Famous for its relaxed and easy going atmosphere, its Full Moon parties and the crowds of nature lovers and shoe-string budget travelers, Koh Phangan is an island of exceptional beauty whose nature is still largely wild and unspoilt.
Whereas backpackers still dominate the island's tourist trade, the days when the only accommodation in sight were bamboo huts or reed woven bungalows are long gone. Some stunning and luxurious development projects have found home in Koh Phangan's most secluded bays: fully staffed, private villas nestled on cliffs overlooking the sea and totally integrated in the surrounding nature as well as luxurious resorts boasting 5 stars accommodation and facilities can all be found, even if admittedly less easily than in Koh Samui or Phuket. Still, the remoteness of this type of accommodations adds on charm, especially to travelers looking for a peaceful hideaway.
Those looking for a secluded paradise will discover Phangan has quite a few: remote beaches accessible only by the sea, pristine tropical forest that still covers 90% of the island, waterfall and small mountains, and an incredible abundance of wildlife; all of this has attracted many, not only in recent times but even during the past centuries: King Rama V visited the island not less than 10 times, leaving his seal engraved on a rock in Thaan Sadet Waterfall while the current King Bhumibol followed more recently in his steps.
While Koh Phangan is yet to have yoga retreat, spas, and wellness centers on the scale of Koh Samui, such facilities are plenty on the island, with meditation schools and secret hideaways taking the lead and attracting those looking for peace and a space to learn in harmony with nature.
Koh Phangan abundance of tropical rainforest, wild jungle interior and rich coral reefs make it also the ideal destination for the adventurous and active traveler. The reefs running along the North West coast support a vibrant underwater environment making it an excellent place to snorkel and dive. Indeed, the best diving sites in the Gulf of Thailand are all but 20 km away, scattered in between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, making Phangan a perfect base to go exploring these marine wonders. Overnight mountain treks can be organized to the top of Khao Ra and coastline walks allow to beach hop around the whole island.
Sailing or Speedboat cruises to the Ang Thong Marine Natural Park can be organized from Koh Phangan as well. Ang Thong is a true natural wonder consisting of 40 islands and a vast expanse of marine environment. Snorkelling here is magnificent while the view from the highest hill in Wua Ta Lap, at 240m, is breath-taking.
And of course, party-goers will find their paradise here: Haad Rin, home to the legendary Full Moon Party, hosts the biggest beach party in the world while outdoor events are organized weekly in jungle and beachfront venues.