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An idyllic Asian beach destination, Koh Phangan attracts visitors with pure white sands and a laid-back lifestyle, with many younger travellers lured by the island’s well-known nightlife and party scene. Set on a small southeast peninsula and best known for its legendary monthly full moon party, the hedonistic resort of Haad Rin Nok – also known as Sunrise Beach – is home to a booming strip of techno clubs and beach bars, as well as a varied selection of budget hotels, backpacker hostels and mid-range resorts. On the other side of the peninsula, the opposite beach of Haad Rin Nai – or Sunset Beach – is an altogether less frenetic affair, with more emphasis on boutiques and restaurants than bars or clubs.
Holidays in Koh Phangan are not all about dancing until dawn. The island offers a vast array of land and water-based sporting activities, from hiking, biking and zip-lining to sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and kayaking. It’s a major scuba diving and snorkelling destination too, with courses for those who wish to become PADI-certified, and trips out to world-renowned dive sites like Sail Rock and Chumphon Pinnacle for the already-qualified.
For nature-loving visitors a walk from Haad Sadet beach to the Than Sadet Waterfall National Park is a must, as is a boat trip to the Ang Thong National Marine Park which lies between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. The island is also home to some stunning beaches, several of which – like Bottle Beach on the north coast – are only accessible by boat. This wilder section of coastline is home to some exclusive four and five star beach hotels and luxury spas, as well as plenty of casual bungalow resorts and family friendly properties.
Koh Phangan does not yet have a functioning airport of its own, although one is currently under construction. All visitors arrive by sea, either from the neighbouring island of Koh Samui 15 km away, or from the mainland port city of Surat Thani. Both have airports which receive flights from the Thai capital Bangkok, plus a number of other domestic and international destinations.
The main port and administrative centre of Koh Phangan is the town of Thong Sala, where you’ll find banks, pharmacies and the main post office, as well as numerous restaurants, internet cafes, hotels, backpacker hostels and bungalows. The waterfront is home to a string of coffee shops, boutiques and street stalls, and every Saturday evening there’s a walking street market offering a good range of handmade souvenirs, plus a variety of delicious street food.
Whether you’re seeking sun and surf followed by a pulsating night on the dancefloor, or an altogether more peaceful escape, Expedia will help you book the right Koh Phangan holiday for you.