Koh Phangan is an island which is popular with full moon parties. There are also half moon, black moon and silver moon concept parties. People from all over the world is coming to Thailand Phangan Island to attend those crazy events. If you are planning to visit Koh Phangan, it is better you arrange your dates according to one of these party dates. However if you are will visit the island in the high season, it is better to arrange your accomadation very early. Koh Phangan has no big chain resorts or 5 star hotels etc. Instead, there are more local hotels and hostels. Therefore there is a possibility that you can't find a place in high season, especially on full moon party dates. Apart from the popular parties, island itself offers a very nice holiday with nice beaches and crystal clear sea. It is better to stay at least 3 days in the island to discover the beauties and to have relaxing time.
Here are some tips and info about Koh Phangan. In the video we shared our experiences and also we did a small interview with our local friend Sao. As I always say, the best way to get knowledge and learn some facts about a place that you go fot the first time is chatting with a local person. In this way you discover more then just tourist attractions and the most popular things. Besides our video, here are some notes about Koh Phangan.
HALF MOON PARTY
We could arrange our visit during half moon so we attended the half moon party in the jungle. Organisors create a great atmosphere with 3 stages and amazing decoration in the tropical jungle. Entrance fee is 1500 baht per person. Usually famous DJ's are coming to the half moon parties and the shows are magical... Some poeple even say that half moons are better then full moons. Because fullmoon parties held on beach so it is free (which is better) but for the same reason dj's are worse than half moon and also the atmosphere is much better in the jungle. You can learn exact dates and get more info about halfmoon festival from here . Before the Half Moon Party, you can attend one of the warm up parties in the hotels and bars. By the way, on the beach there is a party every night, so you can imagine that they are the small full moon parties. There are also some pool parties like in the Coral Bungalows, but there were just a little people and it was not so fun so we left there immediately.
If you came to the island for party the best region to stay is Haad Rin. Most of the hotels and hostels are located in Haad Rin Bay. Haad Rin has a very nice beach and also from here it is easy to reach other places in the island. Haad Rin is the touristic center and most of the people prefer to stay in here but I should give you a warning. If you are coming to Koh Phangan for quite and relaxing days at the seaside and you are looking for peaceful nights only with wave sounds then you should prefer different location. Haad Rin is a alive until morning so if you are staying in a place close to the beach, you can't sleep early :)
We stayed in the "Little Paradise Resort" and our room was just next to beach with nice sea view from our jakuzi in the room. Prices for that kind of room is affordable in Koh Phangan, but if you are travelling as a group or looking for a budget room, there are also dormitory rooms in the same building. Choice is yours. Owner of the hotel Sao welcomed us very friendly as soon as we arrive the resort and she also guided us and helped us about the arrangements of our island trip. We felt like we are in our home during the stay. It is also beneficial to stay in a hotel like this which is close to the party region, so that if it rains you can change clothes , or if you are drunk you can directly go sleeping :)
It is easy to reach from Koh Samui (This island has an airport) to Koh Phangan with ferry just for 200 baht. Inside the island, there are many car/motorbike rentals and in my opinion best way to hang around island is hiring a motorbike. It is about 250 baht per day and it is the cheapest option. If you prefer public transportation, truck- taxi is available for 8-10 people but each time that you should bargain with the driver. (Tip: If he says 300 baht for a destination, Offer 150 and deal for 200 :) ) There is also boat taxi but it is much more expensive.
BEACHES & DAY TRIPS
There are daily trips for 500 baht and pick up time is around 9-10 am. and return around 5 pm. Those trips usually cover Thong Nai Pan Beach, Than Sadet Waterfall, Haadyao Beach and Koh Ma .
If you miss the pick up time, and like us if you don't have motorbike, then your only option is truck taxi and it will cost you a lot if you try to do this daily trip with them. Therefore we decided to go only the best place for snorkelling which is Koh Ma. The beach across the Ma island is so quite and lovely. It is a perfect place to have sunbath and relax. In the sea there are many colorful fishes, also the big ones and swimming with them is so fun. Water temperature in Thailand is so high so it is almost impossible to get cold in the sea. Therefore you can spend as much time as you want in the sea with the underwater world.
Ma Island is actually connected to Koh Phangan because sea level is so low between them and you can reach Koh Ma with just 5 minutes walking. You can also stay there for the sunset. Don't forget to capture some moments during sunset :)
Haad Rin Beach is also nice and since our hotel was in here, we also spend some time in this bay. Sea is clear and there is a sandy beach. I suggest you to come here in the afternoon and have some drinks during the happy hours. Bucket drinks are very popular in Koh Phangan. You can choose whatever you like and mix it in the bucket.
So, if you are in Thailand and especially if you visit Koh Samui, don't skip Koh Phangan. Here is a useful website easyphangan.com for events and info. Swim all day and part all night! Enjoy :)