The island of Koh Phangan is most famous for its vibrant party scene, namely the Full Moon parties, which attract people from across the globe each month. However, there is so much more to this island than drunken dancing, rave paint and buckets of alcohol. Below we’ve outlined our top picks for spots to discover on Koh Phangan.
Visit Than Sadet National Park
Than Sadet National Park is a beautiful, tranquil spot, where you can truly relax and immerse yourself in nature. It is also home to the island’s biggest waterfall, which descends the mountainside through dense jungle, as well as a small beach and river, making it a haven for nature lovers. Getting there used to be a little tricky, as the road wasn’t exactly in great condition, but it has recently been upgraded to a fully concrete road, making access to the park much easier. Moreover, it’s a very scenic route, which provides a source of wonder and adventure whatever the weather.
Go trekking from Haad Rin to Haad Yuan
Of all the treks on Koh Phangan, the one that takes you from party place Haad Rin to the small, tranquil beach of Haad Yuan is arguably the most beautiful. It takes roughly two hours and the first quarter is all uphill, so you’ll want to take it easy but once you’ve reached the dam, the hardest part is over and the rest of the way is significantly more manageable. As well as getting a great workout, you’ll be treated to some incredible jungle views, so don’t forget your camera!
Marvel at marine wildlife around Koh Ma
Koh Ma, aka ‘Paradise’, is a small island joined to Mae Haad beach and, with its array of marine wildlife and colourful living reef, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to go snorkelling here. The sandbar that connects the island to Mae Haad is often walkable, though in high-tide it may be a bit of a trudge. Simply take the path in the middle of Mae Haad beach and swim to the island if need be! If you need equipment, snorkels and masks are available to hire, or you can just buy your own from one of the many stores in Thongsala.
Enjoy spectacular views over the island from Khao Ra
Standing at a whopping 627 metres, Khao Ra is the highest mountain on Koh Phangan and, for those determined enough to trek up to the top, it provides unbeatable views over the island. You begin the trek near the entrance of Phaeng Waterfall National Park, where you can also hire a guide to show you the way, something that may be advisable as the trail can be difficult to follow at times. It’s also a fairly steep climb, so be sure to wear a decent pair of walking shoes.
Of course, there are many more ways to enjoy Koh Phangan, but these four ‘must-dos’ will get you off to a great start! However, with so many beautiful beaches and so much diverse nature, it’s really not possible to go wrong on this paradisiacal island.