If you’ve been following my travels on my instagram , you know that I recently traveled to Thailand in the last week of April. In this blog post I’m going to answer most of the questions I received, how to reach Koh Phangan from India, where to stay in Koh Phangan and what to do in Koh Phangan.
When you think of Koh Phangan you instantly think of the full moon party which this island is famous for. This Island attracts crowds of people from all over the world every month on the day of the full moon party. But there’s a lot more to this magical island than the full moon parties.
Why Koh Phangan?
This was my second trip to Thailand, I’ve been there two years ago and visited Pattaya and Bangkok. I had the whole touristy experience and I wasn’t really keen on visiting Thailand again after that trip. So this time we did an extensive research before deciding on which place to visit in Thailand.
The most common places like Phuket and Krabi weren’t appealing as I knew they would be flooded with tourists.
Koh Phangan seemed like the perfect island getaway and since the full moon party was also over, we decided to head there.
How to reach Koh Phangan from India?
The best way to get to the island of Koh Phangan is flight + ferry. You will need to book a flight from India to Bangkok and Bangkok to Surat Thani. From Surat Thani you will have to take a ferry to Koh Phangan.
You can book the ferry to Koh Phangan on the Bangkok airport itself and that’s cheaper than booking online. In addition to a ferry you will need a van to take you from Surat Thani Airport to the ferry port which takes almost 2 hours. This too can be booked directly at the Bangkok airport or Surat Thani airport. We paid around 750 Baht per person for a van+ferry ticket at the Bangkok airport counter.
Please keep in mind that the last ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Phangan leaves at 6 PM so you need to book your tickets accordingly. We stayed one night in Bangkok so we could book a morning flight to Surat Thani for the next day.
We traveled from Thai lion airways and had to pay extra for our check-in luggage in advance as you are only allowed to carry 7 kgs hand baggage so remember to buy extra luggage if you need to.
P.S. Thailand rains are unpredictable and our flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani got delayed by almost 2 Hours due to a storm which resulted in us reaching Surat Thani airport at 5 PM and remember the last ferry leaves at 6 PM? So yes, we missed our ferry as it takes almost 2 hours to reach the ferry port. So the travel company who we got the ferry+van ticket from took us to the port and got us on a ferry to Koh Samui instead. We spent the night in Koh Samui and caught a ferry to Koh Phangan the next morning.
Where I stayed in Koh Phangan?
Haad Rin is where the full moon party originated and today it is the main tourist centre thriving with restaurants, boutiques, supermarkets, pubs and parties.
If you’re looking for alcohol buckets, parties then Haad Rin is the place for you. We stayed one night in Haad Rin at Sunrise resort. The beach is not as beautiful as the ones you will find on other parts of the island. We did go for a party on one of the beach shacks on Haad Rin where they had fire limbo going on with music and many more games. It was definitely a fun night but Haad Rin wasn’t the place for me.
Haad Salad beach is the best kept secret on the island of Koh Phangan. This is where we stayed for three nights and it was the most blissful experience.
I’d recommend staying at Salad beach resort and spending your days swimming in the calm waters of salad beach. You won’t find many people on this beach and that’s the best part isn’t it? You can have the beach swings all to yourself. I witnessed the most beautiful sunset of my life on salad beach, the sky turned all shades of orange and blue and I felt so so grateful in that moment. I’d highly recommend watching the sunset here.
Haad Salad is regarded as the best beach on Koh Phangan and rightly so because it sure felt heavenly. We rented a scooter for around 250 baht from the hotel(P.S. you will have to give them your passport as security to get the bike or else you will have to pay a deposit of around 10,000 baht so we preferred to keep the passport with the hotel) and we explored the area around Salad as the roads are safe and well maintained.
Things to do in Koh Phangan?
As we only had around 4 days in Koh Phangan we tried to make the most of it and visited some beautiful places around the island.
1) Ang Thong Marine National Park
The full day tour to Ang Thong Marine National Park is something that you absolutely can’t miss! Imagine an archipelago of 42 scattered islands featuring limestone cliffs, hidden lagoons and emerald waters. 😍
They say that these islands were the real inspiration behind Alex Garlands novel The Beach. We paid around 1700 Baht for this tour which included a pick up from our hotel, speed boat to the islands, snorkeling in the clear waters, kayaking, lunch on the island, trekking to the green lagoon on Mae Ko Island and the final stop is a trek to the top of Ang Thong from where you will get a panoramic view of all the islands.
Make sure you add this tour to your itinerary and note that this tour can also be taken from Koh Samui if you don’t get time in Koh Pha-ngan.
2) Visit Koh Ma and Mae Haad Beach
Mae haad beach is a very scenic beach in Koh Pha-ngan that connects to Koh Ma island on low tide. Imagine being able to walk to another island when there’s a low tide (which is quite often by the way).
This beach is very popular and has around 4 beachfront resorts where you could stay too. Mae Haad is very close to Haad Salad so we came here on our rented bike. Honestly, bike rides were our favourite part about exploring Koh Pha-ngan. I urge you to rent one, you won’t regret it! You might just find some hidden cafes or beaches.
3) Watch the sunset from Three Sixty Bar
While riding around Koh Ma and Mae Haad beach, we noticed a sign that read “View point” and we just had to follow the sign which led us to a very sketchy road but we kept riding uphill until we reached this breathtaking bar called Three Sixty bar.
This place gives you a 360 degree view of Koh Maa Island and Ang Thong Marine Park. We watched the sunset and had some unique cocktails and alcohol infused popsicles too. It’s also a great place to meet fellow travelers and enjoy deep house techno tunes.
4) Shop at the Thong Sala Saturday Night Market
If you find yourself in Koh Pha-ngan on a Saturday night and love street food and shopping, you MUST visit the Thong Sala Saturday Night Market.
The Main Street is lined with vintage shops and clothing stalls selling stuff for as cheap as 50 Baht.
I bought some really good swimwear and clothes from this market for a better price than Bangkok 😱 so you should definitely head here.
The timings of the Thong Sala Saturday Night Market are 4 pm to 10 pm.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you did, please share it with your friends and family on Facebook or WhatsApp. Stay tuned for more travel content and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram- @thebohospiration to stay updated with my travels.