes place here (with Baan Tai).

It is also one of the few beaches during the dry season where you can swim.

A stunning undulating ocean with blue water.

Outside of Full Moon Party periods, the beach is quite quiet.

Ban Kai

Between Ban Tai and Haad Rin, this beach offers an idyllic setting, a few minutes from the Full Moon Party.

The sea is quite dirty, and the terrain very mountainous, but it is the right place for cheap accommodation (fan rooms / AC 300 to 400 baht).

It is an excellent base for your motorcycle excursions around the island.

Ban Tai

Opposite Koh Samui, it is the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach on the whole island.

Map from Ban Tai to Koh Phagnan
Ban Tai beach map

Practical Information

When to go to Koh Phagnan

The best time to visit the island is from December to March when the water level is high, clean and suitable for swimming.

There is also no rain, and the temperatures are pleasant. There is another high season period in July / August after the dry season when the water rises.

Avoid visiting the island during the dry season from April to June, when all the most beautiful beaches on the northwest coast (Mae Haad, Haad Yao, Chalok Lam, Haad Khom) are not suitable for swimming due to the shallow water.

Swimming in this season is only possible on the north coast on the beautiful Bottle Beach.

The south coast should be avoided all year round due to the poor quality of the water and sand.

See also:
When to Thailand
Weather Research in Thailand: 6-day forecast + Climate and Seasons

Island substation

Post = praysani in Thai

The post office is located in Thong Sala, 500m on the right of the landing.

It is open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturday.

There is also a small office in Haad Rin near the port, with the same opening hours.


There are several quality hospitals on the island, if you don’t have insurance, avoid private hospitals that will try to charge you a lot.

Koh Phangan Hospital is a public hospital located at the exit of Thong Sala, on the way to Wat Khao Noi.

First Western Hospital – Koh PhanganAddress: 112/44 Moo 1, Koh Phangan, Thong Sala, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand Phone: +66 77 377 474

Clinic Bandon International Address: 94/59 Moo 6, Tambon Bantai, Amphoe Koh-Pha-Ngan, Surat Thani, 86000, Thailand Phone: +66 77 375 471

Find a hotel in Koh Phangan

You will have no trouble finding hotel places, but if you come between November and February, the high season in Thailand, it is better to book in advance.

You will find the best quality/price ratio by comparing the offers via our partner:
Hotels in Koh Phangan on Hotellook

Transport: join and move to Koh Pha Ngan

You can get an idea of the prices or book your bus, train, boat or plane tickets with 12go.asia

You will find in agencies, stations and bus stations many formulas to buy a ticket including all transport to the island such as train + bus + boat or bus + boat…

By plane

The island has no airport, but you can fly to Koh Samui and then reach Koh Pha Ngan by boat.

By train

If you want to take the train you have to go to Suratthani station, trains regularly leave Hua Lamphong station at Bangkok to Suratthani; then many buses can take you to the port.

From Bangkok it is advisable to take a night train with a bunk, it is a long journey, Bangkok is about 650 km from Suratthani.

Then to reach Koh Phangan by boat from the port of Suratthani, it takes about 1 hour.

By bus

You have to go, as with the train, to Suratthani then take another bus to reach the port, buses take you directly to the port, but they are more expensive.

Be careful when traveling, there are many flights in the bags, especially on buses that offer very low fares

It is advisable to take VIP or super VIP buses for this long journey; they are more comfortable and fast because they make fewer stops than other vehicles.

By ferry

You can reach Koh Phangan by ferry from Suratthani, Koh Samui or Koh Tao.

See also:
Transport in Thailand, travel to the land of smiles.

Moving to Koh Phangan

Les songtaew (pick-up taxi)

There are many songtaews on the island; they are public transport that will allow you to travel cheaply on busy routes.

You can use the songtaew as a personal taxi if you set the price, you will also have to pay more to reach an area where there are no or few passengers.

If you use them in the evening, they are often on duty all night long during Full Moon.

Taxi boats (taxi boat)

It is a means of public transport on the island, very convenient to reach hard-to-reach beaches.

Taxi boats are on the beaches; you can easily find them because they put a “taxi-boat” sign next to them. They also work at night during the full moon party.

Renting a motorcycle

You can easily rent a motorcycle on the island; it costs about 200 baht a day.

But inspect the bike carefully before renting it and report any dents or scratches to the rental company, the best thing is to take a picture of it from a different angle because there are sometimes scams or the rental company tries to make you pay for a scratch that already existed.

Photos of Koh Pha Ngan

Plage de Koh Pha NganLevé de soleil sur Koh Pha NganKoh Pha Ngan vue du cielFull Moon Party à Koh Pha NganCouché de soleil à Thong Nai Pan.Koh Phangan Island in the Gulf of Thailand

Video presentation of the island

A nice little video to discover the beaches and beautiful places of Koh Pagnan

Koh Pha Ngan’s maps

Tourist map of the island

A good map that shows the main areas to see on the island:

Koh PhaGnan MapYou will find all the maps on the forum: Koh Phagnan maps

Google map of the island

Source: wikitravel.org/; Photos: Thong Nai Pan, Ko Pha Ngan : Mark Forster : Salad Beach, Koh Phangan : Shorkye : Full Moon party : Per Meistrup; Koh Phangan Beach : Shorkye ; Full Moon Party at Ko Pha Ngan : Shorkye : Koh Phangan seen from above : Ahoerstemeier ; Koh Phangan Map : Manfred Werner

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