Koh Phangan Travel Guide

Phangan Info at a glance!

Overview and history

“Koh” or “Ko”, pronounced “góh” is Thai and means “island”. Ko Phangan (เกาะพะงัน) is located in the Gulf of Thailand in the southeastern province Surat Thani, South of Phangan is located in about 15 km distance, the larger sister island Koh Samui and to the north, about 35 km away, is the smaller one Koh Tao. The total area of ​​Phangan is about 125km², which makes it the fifth largest island in Thailand. Officially, around 15.000 people live on Pha-Ngan, although the real numbers are likely to be far higher. Pha Ngan owes its name to the sandbanks off the coast. Sandbank means “Ngan” in the southern dialect. Long before western tourists discovered the small paradise island in the Gulf of Thailand, Phangan was a popular destination for Thai kings. Alone Rama V visited the island during his reign whole 30 minutes and gave the National Park Than Sadet his present name. Phangan is a tropical paradise not only of lonely, white and fine sand beaches Surrounded by turquoise waters, it also offers pristine jungle, rocky coastline and mountainous land to explore. A large part of Phangan, namely 65,93 qkm, is part of the "Than Sadet - Ko Phangan National Park", including the one with 630 m ü. NN, the highest point of the island, the mountain Khao Ra, belongs.

Koh Phangan: orientation

Ko Phangan is a place where every holiday wish comes true and thanks to its manageable size, you can explore a different part of the island spontaneously and every day. On the other hand, getting around the island without your own scooter can be a bit strenuous, which is why it makes sense to spend the night directly on the “real” beach. We therefore have information about them for you most popular beaches and places on Koh Phangan. Also worth knowing: Climate on Koh Phangan.

Arrival and Departure

There are several ways to reach the island, which we have on a separate page compiled to have. The fastest arrival is currently a flight to Bangkok in conjunction with the Lomprayah catamaran or a speedboat. However, this is also the most expensive way to get to Koh Phangan. An airport on Koh Phangan has been discussed and announced for many years an opening is currently not foreseeable.

Koh Phangan arrival details


Koh Phangan attractions and activities

points of interest & sights on Koh Phangan

Worth seeing on Koh Phangan is of course first of all nature! There are also some temples to discover:

Temple on Koh Phangan

Please dress appropriately when visiting temples and Buddhist sites - no sleeveless shirts or blouses and pants or skirts that at least cover the knees. Take off your shoes when entering a temple!
Wat Phu Khao Noi

The oldest temple on the island Wat Phu Khao Noi is located on a hill near the state hospital.

Chinese Temple

The Chinese temple on the road to Chaloklam was not completed until 1992. In a dream, an American woman of Thai origin received the order to build the temple from a Chinese Buddha.

The temple is open until 17 clock because of the location on the mountain you have a great view from there!

Wat Pho

At Wat Pho, the monks run a traditional herbal sauna, usually open by 15-18. Pho Temple is on the road to Thong Nai Pan.

Wat Thong Sala

Wat Thongsala is not particularly impressive for visitors, but is the center for ceremonies and temple festivals on the island.

Jade Buddha

Not far from Phaeng waterfall you will find a small temple complex where the Jade Buddha can be visited.

Wat Khao Tham

Wat Khao Tam is located at the top of a mountain in Bantai. Access is signposted on the main road. Wat Khao Tham offers various meditation classes, also for foreigners.

Viewpoints and waterfalls

The best because highest vantage point is certainly the mountain Khao Raa. The peak can only be reached on foot via a jungle path: Climb to Khao Raa, If that is too exhausting, also gets a great view over the island from the lookout above the Phaeng waterfall, You do not want to give up a refreshment to the view? Open yourself to Top Rock bar! This is located on the beachroad in Plailaem, just behind Thongsala.

Again, the climb is worthwhile:


The most famous Waterfall on Koh Phangan is the Than Sadet waterfall. The road there and to Haad Sadet beach is now completed, which makes the journey a lot easier. In 1888 King Rama V visited Thaan Sadet Waterfall for the first time. He left an inscription on a rock that you can still see today. By 1909, King Rama V returned to Koh Phangan over 12 times and the current royal family has also visited Than Sadet National Park.

Another beautiful waterfall can be found near Maehad. The Wangsai waterfall has some pools where you can swim.

In addition to the already mentioned Phaeng waterfall It is worthwhile after a little rain, a trip to  Than Prawat near Thong Nai Pan Noi, where the ascent to the 2km long waterfall can be a bit more exhausting.

motorcycle tours

Koh Phangan has something for everyone: the deepest jungle, many viewpoints, jungle treks, some temples and Waterfalls invite you to walk or hike the island away from the paved roads with the motorcycle to explore. Trips are also worthwhile to some of the temples on the island, also guided Mountain bike tours are possible!  All activities...

Diving, snorkeling and water sports

Even if Koh Tao is advertised as the diver's paradise, there is of course also on Koh Phangan diving schools. With the Angthong Marine Park and Sail rock For the most part, even the same destinations as in Koh Tao are addressed. If you want to snorkel finds intact coral reefs around Koh Ma, This island connected to Koh Phangan is only a few meters from the beach. Other water sports available include kiteboarding, wakeboarding and, most recently, SUP (Stand Up Paddling). All activities…

Yoga and meditation

There is a very big one Yoga scene on Koh Phangan, Especially in and around Srithanu there are several yoga resorts and a wealth of workshops and courses are offered. Also Detox- and meditation centers are available on Koh Phangan. All activities…


Ko Phangan travel guide

Further activities

Especially for a longer stay a Thaikurs in one of the language schools. There are also several Muay Thai training centers on the island. Everyone can decide for themselves whether a few days of Thai boxing are sufficient, or if a course is to be occupied with 6 training days. You still do not have enough? A cooking class, a visit to the shooting range or volunteer work for the Phangan Animal Care - You won't get bored on Koh Phangan! All activities…

Restaurants and nightlife

Almost every nationality is represented on the island, so there should be something for every stomach. A small selection:

  • Fishermans: Baan Tai, right on the main street. Thai seafood.
  • Beach Lounge: Small but exquisite selection of thaifood, in Thongsala on the beach.
  • Fast food.
  • Mandolino: Pizzeria in Thongsala near “Chinese Street”/“Walking Street”.
  • Thongsala Panthip Nightmarket: Different food, ideal to try in different Thaifood!
  • Taboon: Srithanu near 711. Cuisine from the Middle East
  • WinWin BBQ Ban Tai: Classic “hot pot” buffet with a large selection and a table grill where each guest can prepare their own food
  • Sweet Café: The best “German” breakfast on the island! Right on the pier.

The party-hungry will of course also get their money's worth - after all, for many the island is initially due to the famous Full Moon Party known. But just the many other Parties are now more popular with residents and those returning! The party scene offers the right thing for everyone: Regardless of whether you are into trance, (deep) house, psy or live music, the offer is more than sufficient (more about that here).

 Accommodation on Koh Phangan

A special feature on Koh Phangan is that you will continue to find accommodations for almost any budget here. From simple dorm or bungalow through 3 and 4 star resorts to Luxury hotels and high-end villas you really find any accommodation on the island. The best hotel and guesthouse deals can be found here:

As with many place names and regions in Thailand, many foreigners are not sure how the name of the island is spelled correctly. Ko Pangan is the correct pronunciation, but the official spelling is Koh Phangan. (Originally Koh Pha Ngan, where Phangan has prevailed). Other spellings (which are not correct):

Koh Panghan | Ko Panghan | Kohphangan

Also wrong names, but also appear:

Ko Pahngan | Kho Phanghan | Ko Pan Ghan