Wondering what to do in Koh Phangan? Then you’re in luck as this article highlights some of the best events and must-do activities on the island.
Koh Phangan island is one of the most beautiful destinations in Thailand with its golden beaches, turquoise waters, and verdant mountain landscape. While the island is frequented by party-goers for its epic music festivals, much of it is secluded and quiet – particularly during the off-season.
Whether you’re a party-goer or a couple looking for a relaxing getaway, Koh Phangan has it all. It’s also super easy to get to Koh Phangan from the capital Bangkok, so be sure to include this lovely gem when planning your Thailand adventure.
How to Get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan Island
Wondering how to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan? While there are a few options to make this trip, the cheapest and most authentic experience is by combining a bus from Bangkok and then a ferry to the island. We’re not gonna lie, it’s a long trip, but you’ll save money this way instead of taking the pricier flight option. Traveling by bus is the cheapest option with fares starting at around $30-$40 USD.
Another night-travel option is the train which will cost you around 1600 Baht ($51 USD). Note that going from Bangkok to Koh Phangan involves several transfers so the journey will last at least 16.5 hours and is a bit more of a pain.
5 Things to do in Koh Phangan, Thailand
From the amazing parties to the picturesque beaches, there is so much to experience on this beautiful island. To ensure you have an unforgettable stay, here are five of the best things to do in Koh Phangan.
1. Hit Up the Full Moon or Half Moon Party
Let’s start off with the most obvious one, the infamous Full Moon Party. Attracting between 10,000 and 30,000 party-goers each month, this event is one of Koh Phangan’s most popular attractions. Here, people from all over the world gather and party from dusk till dawn. The event takes place each month when the moon is at its fullest on Haad Rin Beach – the southernmost point of the island.
One of the party’s biggest draws is that it’s absolutely free – all you need to do is budget for drinks and you’re good to go! For accommodation near Haad Rin Beach, check out the amazing Phangan Bayshore Resort, one of the best places to stay in Koh Phangan.
If you’re unable to make the Full Moon Party on your trip then the Half Moon Party is a great alternative. Smaller in size, this party generally has a capacity of around 4,000 people. The event takes place one week before and one week after the Full Moon Party at an open-air venue in the forest, north of Baan Tai. The cost to enter is around 1500 Baht ($45 USD). It’s just as crazy as the Full Moon Party, but a little more organized with stages and perfomances.
2. Snorkel and Dive Around Koh Phangan
Snorkeling and diving are both a favorite activity among tourists visiting Koh Phangan. There’s a lot going on in the waters surrounding the island including the tropical colored fish, coral and other marine life.
Snorkeling is offered on almost any beach situated along the west and north coasts. A popular beach to snorkel at is Mae Haad Beach. Here you can hire snorkel gear for just 100 Baht ($3 USD).
For a fun diving experience suited to all experience levels, visit Sail Rock in the Gulf of Thailand. The rock is just an hour away from Koh Phangan by boat and is one of the best diving spots for an epic diving experience.
3. Visit Thong Sala Night Market
Night markets are a popular attraction among locals and tourists in Thailand. In Koh Phangan, one of the best places to visit is Thong Sala Night Market. If you’re unsure about what to have for dinner then this is the perfect spot.
At this lively market, you will find an endless array of delicious foods. From traditional Thai food to pizza, falafel, sushi, and some fresh seafood dishes, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your appetite. The Thong Sala Night Market takes place every night and is open until 11 pm and entry is free.
4. Go Hiking
The entire middle of Koh Phangan is a protected forest reserve and as such, the island is home to some of the best hiking trails in Thailand. Whether you’re into chasing waterfalls or finding the best viewpoints, you’re sure to find the perfect outdoor adventure.
Koh Phangan has a number of noteworthy hikes, the first being Phaeng Waterfall in Than Sadet National Park. This short 20-minute hike follows a steep 250-meter trail towards the island’s largest waterfall. At the base of the waterfall is a large pool where you’ll be able to swim and cool off – perfect to escape the Thailand heat.
For those seeking a challenge, hike up Khao Ra – the highest peak on Koh Phangan. This 3-hour hike begins at Khao Ra Terrace and follows a mixed dirt and jungle path up the mountain. While the hike is fairly strenuous, the views from on top are most certainly worthwhile.
5. Visit the Koh Phangan Beaches
During your stay in Koh Phangan, a visit to the island’s beaches is a must. While the island is small in size, with a perimeter of around 40 kilometers, it is home to over 30 beaches. The beaches here vary in shape and size but all boast some of the most beautiful shorelines.
Some noteworthy beaches on Koh Phangan include Haad Mae, Haad Rin Nok, Koh Ma, Leela Beach, and Bottle Beach. Regardless of which beaches you end up visiting, you’re guaranteed a relaxing, fun-filled afternoon. A great and cheap way to go beach-hopping is to rent a motorbike which will cost you around 125-300 Baht ($4-10 USD) per day.
Best Koh Phangan Things to Do – Final Thoughts
Regardless of how you travel, one thing that is certain is that you’re bound to arrive at one of Thailand’s most beautiful treasures – a beautiful little island rich in culture and packed with adventures.
If you’re island-hopping in Thailand, be sure to check out this article on what to do in Koh Tao besides diving.