A Guide to Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan [เกาะพงัน], An island situated in the Gulf of Thailand is internationally known
for the full moon party on Haad Rin that calls over 10,000 party
goers each month to experience its wild nights. Koh Phangan covering
168 sq km is approximately 100 km from Surat Thani on the mainland.
It can be reached by boat from Surat Thani in 2.5 hours and Koh
Samui in 45 minutes. The island is teemed with natural beauty; powdery
white sand beaches fringed by coconut trees around the island. On
the contrary to the wild party on Haad Rin, some remote beaches
provide tranquil and laid-back atmosphere. As high development has
been brought to the island, there are good variety of facilities,
restaurants and accommodation offers a wide range of choice from
very basic bungalows to 5-star resorts. Due to the abundant natural
resources, abounding activities will not let you get bored whether
on land or water namely visiting nearby islands, diving, visiting
temples, hiking to the waterfalls, attending meditation centre and many more.
Haad Rin (หาดริ้น)
In the southern part of Koh Phangan consist of two main beaches: Had
Rin Nai (sunset beach) on the west coast and Had Rin Nok (sunrise
beach) on the eastern coast. Had Rin Nok is the home of the world
famous Full Moon Party and is good for swimming and snorkeling.
Accommodations, bars, clubs, restaurants and shops are located between
and on the beaches and can get quite crowded during the Full Moon
Party period. The Had Rin Pier is situated at Had Rin Nai and it
takes a 10 minute walk to Had Rin Nok.
Ao Baan Tai (อ่าวบ้านใต้)
It is the middle section of Sunset Beach which stretches from Thongsala
to Haad Rin and offers spectacular sunsets with Koh Samui and the
mainland as backdrop.
Swimming is best from December to March while on other seasons it might be not possible in some areas.
The reef just 200 meters of the coast is perfect for snorkeling.
Accommodations are readily available along the palm fringed beach.
The capital and main ferry port has a long and quiet beach good
for swimming and watching the beautiful sunsets. Accommodations
are available along the beach as well as in the village.
Here you can find facilities like banks, a hospital, pharmacies, post office,
money exchange and a night market and shopping center. Taxis and
pick-ups are waiting here to take you to any destination on the island.
Thong Nai Pan (ท้องนายปาน)
Has 2 bays: Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai of which the
latter one is the longer of the two beaches. They can be reached
by a steep dirt road through the jungle or by boat.
It is a quiet area and very popular by travelers to watch the sunrise and just
relax on the white soft sanded beach. There are some bars and restaurants
to enjoy a drink and a nice dinner and accommodations range from
fan bungalows for the budget traveler to 4 star resorts offering
all the facilities you can which for.
Ao Chaloklum (อ่าวโฉลกหลำ)
Is a 2km long beach with a fishing village in the middle where the
fishermen keep their Longtail boats. Swimming is only possible in
the high tide season from December to March.
Accommodations range from fan bungalows to more up-market resorts and several restaurants
and bars can be found along the beach. There are also several diving
schools located at the village to introduce you to the colorful underwater world.
Haad Mae Haad (หาดแม่หาด)
A beach with white soft sand and designated as a National Marine
park due to its richness of sea life in the coral reef. The island
of Koh Ma right in front of the beach is connected by a sandbar
so you can easily walk over there to enjoy some snorkeling or diving.
During December till March it is good for swimming while on the
other seasons the sea is shallow. There is a small village, Ban
Mae Haad, where you can do some basic shopping and accommodations
are available along the coast.
Haad Salad (หาดสลัด)
Located at the west coast is a secluded beach, a well know dive
site and is good for swimming from December to March. There is a
reef just 150 meters of shore providing good snorkeling opportunities
and you can watch beautiful sunsets from the beach while sipping
a drink at one of the beach bars. Accommodation is available from
budget bungalows to air-conditioned villas.
Ao Srithanu (อ่าวสีทนุ)
It’s just a 10 minute drive from Thongsala to Ao Srithanu and is
the main fishing port in the area with Ban Sri Thanu as the market
center. Here you can still find the real Thai life with cheap noodle
stalls, karaoke bars and Thai style shopping. Swimming is good at
the northern end of the beach, lined by Pine trees, but there is
also a lake - Laem Son Lake - providing all year round freshwater
swimming. There are some low budget bungalows with fan as well as
some midrange if you need air-conditioning.