When you start planning your trip to the Ko Phangan half moon party or the full moon party, or just any old time, you’ll notice right away that there’s no shortage of hostels to choose from. Many of them claim to be the “#1 party hostel” or “the best hostel for Half Moon Party” in Koh Phangan, offering swimming pools or free drink on arrival. Don’t be fooled by these gimmicks. If you really want to stay at the best hostel on the island, get to Baan Tai Backpackers.
We felt like family from the minute we arrived. With incredible owners, staff and just a really good vibe from other backpackers staying there, we knew we’d chosen the right spot.
Rooms & Facilities
When you enter Baan Tai Backpackers, you can feel the party atmosphere immediately. The walls are covered with colorful painted messages and drawings from previous travelers. I think Jules and I stood reading all of the writing for a solid 3 minutes before we even introduced ourselves.
The downstairs area has a large table for eating (the hostel sells meals) as well as some couches. There is also a huge TV perfect for hangover days when you just need to chill out and watch movies all day.
The rooms here are simple, but well kept. Our 6 bed air conditioned dorm even had a balcony overlooking the back yard. The ensuite bathroom attached to our dorm was big and had a separate shower area (a refreshing change from “over the toilet” showers). The hostel also has privates available if you’d like more privacy. For us, the 6 bed dorm was perfect. It was small enough to stay relatively quiet, but big enough to meet other travelers.
Baan Tai Backpackers is located in the town of Baan Tai. Shocking, I know. We had a really confusing interaction with a tuk-tuk driver who kept asking us the name of our hostel. We kept saying “Baan Tai” to which he just answered “Yes, in Baan Tai, but what is the name of the hostel?” That went one for several minutes before we figured out the mistake.
Anyway, the area of Baan Tai is a great location. Many hostels are located in Haad Rin, where the full moon party is. While Haad Rin has a beautiful beach, the area is really touristy. It’s a good spot for an afternoon of swimming and shopping, but at the end of the day we were glad to get back to chilled out Baan Tai. That’s not to say that you’ll be in the middle of nowhere. The hostel is located on the main road, very close to bars and restaurants and just a few shops away from 7-11.
Pro tip: 7-11 has the best cheesy garlic bread. Yes, it comes in a plastic bag and they heat it up for you in a microwave behind the counter, but we promise you won’t regret it.
One extra tip – the Google Maps location for the hostel is wrong. It’s actually a few kilometers further from the pier than it says on Google. If you’re taking a tuk-tuk make sure to check that you’ve arrived at the right hostel before letting your driver go.
Value for Money
For everything this hostel has to offer, it’s definitely good value for money. The rooms are clean and the common area is spacious. A great bonus with Baan Tai backpackers is having the opportunity to chat with Karen and Tristan. They are backpackers themselves so they really understand the traveling lifestyle, as well as Thailand. They know what other backpackers are looking for in a hostel and they provide it. They also know the island from top to bottom. If you want a fun day exploring waterfalls and beaches, just ask for their advice. If you want to know which party on the island will be best suited for your vibe and musical preferences, they’ll know exactly where to send you.
The vibe at Baan Tai is the reason we loved it so much. For the most part, it’s pretty chilled out. It’s not like other hostels that force the party down your throat. The owners, Karen and Tristan, do a really great job of allowing the party to happen naturally. Don’t get us wrong, they definitely help the party along with rounds of free shots and drinking games. But some hostels try too hard to get the party started. During our half-moon pre-party, our hostelmates started to slowly trickle downstairs after getting ready. After a few buckets (delicious ones!) Tristan and Karen bust out the black light body paint. Then the party is in full swing. The common room of the hostel was full of travelers drinking and painting each other. It was such a fun party we almost didn’t want to go to the main festival! Eventually we all took off together, though; ready to take on the festival as a fully painted group!
While we were at Baan Thai, we ended up forming a really amazing crew with some other travelers we met. And I don’t think this is uncommon. If you have a look at the messages written all over the wall, you can see evidence of other travelers meeting and creating life-long friendships. Or at least one having one hell of a moon party. If you’re looking for a hostel that throws an awesome pre-party, has a chilled out spot for post-party relaxing and can tell you everything you need to know about Ko Phangan, definitely book Baan Tai backpackers, the best hostel for Half Moon Party.