Sightseeing on Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is not only a great destination for party enthusiasts who enjoy events like Full Moon, but it also boasts stunning beaches and various tourist attractions such as forests, waterfalls, temples, and cultural landmarks. So, besides relaxing on the beach, there are plenty of things to see and do on the island.
Koh Phangan District's largest community is Thong Sala, which serves as the hub for business and transportation. The passenger pier for trips to Surat Thani, Koh Samui, and Koh Tao is located here, as well as banks, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and two-row parking lots. Meanwhile, Tambon Ban Tai's Than Sadet Waterfall is a popular attraction that was visited by Thai monarchs King Rama V, King Rama VI, King Rama VII with his wife, and King Rama IX. The waterfall was named by King Rama V, who visited it 14 times during his reign, and the royal monograms of the other kings have been engraved on the rocks surrounding it.
When planning a trip to Than Sadet Waterfall, there are two ways to get there: by boat or by car. If you choose to take a boat, you'll enjoy stunning views of the mountains, unique rock formations, and white sandy beaches as you enter Than Sadet Bay. Once you arrive, you can disembark and take a short walk to a stream with lots of rapids and rushing currents. It's important to note that from October to January, boat travel to the waterfall is not possible. Alternatively, you can travel by car, but you'll need a high-performance vehicle to navigate the steep and mountainous terrain. You should exercise extra caution when driving to ensure your safety.
Phaeng Waterfall, situated in Tambon Koh Phangan, is home to the Than Sadet-Koh Phangan National Park office. The waterfall boasts multiple levels, including Phaeng Noi, Than Nam Rak, and Than Kluai Mai, and has a consistent flow of water throughout the year. Visitors can also enjoy a nature trail, the Phaeng Waterfall - Dome Sila Viewpoint, which spans a distance of 2.5 kilometres and takes approximately one hour to complete. The trail features a gentle slope and offers a glimpse of natural plant life, streams, and waterfalls. One highlight is the park's symbol, the coveted diamond orchid.
There is a replica of Buddha's footprint on the mountain of Wat Mathurawararam (Wat Madua Wan) situated at Moo 3, Tambon Koh Phangan. At the top of the hill, there is a mondop of Buddha's footprint, and tourists can conveniently reach it by climbing the stairs from the foot of the mountain. It is a tradition to worship this Buddha's footprint every year, and visitors can travel to the site by minibus from Thong Sala, which is about 3 kilometres away.
Wat Khao Tham (Suan Suwan Chotikaram) is a monastery situated atop Khao Haeng Mountain in Moo 1, Ban Tai Sub-district. It is a renowned spot for both Thai locals and foreigners who wish to practice meditation. The temple is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a pleasant and refreshing atmosphere. Inside, visitors can find a replica of Buddha's footprint, as well as a Buddha statue in the Lelai forest and a statue of Mother Earth holding her hair bun. Visitors can also climb up the rocky hill to reach the Mondop, offering a spectacular view.
The Chao Mae Kuan Im Shrine is situated in Moo 7, Ban Chalok Lam, approximately 9 kilometers away from Thong Sala. The construction of the shrine was completed in March 1993. Upon arriving at the shrine's entrance, visitors can enjoy the picturesque view of Koh Phangan. This spot serves as a beautiful viewpoint.
Apart from the famous full moon party, there are plenty of fun activities to indulge in on Koh Phangan. Take a stroll and shop at the two walking streets, which are open on Saturdays from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Thong Sala Walking Street and on Sundays at Chaloklum Walking Street, located near the Chaloklum Pier. Both walking streets offer a variety of local dishes, desserts, and shops, making it a perfect place for visitors to enjoy a leisurely walk and satisfy their cravings.
To explore the hidden gems of Koh Phangan, tourists should visit the Pha Sawan View Point. The journey involves taking a boat from Chaloklum Pier to Bottle Beach, followed by a hike up to the viewpoint. On clear days, visitors can enjoy a stunning 180-degree view of Koh Phangan and Bottle Beach from the top. Another unique sight to see is the natural phenomenon that occurs during low tide at Mae Haad Bay, where a sandbar appears, connecting Koh Phangan and Koh Ma. Tourists can walk on this light brown sandbar, which stretches about 350 meters, and explore the island while snorkeling.
How to Get to Koh Phangan
There are multiple routes to choose from, and the island is located approximately 100 kilometers away from Surat Thani city and only 20 kilometres away from Koh Samui. You can travel to Koh Phangan from Bangkok and reach Surat Thani or Koh Samui by various means of transportation. If you prefer to travel by car, take Highway No. 35 (Rama 2 Road or Thon Buri-Pak Tho Road) from Bangkok, passing through Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Pak Tho, and turn left onto Highway No. 4 (Petchkasem). Then pass through Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan to Chumphon, and finally take Highway No. 41 through Lang Suan District, Chaiya District, and Surat Thani Province. The total distance of this route is approximately 685 kilometres.
If you're short on time and don't want to travel a long distance by car, flying is a great option for getting to Koh Phangan. Thai Airways, Thai Air Asia, and Bangkok Airways all offer daily flights to and from Bangkok-Surat Thani and Bangkok-Koh Samui. The journey takes approximately 1 hour. To obtain travel information, flight schedules, and reserve seats, please inquire with the airlines directly.
- Thai Airways Tel. 0 2356 1111 or www.thaiairways.co.th
- Bangkok Airways Tel. 0 2270 6699 or www.bangkokair.com
- Thai AirAsia Tel. 0 2515 9999 or www.airasia.com
- Thai Smile Tel. 02-118-8888 or www.thaismileair.com
If you arrive at Surat Thani Airport or Koh Samui, you can reserve bus tickets and purchase boat tickets to Koh Phangan immediately. Simply contact the appropriate service.
By bus: There are air-conditioned buses of the Transport Co., Ltd. and private companies on the Bangkok - Koh Phangan route leaving from the Southern Bus Terminal. Borommaratchachonnani Road every day, taking about 10-12 hours to travel. For more information, please get in touch with the Transport Co., Ltd., telephone 1490 or www.transport.co.th.
By Train: The State Railway of Thailand offers daily train services from Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong) to Surat Thani Province. (Surat Thani train station is in Phun Phin District) is a special express train with 2 rounds per day, namely, the morning train departs from Bangkok at 7:50 a.m. and arrives in Surat Thani at 6:50 p.m. the evening train leaves Bangkok at 10:05 p.m. and arrives in Surat Thani at 9:25 a.m. 9-11 hours can buy a ticket to Koh Phangan. Which includes the ferry and the car to the pier already. For more information, please get in touch with the State Railway of Thailand at 1690 or www.railway.co.th.
when arriving at Surat Thani or Koh Samui Have to travel by boat to Koh Phangan. which has many boat companies providing services and can board the ship at many places Both Don Sak Pier, Nathon Pier, and Ban Don Pier with the following boat trips
Raja Ferry Company Depart from Donsak Pier to Koh Phangan at 11.00, 14.00 and 18.00 and from Koh Phangan to Donsak Pier at 08.00, 11.00 and 14.00.
For more information, please call 0 2280 7897, 06-4967-5533.
To catch the Sleeping boats, head over to Ban Don Pier. The boat sets sail at 11:00 p.m. and reaches Koh Phangan by 6:00 a.m. The journey usually takes around 6 hours.
If you're planning to travel from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan, Songserm Rungrueng Company offers an express boat service. The boat departs from Nathon Pier three times a day at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 4:00 PM, with a travel time of approximately one hour. For further details, you may contact the Koh Samui Office at 0-7742-0157 or call 0-2280-7897.
Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. provides sailing services on Chumphon - Koh Tao - Koh Phangan - Koh Samui, 1 trip per day. Contact us at tel. 0-7723-8412 (Koh Phangan branch) or at the Bangkok office tel. 0-2629-2569-70 or www.lomprayah.com
If you're considering traveling to Koh Phangan during the peak season, it's recommended that you plan ahead and book your plane ticket at least 1-2 months in advance to ensure availability.
Transportation within Koh Phangan
Explore Koh Phangan, renting a vehicle is a convenient option. You can rent motorcycles, bicycles, or pick-up trucks from Thong Sala Pier. Alternatively, there's a minibus service available for island tours, with fares based on distance. This gives tourists the flexibility to choose the mode of transportation that suits them best.
When is the best time to visit Koh Phangan?
Koh Phangan is a beach destination that can be enjoyed throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is from January to May when the weather is clear and perfect for traveling. From June to September, the Pattaya wind may cause some rainfall, but it is still possible to travel. Finally, from October to December, the monsoon season brings more rain to the island due to the kite wind blowing in.