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Koh Phangan


Koh Phangan is another ideal destination for the travelers who prefer less crowded, more private beaches set in a laid-back atmosphere. However, this is also a very hip place to be as the island hosts the world famous, and perhaps the biggest beach party on this planet – The full moon party on Hat Rin. Covering an area of 191 square kilometers, Koh Phangan is located 20 kilometres directly north of Koh Samui, or approximately 100 kilometres from Suratthani mainland. Interesting attractions include secluded and virgin beaches around the island, a hilltop temple called Wat Khao Tham (ideal for meditation), Than Sadet Waterfall, and the Namtok Phaeng National Park. Renting a motorcycle to explore the island is recommended as there are a lot of things to see and do.

The beaches on Koh Phangan are still some of the best in the Gulf of Thailand, and remain more popular for people wishing to avoid the crowds of Thailand beaches. Not all have been developed, so there are still those quiet deserted beaches which can be very attractive. There is also snorkelling to be done, with many beaches having live-coral formations.


The Bronze Drum of Dongson Culture (500BC - 100BC) that was found on Ko Samui in 1977 is evidence that there were settlements of people on Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and their islets from more than two thousand years ago. Some historians and archaeologists believe that the first group who migrated to Ko Pha Ngan were the Muslim sea Gypsies (Pygmy, Semung, and Proto-Malay) who travelled by boat from the Malay Peninsula. However, nowadays there are few Muslims who live on the island. The name of Ko Pha Ngan comes from the word 'Ngan', the southern dialect meaning 'sand bar', for there are many sand bars offshore around the island. Ko Pha Ngan has been a long time favorite of past kings of Thailand. Specifically Rama V, or Chulalongkorn visited Ko Pha Ngan 14 times during his reign.



Koh Phangan

Area: about 168 km²
Estimated perimeter: 50 km EST. (10hrs average walking time)
Province: Surat Thani
From mainland: about 55 km
From Ko Samui: about 15 km
From Ko Tao: about 35 km
Population: 11,846 (2004)
Main town: Thong Sala
Highest Point: Khao Ra, 630m asl.

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