Less than 20 years ago Koh Phangan not only was not explored by tourists but even wasn’t known among any of them. As my friend shared her memory of staying at Koh Samui in the late 1990-s when it was only inhabited by European hippies, the visible shadow of Koh Phangan was a mysterious subject of evening talks. People said that only the real hippies go to Koh Phangan as there is even no electricity on the island. (But superb herbs).
20 years have passed and Koh Phangan has developed into the very Bali way with few designer bars and lifestyle. However, the island is still very inhabited comparing to other resorts and even still wild and, yes, clean. There comes a disadvantage, every year it’s changing: more tourists, better infrastructure, less adventure. So, the best you can do is go to this wonderful island right away.
1. Choose the best beach of Koh Phangan
This will be a hard one! Every beach in Koh Phangan is amazing. The beaches of Koh Phangan are less crowded than all the rest of Thailand’s beaches. Sometimes we were almost alone on the beach. Therefore I won’t choose any of these leisurely calm white sand beaches, as there are so many around the island. For example Leela beach or Malibu beach. My favourite beach on the island will be Sunrise beach in Haad Rin, as there are huge waves (I love jumping in waves), wind and space. I also find the Sunrise beach as the most spectacular one.
This is the very beach where the famous Fool Moon Party takes place. So be careful reserving the hotel there as prices rise enormously for the party period.
2. Do a beach shopping
I have never seen so many cheap and stylish beach and specially beach-party clothes as in Koh Phangan. This kind of clothes you will never find in any other places and will look very unique on every beach in the world. For example, I found very cool swimming suits with flamingos and coconuts in Amazonas 1974 shop.
3. Have a Thai massage course
Yess! I am talking about all these Thai massage salons that you can bump into in every corner of the country. But, as I mentioned, Koh Phangan is less touristic, than other places, the client’s flow is also less. So the masseuses are trying harder supplying the way better quality of massage.
4. Have a party
Koh Phangan is known specifically because of the parties. Starting with the legendary Fool Moon Party that takes place every month on the Sunrise beach, literally every day in every corner of the island is happening something. And of course, this something will contain loud music, alcohol and everything that is coming with it.
5. Rent a bike
It is the best way to travel around the island. Scooter rental price is around 7$ per 24 hours. Attention! You need to know how to drive a scooter before your trip to Koh Phangan as the roads on the island are very mountainous. However, you won’t have any other choices, as the taxi prices are enormous and there is no public transport.
6. Organize a yoga retreat
Sure, for now, Bali is the king of places to organize a yoga retreat. But Koh Phangan is catching on by organizing the yoga spaces and infrastructure. Therefore I would say it is a good place to do yoga, especially if staying in a villa on the hill surrounded by silence and stunning views. Check the yoga studios of Koh Phangan here.
7. Meet the sunset
The sunset is a very sacred event on Koh Phangan. After the scooter riding around the island, yoga classes or day on the beach you finally find yourself in a cute place with a cocktail and nice sunset view accompanied by live music and DJ sets. Feeling these special sunset vibes you still know that the craziest part of the day is ahead. There are a few especially chill places on the island with a perfect sunset view, which I have already mentioned in the following article: 6 best places to meet the sunset on Koh Phangan.
How to get to Koh Phangan?
As there is no airport on the island, you have to combine the ferry with the bus/train or other kinds of transport. Check the timetable of all transport in Asia and combine your route on the portal 12.go.Asia. We booked our transfer from Surathani airport to Koh Phangan (bus + ferry). It was really comfortable as they met us just at the airport entrance and it cost 500 bats per person.
By the way, I have a special article “How to get to Koh Phangan“. Have you checked it yet?