Koh Phangan: amazing even without Full Moon Party

  Marica&Sonia   |     19/02/2018

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We reach Koh Phangan by ferry from Koh Tao. We highly suggest booking the ferry in advance as there are only two boats for this route (at 10 am and 3 pm). So we leave Koh Tao at 10 am and arrive on the island around 11.30 am. Unlike the islands we have seen so far, Koh Phangan is quite large.

You will notice it from the size of the roads and the number of cars in circulation. From the port, we take a motorbike taxi for 150 baht per person and we head towards our hostel. Unfortunately, however, apparently, there were police checks that closed many facilities due to lack of a proper license. So we need to look for another accommodation for the night.

We are in the Thongsala area, one of the most hectic and populated on the island, with a wide offer in terms of accommodation. Therefore we stay in a bungalow at the Sand River for the first two nights (390 baht per bungalow), and then we move to Sarana Bungalow for the following nights. The latter is not only much better but also offers both private bungalows and bed in a mixed dormitory, so as to please all budgets. We, in fact, opt for the dormitory for 200 baht each (about 5 euros). It is located directly on the beach, with a swimming pool close to the sea. Really a great location. Moreover, from here it is easy to move around to visit the island. In fact, you'll definitely need a means of transport.

The easiest way is to rent a scooter for around 5 euros a day. During the day it is good to go north to visit the most beautiful beaches. While, during the night, you have to go to the beach of Haad Rin for a lively nightlife, or for those who want to party every night, better opt for a hostel directly on this beach.

Koh Phangan, indeed, is not only famous for its dense vegetation and its dream beaches but also and especially for the famous Full Moon party. The first Full Moon party seems to have been organized for someone's birthday between 1987 and 1988. It has been such a great party, that the same group decided to do it again during the next full moon. From that moment on, the Full Moon party has become a mecca for thousands of travellers, attracting more and more people every year. We, unfortunately, did not arrive in time for this event, which takes place once a month, but we still found a not bad nightlife in this part of the island (

Certainly, we have been really surprised by the beautiful beaches of this island. Although it is a rather popular destination, its vastness and variety of activities allow it to enjoy beaches that are not so crowded, so as to appreciate its true beauty.

We would not mind staying here longer, at least a week, to be able to fully experience it thus exploring not only its beaches but also waterfalls and trekking in the forest. But time is our enemy because our visa will expire in about two weeks, so we stay only four days on the island. We fall in love with it right away.

One of the most beautiful beaches in our opinion is Mae Haad beach, in which two different currents meet and it is possible to walk along the tongue of sand that leads to the opposite islet. Here you can also admire a lively marine life. Don't miss the view from the bar 360, about 5 minutes by scooter, where you will have a complete and breath-taking view of this bay especially at sunset.

We would also recommend other beaches such as the nearby Chaloklum, Bottle beach and the eastern bay of Thong Nai Pan. Needless to say, the colour of the sea seems almost fake. Moreover, the thick vegetation that surrounds it, makes us live like in a dream. There would be dozens of other beaches and little bays to discover, but we do not have the chance. You should also try the view from the Amsterdam bar which enjoys a great mountain location and offers a relaxing and amazing atmosphere.

We have had the impression that it would not be bad to live for a while on this island. Between beaches, parties, hypermarkets and many local markets, such as the famous Thongsala night market, it has nothing to envy to a more chaotic city.

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