Where to stay in Koh Phangan — our favorite areas
Koh Phangan is one of the districts belonging to the province of Surat Thani. It is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand in southeast Thailand. During the 1980s, tourism became one of the main sources of income and still is to this day. The Full Moon Party is the most well-known attraction among tourists and travelers and has largely contributed to the increase in popularity of the island.
Five best places to stay in Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan can be approximately divided into four areas: the Northwest, the Northeast, the Southwest, and Haad Rin.
Here are our top 5 picks for places to stay:
- Haad Yao
- Ban Khai
- Thong Sala
- Haad Rin
- Thong Nai Pan
|Best areas in Koh Phangan|
|Haad Yao||First-time visitors.|
|Ban Khai||For travelers on a budget.|
|Thong Sala||For those wanting to stay long-term.|
|Haad Rin||For travelers seeking fun and a good night out.|
|Thong Nai Pan||For travelers looking for a relaxing and quiet place to stay.|
Getting to and around Koh Phangan
You can access Koh Phangan from the mainland by ferry in Surat Thani and Chumphon. As far as getting around the island is concerned, you have several options: by motorcycle, by songthaew, and by boat.
Getting around by motorcycle is the easiest, most efficient, and arguably the cheapest way to move around the island. You can rent a motorcycle pretty much anywhere on the island. It’s important to note that you will most likely be asked to provide your passport when renting. Don’t worry—you’ll get it back once you return the motorcycle. Be careful of scammers, and make sure to take pictures of the motorcycle so that they can’t accuse you of damaging the ride and ask you for additional money.
If riding a motorcycle isn’t for you, you can always travel by songthaew. A songthaew is best described as a “mini truck” or “minibus” with benches in the back. The fare is negotiable, depending on the number of passengers, destination, and time of the day.
Image source: merrylee21
Traveling by boat is best for exploration around the island, rather than the island itself. You can book a boat, or, as it is known in Thailand, a longtail boat, in any shop that offers tours around the island.
Where to stay in Koh Phangan for the first time—Haad Yao
Haad Yao is known for having one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. The white sand glistens in the sun, and it is perfect for relaxing. Here, you can see people sunbathing, swimming, playing beach volleyball, exploring the mesmerizing waters by diving or snorkeling, and enjoying other fun activities.
Things to see and do in Haad Yao
Here are some of our suggestions for things to do and see:
- Relax on the beach
- Eat at Pura Vida Cafe
- Unwind at Rasta Home Koh Phangan
Relax on the beach
Bask in the warm Thai sun and have a relaxing holiday by spending time on the beach. You can swim, sunbathe, or have a relaxing walk on the beach.
Image source: 0liviasmith
Pura Vida Cafe
Have a slice of Europe in Thailand. This restaurant serves daily specials in a pleasant atmosphere. It’s located close to the beach.
Image source: clairehealthy_
Rasta Home Koh Phangan
Listen to the relaxing tunes of reggae with some cool and refreshing drinks.
Image source: kahlum7788
Where to stay in Koh Phangan on a budget—Ban Khai
Ban Khai is known as a tranquil and quiet village that offers cheap accommodation and proximity to other areas on Koh Phangan. It is only a few kilometers away from another village with a similar name—Ban Tai—and the Haad Rin beach.
Things to see and do in Ban Khai
Here are some budget-friendly activities and places to see in Ban Khai:
- Visit Wat Pho
- Visit Yang Na Yai Tree
- Watch the sunset on Ban Khai beach
If you love exploring different religions and cultures, make sure to visit Wat Pho—a Buddhist temple located in the nearby village of Ban Tai.
Image source: karamullina
Yang Na Yai Tree
Yang Na Yai Tree is the biggest tree in Thailand, standing high at 53 meters. It is estimated that it is over 400 years old. Some villagers consider this tree to be sacred.
Image source: damian.harper
Ban Khai beach
Head out to the beach and enjoy the breathtaking view of the sunset.
Image source: joshrees_
Where to stay in Koh Phangan long term—Thong Sala
Thong Sala is the main port and largest town on Koh Phangan. This is a great place to stay for a longer period of time, as it is the main port. It is home to a number of internet cafes, banks, ATMs, travel agencies, shops, and markets, as well as the post office. It provides you with all the things you need in your everyday life. It can also serve as a great starting point for exploring the rest of Koh Phangan and everything it has to offer.
Things to see and do in Thong Sala
Here are some of our suggestions for things to do and see during your stay here:
- Dine at Nine Restaurant and Bar
- Shop at Thong Sala Night Market
- Visit the Jam Bar Koh Phangan
Nine Restaurant and Bar
Dine at this pleasant and inviting restaurant that serves Thai food, as well as food from American and British cuisine.
Image source: hungry_honey_
Thong Sala Night Market
During the week, this famous market is open from 4 pm to 11 pm, and you can find an abundance of delicious local dishes and food for a low price. On Saturdays, you can also find all sorts of crafts and clothes. Note that the market closes a bit early on Saturdays— at 10 pm.
Image source: myloveofcolour
Jam Bar Koh Phangan
Visit this bar during the night and hang out with the locals and enjoy some refreshing drinks. Musicians gather here for open mic nights and encourage people to go on stage and perform tricks, stand up comedy, or dance.
Image source: littledumdumclub