Island paradise is a fitting description of this isolated Thai destination known for backpacking, great diving and a giant party with every full moon.
Visit Koh Phangan to dive, backpack, learn to box, revel in a moon-lit beach party or simply relax. This tropical area is popular for people of all ages. Depending on your mood, visit the island’s north end for tranquil isolation or south end for wild parties.
Find the right diving for your skill level with dive operators in the northern village of Chaloklum. If you’re a beginner, learn the basics over sandbars in the Gulf of Thailand. Explore Sail Rock to see barracuda, batfish and possibly a whale shark. Consider an extended stay for concentrated training to earn advanced PADI certification.
When you’re not diving, enjoy numerous sandy beaches. Visit Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach for sunbathing, snorkelling or riding a water scooter. De-stress at a nearby yoga class.
The island’s vast jungle interior rises to 630 meters (2,070 feet). Hike to waterfalls or join organised activities of zip lines, canopy rope courses or elephant trekking.
The southern beaches of Haad Rin centre on party activities, with fire dancing, multiple DJs, body painting and beer by the bucket. Join the crowd revelling each month when the moon is full. The 2000 movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed in this area.
You can also participate in uniquely Thai activities. Watch, or better yet, train at a kickboxing gym. Attend a culinary school to learn the secrets of making delicious curries or pad Thai. Visit a distillery that creates spirits from tropical fruits.
Koh Phangan is 55 kilometres (34 miles) off the south-eastern coast of Thailand. Ferry from Don Sak or Surat Thani on the mainland in 2 to 3 hours or fly to Koh Samui, another popular Thai holiday spot, and reach the island via catamaran in 30 minutes. Taxis and mopeds are convenient transport options on the small island.
The best times for diving are March to October. Enjoy a mix of peaceful relaxation and party atmosphere on your Koh Phangan holiday.