Koh Phangan is located in the Samui Archipelago – a group of about 40+ islands, in the Gulf of Thailand. The islands are part of the province Surat thani with the province capital of the same name. The only transit way to and from the island is momentary by boat or ferry, where you can choose between several providers and locations on the island. The neighboring island of Koh Samui, about 20 km. from Phangan and about 40 km from the mainland, is host to a domestic airport. Flights to and from Bangkok, Phuket, Malaysia etc. depart on hourly basis. The next airport is to be found on the mainland in Surat thani province.
Development on the island itself is progressing slow, fortunately for the locals and tourists, as this leaves most of the islands nature intact. Main population centers are found along the west and south coast. The infrastructure is in good shape, and you can rent cars or motorbikes nearly everywhere on the island. Don’t forget to drive on the left.
Money matters are not a problem anymore as every town or village provides at least one ATM. Expect prices for everyday articles to be slightly higher than on the mainland, most of the articles are shipped in. Accommodation can be found in every price range, though high end resorts are rare.
Main attractions for the majority of visitors are the local Yoga Schools with teachers from all over the world and the infamous Full Moon Party.
At least yoga schools are scattered around the island and welcome you to all sorts of meditations or fasting to get your inner self in balance again. Koh Phangans lush jungles and deserted coasts certainly support the idea behind it and so it is no wonder that year for year yogis keep coming back to this gem of nature.
The Full Moon Party, is happening on the sunrise beach in Haad Rin the easternmost settlement and most dense populated area on the island. Five to fifteen thousand ravers who dance themselves to tranquility every month and also provide a major share of the islands income. Future will tell how the Thais will deal with this knives edge.
In the past it was a very spiritual approach to the island. Four hundred years ago a group of Buddhist monks were the first officially recognized settlers on Koh Phangan. They are said to have sensed the islands unique energies and founded a monastery, right outside what is today Thong Sala, the islands main port. In the aftermath of the spiritual frenzy even Thailand’s Kings were drawn to Koh Phangan. And the first to visit, fourteen times in total, was King Rama V. . His Royal insignia can still be found, carved in a rock, near Than Sadet waterfall. And even HM the King Phumiphon Adunyadet came to visit this tranquil island several times.
More than thirty beaches and plenty of activities make Koh Phangan an interesting choice. Surfing, Wakeboarding, Diving, Elephant trekking, Paint Ball, Fishing Trips, Yoga Classes, Kung Fu Classes, Archery and much more are available to make your holiday a fulfilled one.