Some 20 years ago, the island was a haven for backpackers, they were the same backpackers who initially “discovered” Koh Samui, but moved on toKoh Phangan as the development of Koh Samui gathered momentum!.
Today, again there is an influx of tourists, locals and foreigners up to 10,000 each month, all wanting specifically to take part in the legendary Koh Phangan Full Moon Party.
The party is hosted at Haad Rin Beach in the southern part of the island, the Full Moon Party is a once a month “all-night-anything-goes-party” held, obviously, on the night of the 1st new full moon.
In spite of this, Koh Phangan’s beaches are still quite unspoiled making them the island’s pride. There are no big highly commercialized franchise hotels in the island but small resorts , villas and bungalows dotted around the coastline with Varied Accommodations to suit every need & pocket!.
If you find yourself on or near the beaches of Koh Phangan at sunset, take a stroll, the sunsets are lovely!, watch the local fisherman wading out into the sea trying to catch their dinner, or just sit back, relax & unwind with a Mai Thai!.
Large areas of Koh Phangan are still covered with lush jungles that are perfect for activities like elephant trekking, hiking and jeep safaris. The island’s natural wonders in the form of waterfalls, rare birds and reptiles are worth seeing too. The beaches have something to offer for everyone. Scuba diving, snorkeling, island hopping and even paragliding are some of the most popular activities.
If you’re not into water sports and trekking, you can just bask in the warm tropical sun and swim in the crystal blue water of the Gulf. Too lazy to even do that? Then, lie on the fine white sand while under the shade of a coconut, sipping coconut juice, a produce of the island.
The beaches of Koh Phangan are segregated into: the Southern beaches, the North-western beaches and the North-eastern beaches. The most popular beaches in the Southern part are Haad Rin Nok and Haad Rin Nai- the venues for the Full Moon Party, the Had Kuat, Had Sadet and Had Nam.
The North-eastern beaches are Ao Chaloklum Chaloklum, Had Mae Had, West Had Thien,and Had Salad. In the West, the paradise-like beach of Had Yao is the top spot to be. Its one kilometer wide beach is a perfect venue for beach volleyball.
Koh Phangan still has a lot of untouched bays and coves that can only be accessed by jungle trekking or by longtail boat rides. Because of this, the island has some of the most colorful reefs that are perfect treats for divers and snorkelers.
Getting to Koh Phangan is very easy. You can take a bus or train from Bangkok to Suratthani then catch a ferry from Donsak. If you’re coming from Koh Samui, you can take any ferry or boat that goes to Koh Phangan, the island is also accessible on several boat trips from Koh Tao & Koh Samui.
The island shares a very similar climate to Koh Samui really only having two seasons, a rainy season & a dry season. The Koh Phangan Rainy Season lasts from October to mid-December, and the dry season is from January-February to October.
As the island’s weather is tropical(high in both temperature & humidity), it does rain regularly throughout the year, the rain, when it does fall, is quite often heavy but a “storm” usually doesn’t last long, and any signs of rain disappear very quickly.
During the rainy season it can rain for days and even weeks almost without interruption, which can lead to some flooding.
Most people find Koh Phangan’s year round temperatures very pleasant, the average daytime temperature is constantly around 30C (86F), with nights being only 5 degrees or so lower.