Ko Pha Ngan

Why Go

A laid-back paradise island of glorious white sand beaches and an undeveloped jungle interior, unspoilt by development. The island manages to retain an authentic feel, a great place to relax and unwind unless you’re attending one of its infamous wild full moon parties! Ko Pha Ngan is a great island to explore, hoping its many beautiful beaches and trekking its lush jungle interior. The azure waters of its coastline are not only beautiful on the surface, there’s also plenty of marine life below to please.

Why Not

While there’s a lively nightlife scene around Haad Rin beach, it’s generally a much more chilled vibe than Samui. So unless it is a full-moon party, don’t come expecting a hedonistic non-stop party.

To See

There is so much more to do here apart from the obvious activities of relaxing on the fabulous beaches, swimming in the warm sea, going shopping and partying the night away. Those seeking adventure can trek into the interior and visit beautiful waterfalls. You can climb rocky peaks and be rewarded with incredible views of the whole island - and even further afield to islands like Ko Tao. You can also hike along jungle trails to deserted island beaches, explore hidden coves and coral lagoons. A trip out to the stunning Ang Thong National Marine Park is not to be missed! Ever seen the TV series Wipeout and fancied having a go? You're in luck with the excellent "Challenge Phangan" floating obstacle course at Laem Son Lake. The island is considered to be a deeply spiritual place, with many Buddhist temples. This tranquil atmosphere has spawned a flourishing industry of yoga retreats and meditation centres. For those looking for relaxation, Ko Pha Ngan has plenty of superb Thai massage and spa centres. Offshore adventurers can go kayaking around the island and explore deserted beaches from the sea. There are many excellent snorkelling and diving spots just off the coast - or go even further out to nearby islands and rocks. If fishing is your thing, you can head out on a boat big game fishing.

When To Go

The peak/dry season is from end of Dec to Feb, with temperatures average around 29°C, rising to around 32°C Apr to Sep. The dry months have little rain, light winds and calm seas. Accomodation prices are also higher. Ko Pha Ngan is hot and humid all year round, with monsoon starting in Oct, the heaviest rain in Nov, tailing off in Dec. Monsoon also brings strong winds and rough seas, although boat services usually continue. Tides are high Oct-Mar, meaning easier for swimming and snorkelling. Tides are low during the day Apr-Sep, meaning wider beaches for sunbathing.

To Know

Located in the tropical Gulf of Thailand, some 55km from the mainland, this laid-back island of 125 sq km and a population of only 12,000, attracts tens of thousands of tourists annually, with numbers swelling even more during the days of the Full Moon Parties. Ko Pha Ngan has more than two dozen glorious sandy beaches spread around the island, with many kilometres of accessible coral reefs and lagoons, and a relatively unspoilt interior of rainforests with diverse flora, fauna and wildlife.

Map of Lower Gulf of Thailand

Lower Gulf of Thailand-Map