Koh Phangan Attractions
As a natural paradise island in the Southern Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan serves as the perfect getaway retreat, where one may go relaxing on quiet deserted beaches, snorkeling and learning to dive at the distinctive island of Koh Ma, trekking in the footsteps of Thai Royalty at Than Sadet National Park steeped in history and culture, or seeking adventure in the nearby Ang Thong archipelago composed of over 40 islands endowed with pristine beaches, natural caves and the tranquil Tha Laem Nai.
Koh Phangan has over 250 resorts to choose from, ranging from the budget 80 baht a night beach hut without private toilet to luxury air-conditioned accommodation with private swimming pool.
It's the simple beach life which continues to attract visitors each year along with the island's reputation for full moon parties and a hedonistic approach to life. The backpackers, budget tourists and aging hippies are beginning to give way to families and more mainstream tourists but the beaches are still beautiful and undeveloped.
The full moon party scene still runs with a cast of thousands in high season - all on the beach. Hedonists everywhere still flock to the world's biggest beach party every month. The music from the multiple sound systems is mostly ear-splittingly loud trance and house, and a predominantly youthful crowd dance 'til dawn on party nights. This may not be to everyone's taste, certainly, but it's definitely a unique cultural experience.
Other events such as the Half Moon Party and Black Moon Party also attract large crowds. However, it is still possible to visit the island and avoid the full moon party altogether, with dozens of quiet, secluded resorts and beach huts dotted all over the island for a variety of prices. Many of the more costly resorts offer such facilities as daily yoga, yoga teachers' training, meditation, a variety of healing, healthy & natural therapies, spa massage & pampering services and herbal steam rooms.
Other activities available on the island include scuba diving with a number of companies offering very reasonably priced training courses and excursions, snorkelling, especially off the Mae Haad sandbar in the north west, wakeboarding, archery, fishing, walks in the national park or simply relaxing in the company of other farangs or the friendly locals.
Koh Phangan featured prominently in Alex Garland's 1997 novel The Beach, and is also mentioned in the song Magick by the new rave band Klaxons' (but probably more as a reference to the 1997 novel The Beach than the island itself). The island was also the spot where the Real World Denver cast spent their vacation at the end of the season.