9 Things to do on Koh Phangan (except the Full Moon party)

Ko phanan view girl

UPD: October 2017

Looking for what to do on Koh Phangan island? You are in the right place! 🙂

Except the fact that I was living on the North of Thailand, I did not know much about its most touristic part – the islands. The first one I have visited was Koh Phangan. It was a right choice as it appeared to be my favorite Thai Island!

I have stayed enough days to make a compilation of the best things to do in Koh Phangan. I also selected a list of places to stay in Koh Phangan for all budgets, starting with the fantastic sum of 3$/night!!

If you are thinking to go to Thailand soon or just curious how is it there on the paradise Island, read on, this article is for you!

ko Pha Ngan map

A couple of things you will need for sure on the island:

Here are my Top 9 Things to do in Koh Phangan:

– Thong Sala night market –

When I asked my followers on Instagram, what would they recommend to visit on Ko Phangan, almost all of them mentioned Thong Sala night market.

Of course, I decided to go check this place out. Here is what I tell you – night markets in Thailand is something special, you should go see by yourself! Thai people simply love night markets, you can by pretty much everything there.

Thong Sala night market is a food market mostly. When you are there, don’t forget to try seafood, it is mouthwatering!!

Otherwise, if you are searching for something bigger, go to Chatuchak market in Bangkok etc., I remember I bought all the presents there. it is huge and you buy some things that are not on sale in Europe or America.

– Herbal Sauna Baan Tai –

Let’s say you are already in Koh Phangan and you are searching for unusual things to do. One interesting place that I have also found through recommendation was a Herbal Sauna Baan Tai.

It is located here, right near the biggest tree of the island. And I don’t mean just a big tree. This thing has been there for centuries, and it’s more than 14 meters (42 feet) in diameter. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, just imagine it’s wider than an average car!

The place was founded by monks from Wat Pho temple and operates for free (donation based).

TIP – as it is open only from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., try to get there after 6 p.m., it is too hot to enjoy the sauna in the middle of the day.

– The sunset in Amsterdam bar –

amsterdam bar koh phangan thailand

There are so many great spots to enjoy sunsets on Ko Phangan.

The best one I found was in Amsterdam bar.

You can enjoy a breathtaking sunset while sipping your drink in the swimming pool. A DJ is playing on the background, and there is always a good mix of interesting people around.

Isn’t it just perfect?

 

 

– Half-moon party –

half moon party

For all party animals out there:

Koh Phangan is mostly known for its crazy full-moon party. The dates are here. It’s a crazy glow in the dark rave where people can get all kind of freaky.

If you happen to have your holiday off this dates, no worries! You still can attend a half-moon party. The entrance fee was 1000 baht, drink included when I was there and, it’s basically the same thing!

– Mae Haat beach –

Mae Haat beach koh phangan

This superb beach happend to be just at the foot of my resort. It is probably the most special beach on the island.

Why? Because Mae Haat is the place where 2 currents meet. It makes quite the eye candy to see two different shades of water separated by a small strip of land, on which at high tide turns into a natural bridge. At low tide, the place feels even more unique as you can literally walk on water.

Mae Haat is located on the North of the island, and I think you will love it as much as I did!

– ChaLokLum beach –

ChaLokLum beach

This one is by far my favorite beach. It is quite hidden and not touristic (that was probably what I liked the most about it!). It is quiet and serene, the water is really warm and the sand is really soft.

Chaloklum bay is a nice little fishing village, no drunk tourists or banging music – you have that emerald water for yourself only!

– Cooking class –

Ingridients cooking thai class

cooking thai salad class

I ate traditional Thai food for 3 months in a row, and I was always eager to learn how do they cook the famous Pad-Thai and such.

My dream finally came true when I took part in a cooking class with C&M Study Center. An absolute must do even if you are there just for a couple of days!

The girls made me feel like at home, we cooked 5 delicious dishes of our choice, it was so much fun! Two sisters are the owners and together with their expert staff they made me feel great at their lesson.

The kitchen is in the open area, is fully equipped and located in a picturesque corner near a lake. At the end I also receive hand-outs of what I cooked, which is very convenient as I can’t wait to try cooking some of the dishes for my friends, yum!

– Boat trip adventure –

koh phangan cave thailand

Kayaking Koh Phangan

What else is there to do in Koh Phangan?

Last but not least, I went to a boat trip organized by Orion boat trips.

The day began at 8 am when I was picked from my hotel.

After a nice breakfast on the boat a charismatic captain told as the itinerary – a full day of adventure awaited for us!

We did hiking on an island which hosts a large and beautiful national park. During our other stops we swimed, jumped from the boat and snorkeled in a few spots. I tried kayaking and got a bit of muscle pain in the morning, but nevertheless i loved every bit of it!!

The day was really full of fun and I was glad the boat was spacious, so I could relax/nap on the way.

When I dropped off at my bungalow, just before the sunset, I was tired but really satisfied.

TIP: Don’t forget your sunblock! Actually, if you are going to snorkel, you might want to get your own snorkel mask. The ones on the tours are not that great and they are always used by someone else, I don’t feel like it’s very hygienic to reuse the snorkel tubes every day for a different person.

P.S. If you want to go further and snorkel the coral reefs of Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan, I recommend taking this tour!

Where to stay on Koh Phangan

Depending on your budget, I recommend staying in these hotels

For a luxury stay

Pamper yourself with any of the poolside, garden or seaside suite options.

Starting from US$ 349

Check the rates!

A dreamy retreat hidden among tropical greenery, luxurious furnishing.

Starting at US$ 180

Check the rates!

A luxurious oasis featuring a spa, a private beach and an infinity pool.

Starting at US$ 236

Check the rates!

Great value for money hotels

I stayed in this resort and loved it, it’s one of the reasons Koh Phangan is my favorite island! Secluded, great views and sick sunsets!

Starting at US$ 30

Check the rates!

 Dreamland Resort features an outdoor pool and views of the garden. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant, great location!

Starting at US$ 22

Check the rates!

Close to the Full Moon party beach, outdoors swimming pool, private balconies and wooden furnishing – all that can make it a perfect stay!

Starting at US$ 60

Check the rates!

A budget stay

A hotel with great reviews for a very affordable price

Starting from US$ 17

Check the rates!

A hostel with bungalows, private rooms and dorms.

Starting at US$ 5!

Check the rates!

Dormitory rooms with an unbeatable price

Starting at US$ 3!

Check the rates!

Summary:

I told you about the best things to do in Thailand, Koh Phangan. Even though the island is famous for its full moon party, there are numerous activities there. Writing about beach hopping, cooking classes and the boat trip made me want to go back to Koh Phangan so much! 😉

P.S. And, as everywhere in Thailand, I do recommend renting a scooter. The island is quite big and the places are remote. The price of the taxi (if you bargain) will be around 200 baht per person one way. Whilst, I paid for my bike 150 baht a day. So, why all the hassle, if you can pay less and be more free?

Going to the North of Thailand as well? I lived there, so I have some good articles for you, as well as about Bangkok!

Have you been to Koh Phangan? Would you like to know more about it?

Add your comment in the section below, I LOVE hearing from my readers!

Don’t forget to press any social network icon if you liked the article!

Yulia


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By | 2017-10-15T23:34:01+00:00 March 17th, 2015|Asia, Islands, Koh Phangan, Thailand|41 Comments

About the Author:

Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog MissTourist.com is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice of how to travel "smart".

41 Comments

  1. Ruth 12.07.2015 at 19:34 - Reply

    I was apprehensive about visiting Koh Phangan because of it’s reputation as a party island. But we went in low season and found it to be onset fully tranquil and relaxing!

    • Yulia 13.07.2015 at 10:56 - Reply

      i think it also depends which part of the island you are in. The North is indeed tranquil,and it was my favorite part! 🙂

  2. Dannielle Lily 16.07.2015 at 14:42 - Reply

    You’ve made me feel so guilty! I spent about four days on the island around Full Moon and hardly saw any of it thanks to massive hangovers/laziness. Looks like I need to go back 🙂

    • Yulia 17.07.2015 at 00:48 - Reply

      oh yes, you really should then! It is my fav island in Thailand so far! 🙂

  3. The Imagination Trail 17.07.2015 at 13:10 - Reply

    Those beaches look absolutely stunning – what beautiful places!

  4. ella 10.03.2016 at 13:14 - Reply

    Hi yulia. this is really useful. im so going to visit all the places. How do i get from phuket to koh phangan ??

    • Yulia 10.03.2016 at 18:39 - Reply

      Hi Ella, thanks for the comment! You can take a ferry from Phuket to Koh Phangan, that would be the best option. You can either buy it at the place, you book it with the pick up service from your hotel here.

      • Luke 25.01.2017 at 00:13 - Reply

        This is not fully correct. From Phuket you must first take a bus or coach to Surat Thani where the ferry docks.

        • Yulia 25.01.2017 at 12:00 - Reply

          Yes, that’s what I meant, the transfer includes everything

  5. Johnc141 25.03.2016 at 14:58 - Reply

    Really informative article post.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  6. ALEXANDER FITZGERALD 15.05.2016 at 21:51 - Reply

    Great tips, thanks so much!

  7. sireenthorn 28.08.2016 at 21:06 - Reply

    Great trip! I never know that there are so many activity to do there other than the Full moon party. I should tries to visit there

  8. Apeksha Harihar 22.10.2016 at 16:12 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,

    This is fantastic information and has helped me plan my trip there next year!

  9. Jan-Ivar 20.12.2016 at 08:36 - Reply

    Perfect timing. We are going from Krabi to KP 8th of january to visit friends, but also spend some time alone. Really thankful for your TIP, and it was nice reading ! 🙂

  10. Kelephant 13.01.2017 at 19:53 - Reply

    thank you for all your tips and pointers! really helpful!

  11. Lynn 17.01.2017 at 20:12 - Reply

    I’m travelling alone. Are there plenty of solo travellers?

    • Yulia 21.01.2017 at 07:10 - Reply

      Oh, there are plenty of solo travelers there, no worries!

  12. Elizabeth Gregory 22.02.2017 at 16:00 - Reply

    Hi yulia
    I am thinking about going in AUgust with my hubby and the place looks fab . We only enjoy peace and quiet and this Moon party is worring me slightly and worried it may be a busy resort .We are looking to stay at the Cookie Salad resort and wondered if you knew of it ? Also do you know how the weather is at that time of year ? I have googled it and think it could be the rainy period ? Your help will be appreciated .
    Liz ( Manchester , England )

    • Yulia 24.02.2017 at 15:30 - Reply

      Hello Elizabeth!
      About the weather – you really never know when it is going to rain in SE Asia, so I would just take a chance and go!
      I stayed in Phangan Utopis Resort and I can REALLY recommend it as a beautiful secluded place!

  13. Ashutosh 16.03.2017 at 10:35 - Reply

    Hello,
    The dates I am traveling to Thailand are neither Half Moon nor Full Moon. I really wanna party hard. Would you still recommend me to visit Koh Phangan? How’s the crowd density on these days?

    • Yulia 20.03.2017 at 17:27 - Reply

      Yes, there are always parties on Koh Phangan, even if it happens to be between the Moon dates.
      if that is what you are lloking for, no worries, you will find tons of parties there! 🙂

  14. Teresa 16.03.2017 at 22:23 - Reply

    Hello Yulia!
    I really like your article! I will travel to Koh Phangan in September all by myself and I am a bit worried about my safety as a solo female traveler. I read everywhere that one should rent a bike to get around easily, but for instance in the Lonely Planet guide I read that it is very dangerous to ride a bike in Koh Phangan or Koh Samui if you have never done it before, and indeed I am a bloody beginner. What do you think about this? Is it a good idea to rent a bike there even as a beginner? Also, I was wondering if I go to the nightmarket in Thongsala, and go back to my accomodation in the dark with the bike, is that safe as a women?
    I hope you can help me a bit 🙂
    Greetings,
    Teresa

    • Yulia 20.03.2017 at 17:25 - Reply

      Hi Teresa!
      It is pretty safe to travel in Thailand for women, no worries about that.
      When I started to drive a motorbike, my friend showed me how to do it a couple of time. but sooner or later I had to go on my own, that is the only was to practice. I recommend going very slow in the beginning to gain experience and avoid night time until you feel like you are experienced enough.
      I am sure it will come in a couple of days if not earlier!
      PS I am in Bali now, where I also drive a motorbike. But even if I have way more experience by now, I am still super careful, I dont go too fast if it s not needed etc.
      Hope that helps!
      Safe travels!

  15. So nice to see such a positive post about Koh Phangan! 🙂 I accidentally booked us a place on the opposite side of the island to the full moon party and absolutely LOVED the island as a result! Definitely a happy accident, we had a bungalow on a super quiet beach! I only wish we had spent more time there. 🙂

    • Yulia 20.03.2017 at 16:43 - Reply

      Right?
      That is what happened to me too! We had a secluded place far from the hustle of the Full Moon Party and I LOVED the island! I think it is y fav from all the Thai islands!

  16. Bruno 26.03.2017 at 07:15 - Reply

    Is it possible to rent mountain bikes?

    • Bruno 26.03.2017 at 07:17 - Reply

      I mean mountain bicycle.

      • Yulia 29.03.2017 at 20:24 - Reply

        Certainly yes, but i dont know any place as a was driving a motorbike, sorry!

  17. Jackie 28.03.2017 at 18:34 - Reply

    HI Yulia!
    Im traveling to Bangkok the second week of July, and I would like to go for the Full moon party, do you happen to have some info about transportation for bangkok to the island.. I hope you can help me a bit Im traveling by myself
    Greetings,
    Jackie

    • Yulia 29.03.2017 at 20:08 - Reply

      Hi Jackie!
      The easiest way would be to fly to Koh Samui and take a boat from there!

  18. Kat 31.03.2017 at 16:47 - Reply

    We chose to stay at Utopia because of your suggestion. We are terrified to sleep here because of all the bugs and just the overall non cleanliness. The staff are so incredibly nice and we feel so bad, but we are going to stay one of the two nights we booked and we are booking it out of here in the morning.

    • Yulia 08.04.2017 at 10:39 - Reply

      Hello Kat,
      I am so sorry about your experience!
      I have stayed there a couple of years ago and I loved it.
      It might be that it changed during these years and I will take it down if I will hear more complaints from my readers.
      I hope you are having a great vacation nevertheless!

  19. kanika 27.04.2017 at 16:20 - Reply

    Hi yulia,

    Thanku so much for the suggestions. it helped me a lot. but i need to know few more things from you.

  20. Arun 03.05.2017 at 09:20 - Reply

    Whre you going next?

  21. M 08.06.2017 at 17:38 - Reply

    Dear Yulia
    Next week I will return to Koh Phangan for the 3rd time.
    I have some more things to absolutely suggest:

    – secret mountain: in the middle of the jungle there’s a house with a bar / restaurant and a big pool. you can lay in the pool with a view over the whole jungle and sea. The family who runs the restaurant is very nice and brings you food and drinks to the pool. have been there last november, we were 2 and had the whole pool for us the whole day – in the evening some other people came to see the amazing sunset

    – top rock bar: in my eyes a much more beautiful than amsterdam, everything is made very nice and beautiful with an excellent sunset

    – hide to high: a guy built it’s own house of wood, makes neklaces and braceletts the whole day, serves you drinks and smoke if you want. there is a terrace outside where you can see the most amazing sunrise I’ve ever seen. the guy is very nice and gentle

    – coconut beach: the most beautiful beach on the island in my eyes, you will have to park your motorbike on the road then walk down in the forest and you will find a hidden beach with a small number of bungalows, a beach bar, a restaurant and a massive porcupine who also lives there. It’s name is Piggy 🙂

    Maybe some of you enjoy my suggestions – I will for sure discover the places i haven’t seen yet that you suggest on your page! Thanks for all the information

    • Yulia 18.06.2017 at 13:02 - Reply

      Thank you SO much for these tips!
      I am sure many of there blog readers will appreciate it!

      I cant wait till I come back to Koh Phangan again and follow your advice too! 🙂

  22. Honey 21.07.2017 at 20:06 - Reply

    Hi Julia..
    I want to visit koh samui and koh phangan. So if I’m at surathani is it easy to get to these places?..also how far is samui from KP?..finally I intent to go to Chiang mai for a few days..so what’s the best route from there?..I’m.going in oct

  23. Radmila Tomic 07.08.2017 at 06:53 - Reply

    Thank you for your suggestions. Great job.

  24. Sud 02.09.2017 at 14:06 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,

    We have total 10days in Thailand and would like to see and relax in some beautiful islands.

    We planned our travel in Feb 2018 and would like to know what is the best plan to go to Krabi and Ko Phangan from Bangkok? that is, Bkk -> Krabi -> Ko Phangan or Bkk->Ko Phangan->Krabi?

    • Yulia 03.09.2017 at 21:55 - Reply

      You can do either way, it really does not matter. I did Bkk – Koh Phangan – Krabi

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