Yang Tree

On the road to Thong Nai Pan, about 1km from the Bantai Road, is one of Koh Phangan’s oldest and most unusual tourist attractions: the island’s biggest Yang Na Yai tree. You will recognise it from the ribbons tied around the trunk and the sign that says ‘Biggest Yang Na’ tree.

‘Yang Na Yai’ is the Thai name for the Diptcrocarpus Alatus which grows in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and some parts of the Philippines. The Yang Na Yai is used for a variety purposes. The wood is sought after for construction and cabinet making. The sap of the tree is a thick resin used in wood lacquering, boat building and for traditional herbal medicine (from its bark). The usefulness of this tree will be its downfall; the IUCN has the Diptcrocarpus Alatus on its list of threatened species.

The Yang Na Yai in Koh Phangan is believed to be around 400 years. The largest tree of this kind which has been found in Thailand measured 14.64 metres in circumference and 53.50 metres in height. The specimen on the Thong Nai Pan Road is slightly smaller at around 45 metres tall. It may not be the biggest Yang Na Yai tree in Thailand or even Koh Phangan (we suspect there may be bigger ones in the deep jungle) but it’s an impressive tree and worth a visit.

West Coast Beaches

The West Coast of Koh Phangan has the longest beaches on the island. There are beaches on the west coast that although easily accessible by road are not popular with visitors. This is partly because the west coast has a much greater tidal variation, and so during the low tidal months from May to October beaches such as Sri Thanu, Hin Kong and Wok Tum become muddy sand flats that stretch for a long way. Many of the resorts on the western side of the island make up for this by providing swimming pools. The other distinguishing aspect of the west is the 13 km long coral reef that follows the coast. It starts at Haad Chao Phao and follows the coast up to Koh Ma.
In places such as Haad Salad, Haad Son and Nai Wok the reef is less than 100 meters from the beach, making it close enough to easily swim out to and enjoy snorkelling.

Of all the beaches along the west coast of Koh Phangan, Haad Salad and Haad Yao by far and away the best and most popular. The beaches close to Thongsala such as Nai Wok and Wok Tum tend to attract people who want to be close to Thongsala.

There are plenty of good roads servicing the west of Koh Phangan. They are concreted and mostly flat. This makes getting around the western part of the island easy on motorbike. Haad Yao, Haad Son and Haad Gruad are close enough to be able to walk or bicycle between.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the western coast although not blessed with the best swimming beaches on the island does have the best beaches to enjoy the sunset. Often it is a wondrous spectacle worth catching from a beachfront bar.

Haad Yao

Haad Yao
Haad Yao means ‘long beach’, and it is aptly named as the beach is 1 km long. It is also a wide beach. This means that there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy sunbathing, beach volleyball and other beaches activities. It also means there is plenty of room for the various beachfront resorts to spread out and give their customers accommodation with a little more privacy.

Haad Yao looks as you imagine a Thai beach should. It has white sand fringed with coconut palms. The sand slopes down gently to the clean turquoise waters. About 400 meters off the coast there is a healthy coral reef system. This provides great snorkelling and diving opportunities nearby. The only downside to having an off-shore coral reef is that corals collect in the sand. Also during the low tidal months from May to October swimmers have to walk a fair distance through shallow waters before they can swim in comfort.

This beach is a good option if you are looking for a beach with a good range of accommodation and a bit of nightlife. You can find old style wooden bungalows starting at around 500 Thai Baht a night in such places as Easy Life Bungalows and you can find resorts with a boutique feel such as See Through Resort . You can also find bigger resorts with swimming pool, restaurant and the feel of a family friendly place such as Haad Yao Bayview Resort. There aren’t any resorts that really hit the high-end luxury bracket, but for the mid to high end Haad Yao provides excellent choice. See our recommendations for Haad Yao accommodation.

There are a number of beachfront bars as well as bars in Haad Yao village that stay open late and that get fairly lively, especially in the high seasons. Bars such as Choc Dee, Apple Bar and Apache Bar have a lively but friendly atmosphere. Rasta Home is an old skool reggae bar that sometimes has live music. As a tip, the bar scene in Haad Yao picks up a few days before the Full Moon Party. It is not a party beach, but it has the best nightlife on the west coast.

READ MORE: HAAD YAO GUIDE

Haad Salad

Haad Salad
Haad Salad is at the north end of the west coast. It is just below the marine park at Koh Ma. This beach has a laid back feel and retains much of the charm of a traditional backpacker beach in Koh Phangan.

In local dialect Haad Salad means ‘Pirate Beach’. This is because pirates used to hide in the bay and give chase to unsuspecting cargo vessels coming up the coast.

The pirates have gone but something of the romance of those days remains. Despite being well-connected by roads to the rest of Koh Phangan, Haad Salad has an out-of-the-way feel to it. This is great for those who choose Haad Salad as their holiday destination as its fine white sand beach is never crowded.
Haad Salad
Salad Beach is 600 meters long. It has a handful of bungalow resorts and mid-range resorts along the beach as well as set back from the beach. There is a small village with a few cheap eating options such as Jay Jay Pizza and Reggae Village. While people do go out for a few drinks in the evening during their stay at Haad Salad, it is not a high-energy night life.

As with Haad Yao, Haad Salad has a coral reef just 80 meters off the beach. This is much closer than the Haad Yao reef and so will suit those who don’t want to swim too far to see marine life.

We recommend staying at Salad Beach Resort, Cookies Salad Resort, Haadlad Prestige Resort or Salad Buri Resort. See our recommendations for Haad Salad accommodation.

READ MORE: HAAD SALAD GUIDE

Haad Gruad

Haad Gruad
Haad Gruad is a small beach located in a cove between Haad Salad and Haad Yao. It is a picturesque spot with fine sand and a coral reef off-shore teaming with marine life.

There are a few budget places to stay such as Lucky Resort. For those who want a few more comforts there is Haad Gruad Beach Resort.
Haad Gruad
Haad Gruad is a less well-known beach in Koh Phangan that provides peace and quiet as well as being well connected to lots of other great beaches.

Haad Thian West

Not to be confused with the Haad Thian on the east. This is a small and idyllic beach just south of Haad Gruad.

The sand is a bit course due to the coral reef close to the shore. Swimming can be difficult during the low tidal months.

Haad Thian West has only one hotel and so guests at Haad Thian Beach Resort normally have the beach to themselves.

Haad Son

Haad Son
Haad Son is a medium-sized beach to the south of the more popular Haad Yao. It is a beautiful beach that has jungle covered hills behind. Until the late 1990s this beach was undeveloped. That changed when Haad Son Resort was built. The resort is set back from the beach at the northern end of the beach.

Haad Son Resort is a good 3 star resort with swimming pool, restaurant and both villas and hotel style rooms. The road access to the resort is up a hill and then down a sharp turning driveway. For many guests there is a far amount of walking up and down to get to and from the beach.
Haad Son
Like many of the beaches on the West Coast, there is a coral reef off the beach to explore. In the case of Haad Son the reef is 70 metres off-shore. And of course, since the beach is west facing, there is a beautiful sunset to enjoy nearly every night of the year.

Haad Chao Phao

Haad Chao Phao
Haad Chao Phao is a long beach to the south of Haad Son. Unlike the beach to the north, there are plenty of accommodation options along the beach and behind.

The gently curving beach has soft sand and is flanked by huge volcanic rocks.

One of the great things about Haad Chao Phao is that there is a deep shelf before the coral reef that creates ideal swimming conditions all year round. The coral reef is 100 meters out to sea, and once crossed there is a vibrant marine life to explore.

The coral reef that follows the western coast line starts at Haad Chao Phao and stretches north all the way up to Koh Ma.
Haad Chao Phao
Despite steady development in Haad Chao Phao the place retains its laid-back feel. Accommodation ranges from the stylish Beyond the Blue Horizon Resort that starts at 2,400 THB to the basic bungalows at Benjamin’s Hut that go for as little as 350 THB a night.

At the northern end of the beach is a funky bar shaped like a boat, called the Pirates Bar. 3 days before the Full Moon Party they hold a free techno / trance party that goes on through the night. It is probably the biggest regular party held on the west coast.

READ MORE: HAAD CHAO PHAO GUIDE

Sri Thanu

Sri Thanu
Sri Thanu is a big bay in the southern section of the west coast. Much of the beach has a large tidal variation and is rarely used by tourists. It is one of the quietest beaches in Koh Phangan. At the northern end of the beach there is a small bridge leading to a better beach that is good for swimming; here you will find a few low-key resorts.

The coastal road goes very close to Sri Thanu beach at points. It is possible to find longer term rental bungalows for those who want to be near the facilities of Thongsala but far from the crowds of the all-night parties.
Sri Thanu
Sri Thanu has a village with a strong Thai feel. There is a market, a few basic food stalls and a couple of bars. It is a pleasant place to soak up a bit of Thai culture.

For those looking for yoga lessons, Agama Yoga has its ‘campus’ in the Sri Thanu area.

Nearby is Laem Son Lake, the biggest lake on the island that is now home to Wipe Out, a fun aquatic course with inflatable obstacles.

UPDATE: Sri Thanu was becoming an important hub for new-age, holistic activity; yoga and veganism; something like you see in Rishikesh in India until two things happened. First, the head swami at Agama was caught in flagrante delicto; and second, covid-19 suffused the globe.

READ MORE: SRI THANU GUIDE

Hin Kong / Wok Tum

Hin Kong
Hin Kong and Wok Tum are set in a large bay just north of Thongsala. As with Sri Thanu these two beaches don’t attract a lot of visitors compared with the more popular west coast beaches of Haad Yao and Haad Salad.

Ao Hin Kong is to the north of the bay and Ao Wok Tum is to the south. There is a seasonal river that divides the two beaches.
Wok Tum
It is a large beach area great for exploring nature. There are mangrove swamps and birds come to feed on the wet flats created by the low tide. Neither Hin Kong nor Wok Tum are good places to go swimming. It is, however, a good place to enjoy a sunset by yourself.

It is also a good place to enjoy live music as Koh Phangan’s best live music venue, Jam Bar, is located on Hin Kong Beach. There are a few mid-range resorts you can stay in. Hin Kong Resort has reasonably priced bungalows and a small pool.

READ MORE: HIN KONG GUIDE
READ MORE: WOK TUM GUIDE

Plaay Laem

Plaay Laem
The beach at Plaay Laem is only accessible by longtail boat or footpath. It is a white sand beach located at the foot of Khao Hin Nok Mountain. It is a striking beach with huge granite boulders scattered around the beach and in the sea. The boulders make it fun to kayak in the bay.

The beach is at the end of a headland that sticks out into the Gulf. This gives it ideal conditions for wind sports. Cookies Bungalows have small sailing boats and windsurfing equipment for hire.
Plaay Laem
There are a couple of places to stay in Plaay Laem offering budget to mid-range accommodation. Since the final part of the route to the beach is via a footpath it tends to be a quiet beach with a remote feel.

READ MORE: PLAAY LAEM GUIDE

Nai Wok

Nai Wok
Nai Wok is a long beach next to Thongsala, ideal for those people who want to be close to the principal town on the island but who prefer a beach setting. It is a beach mostly ignored by first time tourists to Koh Phangan. It is possible to walk from Thongsala to Nai Wok.
Nai Wok
It is a shallow bay and so swimming is best at Nai Wok during the higher tidal months from November to April. There is a coral reef 80 meters off the coast that is good for snorkelling. Off the coast is the fairly big but deserted island called Koh Tae Nai. Many people arriving by boat wonder about this island: well the island covers an area of about 40 meters and for any millionaires reading – it is up for sale, well lease at the bargain price of 17.6 million USD.

READ MORE: NAI WOK GUIDE

Hotels on West Coast of Koh Phangan

Haad Salad

Luxury:

Salad Buri Resort
Salad Buri Resort & Spa 4 Star – from 2,100 THB
Haad Salad’s most luxurious hotel.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Mid Range:

Haadlaad Prestige Resort
Haadlaad Prestige Resort & Spa 3 Star – from 2,300 THB
Good quality rooms and bungalows. Good facilities and beach location.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Salad Beach Resort
Salad Beach Resort 3 Star – from 1,200 THB
Very popular family friendly resort. Good facilities.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Cookies Salad Hotel
Cookies Salad Hotel 3 Star – from 1,000 THB
Good quality sea view bungalows. Pool and restaurant.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Phangan Natural Resort
Phangan Natural Resort 1 Star – from 1,100 THB
Micro resort with basic bungalows.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Salad Grand Bungalow and House Rental
Salad Grand Bungalow and House Rental 2 Star – from 950 THB
Large bungalows with self-catering facilities.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Salad Villa
Haad Salad Villa 2 Star – from 650 THB
Popular resort close to the beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Smile Beach Resort
Smile Beach Resort 2 Star – from 400 THB
Above average bungalows for a low cost.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Gruad

Mid Range:

Haad Gruad Beach Resort
Haad Gruad Beach Resort 3 Star – from 2,000 THB
Good resort. Good location. Value for money.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Phangan Dragon Hut Resort
Phangan Dragon Hut Resort 2 Star – from 1,000 THB
Concrete bungalows with good room facilities.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Lucky Resort
Lucky Resort 2 Star – from 500 THB
Nice bungalow resort with sea views.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Tian

Mid Range:

Haad Tian Beach Resort
Dolphin Bay Beach Resort 3 Star – from 480 THB
Beach front bungalow resort with pool and restaurant.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Yao

Mid Range:

Haad Yao Bungalows
Haad Yao Bungalows 2 Star – from 1,900 THB
Well furnished concrete beach front bungalows.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Long Bay Resort
Long Bay Resort 3 Star – from 1,500 THB
Family oriented mid range resort. Reliable choice.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Silver Beach Bungalow
Silver Beach Bungalow 2 Star – 1,500 THB
Concrete bungalows near the beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Yao Villa
Haad Yao Villa 3 Star – from 1,250 THB
Attractive low key resort. Pool and restaurant.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

See Through Boutique Resort
See Through Boutique Resort 3 Star – from 1,000 THB
Smart modern resort with bungalows and hotel rooms.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

High Life Bungalows
High Life Bungalows 3 Star – from 900 THB
Nice rooms and pool. Great views from hillside location.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Yao Resort
Haad Yao Resort 3 Star – from 900 THB
Hillside resort with large bungalows. Pool and restaurant.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Yao Bayview Resort & Spa
Haad Yao Bayview Resort & Spa 3 Star – from 800 THB
Large resort with a variety of accommodation and facilities.

CHECK AVAILABILITY


Baan Haad Yao Villa 3 Star – from 650 THB
Large rooms and good value for money. On beach front.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Shiralea Backpackers Resort
Shiralea Island Resort 2 Star – from 500 THB
Bungalow resort popular with younger independent travellers.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Hut Sun Bungalows
Hut Sun Bungalows 2 Star – from 500 THB
Friendly resort with cheap wooden bungalows near beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Easy Life Bungalows
Easy Life Bungalows 1 Star – from 500 THB
Basic wooden bungalows on the hillside. 5 minute walk to beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Son

Mid Range:

Haad Son Resort
Haad Son Resort 3 Star – from 2,380 THB
Good facilities and nice rooms. On beach front.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Haad Chao Phao

Mid Range:

Beyond the Blue Horizon Resort
Beyond the Blue Horizon Resort 3 Star – from 2,400 THB
Well run hillside resort with large bungalows.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Sunset Hill Resort
Sunset Hill Resort 4 Star – from 1,570 THB
Hilltop 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms apartments for rent.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Paragon Resort & Spa
Phangan Paragon Resort & Spa – from 1,250 THB
Swimming pool, gym, spa, and smart rooms.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Sunset Cove
Sunset Cove 3 Star – from 1,200 THB
Family run beach front resort with lovely garden.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Sea Garden Haad Chao Phao Resort
Sea Garden Haad Chao Phao Resort 3 Star – from 900 THB
Good sea-view bungalows and good pool & restaurant area.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Cabana Resort
Phangan Cabana Resort 3 Star -from 780 THB
Large beach front resort. Quiet and relaxed.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Jinda Bay
Jinda Bay 2 Star – from 700 THB
Basic wooden bungalows near the beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Seaview Rainbow Bungalow
Seaview Rainbow Bungalow 2 Star – from 700 THB
Small cheap beach front resort. Quiet and relaxed.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Seetanu Bungalows
Seetanu Bungalows 2 Stars – from 450 THB
Inexpensive beach front bungalows.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Benjamin's Hut
Benjamin’s Hut 2 Star – from 350 THB
Variety of accommodation from basic bungalows to smarter rooms.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Sri Thanu

Mid Range:

Loyfa Natural Resort
Loyfa Natural Resort 3 Star – from 1,500 THB
Range of accommodation, good facilities and overlooking beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Moonbeach Resort
Moonbeach Resort 2 Star – from 1,200 THB
Quiet and secluded resort with good ocean views.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Chills Resort
Chills Resort 2 Star – from 1,000 THB
Small beach front bungalow resort. Laid back.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Nice Sea Resort
Nice Sea Resort 2 Star – from 750 THB
Some good bungalows, some basic ones, but no pool.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Niramon Sunview Resort
Niramon Sunview Resort 3 Star – from 600 THB
Pleasant value for money beach front resort with pool.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Wok Tum

Mid Range:

Cyana Beach Resort
Cyana Beach Resort 3 Star – from 1,300 THB
Family friendly resort with good pool and restaurant.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Sea Rock
Sea Rock 2 Star – from 800 THB
7 basic bungalows. Quiet hillside location.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Tharatip Resort
Tharatip Resort 3 Star – from 700 THB
Sea view hotel rooms and bungalows with pool and restaurant.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Ao Plaay Laem

Luxury:

Kupu Kupu Koh Phangan Resort
Kupu Kupu Koh Phangan Resort 4 Star – from 3,500 THB
Luxurious new resort located on the beach front.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Mid Range:

Golden Hill Resort
Golden Hill Resort 3 Star – from 1,200 THB
Large rooms, good view, pool, restaurant and bar.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Pimmada Hut
Pimmada Hut 1 Star – from 800 THB
Basic beach front bungalows with shared swimming pool.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Amsterdam Bar Stone Hill Resort
Amsterdam Bar Stone Hill Resort 2 Star – 750 THB
7 good rooms next to popular bar. Well run.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Sea Sunset Resort
Sea Sunset Resort 2 Star – from 600 THB
Beach front bungalow resort with bar and restaurant. Relaxed.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Nai Wok

Mid Range:

Baan Manali Resort
Baan Manali Resort 2 Star – from 1,280 THB
Friendly small beach front resort with good rooms.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Grand Sea Resort
Grand Sea Resort 3 Star – from 1,000 THB
Large resort in teak Lanna style. Good value.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Baan Busaba Hotel
Baan Busaba Hotel 3 Star – from 950 THB up to here
Efficiently run and value for money hotel.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Beck's Resort
Beck’s Resort 2 Star – from 850 THB
Popular with young independent travellers.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Restaurants in South of Koh Phangan

THONG SALA

Bars

Harp Bar
The Hub (formerly Harp Bar). An Irish pub turned sports bar opposite the Lomprayah Pier.
Flag and Four Toes
Flag and Four Toes. Friendly bar with free pool table. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFlagFourToes

Cafes

The Sweet Cafe
The Sweet Cafe is a German bakery with mixed reviews.
Nira Home Bakery
Nira’s Home Bakery. Cafe and bakery. This is a long running business in Koh Phangan. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Niras-home-bakery-120700347943551/

Thai Food

Pantip Food Market
Phantip Market is a popular spot for eating out. It has plenty of choice in authentic Thai food at cheap prices. It is popular early evening.
Nong Tang
Nong Tang serves authentic Southern Thai food. The seafood is recommended. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nong-Tang-Thai-Restaurant-Kohphangan-260811777583879/
Phangan Homemade Ice-Cream
Phangan Homemade Ice-Cream is believed by many to serve the best ice-cream on Koh Phangan. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phangan-Home-Made-Ice-Cream-Food-Drink-928837363811999/
My Wok and Me
My Wok and Me is a restaurant and Thai cooking school. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/My-Wok-and-Me-146999882047571/

International Food

A's Coffee Shop
A’s Coffee Shop is one of the longest running businesses in Thongsala. They serve coffee, tea, sandwiches, light snacks and sweet treats.
Santorini Restaurant
Santorini Restaurant is a popular restaurant with sea views. Serves European and fusion food.
Khunpen Restaurant
Khunpen Restaurant has a good menu including vegan options. It is uncertain whether Khunpen survived the lockdown.

Italian


Casa Italiana Pizza serves pizza and other Italian favourites. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CASA-Italiana-Pizza/141704655938163

French

Bamboo Bistrot
Bamboo Bistrot is one of your best options if you want a steak French style. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bamboobistrot.kohphangan/

Mexican

Ando Loco
Ando Loco is Koh Phangan’s first Mexican restaurant. It’s an impressive set up with quality food and drinks. Website: https://www.andoloco.com/

Japanese


The Zen Restaurant has sushi, seafood and Thai food.

BANTAI

Bars

My Friend's Bar
My Friend’s Bar has pool tables and a relaxed atmosphere minus sex workers.
Hard Road Cafe
Hard Road Cafe now Leo Hostel is a cheap backpackers hostel with obligatory bar.

Fast Food

The Food Factory
Food Factory is a popular fast food spot that shows live sports. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodFactorySportsDiner/?rf=208563029155567

Seafood

Fish at Thips
Fish at Thips has great fish and chips as well as more upmarket seafood. Uncertain if they will re-open.
Fisherman's Restaurant
Fisherman’s Restaurant does good seafood. It is closed briefly to prepare for reopening after the pandemic has subsided.

Italian

Fabio's
Fabio’s is a high quality Italian restaurant with great reviews.

HAAD RIN

Bars

Club 9
Club 9. Dance club. Uncertain whether it is still running.
Same Same
Same Same is a hostel with a lively bar geared towards backpackers going to the Full Moon Party.
Outback Bar
Outback Bar is a relaxed bar in a hostel.
Paddy's Irish Bar
Paddy’s Irish Bar has draught Guinness and shows live sports on TV.

Sky Bar at the Amaresa Resort has cold beers, cocktails and stunning sea views.
Kangaroo Bar

Fast Food

Chicken Corner
Chicken Corner is a small restaurant that serves Western standards such as French fries and fried chicken that has good reviews.

Cafes


Nira’s Home Bakery is part of the ‘Nira’ empire that has built its success on high quality food and service.

Italian Food

Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa has an extensive Italian menu and a website! https://www.monnalisathailand.com/
Nics Lounge Bar & Restaurant
Nic’s Lounge Bar & Restaurant has Western food and DJ music on offer.

International

Moon House
Moon House is a beach bar that does Thai food.
Lazy House
Lazy House is a budget hostel that serves budget food.
Lucky Crab
Lucky Crab is a Thai seafood restaurant with terrible reviews.

Indian Food

Om Ganesh Indian Restaurant
Om Ganesh Indian Restaurant is Koh Phangan’s oldest running and best Indian restaurant.

Mexican

Bamboozle
Bamboozle serves Mexican standards. Perhaps check out Tripadvisor before choosing this dining option.

Mediterranean


Paprika Mediterranean Restaurant has Israeli and other Med dishes. Also a drinking spot.

Activities for South Koh Phangan

LOCAL CULTURE

Wat Khao Tam

Wat Khao Tam
Location: Ban Tai

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
Times: 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
Times: 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


Location: Ban Tai

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.

TOURS

Lomprayah Tour to 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 per person (200 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 9 am. 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 is 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 6 pm.

Safari Boat

Safari Boat
Location: Thong Sala
Times: Every day during the tourist season
Costs: 1,000 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 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) 82 551 292
Costs: Full Day Tour – 2,800 per person

Red Star Sailing runs 4 different trips from its base at Ban Tai Pier in a mid-sized motor boat with 4 berths and a kitchen below deck:
(1) Sunset Tour – 1,500 THB. Departing 4.30 pm and returning at 6.30 pm
(2) Half Day Island Cruise – 2,000 THB. Departing 1 pm and returning at 5 pm.
(3) Full Day Island Cruise – 2,800 THB. Departing 10 am and returning at 5 pm.
(4) Ang Thong Marine Park – 3,500 THB full day trip
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.

UPDATE: Red Star Sailing is, sadly, permanently closed.

PARTIES

Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party
Location: Haad Rin
Opening Times: Full Moon nights
Costs: 100 THB per person

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
Costs: 600 THB includes a free drink

The Half Moon Party is a smaller party to 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
Opening Times: 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 Floating Bar

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

This 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 friendly evening of drinking and dancing. They describe their music as ‘Funky Sexy Deep House Music’. The fun starts from 6 pm. Sailor’s uniform not required.

Anahata Lounge

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

UPDATE: The Anahata Lounge is closed. The Facebook page for the club is now dedicated to a young, Spanish-speaking woman gaming and streaming her efforts for money. Huh.

Ban Sabaii After Party

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

Koh Phangan’s biggest after party. It starts at 8 am until 2 am 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.

Black Moon Culture

Black Moon Culture
Location: Ban Tai at Mac Bay Resort
Opening Times: 10 pm
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 the Island’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.

Sramanora Party / Waterfall Party

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

It takes a bit of effort to get to this 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 2 km. 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 Electro. They have performers doing fire shows and a show with scorpions.

Mer Ka Ba Beach Club

Mer Ka Ba
Location: Ban Khai
Opening Times: 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 9 pm its Golden Vibes Night with local DJs Graham Gold (UK) and Venus Vibes (Germany). Sunday is a BBQ with DJs from 3 pm. This beach front club has a swimming pool and a covered dance area.

Ku Club

Ku Club
Location: Ban Tai at The Beach Village Resort
Opening Times: 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 that 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 & FITNESS

Kobra Muay Thai Camp

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

Friendly Muay Thai Camp is run by the charismatic Master Kongpipop and his three able assistant instructors. Master Kongpipop is a veteran of over 160 professional Muay Thai bouts. 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

Chorenit Muay Thai Camp is 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 Chorenit 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 from the age of 13. Some of his fights at Lumpini and Rajademnern Stadiums in Bangkok are on YouTube. This Muay Thai camp 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 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.

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. 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


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

Thailand’s only IKO registered kite boarding company with 12 schools across Asia. Their Koh Phangan branch is on the Ban Tai road about 3 km 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 costs 1,400 THB per hour.

Phangan Shooting Range

Phangan 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 only shooting range. They have a wide range of pistols, rifles and shotguns. Shooting takes place under careful supervision in a purpose built range.

CLASSES

My Wok and Me

My Wok and Me
Location: Thong Sala (Ban Tai Road)
Opening Times: Classes at 9 am and 2 pm
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 design 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: 9 am to 5 pm
Costs: 1 day course – 1,500 THB

This Koh Phangan’s very own silver jewellery making 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

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 Night where toy 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. 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


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

After 4 pm 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. Well worth a visit if you are in Koh Phangan on a Saturday.

Shopping In Thong Sala

Even as little as 5 years ago there was very little tourists would want to buy in Thong Sala. That is all really changing now with 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).

Shopping in Haad Rin

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 old skool 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

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 either take 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.

Best Live Music Venue in Koh Phangan


The Jam is Koh Phangan’s only dedicated live music venue. Its located on Hin Kong beach. To get there take the coastal road from Thong Sala towards See Thanu and Haad Yao. It’s about 2 km from Thong Sala.

The Jam started in 2008 as collection of European musicians living on the island getting together weekly to play on the beach. Over the years a bar was added and stage with a roof. However, the Jam has retained the feel of a place where people come to get together to hang out and play music. On a typical night it’s a 50/50 split between people who play music and people who are just there to hear it. There is no admission fee and the drinks are reasonably priced.

The venue itself is small. There is bar, a small decked seating area, a covered stage and some chairs and tables on the beach. Very informal surroundings to match the laid back atmosphere. The fun starts from 7 pm on Saturdays pretty much every week of the year. There is normally some musicians scheduled to play for the night. Guests, with the requisite musical talents, are welcome to ask to join in and are encouraged to bring their own instruments. How long you get to play will depend on how good you are. Probably a good idea not to take yourself too seriously and just have fun.

To find out about special events either check social media or stop by in the week and check the notice board. Sometime they run a Wednesday evening ‘open mike’ event which is quieter than the Saturday night session.

UPDATE: Their website has been dropped. They still use Facebook. The bar seems to have survived the coronavirus haitus. No doubt they are raring to get the music back. Another live music venue worth mentioning is The Omega Bar in Chaloklum.

Recommendations for Suratthani

Suratthani City is the administrative centre for the Suratthani Province that includes Koh Phangan. It is the eighth biggest city in Thailand and remains the gateway to Southern Thailand. While many tourists fly in and out of Koh Samui Airport, just as many catch a plane, train or bus to Suratthani from where they transfer to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

Cheap Hotel in Suratthani

The Thai Rung Ruang (191-199 Rungruang Rd, Surat Thani. T: (077) 273 249, (077) 286 351) is a good cheap mid-range option in the center of town for about 500 Thai Baht. It offers big rooms with double beds or two twins both fan and air-con. The hotel has an attractive lobby and a dining area. However, just around the corner is the night market where you can see an eye-catching selection of Thai street food as well as Thais at play, enjoying browsing the stores and having a bite to eat.

Rung Ruang Mansion is conveniently located near plenty of travel agents and the private bus station (the government bus stop has moved to a spot on the outskirts of the city). For those looking for an early start in order to get to Myanmar and back in a day this hotel has been an ideal stop over point. Recommended travel agent is Phangan Tour 2000: it is the best provider of bus/boat tickets to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

While Suratthani City is not an attractive place to explore the province itself is full of wonderful places to visit. Not only does the province contain the Samui Archipelago it also has Khao Sok National Park. This is one of the best national parks in Thailand. It is reached via the Suratthani-Takuapa road and takes a couple of hours from the city.

Khao Sok National Park

The national park covers 728,000 square kilometers. A big chunk of the province has been given over to wild habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. Animals you can spot include:

“gaur, banteng, sambar deer, bear, Malayan tapir, macaque, gibbon, serow, mouse deer, porcupine, marbled cat, wild boar, and Asian wild dog. It also acts as the natural habitat for several for several bird species.”
According to the park website.

There is also canoeing, white water rafting, water tubing, mountain biking, hiking and camping to enjoy. There are plenty of cheap package deals to be found at travel agents offering 1 or 2 nights in the park. A bit of research on the net can find you the tour that suits you; and being Thailand, it is also possible to travel independently to the park.

The park contains a large lake with impressive limestone rock islands to explore by canoe. There are several companies with lake bungalows on the lake. They vary in luxury, but they are in a spectacular location.

100 Islands Resort and Spa


If you do decide to come and go from Suratthani city a few times a better accommodation option is 100 Island Resort and Spa. The address is 19/6 Moo 3 By pass Road, Makhamtia, Muang Suratthani, Thailand 84000. And the telephone number is +66(0) 7720 150-8.

The hotel is a little bit out of town but the relaxing atmosphere and better facilities lead many to consider the 100 Island to be the best hotel in Suratthani. It feels like a proper resort. There is a pool and spa. You can enjoy a sauna, a massage or a facial treatment. There is also a restaurant and outdoor bar.

A present (Feb 2013) a twin room costs 700 Baht, and a room with double bed costs 1,000 Baht. This price includes breakfast. Since majority of the customers are well off Thais, or Chinese-Thais touring or doing business, the breakfast has a great selection of
fried rice, noodles, curries, salads, and fruit but not so appealing Western options.

The hotel has two restaurants, one of which is outside with a BBQ station and chef. For more eating options as well as shopping opposite 100 Islands Resort and Spa is a shopping centre with a large Tesco Lotus, Home Pro store, cinema complex, and several chain restaurants including KFC. The complex shuts down at 9pm.

Other food options include nearby food stalls. I ate a very tasty noodle soup in the nearby noodle stall, one of the best I have had in Thailand. It cost 90 Baht for two and included side dishes like fresh herbs and pork crackling, which are added to the soup to taste.

The hotel is architecturally interesting. It is built in the style of a Southern Thai mansion. The lobby is magnificent with wooden panelling and two grand staircases. The rooms are well-appointed, with air-con, satellite TV and decent bathrooms.

You need to take a taxi to reach transport terminals. It’s about 10 minutes (50 to 100 Baht per person) to get to Phangan Tour 2000. It’s a 25 minute journey to the train station (350 baht by private taxi) in Phun Phin, and a 35 minute journey to the airport (around 450 baht for a private taxi).

Suratthani might seem like a chore but it needn’t be. It is a bit ugly and seedy in places but it is a pleasant staging post for exploring southern Thailand. The city has a few good hotels, plenty of shops and generally a laid-back feel. Moreover, Suratthani is well connected by air and has several boat options to the islands. There is also a handy rail link that goes nearly the entire length of the ‘leg’ of Thailand from the Malaysian border to Bangkok.

CHECK AVAILABILITY AT 100 ISLANDS RESORT AND SPA

Hotels in South of Koh Phangan

Thong Sala

Mid Range:

Phanganchai
Phanganchai 3 Star – from 850 THB
Reasonable hotel located opposite the ferry pier in the town centre.
Phangan Centre Point Hotel
Phangan Centre Point Hotel 2 Star – from 800 THB

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Mid range city hotel 10 minute walk from the ferry pier.
The 1 Boutique Hotel
The 1 Boutique Hotel 2 Star – from 800 THB
Small, but smart, rooms about 10 minutes from ferry pier.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Budget:

Phatchara Guesthouse
Phatchara Guesthouse 2 Star – from 690 THB
Adequate quality small guest house 15 minutes walk from the ferry pier.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Lime N Soda
Lime N Soda Beachfront Resort 3 Star – from 560 THB
Cheap but well presented and well managed.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Hostel:


Sandee Backpackers 1 Star – from 250 THB
6 and 8 bed mixed dorms. 10 minute walk from the ferry pier.

Ban Tai

Mid Range:


Sunshine Residence 3 Star – from 4,400 THB
2 x two bedroom villas. One with pool. Fully managed.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Palm Beach Resort
Phangan Palm Beach Resort 3 Star – from 2,850 THB
Good quality small resort.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Power Beach Resort
Power Beach 3 Star – from 1,600 THB
Large bungalow resort. Popular choice for Full Moon Party.
Dew Shore Resort
Dew Shore Resort 3 Star – from 1,080 THB
Peaceful resort with large bungalows in a variety of styles.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Island View Hotel
Phangan Island View Hotel 3 Star – from 1,000 THB
Efficient and friendly mid range hotel. No bungalows.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

B52 Beach Resort
B52 Beach Resort 3 Star – from 1,000 THB
Good quality beach front bungalows with good facilities.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Orchid Resort
Phangan Orchid Resort 3 Star – from 950 THB
Well appointed rooms. Pool, restaurant, and beach front location.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Oceanus Resort
Oceanus Resort 2 Star – from 940 THB
Friendly, but basic, beach front wooden bungalows.

CHECK AVAILABILITY


Milky Bay Resort 3 Star – from 890 THB
Very popular resort. Good bungalows and good food.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Sabaii Bay Resort
Sabaii Bay Resort 3 Star – from 890 THB
Large resort with some good quality rooms.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Bantai Resort
Bantai Resort 1 Star – from 800 THB
Larger concrete and wooden bungalows with good amenities.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

First Villa Beach Resort
First Villa Beach Resort 3 Star – from 790 THB
Value for money rooms and bungalows in beach front location.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Da Kanda Villa Beach
Da Kanda Villa Beach Resort 3 Star – from 700 THB
Nice beach front bungalow resort with swimming pool.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Villa Beach Bungalow
Phangan Villa Beach Bungalow 2 Star – from 700 THB
Cluster of basic concrete beach front bungalows. Few facilities.

Budget:


Charm Beach 3 Star – from 630 THB
Excellent old school beach bungalow resort. Amazing tree house.
Field Paradise 1 Hotel
Field Paradise 1 Hotel 2 Star – from 500 THB
Micro resort on the beach front. Value for money.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Namthip Home Beach
Namthip Home Beach 1 Star – from 500 THB
Basic wooden bungalows on the beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Palida Fishing Bungalows
Palida Fishing Bungalows 1 Star – from 500 THB
Small bungalows near fishing lake. Fishing equipment for hire.
Phangan Beach Resort
Phangan Beach Resort 2 Star – from 490 THB
Variety of accommodation types. Popular with Full Moon Party goers.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Hacienda Resort
Hacienda Resort & Beach Club / Asia Blue Beach Hostel 3 Star – from 400 THB
Aimed at backpackers and party goers. Popular choice for the Full Moon Party.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

The Blue Parrot Beach Resort
The Blue Parrot Beach Resort 1 Star – from 400 THB
19 concrete bungalows on the beach. Popular option every Full Moon Party.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

My Palace
My Palace 1 Star – from 350 THB
Friendly and value for money. Cross the road to reach the beach.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Meridian Khoa Tam
Meridian Khoa Tam 1 Star – from 350 THB

Phangan Riversand Ban Tai 1 Star – from 300 THB
Very cheap bamboo bungalows run by lovely Thai family.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Hostel:

A1 Koh Phangan Guesthouse
A1 Koh Phangan Guesthouse & Hostel 2 Star – from 400 THB
10 person mixed dormitories and guest rooms. Good choice for the Full Moon Party.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Mem's Place Hostel
Mem’s Place Hostel 1 Star – from 250 THB
5 and 10 bed mixed dormitories. Convenient location for the Half Moon and Full Moon Party.

Bankai

Luxury:

Chantaramas Resort & Spa
Chantaramas Resort & Spa 5 Star – from 2,500 THB
Most luxurious resort on the South coast. Service to international standards.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Mid Range:

Hansa Resort
Hansa Resort 3 Star – from 2,200 THB
Lively and well managed resort with bungalows and hotel rooms.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Bay Lounge & Resort
Bay Lounge & Resort 3 Star – from 2,000 THB
Resort with club like feel. Start your Full Moon Party here.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Cottage
Phangan Cottage 3 Star – from 1,000 THB
Bungalows, some good, some bad. Small pool.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Morning Star
Morning Star Resort 3 Star – from 900 THB
Friendly family run resort with good bungalows and swimming pool.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Beer Bungalows
Beer Bungalows 2 Star – from 800 THB
Mid range bungalows and hotels on the beach front.

Budget:

Phangan Rainbow Bungalows
Phangan Rainbow Bungalows 2 Star – from 720 THB
Relaxing beach front resort with wooden bungalows and nice restaurant.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Thong Yang Bungalows
Thong Yang Bungalows 2 Star – from 680 THB
Long running budget resort with great sea view bungalows.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Mac's Bay Resort
Mac’s Bay Resort 3 Star – from 600 THB
Hotel rooms and bungalows. Beach front location. Lively/noisy at times.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Sea Love Bungalows
Sea Love Bungalows 1 Star – from 500 THB
Beach front resort with wooden bungalows. Rustic charm.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

My Phangan Resort
My Phangan Resort 1 Star – from 500 THB
Relaxed beach front resort with basic wooden bungalows.
Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn 1 Star – from 470 THB
Basic concrete bungalows near the beach. Few amenities.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Tanouy Garden Resort
Tanouy Garden Resort 2 Star – from 300 THB
Good value for money choice with pool and restaurant. Great garden setting.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Green Peace Bungalows
Green Peace Bungalows / One More Night Beach Resort 1 Star – from 175 THB
Basic clean rooms at value for money prices.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Hostels:

Echo Beach Backpackers Resort
Echo Beach Backpackers Resort 1 Star – from 100 THB
4, 6, 8, 10, 12 bed mixed dormitories. Lively atmosphere.

CHECK AVAILABILITY

Phangan Colour Moon

Phangan Colour Moon had its opening night on the 9th December 2014. It has never been held before and marks the start of something new for Koh Phangan: an event successfully organised by the Island and Regional governments which appeals to both Thais and tourists alike.

Normally these types of evening event are primarily aimed to appeal to local Thais, with a small number of tourists visiting out of curiosity more than anything else. They normally have little more than a Thai dance stage, a small fun fair, some markets stalls, and a lot of food and beer stalls. Phangan Colour Moon Festival went well beyond this formula with a well thought out and organised set of attractions going on through the night.

Fashion Show

The fashion show was in three parts, with one presenter speaking in Thai and the other in English. The first, and longest, part of the show featured half a dozen professional models showcasing original Thai fashion designs based on the theme of Koh Phangan. There was a heavy emphasis on beach and party clothing often incorporating the traditional batik fabrics made exclusively in Southern Thailand.

The second part of the show involved body paint skills modelled by young female tourists. Body painting is a highly developed art on the island and it features heavily on party nights. Anywhere except Koh Phangan this probably wouldn’t be considered fashion, and indeed the girls were not wearing much.

The third part of the show was a modelling competition between workers at two of the local resorts, Buri Rasa Resort in Thong Nai Pan Noi and Grand Sea Resort in Thong Sala, and the Lomprayah ferry company. As well as modelling each team designed their own costumes. Lomprayah came first, Buri Rasa Resort came second, and Grand Sea Resort, which decided to field the night’s only male model, came last.

Music Stage

Throughout the evening the stage featured a succession of Thai and Western musicians playing a largely acoustic set of chilled-out guitar based music which is as much a part of the local music scene as the progressive hard dance music Koh Phangan is best known for.

Illuminated Harbour

The harbour was lit up with fishing boats with their green lighting rigs turned up to full brightness. The green lights are used to attract squid and fish at night. The use of the lighting on fishing boats moored in the harbour was a clever way to bring the fishing industry into the festival and fishing remains a key part of the local culture and economy. Phangan wouldn’t be Phangan without it.

Local Culture and Eco-Tourism

In addition to the entertainment stages, there were a number of other stalls and exhibitions dedicated to local culture and the local environment.

Coconut farming is very important to Koh Phangan. For most the 20th Century coconut farming was the main industry on the island. As well as being good to eat, coconut has proven medicinal benefits particularly the oil as a food supplement and health and beauty product. Local producers have started to capitalise on this by producing their own range of oils and beauty products manufactured on the island. Another more creative, and unusual, use for the coconut was the walkway constructed with coconut shells. The idea is that by walking on the shells you get a therapeutic foot massage.

The hull of retired Thai Navy warship HMS Phangan was opened up for the night for use as an impromptu art gallery. At one time HMS Phangan was a US navy tank ship. This internal space is perfect for events and easily accessed by the large ramp which in former days was used to load and unload tanks. The art show featured a number of different media including tattoo exhibitions, painting and line drawings and a fascinating display of photos of Koh Phangan over the last 120 years with the earliest photos being of King Rama V at Than Sadet waterfall.

Last, but not least, were the exhibitions about the marine life in the Marine Park areas around Koh Phangan; some of the local dive operators, most notably Sail Rock Divers, assisted by showing underwater videos and answering questions about the local sea life and conservation.

Next Year?

For those of you who missed the festival, the question is whether it will be on next year? No one is sure yet and there have been no public announcements to say whether it be will held again for the Colour Moon in 2015. However, given the success of this year’s event we believe it is sure to be held again next year.

Update for 2021

The Phangan Colour Moon Party didn’t catch on. It was polite, progressive, cultural and environmentally friendly. It was also lacking in appeal to the 30,000 party goers that descend monthly on the island. While Bangkok generals, some business owners and locals want to address the environmentally cost of the parties, as well as the reputational damage to the island by promoting alternative festivals, the majority are resigned to hosting the big parties.

Restaurants in North of Koh Phangan

MAE HAAD

Cafes

Om Bakery
Om Bakery

Thai Restaurants


Island View Cabana
Wang Sai Resort Restaurant
Wang Sai Restaurant

READ MORE ABOUT MAE HAAD

CHALOKLUM

Bars

Omega Bar
Omega Bar
Cafe Del Mar
Cafe Del Mar

Cafes

North Coast Bakery
North Coast Bakery
World's End Cafe and Bar
The World’s End Cafe and Bar

Seafood

Hai Thong Seafood
Hai Thong
Nong Nook Seafood
Nong Nook Seafood
Seaside Restaurant
Seaside Restaurant
Naang M Seafood
Naang M Seafood
Aun Jai Seafood
Aun Jai Seafood

International Food

Holy Grill
Holy Grill
Panee's Corner
Panee’s Corner

Italian

Cucina Italiana
Cucina Italiana

BOTTLE BEACH

Bars

Little Maybe Bar
Little Maybe Bar

Thai Food


Bottle Beach 1 Resort

Haad Khuat Resort

Smile Bungalows

READ MORE ABOUT BOTTLE BEACH