Island (Ko Phangan)
just 12 km north of Samui, Phangan can be easily accessed
by a half hour boat ride. Once it was just a backdoor neighborhood
of Samui. But it is getting a new look.
Samui has begun to target up-market tourists, more and more
backpackers and budget travelers have found the great hideaways
here. It becomes increasingly attractive to other travelers
who discover that Samui has nothing matching with their interests.
Less expensive and less crowded are two main advantages experienced
by backpackers. There are 160 places to stay around the190
square km of the island, at a cost of about 100 baht. Except
for Rin Beach, many of the beaches are nearly deserted.
island has two main attractive sites: Rin Beach and others.
Rin Beach is a center for parties and hanging out while other
beaches are tropical escapes with untouched nature and breath-taking
scenes. Phangan has long been famed for its astonishing beauty
which attracted King Rama IV to make regular visits here.
Thong Nai Pan, one of the top five of Thailand's best beaches,
was his long time favorite.
is not the full range of modern development and tourist entertainment
like the atmosphere of Samui. Not to mention no airport, big
resorts, hotels, or paved roads. But it is a real paradise
for all the senses, with undamaged nature and raucous parties,
which may seem to be a contradiction, but the island has a
certain magnetic power which makes it magically possible.
Getting There: Speedboats
leave Samui daily from Maenam and Bophut piers to Thongsala
at 8.30 am at a cost of 250 baht and also leave Nathon at
12.00 am, then return from Thongsala at 10.30 am for the price
of 150 baht.
Express operates express ferries from Thatong, Samui to Thongsala
via Nathon. The ferries leave Thatong at 8.30 am, arrive at
Nathon at 10.30 am, then leave Nathon at 11.00 am and arrive
at Thongsala at 11.45 am. They also run a car ferry service
from Kanom to Thongsala via Na Thon. The ferries leave Thongsala
at 6.30 am, arrive Na Thon at 8.00 am, and reach Kanom at
9.30 am. The return trip from Kanom leaves at 6.00 pm, arrives
Nathon at 7.30 pm and reaches Thongsala at 9.00 pm.
boats run from Maenam pier to Phangan at three main destinations:
Rin Beach for 120 baht, Tien Beach for 150 baht and Thong
Nai Pan for 200 baht.
an alternative route, but a longer trip, you can take nightboats
from Ban Don, Surat Thani to Thongsala. The boats leave at
10.00 pm and take six hours and a half for the price of 170
It's recommended to take a songtaew as it's the fastest and
most convenient means of transportation on the island. Fares
depend on the destination, but are not higher than 100 baht
around the island. Or else you can hire a motorcycle which
is pretty much more expensive depending on how great you are
at bargaining. There is crowd of motorcycle taxis outside
Bovy Supermarket near the pier at Thongsala.
interesting beaches and natural attractions on the islands
Thongsala is the only main port and it is also
the only town on Phangan, houseing most of the island's residents.
It provides all kinds of necessary facilities you may need
including banks, ATMs and a post office. Aside from that,
there is not much of interest about the town, just a small
under-developed Thai village with some construction in progress.
town is busy during the day because crowds of tourists come
and go. At least, if you have to hang out waiting for the
boat, there is a line of restaurants along the road leading
toward the pier. There are lots of alternative choices here
to enjoy local and western style food. For a more entertaining
moment, you can absorb the Thai art of boxing at a boxing
stadium within Thongsala. Or there are a few karaoke restaurants
that create a bouncing atmosphere. Tourists go wandering away
from Thongsala at night and the local people are left with
a quiet and sleepy town.
Beach and Full Moon Parties:
On the far southeast of Phangan, Hat Rin is the liveliest
and craziest beach. It has been marked as "something
different" from all other places in Thailand, and probably
the world. It now has become a spot for a travelers' community
whose members truly believe in hedonism.
is composed of two beaches: sunrise on the east and sunset
on the west. Sunrise beach is a wide stretch of white sand
in a stunning curved bay while sunset beach is not really
as nice. All ranges of accommodation from low budget to air-con
bungalows are concentrated around the two beaches. There are
no comfortable and luxurious five-stars hotels and resorts
here as Rin's reputation is for cheap and wild living.
Beach is the ideal for all kinds of pleasure that the young
and young at heart are searching for. It is a venue for the
world famous Full Moon Party happening every month on the
sunrise beach. Hanging out, going to parties, meeting wild
and weird people, matchmaking, listening to techno, garage,
house music, marijuana, drugs and spiritual awakenings all
can be experienced at Rin Beach. Hat Rin has all kinds of
music to fit with everyone's tastes and you'll not be disappointed.
party starts when the first gleam of golden moonlight touches
the white sand. The beach is lighted up with thousands of
lamps and is full of thousands of travelers until dawn. Have
fun and get wild!!!
Nai Pan Beach:
Thong Nai Pan is a magnificent double bay which is split by
a narrow cape creating two wide beaches of white sands: Thong
Nai Pan Yai and Thong Nai Pan Noi.
a major attraction for members of the Thai royal family, the
beach has long been kept as a secret and hidden place away
from the crowds. There is not much development going on around
here and it has the old and authentic atmosphere of Thai beach
village. You may have to put in some effort to go there, but
it is well rewarded with perfect beaches and friendly people.
the southern bay, Thong Nai Pan Yai, the bigger of the two,
is the residence of nearly all the local population. The beach
has a wide sandy beach and a small village encircled by coconut
plantations. There are a few bungalow resorts along the beach,
two shops and a few bars and restaurants and the locals own
most of the businesses here. Thong Nai Pan Noi, the quieter
of the two, is a magnificent long beach of white sands with
coconut trees in the background and surrounded by mountains.
There are plenty of beach huts and bungalows along the beach.
Thong Nai Pan Noi is a good place for pleasurable swimming
are two ways of commuting to Thong Nai Pan. You can take a
pick-up songtaew from Thongsala and it can be accessed by
boats from Thongsala, Rin Beach and Maenam.
On the west coast of the island, Hat Yao means Long Beach.
It has almost one and a half kms of white sand with deep water
making for good swimming. There are just a few basic and low
budget bungalows on the beach, but a more comfortable and
expensive resort is in the process of construction.
main thing to be informed of is that Hat Yao is quite a laid
back village, but under development. Once Hat Yao was quite
difficult to reach because there was no proper paved road,
but now the situation is better as the road from Thongsala
to Hat Yao is almost finished. Not everywhere in Hat Yao has
electricity yet. All the electricity used during a few hours
each evening comes from the main generator. So no nightlife
entertainment at all.
Than Sadet Waterfalls means "Royal Stream" as many
members of Thai royal family have made frequent visits here,
including King Rama V, King Rama VII, and King Rama IX, the
present king. For a confirmation, the three kings left their
signature on the rocks below the falls. So it could be assumed
that the waterfalls must have some sort of extraordinary beauty
to attract even the rulers of the country to come for a vacation.
The falls have been guaranteed and it's really worth it to
prove it for yourself.
at Thong Nang Village, you can reach it by taking the road
from Ban Tai Village to Thong Nai Pan Beach. Then turn-off
about halfway up the road and head east toward Sadet Beach
at Thong Nang Village. The trail follows a river along which
you can see a series of waterfalls.
Forest Park Waterfalls:
About halfway between Thongsala and Chalok Lam there's a turn-off
heading to the waterfalls. The waterfalls themselves are worth
a visit, but you can have some pleasure absorbing the magnificent
nature and stunning viewpoints on the way. Uncountable coconut
trees, pure white sands and deep blue sea colored with a bright
blue sky can be seen from here. Along the trail to the falls
there is a marble Buddha Image which is said to be one of
the finest statues on the island.
best way is to get a motorcycle to explore the splendid vistas.
It is most convenient to rent one. You need at least 125cc
to travel up and down the hills because some roads are dirt
tracks which are sheer and uneven.
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