Activities in South

Activities in South

The Southern coastline of Koh Phangan goes from Thongsala in the west to Haad Rin on the corner peninsula of the island. The road linking these two towns is the main thoroughfare of the island. Between these two towns are Baan Tai and Ban Kai. It is the most developed part of the island for tourism, and as a consequence this area of Koh Phangan holds the most things to do.

For many, the main activity is partying at one of the moon events as well as the growing number of bars and nightclubs offering all-night DJ music. For those looking to enjoy some daylight fun there is a plethora of options such as visiting temples, attending festivals, learning Thai cooking, going for a spa treatment, taking a trek through the jungle or taking a tour of the island or other highlights of the archipelago.

For those looking for thrills there is kite boarding, zipline runs, ATV tours, learning Muay Thai and shooting at a firing range. Please browse below to find out more about things to do in the South of Koh Phangan.

See our full list of South Coast Hotels and Resorts

Local Culture

Wat Khao Tam

Wat Khao Tam
Location: Ban Tai
Cost: free

Wat Khao Tam is a hilltop temple in the jungle. One of the reasons to come here is the great sea-views. Another is the tranquil forest setting. The temple, or Wat in Thai, is pretty. There are a few interesting Buddhist statues inside the Wat and in the grounds. This is a peaceful place to visit, although it does get fairly busy when they are running meditation retreats. These last 10 days each and run throughout the year under the watchful eye of Buddhist Nun Mae Chee Ahman who runs the temple. There is accommodation on-site for up to 88 students. If you would like to join one of these meditation retreats telephone +66 (0) 87 974 94655 and ask for Tookata. To get to Wat Khao Tam turn right before Ban Tai village on the road from Thong Sala to Haad Rin.

Chak Phra Festival

Chak Phra Festival
Location: Thong Sala
When: Late October

Chak Phra is a unique and traditional Southern Thai festival. In Koh Phangan it takes place every October in Thong Sala. Chak Phra celebrates the Lord Buddha’s return to earth from heaven. Literally translated though, Chak Phra means ‘pulling the monk’ and the festival involves Buddha statues being pulled on land and at sea. The highlight of the festival in Koh Phangan is a long boat race in the sea and a procession of cars and colourful floats carrying Buddha images. A small village of market stalls sets up in the area near the port in Thong Sala along with stages for dance performances and beauty pageants at night. This is a week-long party and the locals come in large numbers to enjoy themselves late into the night.

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong
Location: Ban Tai
When: November (Full Moon Night)

Loy Krathong is the second most important celebration in the Thai Buddhist calendar. It happens on the Full Moon between the 11th and 12th lunar cycle in the Thai calendar. This happens each year around the 11th or 12th November. Loy Krathong is celebrated by floating a small boat with a candle in the middle on a river or the sea. These boats, known as Krathong, are normally made from banana tree trunk and are decorated with flowers. The acts of releasing a Krathong symbolises letting go of hatred, anger and things people have done wrong to you. Thai people also believe that wishes made as the Krathong floats away will come true. The biggest Loy Krathong celebration on Koh Phangan happens at Ban Tai pier. It is very beautiful and romantic to see hundreds of candles drift off out to sea. The pier becomes full of food and market stalls. There are lots of places to sit down and eat a wide range of Thai dishes for very cheap prices. There is a bar and a stage with Thai dancing and a beauty pageant, which is a traditional part of the Loy Krathong celebration. It’s free to go and everyone is welcome. Smaller Loy Krathong celebrations occur all over Koh Phangan although they tend to be less open to tourists. There is a nice gathering which also happens in Thong Nai Pan Yai where Krathong are released into a river.

Wat Pho

Wat Pho
Location: Ban Tai
Cost: free to enter temple. 50 THB for herbal sauna

This is Koh Phangan’s largest temple. It covers a wide area on two sides of the road. To get there take the turning to Thong Nai Pan from the Ban Tai road. It’s’ about 300 metres from the turning. On the left hand side of the road there is small Wat and some halls. This area is used for funerals and some festivals throughout the year. On the other side of the road is a walled temple complex where the monks live. There are several Wat inside and some statues. There is also an herbal steam sauna here. The sauna is open from 11.30 am or 3pm until 6pm each day depending on the season. The herbal sauna costs 50B a person. The heat is created by a wood fire and lemongrass and other herbs are used. The sauna involves two 10 minute sessions inside with a 5 minute break in between. It is very hot and you will find 10 minutes is more than enough to get the herbal benefits of the sauna. There is one room for women and another for men. After the sauna you might like to have a Thai massage which is available from the massage centre next door.

HMS Phangan

HMS Phangan
Location: Thong Sala

HMS Phangan is a Thai naval ship which was decommissioned in 2009 and dry docked in Thong Sala next to the Songserm Pier. If you are waiting for a boat you should go and have a look. HMS Phangan was originally a US Navy tank landing ship given on loan to the Thai Navy in 1968. The King renamed it HMS Phangan. The ship is 98 metres long and 15.5 metres high. You can’t go inside. The plan is to open it up as a museum but this hasn’t progressed very far. Read more about HMS Phangan here.

Tours

Lomprayah Tour to Koh Nang Yuan

Koh Nang Yuan
Location: Thong Sala
Times: Departs 8.30am and return to Koh Phangan at 4.10pm
Costs: 900 THB return trip

The Lomprayah Company runs a Catamaran service every day from Koh Phangan to Chumporn on the mainland. The Catamaran stops at Koh Nang Yuan about an hour and half into the journey. Koh Nang Yuan is a set of three islands connected by a sand bar. The big selling point of Koh Nang Yuan is the snorkelling. There are loads of fish and coral to see very near the island. There is also a viewpoint and a restaurant, which is fortunate as you aren’t allowed to bring your own food and drink to the island. The beach gets a bit crowded at times as this is a very popular tourist destination. Other negatives are the add-on charges. It costs 100 THB to disembark on Koh Nang Yuan. It also costs 100 THB to go to the beach, another 100 THB for a sun chair and 50 THB for a shower. These small charges aside, this is a really good day out. We recommend booking at least a day before (the office is in Thong Sala) or through any local travel agent. Please note that it normally costs the same to buy a ticket at your resort as it does at the Lomprayah Office. For smaller bungalow resorts the commission they receive on selling these boats tickets is an important source of income. We urge you to support small businesses on Koh Phangan whenever you can.

Itsaramai Cruises

Itsaramai Cruises
Location: Ban Tai Pier
Times: Tuesdays/Wednesday December to October
Costs: 5,400 per person overnight trip

Itsaramai Cruises runs overnight trips to Ang Thong Marine Park in a 66 foot wooden sailing boat. Ang Thong Marine Park is a cluster of 42 islands situated in the Gulf of Thailand about half way between the main land and Koh Phangan. Itsaramai Cruises stop at various islands where you can climb out to view points, snorkel and kayak. Trips include accommodation, meals, soft drinks, snorkelling gear and kayaks. They also run day trips at 3,500 THB per person and are available for private charter. Telephone +66 (0) 8726 0940 to book.

Orion Boat Trips

Orion Boat Trips
Location: Ban Tai Pier
Times: Depart 9am return 6pm
Costs: 1,800 THBper person (200 THB extra for kayak rental)

Orion Boat Trips will take you around the coast of Koh Phangan or to Angthong Marine Park in a 22-metre-long motor cruiser. Trips include a light breakfast and buffet lunch with beer for sale. Their Marine Park trip departs at 9am. It first goes to Koh Wao and Koh Tay Plow for snorkelling. Next the cruiser goes on to Na Tap Beach on Koh Mae Island to see the famous Emerald Lagoon which featured in the film of ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo DiCaprio. From there you can also go kayaking around the rock formations and sea caves. You get back to Ban Tai pier for around 6pm.

Safari Boat

Safari Boat Tour
Location: Thong Sala
Times: Every day during the tourist season
Costs: 1,000 THB per person for Around Island Tour

Safari Boat is one of Koh Phangan’s most successful tour companies. They are efficient and professional. They run four different trips:
(1) Ang Thong Marine Park – 1,800 THB plus 200 THB entrance fee
(2) Around the Island Tour – 1,000 THB (1,500 with elephant trek)
(3) Rainforest Adventure – 1,200 THB (1,500 with zipline/1,800 with zipline and elephant trekking)
(4) Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan – 2,000 THB plus 100 THB entrance fee

The Around the Island Tour is very popular and a good way to see all the major sights on the island in a single day. The tours get very busy around Full Moon Party time and the groups can sometimes be quite large. The tour takes you to Thong Sala for breakfast; to the Chinese Temple; then onto to an Elephant trekking centre. After the trek, there is kayaking around Koh Tae Nai, which is a small island off the west coast. Then it’s on to Haad Khom for snorkelling and finally to Bottle Beach on the East Coast, which is one of Koh Phangan’s most beautiful and remote beaches. This tour is run by really nice guys and we recommend it. Telephone +66 (0) 77 238 232.

Red Star Sailing

Red Star Sailing
Location: Ban Tai Pier
Times: Ring +66 (0) 82 255 1292
Costs: Full Day Tour – 2,800 per person

Red Star Sailing offer 6 different private charter options from it base at Ban Tai Pier in a mid-sized motor boat with 4 berths and a kitchen below deck:
(1) Private Half Day – 19,990 THB. Departing 1pm and returning at 5.00pm
(2) Private Full Day – 29,900 THB. Departing 10am and returning at 5pm.
(3) Private Sunset Cruise – 16,900 THB. Departing 4.30pm and returning at 6pm.
(4) Private Ang Thong Marine Park – 29,900 THB. Departing 8.30am and returning at 6pm.
(5) Private Charter 3 days – Price to be arranged.
(6) Private Charter 2 days – 70,000 Thai Baht
Red Star Sailing is all about a fun day out and they provide beer and food on all trips. The boat is fully equipped with life jackets, communication equipment and GPS navigation to ensure your safety. Bookings by telephone or on line at www.redstarsailing.com. They also do private charters

Parties

Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party
Location: Haad Rin
When: Full Moon night (see dates)
Costs: 100 THB per person entrance fee
Hotels: 10 Best Full Moon Party Hotels

The Full Moon Party is not just one party – it’s a cluster of small parties running the length of Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin. From North to South this is our Guide to the main Full Moon Party venues:

Mellow Mountain: Laid back venue with funky and soulful dance music
Tommy’s Resort: Moderately busy bar playing Psy-Trance music
The Orchid: Haad Rin’s only Drum & Bass, Hip Hop, Break Beat venue. Has a loyal following.
The Cactus Bar: Centre of the action playing commercial R’n’B and Hip Hop
Vinyl Club: Smaller venue playing Psy-Trance music.
Zoom Bar: Mid-sized venue playing Psy-Trance music.
Drop Inn Club: Long running bar playing the popular music of the moment.
Paradise Bungalows: The original Full Moon Party venue. Keeping it real with Techno and House Music.
The Rock: Chill out venue playing funky and soulful music Ibiza style.

Half Moon Party

Half Moon Party
Location: Ban Tai
Opening Times: Twice monthly (dates)
Costs: 600 THB includes a free drink
Hotels: 10 Closest Hotels to the Half Moon Party

The Half Moon Party is a smaller party than the Full Moon Party and feels more intimate. It’s set in the jungle rather than on the beach, and attracts around 2,000 to 3,000 people. To get to the Party take the turning by the 7-Eleven towards Thong Nai Pan. It’s about 300 metres from there, on the left. The venue is an enclosed area with large open air dance floor and smaller covered area with bars and food stalls. The music is mixed live by a changing line up of Thai and International DJs. They occasionally feature some very well known DJs. The music is complimented by dancers, performance artists, lasers, and neon/fluorescent decorations.

Jungle Experience

Jungle Experience
Location: Ban Tai
When: 1 & 4 days before Full Moon Party
Costs: 300 THB (free before 10pm)

This party is sometimes described as ‘Space Ibiza in the Jungle’. This is a party in a tropical garden where people often dress up in unusual costumes. The centre piece of the party is a half-dome DJ booth. They tend to play House and Techno music to a crowd of up to 1,000 people. This is a laid back party with a small but loyal following.

Loi Lay

Loi Lay Boat Party
Location: Ban Tai Pier
Opening Times: Sundays from 9pm
Costs: 200 THB (free before 10pm)

Loi Lay is Koh Phangan’s only party on a boat (moored to the Ban Tai Pier). Every Sunday around 50 to 100 people visit this floating club for a laid back and friendly evening of drinking and dancing. They describe their music as ‘Funky Sexy Deep House Music’. The fun starts from 6pm. Sailor’s uniform not required.

Anahata Lounge

Anahata Lounge
Location: Ban Khai
Opening Times: Saturdays from 8pm
Costs: Free

This is a small venue with a growing number of visitors. This year it has been getting up to 200 visitors a night. Resident DJ Katsumi (Japan) plays a mix of Minimal, Techno and Tech House every Saturday evening. This venue has an indoor and an outdoor area. Inside is a tastefully decorated wooden house and the garden is beautifully lit up with lanterns. Much more laid back than the Full Moon Party.

Baan Sabaii After Party

Baan Sabaii After Party
Location: Ban Tai near Baan Sabaii Resort
Opening Times: 8am the day after Full/Half/Black Moon parties
Costs: Free

This is Koh Phangan’s biggest after party. It starts at 8am and runs until 2am the next day after most of the major parties. This is the place to go if you want to carry on partying. This is a free party on the beach. They play Trance music. The party is on a covered patio and spills out on to the beach. Although it is an after party it is still a fairly high energy affair.

Black Moon Culture

Black Moon Culture
Location: Ban Tai at Mac Bay Resort
Opening Times: 10pm (see below for dates)
Costs: 600 THB

This party was first started in 1999 by two local boys: DJ Leung and DJ Bung Bung and it has grown into one of Koh Phangan’s largest parties with around 1,000 visitors every month. The Party is held At Mac Bay Resort with a dance floor only 10 metres from the shoreline. This is a well organised party with a good sound system and excellent decorations. The next party dates are:

2 Dec 2013
30 Jan 2014
28 Feb 2014
30 Mar 2014
28 Apr 2014
26 June 2014
23 Sep 2013
22 Oct 2014
21 Nov 2014
20 Dec 2014

Sramanora Waterfall Party

Sramanora Waterfall Party
Location: Ban Khai
When: 2 days before/after Full Moon Party
Costs: 300 THB (free before 10pm)

It takes a bit of effort to get to Sramanora Waterfall Party. You need to turn off the Ban Tai Road and follow the signs to Sramanora River. The wide concrete road turns into a single dirt track after about 2km. It’s about another 300 metres walk from there. The party takes place by the Sramanora Waterfall. There is a large covered dance floor by the waterfall and plenty of outside areas to sit down. There is also a natural pool where you can swim if you get too hot on the dance floor. Resident DJ Peter G and a line-up of Thai and Western DJs play Tech House and Minimal House. They have performers doing fire shows and a show with scorpions. Read more.

Mer Ka Ba

Merkaba Beach Club
Location: Ban Khai
When: Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoon
Costs: Free

You will find this purpose built club on the way from Thong Sala to Haad Rin near the Blue Hill Resort. Tuesdays from 9pm it’s Golden Vibes Night with local DJs Graham Gold (UK) and Venus Vibes (Germany). Sunday is a BBQ with DJs from 3pm. This beach front club has a swimming pool and a covered dance area. Merkaba is one of the most stylish party locations on the island and is sure to become one of the hottest party spots in Koh Phangan.

Ku Club

Ku Club
Location: Ban Tai at The Beach Village Resort
When: Friday and Saturday Nights
Costs: Free

This smart new addition to the Phangan clubbing scene only opened in February 2013 and has already become an established party venue. The club is modelled on the Ku Klub in Ibiza and like this famous venue, Koh Phangan’s Ku Klub has a clean white decor and modern furniture. The covered dance area to the side of the bar leads directly onto the beach. Friday and Saturday nights are party nights with sets from Resident DJs Graham Gold, Snoopid, Rob Gritton and Rory Gallagher. Expect between 100 to 200 other party goers to be in attendance on any given night.

Health and Fitness

Kobra Muay Thai Camp

Kobra Muay Thai
Location: Ban Tai
Opening Times: Classes at 8.30 am and 4.30 pm (Mon-Sat)
Costs: 300 THB a session

This is a friendly Muay Thai Camp run by the charismatic Master Kongpipop and his three able assistant instructors. Master Kongpipop is a veteran of over 160 professional Muay Thai bouts. No mean feat.

Located within the Ban Tai Entertainment Zone, Kobra Muay Thai Camp is a fully equipped gym with Muay Thai ring and covered training area. They also hold fight nights here. For anyone wanting to stay longer and fight they offer monthly rates of 7,000 THB (one session a day).

Chorenrit Muay Thai Camp

Chorenrit Muay Thai Camp
Location: Thong Sala
Opening Times: Classes at 8 am and 4 pm (Mon-Sat)
Costs: 400 THB per session

Chorenrit Muay Thai Camp is Koh Phangan’s largest and most authentic Muay Thai Camp. Although they accept foreign students, the locals make up the majority of the people who train here. Over the past few years they have become more tourist-oriented by adding in a fitness gym on the premises which you can use separately for 200 THB a session. They have 5 trainers and a full range of bags and other equipment.

You can find Chorenrit Muay Thai Camp at the top of Thong Sala. Take a left at the traffic lights past Tesco Lotus and it’s 200 metres down the road on the left.

Muay Thai Chinnarach

Muay Thai Chinnarach
Location: Thong Sala
Opening Times: Classes at 8.30 am and 4 pm (Mon-Sat)
Costs: 400 THB per session

This Muay Thai Camp is right in the centre of Thong Sala; about 300 metres walk up from the ferry terminal on the town’s main street. Master Chinnarach has fought over 250 Muay Thai bouts in a career fighting on the tough Bangkok circuit. He started fighting at the tender age of 13. Some of his fights at Lumpini and Rajademnern Stadiums in Bangkok are on You Tube.

Muay Thai Chinnarach has a ring, covered training area, bags and boxing equipment. A month’s training, once a day, will cost you 7,000 THB.

Siam Healing Centre

Siam Healing Centre
Location: Ban Tai (near Thong Sala)
Opening Times: 9.30am – 5.30 PM (Mon-Sat)
Costs: Thai Massage 300 THB

Siam Healing Centre is just outside Thong Sala, behind Ando Loco Mexican Restaurant. This professional centre offers a wide range of treatments and courses. In addition to traditional massage (300 THB), they do oil massages (400 THB), reflexology (350 THB), and sports massage (450 THB).

They also run yoga lessons (300 THB) at 9.30am and 4 pm Monday to Saturday. Courses in giving Thai Massage and Theta Healing are also available. Telephone +66 (0) 89 9658 752 for more information.

True Body Fitness Centre

True Body Fitness Centre
Location: Ban Tai
Opening Times: 9am to 9pm (Mon to Fri). 9am to 2pm (Sat)
Costs: Telephone +66 (0) 80 6966 797

True Body Fitness Centre is Koh Phangan’s best equipped gym. In addition to strength machines, cardio machines and free weights they also hold aerobics, dance, and yoga classes.

The branded work out classes include: Body Balance, Body Combat, Body Shape and Zumba. Daily, monthly and yearly memberships are available.

Adventure Sports

Just For Fun

Just For Fun
Location: Road to Thong Nai Pan
Opening Times: 10am to 5pm
Costs: Adults – 800 THB. Children – 600 THB

Just For Fun is located in a hillside jungle location. To get there take the turning to Thong Nai Pan from the Ban Tai road. It’s about 5 km up the road, just past Jungle Flight. This is a ‘Canopy Adventure Centre’ with tree-top rope bridges, swings, high walkways and zip lines.

Before you attempt the course they run a mini training session. Full safety equipment is provided. A free drink is included which is served in their sea-view bar.

Kite Boarding Asia – Koh Phangan

Kite Boarding Asia
Location: Ban Tai
Opening Times: Telephone +66 (0) 80 6000 573
Costs: 1 Day Course – 4,000 THB

This is Thailand’s only IKO registered kite boarding company. Kite Boarding Asia has 12 schools across Asia. Their Koh Phangan branch is on the Ban Tai road about 3km outside Thong Sala. They offer a range of 1 day courses from beginners to advance kite boarders. They also rent out equipment. A complete set of kite boarding equipment costs 1,400 THB per hour.

Breeze Kite Boarding

Breeze Kite Boarding
Location: Ban Tai
Opening Times: Telephone +66 (0) 82 2773 374
Costs: 1 Day Course – 4,000 THB

Breeze Kite Boarding is located at the Phangan Beach Resort. The centre is led by an IKO Level II Instructor and the equipment is in good condition. Safety equipment includes helmet, harness, and life jacket/impact vest. In addition to 1 and 2 day courses, they also rent out equipment. A full set of kite boarding equipment costs 1,200 THB per hour. This rental price makes Breeze Kite Boarding slightly cheaper than Kite Boarding Asia.

Jungle Flight

Jungle Flight
Location: Road to Thong Nai Pan
Opening Times: 8am to 6pm
Costs: Ziplines – 400 THB. Jungle Trek – 500 THB

Run by the friendly Mr. Chai, Jungle Flight offers zip-line rides through the jungle and Jungle Treks. There are two zip line wires going across a deep valley. The zip lines are quite high up but the thick steel wires are firmly secured and Petzl helmet and harness are provided.

The Jungle Treks are great. Local boy, Chai knows where to find monkeys, exotic birds and will be sure to point out some snakes on the way. Jungle Flight is on the edge of the National Park which a pristine rain forest full of animal, reptile and bird life. Chai will also show you how to tap rubber trees. Telephone Chai on +66 (0) 82 2773 374.

Phangan Shooting Range

Phyangan Shooting Range
Location: Haad Rin (By Best Western Phanganburi Hotel)
Opening Times: 9am to 6pm
Costs: Telephone +66 (0) 80 3285 555

Koh Phangan’s first and best shooting range. Phangan Shooting Range has a wide range of pistols, rifles and shotguns. Shooting takes place under careful supervision in a purpose built range. The staff has a good knowledge of the firearms and can offer advice about suitable weapons to try.

While shooting guns might not sound like a typical activity for a tropical beach holiday, it is something different and will no doubt appeal to those who like more ‘masculine’ pursuits when on holiday. The shooting range is near the Best Western Hotel in Haad Rin.

Phangan ATV Adventure Tour

ATV Adventure
Location: Ban Khai
Opening Times: 9 am to 5 pm – December to October
Costs: Intro – 800 THB. Tour – 1,200 THB.

Near Anahata Lounge on the way from Haad Rin to Thong Sala. Phangan ATV Adventure Tour runs 4 trips a day through nearby jungle trails. Before these tours start riders have the option of taking a 30 minute introduction course. We recommend taking the introductory course if you aren’t an experienced and confident rider. The trails can be difficult to ride. The centre has an ATV course where you can learn safely away from the busy roads.

Classes

My Wok and Me

My Wok and Me
Location: Thong Sala (Ban Tai Road)
Opening Times: Classes at 9am and 2pm
Costs: 1,350 THB per person

My Wok and Me is Koh Phangan’s leading cookery school. The school has a fully equipped and specially designed kitchen which is light and airy. Cookery courses last 4 hours. They start with a bicycle trip to a local market to buy ingredients. The chef leading the class provides a guided tour of the market and explains the local produce on offer. A tasting of exotic local fruits is included. Back at the kitchen students are shown how to prepare three dishes which they consume after.

Workshop Silver

Workshop Silver
Location: Haad Rin & Thong Sala
Opening Times: 9am to 5pm
Costs: 1 day course – 1,500 THB

Workshop Silver is Koh Phangan’s very own silver jewellery workshop. As well as making jewellery for sale they also run courses teaching the skills of heating and shaping silver, as well as setting stones. The 1 day course starts at 10 am and finishes at around 6 pm. The price includes the cost of the materials to make one item of jewellery and pick up/drop off at your hotel. 2 day courses cost 3,000 THB and 3 days costs 4,500 THB. Another popular activity is for couples to make their own wedding rings out of silver and semi-precious stones.

Watching Sport

Food Factory

Food Factory
Location: Ban Tai
Opening Times: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Costs: Purchase of food or drinks required

This 24 hour fast food outlet on the Ban Tai road is a great place to watch sports. They have several large screen TVs and show all the current popular sporting events. They often run special drinks promotions to coincide with sporting events. The Food Factory has a long bar and lots of tables and chairs. They serve excellent burgers (from 110 THB) and pizzas (priced from 170 to 230 THB). Beer and other drinks are decently priced. A pint of Singha beer costs only 100 THB. The service is prompt and friendly.

Next door is the Bangers and Mash bar run by the same people and a great place to go for a drink after the match has finished.

Haad Rin Muay Thai Arena

Haad Rin Muay Thai Arena
Location: Haad Rin
Opening Times: From 9.30 pm on Fight Nights
Costs: 500 THB per person

Haad Rin Muay Thai Arena is located by the lake in the centre of Haad Rin. During high season they run regular Fight Nights where you can watch 7 or 8 Muay Thai bouts a night. This is a great night out. Muay Thai matches are part theatre, with traditional dances and music, and part sport. Food and drink is on sale. On Fight Nights pick-up trucks with loud speakers drive around constantly promoting the event. Listen out for the trucks if you fancy going.

They also run Muay Thai classes at the Arena every day Monday to Sunday at 10am and 4pm.

Shopping

Thong Sala Walking Street Market

Walking Street Market
Location: Talad Khao Road in Thong Sala
Opening Times: From 4 pm until 10 pm every Saturday

After 4pm every Saturday the Talad Khao Road (Thong Sala’s China Town) turns into a pedestrianised market area. Walking Street Markets are springing up all over Thailand. The original, and still the biggest, Walking Street Market takes place every Sunday in Chiang Mai. Koh Phangan’s version is smaller but has the same components: party atmosphere, food stalls, souvenirs, clothes shops, jewellery and leather work. The market is well worth a visit if you are in Thongsala on a Saturday.

Shopping In Thong Sala

Thong Sala Shopping
Even as little as 5 years ago there was very little tourists would want to buy in Thong Sala. That is all changing now. There are now a lot of new shops and a much wider range of products on sale. These are our recommendations for a day out shopping:

Books – Book Mark
Electronics – Plantip Market
Souvenirs – Plantip Plaza, Siam Souvenirs
Music – Guitar Shop
Food – Tesco-Lotus, Big C, Limpipong Homeware and Health Food Centre
Shoes – Bata at Big C
Fashion – Phanganer, Nok Shop, Plantip Plaza

All of these shop are on the Main Street in Thong Sala, except for the Nok Shop and Phanganer (on the Talad Khao Road), and Limpipong and Big C (on the Ban Tai Road). For more about Shopping in Thongsala see Best Shops in Thongsala.

Shopping in Haad Rin

Haad Rin Shopping
Haad Rin has lots of clothes and jewellery shops. There is no problem getting hold of some unique Full Moon Party fashion, or hippy style Phangan outfits.

You might like to try the following shops:

Full Moon in Love Clothing Shop – Full range of fluorescent T-shirts, bikinis and other Full Moon Party related items
Fusion Clothing – Phangan style women’s clothing
Natural Art Gallery – Unique jewellery, bags, wallets and other accessories
Amazonas – Glamorous women’s clothes shop
Workshop Silver – Locally produced unique silver jewellery
Magic Stones – Hippy style unique pieces of jewellery

Phangan Spirit Distillery

Phangan Distillery
Location: Thong Sala
Opening Times: Telephone +66 (0) 90 4909 070

This is Koh Phangan’s first and only fruit brandy distillery, combining Hungarian know-how with locally grown fruit. You can visit the distillery to try Phangan Spirit on its own or in cocktails. It’s located in the north end of Thong Sala. To get there take either the main road towards the West and turn right, or take the Ban Tai Road out of Thong Sala and turn left at BP Air Electric Shop.

Phangan Spirit comes in two sizes of bottle 330 ml (costing from 390 to 420 THB), and 700 ml bottles (costing from 820 to 890 THB). The following flavours are currently available: banana, banana with orange & pineapple, banana with lime & lemongrass, banana with honey, pineapple, and mango.

Diving

Phangan Divers

Phangan Divers
Location: Haad Rin (town and beach front)
Opening Times: 9 am to 9 pm
Costs: Discover Scuba – 3,900 THB. Open Water – 12,500 THB.

Phangan Divers is Koh Phangan’s first ever diving school and it’s still going strong after twenty years in business. Phangan Divers offers the widest range of technical diving courses on the island including specialist courses on advanced nitrox, tec foundation, decompression, normoxic trimix, and SSI tech XR instructor. As well teaching the standard PADI courses Phangan Divers also offers a range of SSI and BASC courses. SSI Instructor courses are available for 65,000 THB, as well as internships for Dive Masters. For more course information visit one of the shops or telephone +66 (0) 77 375 117.

Phangan International Diving School

Phangan International Diving School
Location: Ban Tai (Hacienda Resort)
Opening Times: 7.30 am to 7.30 pm
Costs: Discover Scuba – from 2,800 THB. Open Water – from 9,900 THB

This successful dive school has been in operation since 2004. Theory instruction and pool based introductory training takes place at the Hacienda Resort where the dive school is based. Around the Full Moon Party time they get very busy taking a younger crowd out diving. They have a full time staff of 9 male and female instructors and dive masters to ensure that everyone gets individual attention. As well as the introductory courses, they also run PADI Instructor Development Courses. For anyone wanting a complete change of career you might be interested in the ‘Zero to Hero’ course which takes you from absolute beginner to qualified diving instructor in six months. It costs 315,000 THB (around 10,000 USD) including the price of accommodation. Cheaper than university, less books to read, and more girls in bikinis! Telephone +66 (0) 89 2880 923.

Phangan Fun Factory Diving

Phangan Fun Factory
Location: Thong Sala
Opening Times: 7 am to 7 pm
Costs: Discover Scuba – 3,500 THB. Open Water – 12,000 THB

Phangan Fun Factory Diving is a fully certified SSI dive school in Thong Sala. If you book a course online you receive a 5% discount. Phangan Fun Factory Diving also offer packages that include accommodation for groups. It is a well-respected dive shop with a TAT license, diver insurance and access to the decompression chamber in Koh Samui. They offer instruction in a number of languages including English, German, Thai and French.

This dive shop also offers snorkeling trips. To find out more, telephone 081 677 2101

MASSAGE/SPA

Bhuvana Spa

Bhuvana Spa
Location: Haad Rin (Best Western Phanganburi Resort)

Bhuvana Spa is the in-house spa brand of Best Western International Asia. Expect a luxurious and high quality spa treatment. In addition to traditional Thai massage, they offer foot reflexology, facial treatments and the Bhuvana Signature Massage. Sauna and steam bath treatments are also available.

For booking and prices telephone +66 (0) 77 375 481. Or drop into the Best Western Phanganburi Resort and ask about spa services.

Nature

Walk from Haad Rin to Haad Yuan

Haad Rin to Haad Yuan
Haad Yuan is one of three beaches in close proximity on the east coast that you can walk to easily from Haad Rin. The other two (going north) are Haad Tian and Haad Wai Nam. These three beaches are very difficult to drive to and most people go by boat. You can, however, walk. It will take 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on how fit you are and how big your bag is. Before you set off we should warn that whilst the trail is easy to follow, it’s fairly steep – you ascend 250 metres to get over the head land which is hard work in the tropical heat. You need the right shoes, at least 3 litres of water and the right mental attitude. If you have all of these then give it a go so long as you start before 3.30 pm as it gets dark from 6 pm onwards all year round. The trek starts near Thai House Bungalow, just up the road from Yoghurt Home restaurant. Follow the directions in the You Tube video below to get to the start of the trek. The route is marked in some parts by green/yellow painted spots, a red ping pong bat nailed to a tree and plastic bottles placed on branches. You will also see a Junction with directions painted on a tree: HT points the way to Haad Tian; HY to Haad Yuan. Along the way be sure to take a moment to enjoy the viewpoints. Please note the first quarter of the trek is quite steep but it levels out from there so don’t give up too early. If you don’t fancy walking back the same day either stay at the excellent Pariya Resort & Villas or take a long tail boat back to Haad Rin.