Head to nearby Koh Samui and you will find yourself sat on the beach at fancy resorts eating overpriced food while surrounded by well-off Asian and (mostly) European families. All of whom of course get out at 6:30 AM to lay down their towel and reserve "their spot" on the beach for the rest of the day. Sorry, for a moment there we let our frustration get the best of us.
Koh Pha Ngan (alternatively spelled Ko Phangan) is like a different world. This is backpackers territory and mostly (in)famous for the Full Moon Parties held monthly at Haad Rin in the south-eastern tip of the island. Tens of thousands of people gather at sunset to party through the night. Some call it an absolutely crazy and once in a lifetime experience, others tend to leave this - now somewhat overorganised - event underwhelmed. You will have to decide for yourself which camp you're in.
If it's not trance music and drunk young people on drugs that you are after, Koh Pha Ngan may still be worth your while. The island has many pristine and more or less secluded beaches with very affordable accommodation on it. One way to look at Koh Pha Ngan is that it is less luxury and developed than Koh Samui, another way is that you will truly get peace and quiet at a very affordable price. Of course if you rent a scooter to get around the island you will have access to plenty of activities and sights such as temples, waterfalls, fantastic lookout spots, elephant camps, snorkelling and so on..
Note that with an international airport opening soon, or perhaps having already opened by the time you read this, the atmosphere and type of tourists Koh Pha Ngan attracts is bound to change in the longer term. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Ko Pha Ngan here.
- Ko Pha Ngan is a region in Thailand. It is situated at an altitude of 259ft and the best airport to fly into is USM (Koh Samui, Koh Samui)
- The main spoken language here is Thai, and the average English skill is low
- The currency used in Thailand is the Thai baht (THB)
Ko Pha Ngan Weather
Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):
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More Ko Pha Ngan travel resources
One of the best pieces we read about Koh Pha Ngan can be found at Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler. Though you may instead want to just go for the basics at the solid Wikitravel article or usual stuff at Lonely Planet.
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