An Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand

Top 28 Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand – The Ultimate Guide

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An Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand

Discover The Hidden Gems Beyond The Full Moon Party!

Koh Phangan, a small island located in the Gulf of Thailand between Koh Tao and Koh Samui, offers everything you could dream of in a tropical paradise. Towering palm trees, white sandy beaches, coral reefs teeming with exotic fish, and lush jungles filled with waterfalls, all surrounded by the mesmerizing turquoise ocean.

However, when most people hear about Koh Phangan, they think of wild parties, neon paint, and buckets filled with alcohol. While the Full Moon Party is an epic and unforgettable experience for party animals, it is crucial not to overlook all the other fantastic things Koh Phangan has to offer.

28 Top Things To Do in Koh Phangan, Thailand – Travel Guide

I have put together a list of the best things to do in Koh Phangan that will help you discover the island’s natural attractions and have fun doing various activities. Even if you are not keen on drinking or partying, there are still plenty of opportunities to have an amazing time on the island.

An Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand

1. Hike Khao Ra Mountain

Khao Ra, situated in Koh Pha Ngan, is the highest peak on the island with an altitude of 627 meters, and the hike up to the summit usually takes 2-3 hours, depending on your fitness level and weather conditions.

The trail can be steep and slippery at some points, so it’s advisable to wear appropriate shoes and carry sufficient water.

However, the reward is worth the effort. The breathtaking panoramic view of the island and its surrounding sea from the top is simply awe-inspiring.

2. Get Wet At Challenge Phangan

Challenge Pha Ngan is an amazing water park that offers a thrilling and entertaining experience to test your skills and endurance.

The park features inflatable obstacles, including slides, swings, trampolines, and monkey bars, that float on the water. Your objective is to complete the course without falling into the water or getting knocked off by your friends.

It’s an excellent way to cool off and have a good laugh.

3. Dance The Night Away At One Of The Many Beach Bars And Clubs

Koh Phangan island is famous for its nightlife scene, especially the Full Moon Party, which attracts thousands of revelers every month to dance under the moonlight on Haad Rin Beach.

But even if you miss the Full Moon Party, there are still plenty of other options to enjoy the night. You can find bars and clubs along most of the beaches, offering different music genres, from reggae to techno, and various drinks and snacks.

Some of the most popular spots include Cactus Bar, Drop In Bar, Tommy Resort, Paradise Bungalows, and Sunrise Club.

4. Eat Some Western Food At The Mason’s Arms

If you are in the mood for some authentic British pub food, The Mason’s Arms is the perfect place to visit. This cozy restaurant and bar offer classic dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie, along with a selection of beers and ciders. Additionally, you can watch live sports on the big screen, play some pool, or relax in the garden.

5. Kayak Around The Island

Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the stunning coastline of the island and discover some hidden gems. You can easily rent a kayak from any of the beautiful beaches on the island and paddle along the shore.

You will be able to see some beautiful scenery, such as rocky formations, mangroves, and coral reefs, and stop at some secluded beaches or coves.

An Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand, kayak

6. Take A Day And Chill Out In One Of The Beautiful Koh Phangan Beaches

Koh Phangan boasts over 30 stunning beaches, each with its unique charm and vibe. Some of the most popular and best beaches in Koh Phangan are:

  • Mae Haad Beach: This beach is famous for its coral reef and marine life. You can snorkel, swim, or sunbathe on the soft white sand.
  • Bottle Beach: This beach is secluded and serene, accessible only by boat or hiking. Bottle Beach is ideal for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy the tranquility.
  • Zen Beach: This beach is a haven for yoga and meditation enthusiasts. It has a calm and peaceful atmosphere, with stunning views of the sunset and the mountains.
  • Secret Beach: This beach is hidden behind a coconut plantation and a rocky hill. It is a small and cozy beach, with clear water and shady trees.
  • Chaloklum Beach: This beach is a fishing village that has a lively and friendly vibe. You can enjoy fresh seafood, local culture, and water activities like kayaking and paddle boarding.
  • Haad Salad Beach: This beach is a family-friendly beach that has shallow and safe water. It has a range of facilities, restaurants, and shops, as well as a relaxing and laid-back ambiance.
  • Leela Beach: This beach is a romantic and secluded beach that has soft and powdery sand. It has a panoramic view of the island and the sea, as well as a quiet and intimate atmosphere.
  • Haad Yao Beach: This beach is a long and curved beach that has a spacious and comfortable feel. It has plenty of space for sunbathing, swimming, or playing sports. It also has a variety of bars, cafes, and shops along the beachfront.
  • Thong Nai Pan Beach: This beach is a scenic and tranquil beach that has clear and calm water. It is surrounded by lush green hills and coconut trees, creating a natural and relaxing setting. Nai Pan is ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, or hiking on nearby trails.
  • Haad Rin Beach: This beach is a lively and vibrant beach that has a festive and energetic vibe. It is famous for hosting the monthly Full Moon, where thousands of people dance, drink, and have fun under the moonlight. It is also a great place to enjoy the sunrise and sunset, as well as the fire shows and music.

7. Learn How To Cook Thai Food

If you love Thai food and want to learn how to make it yourself, you can join a cooking class in Phangan. Several cooking schools on the island offer different courses and menus, such as My Wok and Me, C&M Study Center, or Phangan Thai Cooking Class.

You can learn how to make some classic dishes, such as green curry, pad thai, or tom kha gai, as well as some local specialties, such as massaman curry or som tam. You can also learn about the ingredients and spices that make Thai food so flavorful and unique.

8. Detox at a Yoga Retreat

One of the most popular things to do on this island is to join a yoga retreat and detox your body and mind. Many yoga centers on the island offer different types of yoga classes, from hatha to vinyasa, as well as meditation, massage, and healthy food.

You can choose from a variety of packages, from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your budget and preferences. A yoga retreat is a great way to recharge your energy, improve your health, and meet like-minded people.

An Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand, yoga, Firefly

9. Relax In The Baan Tai Herbal Sauna

If you’re looking for a way to unwind and recharge in Phangan, you might want to check out the Baan Tai Sauna. This sauna is situated inside a wooden cabin near Wat Pho Temple and uses natural herbs and steam to purify your skin and enhance your blood circulation.

The sauna is available every day from 2 pm to 9 pm and offers unlimited use for only 120 baht. You can also opt for a massage or an herbal bath for an additional fee. This is one of the best things to do in Koh Phangan in the rain.

10. Get A Thai Massage

One of the most relaxing things to do on the island of Phangan is to get a massage. There are many massage parlors and spas on the island that offer different types of massage, such as Thai, oil, aromatherapy, or reflexology.

You can also find some massage places on the beach, where you can enjoy the sound of the waves while getting pampered. A massage usually costs between 200 to 500 baht per hour, depending on the type and location.

11. Meditate With Phra Olarn

Phra Olarn is a Buddhist monk who lives in a small temple on Koh Phangan. He is known for his kindness and wisdom, and he welcomes anyone who wants to learn about meditation and Buddhism. You can join him for a daily meditation session at 6 pm, or sign up for a longer retreat that includes teachings, chanting yoga, and vegetarian meals.

Phra Olarn speaks English fluently and has a lot of stories to share about his life and travels. He will make you feel at home and inspire you with his peaceful presence.

12. Take A Boat Trip To The Nearby Islands

If you want to explore some other beautiful islands, you can take a boat trip to Ko Samui, Ko Tao, or Nang-Yuan. These islands are famous for their stunning coral reefs, crystal clear water, and diverse marine life.

Samui is the largest and most developed island in the area, with plenty of resorts, restaurants, shops, and nightlife. You can visit some of the famous landmarks, such as the Big Buddha statue, the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks, or the Na Muang waterfalls.

Koh Tao is a paradise for divers and snorkelers, with crystal clear water and abundant marine life. You can see colorful corals, tropical fish, turtles, sharks and rays. You can also relax on some of the stunning beaches, such as Sairee Beach or Mango Bay.

Koh Nang Yuan is a small island composed of three rocky peaks connected by a sandbar. It’s a popular spot for day trips from Koh Tao or Ko Phangan. You can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking in the clear water, or climb up to the viewpoint for a spectacular view of the island and the sea.

Nang-Yuan, An Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand

13. Explore The Waterfalls

Koh Phangan boasts several waterfalls that are worth a visit, especially during the rainy season when they are in full flow. Some of the most popular ones include Phaeng Waterfall, Than Sadet Waterfall, and Paradise Waterfall.

You can access these waterfalls by hiking, renting a scooter, or hiring a taxi. Once there, you can swim in the pools, have a picnic by the rocks, or simply marvel at the natural beauty. The waterfalls are surrounded by tropical flora and fauna, so you might even spot some monkeys, birds, or butterflies along the way.

14. Try Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing is an exhilarating sport that combines surfing, windsurfing, and paragliding, using a kite to harness the power of the wind and glide across the water on a board. Koh Phangan is an ideal location to try kitesurfing, as it boasts consistent winds and shallow water.

You can either take lessons from one of the kitesurfing schools on the island or rent equipment if you are already experienced. The best spots for kitesurfing in Koh Phangan are Ban Tai Beach and Chaloklum Bay.

15. Explore Koh Phangan With An ATV

If you’re in the mood for an adventure, you can rent an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and explore the island on four wheels. You have the option to drive on the main roads or go off-road to discover hidden gems. You can witness the mountains, jungles, beaches, temples, and villages of Koh Phangan from a unique perspective.

Moreover, you can also join a guided tour that will take you to some of the best attractions and viewpoints on the island. ATV rentals are available at various locations in Koh Phangan, and you’ll need a valid driver’s license to drive one.

16. Join A Muay Thai Boxing Class

If you’re looking for a fun and challenging activity in Koh Phangan, why not try it? The Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and a form of martial arts that uses punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. It’s a great way to get fit, learn self-defense, and have fun at the same time.

Several gyms in Koh Phangan offer classes for beginners and advanced fighters. You can join a group class or book a private session with a trainer.

Muay Thai, Firefly, An Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do In Koh Phangan, Thailand

17. Explore Than Sadet National Park

If you’re a nature lover, you’ll love Phangan National Park. This park covers a large area of Koh Phangan’s east coast and features lush forests, waterfalls, rivers, and beaches. You can hike along the trails that lead to different viewpoints and attractions, such as the King’s Rock or the Sadet-Waterfall.

You can also swim in the natural pools or relax on the sandy shores of Than Sadet Beach. The park is also home to various wildlife, such as monkeys, birds, and butterflies. This is a peaceful and scenic place to escape the crowds and enjoy nature.

18. Treat Yourself At The Night Markets

One of the best ways to experience the local culture and cuisine of Phangan is to visit its night markets. There are several night markets on the island, but the most popular ones are in Thong Sala and Baan Tai. Here you can find a variety of stalls selling everything from clothes and souvenirs to street food and drinks.

You can sample delicious dishes like pad thai, som tam, grilled seafood, and mango sticky rice, as well as try some exotic snacks like fried insects and durian. The night markets are also a great place to mingle with the locals and other travelers, enjoy some live music, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

19. Experience The Beauty Of Marine Life Through Scuba Diving

Koh Phangan is a beautiful island surrounded by crystal-clear waters and colorful coral reefs. It is a perfect destination for divers of all levels of experience and interests. There are numerous dive sites around the island, where you can explore underwater caves, swim with turtles and rays, and if you’re lucky, spot a whale shark.

Some of the best dive sites on the island are Sail Rock, Southwest Pinnacle, Chaloklum Bay, and Koh Ma. You can find many dive shops on the island that offer courses, equipment rental, and guided tours.

20. Watch The Sunset from A Rooftop Bar

There’s nothing like watching the sunset over the ocean while sipping a cocktail at a rooftop bar. Koh Phangan has several rooftop bars that offer stunning views of the horizon and the island. Some of the best rooftop bars on the island are Amsterdam Bar, 360 Bar, and Secret Mountain.

These bars have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and serve delicious drinks and snacks. You can enjoy the live music, the cool breeze, and the spectacular colors of the sky as the sun dips below the water.

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21. Go Snorkelling

If scuba diving isn’t your thing, don’t worry, you can still experience the stunning underwater scenery of Koh Phangan by going snorkeling. Snorkeling is an enjoyable and straightforward way to explore the coral formations and marine life around the island.

You can rent snorkeling equipment from various locations on the island, or you can join a snorkeling tour that will take you to the most beautiful spots.

22. Visit The Temples

Koh Phangan is home to several temples that showcase the rich history and culture of the island. The temples are not only places of worship but also attractions that offer beautiful architecture and a serene atmosphere.

Some of the most notable temples are Wat Phu Khao Noi, Wat Khao Tham, Wat Samai Kongka, and Wat Kow Tahm. You can visit these temples to learn more about Buddhism, admire the art and statues, or join a meditation session.

23. Watch A Movie Under The Stars At An Outdoor Cinema

If you’re looking for a unique way to spend an evening in Koh Phangan, why not watch a movie at an outdoor cinema? Several outdoor cinemas on the island offer a cozy and romantic setting for movie lovers.

You can watch classic or modern movies on a big screen under the stars while lying on bean bags or cushions.

Some of the outdoor cinemas on the island are The Jungle Cinema, The Secret Garden Cinema, The Moonlight Cinema, and The Beach Cinema.

24. Take A Trip To Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong Marine Park is a cluster of 42 islands located about 30 kilometers to the west of Koh Phangan. It’s considered one of the most picturesque and unspoiled areas in Thailand, boasting luxuriant forests, pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a diverse range of wildlife. You can embark on a day trip from Koh Phangan via boat or speedboat.

The islands can be explored through various activities such as kayaking, hiking, or snorkeling. Additionally, some of the park’s major attractions, such as Emerald Lake, Wua Ta Lap Island, Monkey Island, and Mae Koh Island, can be visited.

thailand, koh phangan, Ang Thong National Marine Park

25. Visit Koh Ma Island

Koh Ma, a small island located off the northwest coast of Koh Phangan, is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. This secluded island is connected to Koh Phangan via a sandbar, which is an excellent opportunity for visitors to take a walk during low tide.

Koh Ma is a natural reserve, home to a mesmerizing beach and a coral reef that draws many snorkelers and divers.

26. Visit Thong Sala Night Markets

Thong Sala is the main town and port of Koh Phangan, and it’s also where you can find some of the best street markets on the island. Thong Sala has several street markets that operate on different days and times, offering a variety of goods and food. You can find clothes, accessories, handicrafts, electronics, and more at bargain prices.

You can also taste some of the best local and international dishes, such as sushi, pizza, burgers, falafel, and more. Some of the street markets in Thong Sala are the Walking Street Market, Pantip Market, Food Market, and Saturday Market.

27. Full-Day Road Trip Adventure

One of the best ways to see Koh Phangan is by hiring a bike and riding around the island. You can rent a bike from many places on the island, such as Thong Sala Pier, Haad Rin Village, or Ban Tai Road, for about 200 to 300 baht per day. You can then explore the island at your own pace and stop at any place that catches your eye.

You can visit some of the attractions mentioned above, or find some hidden spots that are off the beaten track. Just be careful when driving on the roads, as they can be steep, narrow, and bumpy in some parts.

28. Experience A Jungle Party At The Baan Tai Jungle Experience

If you are looking for something different from the beach parties, you can head to the Baan Tai Jungle Experience, which is a unique event that takes place in a hidden location in the jungle.

The party features international DJs playing psychedelic trance music, fire shows, UV decorations, and a friendly vibe. You can also enjoy delicious food and drinks from the stalls and vendors.

The party starts in the afternoon and goes on until dawn. You can get a ticket from any travel agency or hostel on the island. This is one of the best things to do in Koh Phangan at night.

thailand, koh phangan, Jungle Party At The Baan Tai Jungle Experience

Where To Stay In Koh Phangan

After taking note of all the best things to do in Koh Phangan, I have some tips on where to stay to make your holiday a memorable experience. Koh Phangan offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. You can choose from beach bungalows, cozy guesthouses, luxury resorts, and more. Below are some of the best areas to stay in Koh Phangan:

  • Haad Rin: This is the most popular area on the island, especially for party-goers who want to be close to the Full Moon Party. You can find many bars, restaurants, shops, and massage parlors here, as well as two famous beaches: Haad Rin Nok (Sunrise Beach) and Haad Rin Nai (Sunset Beach). The downside is that it can get very noisy and crowded during peak season.
  • Thong Sala: This is the main town and port on the island, where you can find many amenities and services. It’s also where the night market is located, so you’ll have plenty of food options nearby. You can find some cheap and cheerful guesthouses here, as well as some mid-range hotels and resorts.
  • Baan Tai: This is a long stretch of beach between Thong Sala and Haad Rin, where you can find some of the best value accommodation on the island. You can enjoy a relaxed vibe here, with plenty of palm trees, hammocks, and beach bars. You can also easily access other parts of the island by taxi or scooter.
  • Haad Yao: This is one of the most scenic beaches on the island, with clear water, white sand, and stunning sunsets. It’s also one of the best places for snorkeling and swimming, as it has a coral reef just offshore. You can find some upscale resorts here, as well as some budget-friendly bungalows and hostels.
Where To Stay In Koh Phangan, thailand, accomodation, best hotel, bungalow

Travel Tips For Visiting Koh Phangan

To make your trip to Koh Phangan more enjoyable and hassle-free, here are some useful tips that you should keep in mind:

  1. The best time to visit Koh Phangan is from December to March when the weather is dry and sunny. The rainy season is from June to November when the island can experience heavy showers and storms. The hottest months are April and May when the temperature can reach up to 40°C.
  2. The easiest way to get to Koh Phangan is by ferry from Koh Samui or Surat Thani. Several ferry companies operate daily services, with different prices and schedules. You can book your tickets at the pier or online. The ferry ride takes about 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the company and the route.
  3. The best way to get around Koh Phangan is by renting a scooter or a bicycle. You can find many rental shops on the island that offer reasonable rates and good-quality vehicles. You will need a valid driver’s license and a passport to rent a scooter. You should also wear a helmet and drive carefully, as the roads can be narrow, steep, and bumpy.
  4. The currency used in Koh Phangan is the Thai baht (THB). You can exchange your money at banks, exchange booths, or ATMs on the island. You should always carry some cash with you, as not all places accept credit cards or have card machines.
  5. The official language spoken in Koh Phangan is Thai, but most people can speak some English, especially in tourist areas. You should learn some basic Thai phrases to communicate with the locals and show respect for their culture. Some useful words and phrases are:
  • Hello: Sawasdee (krab/ka)
  • Thank you: Khop khun (krab/ka)
  • How much: Tao rai
  • Where is: Yuu tee nai
  • Sorry: Khor thot
  • Yes: Chai
  • No: Mai

Are You Ready For Koh Phangan?

Koh Phangan is an amazing destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or partying, you’ll find it here. Just remember to plan, respect the local culture and environment, and have fun! Koh Phangan is a place that will make you fall in love.

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Caroline Alejo
Caroline Alejo
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