The tropical paradise, Koh Phangan is the fifth-largest island in Thailand, located 12 km from Koh Samui. It has sandy beaches stretched along the coastlines while the inner part is covered with rain forest. Koh Pha-ngan doesn’t have an airport and travelers take ferries to reach the island from the mainland. We have picked up the top 12 things to do in Pha-ngan from a long list of available activities.
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Scuba Diving Around Koh Phangan
Koh Pha-ngan has a number of amazing viewpoints and spots on land as well as underwater, providing the ultimate snorkeling and diving opportunities on many of its beaches. The famous diving site of Sail Rock is located in the North of the island. The exotic marine life, warm temperatures, and clear waters make snorkeling experience one of a kind. It is also renowned for whale shark sightings and has some of the best diving sites in the province.
A few years ago, some tourists discovered that the moon shines the most beautiful in Koh Pha-ngan. So they planned a party on the eve of a full moon along the crescent beach of Haad Rin. Since then, the moon parties are the heart and soul of the Koh Pha-ngan Islands. The parties, continuing from dawn till dusk, are mostly held on the Haad Rin Beach and are attended by hundreds of tourists and locals with non-stop music, dancing, and drinks. If you are looking to party outdoor on a beach with no inhibitions and crazy raves, moon parties are your place to be.
Haad Rin Beach
Located on the southern part of the island, Haad Rin is one of the busiest beaches in Koh Pha-ngan with a complete set of activities during the day and crazy moon parties and fire shows at night. Also known as the sunrise beach, Haad Rin hosts full moon parties every month along with activities like volleyball, water sports, and kayaking for backpackers and tourists visiting Koh Phangan.
Haad Yao and Haad Salad
Haad Yao, meaning long beach, together with Haad Salad are famous attractions for visitors and families. Shallow waters, calm shoreline, crescent beaches, and natural reefs are perfect for relaxing and you can also visit nearby villages and enjoy the scenic views on narrow beaches. Haad Yao is also known for its clear and vivid sunset photography while Haad Salad is a serene place with scenic views while offering snorkeling and other water sports as well.
Muay Thai (or Thai Kickboxing) is the most popular sports on the peninsula. The most common spots for Muay Thai are Haad Rin and Thong Sala where the fights are intense and attract both local and foreign crowds on fight nights. Koh Pha-ngan hosts some of the most professional academies and Muay Thai institutes with fiercely trained fighters. You can train, watch them train, and enjoy the fights as well.
Koh Pha-ngan has been hosting professional wakeboarding in Chaloklum for more than 10 years now. The village is located in the shadow of mountains blocking the winds and making the area perfect for the sport. The facility offers a safe, guided, and fun activity for youngsters and adventure lovers. Wakeboards are seen ripping the water surface and towed by powerful motorboats offering a good time for those having an interest in water sports.
Enjoy the Hike to Waterfalls
Pha-ngan hosts some of the most ravishing waterfalls in Thailand including Sadet waterfall, Paradise waterfall, Than Prawet and Than Prophet. These are located in different parts of the island and the hike to reach them is not easy. Each of these waterfalls is a pinnacle of natural beauty complemented by ntamed waters passing through naturally carved stone paths and present the most scenic views along the hike trails.
Koh Pha-ngan islands like other Thai Islands host a total of 30 beaches and tropical natural landscapes, making beach hopping a must for anyone who visits. The opportunities are aplenty and you can easily hire motorboats to explore the island and beaches yourself. Some of the backpackers prefer to use bikes (easily available on rent) and enjoy the beaches alone, giving them the liberty to stop anywhere anytime at will.
Backpackers and travelers on a budget prefer the Bottle Beach for its tropical beaches and jungles. The Bottle beach offers serene and secluded surroundings with unspoiled waters. The golden beach is encircled with mountainous terrain and is a perfect spot for sunbathing. Canoeing is especially recommended for the visitors and if the sea is calm, you can also access the beach on a boat taxi from Chaloklum.
Thong Sala’s Night Market
Thong Sala is the capital of Koh Pha-ngan with a bustling night market, making it the perfect place for shopping, experiencing local street food and enjoying exotic fruit shakes. Dining options like seafood and meat are available at low prices. Thong Sala port is well connected to all of the nearby towns and also has passenger boats for tourists with reasonable fares.
Khao Ra is the highest peak in Kho Phangan and offers the most scintillating views from the top. The hike to reach the top is somewhat difficult, however, the fascinating scenes along the way are definitely worth the trouble. Local guides are available to assist you in this challenging expedition and there are certain passageways to the top with a small fee. There are several viewpoints along the climb that are worth taking a few selfies and the top of the mountain has the most exquisite view, totally worth spending your time.
Chaloklum and Haad Mae Beaches
Both of these beaches are located on the Northwestern coast of Koh Pha-ngan. Chaloklum beach has a village in its middle surrounded by sandy beaches and serene waters. Haad Mae has several resorts and beach houses available for rent. The beaches have a feeling of fishing villages and you can find inexpensive small-sized restaurants serving delicious seafood with local recipes. Those traveling on scooters and bikes are in for a treat.
Just So You Know:
- Full moon and half-moon parties are the beach parties that are celebrated according to the lunar calendar.
- Thong Sala market is held after 4 pm every Saturday on the old main street, visited by scores of tourists and locals.
Get Some Culture:
- Cooking School Koh Phangan: You can learn to cook local Thai cuisines under the supervision of experienced instructors at the Same Same school (Haad Rin and Ban Tai).
- Yoga Schools: Many yoga schools like Agama Yoga and Middle Way Yoga and Meditation offer visitors a chance to try and experience the old traditional yoga techniques of the region.
Grab A Bite:
- Beach Lounge in Thong Sala beach offers a delicious blend of Thai and Western cuisines. The restaurant is located in a wooden beach hut under the shade of coconut trees.
- Fisherman’s Restaurant: The restaurant has been serving delicious seafood under the famous chef Lek since 1997. It also serves a variety of beverages and wines.