Koh Phangan is a small island part of the island chain in the southeast of Thailand. It’s only a 30-minute ferry ride from the larger island of Koh Samui. Koh means island in Thai and Phangan means sand bar. The Ph is just a p sound too. Don’t say it as in phone say it as a p sound pay. This island is known for its crazy Full Moon, Jungle Party, and Half Moon Party. Koh Phangan has more to do on it besides these crazy parties. It’s very easy to find a calm quiet spot on the island away from all the parties. We had a lovely weekend exploring a small part of the island.
Getting to Koh Phangan
There are two main piers to get to and from Koh Phangan the biggest pier is Thong Sala pier. The second more minor pier is Haad Rin Pier which as the name suggests drops you off near Haad Rin beach where the Full Moon and other parties take place. It’s excellent to get dropped off here for parties because it’s a lot cheaper and you can walk to the beach from the Haad Rin pier. There are a few ferry companies that service the island.
This is by far my favorite company. Their ferries are always on time, they provide great service. You know what you are going to get when you use their services. Also, they will take you anywhere on Koh Samui for 150 baht soo much cheaper than buying a taxi with the added benefit that you don’t have to haggle for a good price. The only con is that their ticket prices are more expensive. It’s a 20-minute journey from Samui to Koh Phangan.
We took Songserm for this trip and I wasn’t that impressed. Their ferries were nice and in good condition. BUT and this is a big but their ferries were ALWAYS ALWAYS an hour to an hour plus late!! AND nobody tells you this even if you buy your ticket a few minutes before the boat is supposed to leave mum is the word. You don’t find out when the ferry is coming until it’s there. The other drag part about this company is you have to barter for your transport ticket when you return to Koh Samui. The only pro is that the tickets are cheap. If that’s worth an hour or more of you time spent waiting for a ferry though, I’m not sure. The ferry ride is 55 minutes.
Seatran is sometimes late ferry tickets are cheap. And it takes 20 minutes to get from Samui to Phangan with this ferry. It goes to Thong sala pier.
There are other ferries that go to Phangan but these are the main ferries. After getting off the ferry a good price for transportation is between 100-200 baht. This price might increase if you are headed to any of the parties. For the areas not near the parties that is a good price.
Our Beautiful Weekend Home
We found this wonderful AirBnB at a resort called Sunset Hill Resort. This resort is about 20 minutes from the Thong Sala pier. I really enjoyed my stay here. The rooms were beautiful and at a good price. We stayed in the Penthouse suite which was amazing. (I haven’t been paid to write this review.) The bedroom looked out over the water and contained an intricate glass door system with excellent curtains. They kept the room relatively dark even when it was broad daylight. Oh, and the beds were actually soft and comfortable!!! This is always such a bonus when traveling around Thailand. (The Thai’s love their hard beds.)
The kitchen at Sunset Hill Resort was nice and large. It had minimal utensils and knives. If you are planning on cooking during your stay here make sure to request a proper cutting knife and cutting board from the staff at the hotel.
Living Room and Balcony
Both these parts of our accommodation were excellent the couch was squishy. Someone ended up sleeping on it every night of our stay and they woke up none the worse for wear. It was great for lounging, dancing, and talking. Another reason I loved this apartment was that the doors to the balcony opened up all the way so we were able to hang out both in the living room and the balcony at the same time and not feel separated from each room. I don’t think we closed the balcony doors the whole time we were there.
Sunset Hill Resort’s Infinity Pool
Last but not least Sunset Hill Resort had an amazing infinity pool. My only complaint was that the pool was designed to be slightly slanted but there aren’t any warnings or signs. This can be dangerous when getting into the pool because the tile is very slick. Add that extra tilt of the floor and it can be very very easy for someone to slip into the water. All other things considered the pool is amazing with great sunning beds, crystal clear water, great food, and drinks. The mussels were my favorite. The view we can’t forget the view so breathtaking and wonderful.
Things to do Around Sunset Hill Resort on Koh Phangan
Khao Raa is a beautiful hike on Koh Phangan it’s right in the middle of the island. This hike entails some rock scrambling and walking along a narrow trail. To get there I would recommend following directions to the Khao Ra bungalows which is about 15 minutes from the Thong Sala pier. Travelfish another amazing and useful blog has recommends, “Also, we do not recommend doing the trek alone, as while the climb is not difficult, there is no check-in or security process, so if you do fall and injure yourself, you’ll be laying around till the next Trekker appears – which might not be for a couple of days.” Thanks for your excellent tips and advice on this topic Travel Fish!
Paradise waterfall is another great hike on Koh Phangan. It is best visited during the months of October and March as during the wetter months the waterfall tends to dry up. Depending on whether there has just been a recent rainstorm there are either one or two pools to go swimming in. Although, it’s best to go to the waterfall right after a heavy rainstorm be aware that these extra rains can cause large rocks or branches to be knocked into the falls and potenitally fall out of the waterfall. As such never stand directly under a waterfall unless you want a boulder to possibly land on your head. Also, watch out for strong currents with the extra rainfall.
To get to the waterfall from Thong sala pier head towards the village of Chalokum. There will be a signpost on your right right after the previous elephant trekking area. If you get to the village you’ve gone too far. Thanks to We Love Koh Phangan blog for this information.
Of course we can’t forget the beaches so here are some of our highly recommended beaches on Koh Phangan.
Secret beach is a beautiful beach that from Sunset hill resort is easily accessed with their free beach shuttle. All you have to do is go up to the hotel front desk and tell them what time you would like to leave and be picked up from the beach. This beach is great for playing water games as the beach is very flat perfect for spikeball and water volleyball. The resrtuant near the beach serves excellent food. Their veggie burger is really good.
Chaloklum beach is located right near the village of Chaloklum. It is a beautiful relaxing beach on the north of the island near Paradise Waterfall. It would be an excellent day trip going to the beach and the waterfall. The beach is very clean and is also a great place for kite surfing. It isn’t a party beach. That beach is Haad Rin beach. This beach is a beach for water/beach sports and relaxation. Enjoy yourself here after your fun hike! If you stay at the Sunset Hill Resort this would be an easy beach to visit.
Koh Phangan is a wonderful island that is great for both partying and relaxing depending on the atmosphere you desire for your vacation. Sunset Hill Resort on Koh Phangan is a wonderful luxerous resort with comfy soft beds. Koh Phangan also has great beaches and hikes to keep everyone entertained while on vacation or even for expats who just want a weekend get away. Koh Phangan offers a lot more than just parties and shouldn’t be written off the list just because of its reputation.
Have you been to Koh Phangan or Koh Samui? Please let us know below in the comments section if you need help planning your next adventure whether it is Koh Phangan or Europe. We’ve got your back! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for travel assistance.