Things to do on Koh Phangan
You will not be bored here unless you want to! Koh Phangan offers plenty of activities in case you want to break the daily routine of relaxing on the beach, next to the pool or in your hammock.
Already around the year 1400 Koh Phangan was discovered as a peaceful and spiritual place by travelling Buddha monks. Until today the island is known for its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful nature and the many peaceful, stunning beaches and hideaways. Therefore Koh Phangan is the perfect place to find ultimate relaxation and clear your mind.
Koh Phangan has a couple of retreat centers offering various courses in Thai massage, meditation, yoga, fasting and cleansing programs, chakra healing, pilates, Reiki and reflexology. The Sanctuary on secluded Haad Thian beach in the Southeast was the islands first retreat center. At Monte Vista in Wok Tum you can follow a seven day self healing program which includes meditation, yoga and breath therapy. They also offer detox and cleansing programs. Agama Yoga in Hin Kong is a tanric Yoga school. The Orion Healing Center in Sri Thanu offers Reiki and Chakra balancing treatments. The Yoga Retreat near Haad Salad offers Yoga and Pilates.
Massage & Spa on Koh Phangan
At most towns and beaches you can get a relaxing traditional Thai massage, oil massage or foot reflexology. Resorts like Santhiya Resort and Spa (Ayurvana Spa) and Rasanada Phangan Island in Thong Nai Pan and Sarikantang Resort on Leela Beach (Sarai Spa) offer splendid spa treatments, aromatherapy massages, body wraps and facial or body scrub treatments.
Koh Phangan Parties and Nightlife
Each month the beach of Haad Rin is transformed into a huge party zone during the famous Full Moon Party. Here you can dance and party together with thousands of happy people under the light of the full moon. The parties on Koh Phangan follow the cycle of the moon: full moon, half moon, black moon, half moon and back again. This means that every week there is an official party you can visit. In order to find tyourself a decent place to stay it is recommended to book your accommodation on Koh Phangan in advance.
Diving and snorkeling on Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is an ideal place for diving. The courses here are offered for the best rates in the world and the groups are in general smaller than on the more popular dive destinations. From Koh Phangan you have shorter trips to the most attractive dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand like Sailrock and Ang Thong National Marinepark. Koh Phangan is also a perfect place to learn diving because the waters in the bays around the island are shallow.
If diving is a bit too adventurous for you, then snorkeling is a nice way to get a glimpse of the beautiful underwater world around the island. There are many great spots for snorkelling on Koh Phangan, especially on the Northwest coast. One of the best spots is around the little island of Koh Ma (‘Horse Island’), off Mae Haad beach at the Northwestern tip of Koh Phangan near Haad Yao and Chaloklum.
Fishing and boat trips from Koh Phangan
Boat trips around Koh Phangan can be arranged at most resorts or travel agencies. It is fun and relaxing to go out with a longtail boat together with a local. By boat it is possible to go to nice secluded beaches or snorkelling spots. In the evening you might be able to put your own “catch of the day” on the barbecue.
Mountain biking and trekking on Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan mainly consists of raw unspoiled jungle, has many nice trails and view points so it is ideal for some adventurous walking and climbing. Enjoy the beautiful nature, the sounds of birds, swaying leafs and stunning views. Wear good hiking shoes and if you want to watch the sunset be aware to bring a torch and bugspray. Also be very sure to know the way back in the dark! Check one of the free local guide books for maps and suggestions.
The road along the coast from Ban Tai to Haad Chao Phao is relatively flat and all concrete so good for mountain biking. If you go further north to Haad Yao, Chaloklum and Mae Haad the road has a couple of big and sometimes pretty steep hills. The last part of the road from Ban Tai to Thong Nai Pan is a nice track for cycling. Taking a dirt track can be an adventure but be careful. We recommend you to wear a helmet, bring water and suncream. Mountain bikes can be rented at many different places.
Kayaking, wakeboarding & kiteboarding
Kayaking is a great way to see Koh Phangan from another side! Nice trips can be made on the Northwest (around Haad Yao, Haad Salad and Koh Ma), the North (from Chaloklum to Bottle Beach and from Haad Rin to Haad Khontee or Haad Thian. Kayaks can be rented at most resorts and beaches. Be aware of the currents because getting back might be more difficult and always bring water and suncream.
Wakeboarding is offered by Phangan Adventure in Chaloklum. They also offer many other activities like kayaking-, sailing- and big game fishing trips, sunset boat trips and mountain bike trekking. Kiteboarding or kitesurfing is offered by Cuttlebone Kiteboarding Center near Ban Tai. Depending on the sea and weather conditions both beginners and experienced surfers can satisfy their needs on Koh Phangan.
There are three places on Koh Phangan where you can enjoy an elephant ride through the jungle and mountains, a unique experience. You can make a trip with Phangan Safari, just outside Chaloklum on the way south to Madua Wan and Thong Sala. You can go to Koh Phangan Elephant Trekking on the hillside road near Haad Mae Haad and for an exciting mountain trip you can go to Ban Tai Elephant Trekking on the road from Ban Tai to Thong Nai Pan. The elephants are located opposite the small boxing school and restaurant on top of the first hill.
Just outside main town Thong Sala you can find “Paintball Warfare” where you can play paintball on a huge battlefield in the jungle. The neighbouring restaurant and bar Big Mango plays good tunes and serves good food. Occasionally they organize a party as well.
Koh Phangan has three Muay Thai stadiums in Thong Sala, one in Haad Rin and one in Thong Nai Pan where regularly events are being held. Go there to experience a night of Thailand’s most popular sport. You can learn the art of Muay Thai yourself at the Jungle Gym in Haad Rin and Thong Sala or in Horizon Training Camp in Haad Thian.
If you like to exercise during your holiday, some resorts offer fitness equipment. You can also go to the Jungle Gym in Haad Rin or Thong Sala where they have good fitness programs.
Beach Volleyball and Beach Football
At the end of the afternoon when the heat slowly fades away people start playing football or volleyball matches on some beaches. Play a fun game and meet new people while enjoying the sunset.
Thai Food on Koh Phangan
Thai people love cooking and enjoy eating throughout the day. On Koh Phangan you can enjoy the best authentic Thai meals and everything is cheap. Thai kitchen is known for the amount of chilies that are used but not every dish is spicy and you can always ask if the meal of your choice can be adjusted to a milder western standard. On the differnet pages about areas and villages you can read some of our recommendations. Thai food is delicious and famous for its great variety of tastes so try it! If you want to bring home the lovely taste of Thailand you can learn Thai cooking at Same-Same Restaurant in Haad Rin. The courses are for one, three or five days and all offered in English.