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Driving a rental car in Koh Phangan allows you to explore the island at your own pace. You can discover lesser known attractions and vistas, stopping for photos whenever you fancy.
Many drives are hilly, so driving a hire car on Koh Phangan gives you the chance to enjoy some tremendous views of the coastline. One of the best is the west coast road from Thong Sala to the northern beach of Haad Khom. It’s a common misconception that you can drive all the way around Koh Phangan, but in fact Haad Khom is as far as you can go. If you decide to do this drive, bear in mind you’ll be coming back the same way – certainly no hardship when you consider the breathtaking scenery, hotels and beaches en route.
In the opposite direction is the coast road from Thong Sala to the nightlife and hotels in Haad Rin – a busier route, shared with many motorbikes and songthaews (shared truck taxis). Another road heads inland from Ban Tai village to Thong Nai Pan, passing the turn-off for Than Sadet Waterfall along the way.
Access to a rental car gives you the freedom to explore most of the island. Thailand drives on the left, so UK drivers shouldn’t need much time to adjust. The roads in Koh Phangan have greatly improved over recent years, and most are now paved, though a few are essentially still dirt tracks and you may need a 4x4 to access them safely. Keep an eye out for animals, other vehicles and pedestrians, and your only dilemma will be deciding which part of the island to visit first.