Things To Do On Koh Phangan, Thailand

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Things To Do On Koh Phangan, Thailand

There are so many things to do on Koh Phangan! Most people going to Koh Phangan are only interested in the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party, but in fact the list of things to do on Koh Phangan is so much longer! If you are under the impression that Koh Phangan is only a destination for the Full Moon Party, keep reading! Once you are enlightened to the other things offered on the island, you’ll be ready to experience all the things to do on Koh Phangan.

Need a hostel in Koh Phanhan? Check out Mad Monkey hostels

The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party

With that said, let’s get the first big one out of the way. When it comes to things to do on Koh Phangan, we cannot and will not discredit the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party. It is the (in)famous monthly party that sees tens of thousands of tourists flock to Koh Phangan for an insane time. At the southernmost point of Koh Phangan lies Haad Rin, the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party beach. Here is where all the shenanigans take place. If you’re looking for things to do at night on Koh Phangan during the night of the full moon, look no further than Haad Rin. As you may expect, most everyone else will be headed there too.

What is the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party like?

At the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party you will be on the beach surrounded by tens of thousands of tourists coming from all parts of the world. As you approach the beach you’ll hear the music from afar. Walking up and down the beach itself will give you an experience unlike any other. Each bar will be blasting its own mix of music, seemingly competing with the others to see who can push the limits of their speakers the most.

The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party is best explored without too much preparation. Looking up which beach bar is best beforehand is not something we advise. Most of the bars offer nearly the same deals and amenities so the best strategy is to find the one with the music you like the most and stay there or just roam around all night. It’s best left as a game time decision!

One quick note: We do warn you to stay away from drugs or any drug offers. In addition to the negative consequences of drugs you already know, drug dealers are often working with police or are selling altered or fake products. Many of the people in the drug trade are also involved in human trafficking. The message is clear. Stay away from drugs.

Other Things To Do On Koh Phangan

Other than the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party, there are so many things to do on Koh Phangan. This is often misunderstood by tourists in the south of Thailand. Koh Phangan offers jungles, waterfalls, the beach, day trips, yoga, and many other activities. Below is a list of our favourite picks.

Thong Sala Night Market in Koh Phangan
The Thong Sala Night Market on Saturday © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

Thong Sala Night Market

The Thong Sala Night Market, also known as the Panthip Food Market, is open daily from about 4-11 p.m. Actual hours vary from vendor to vendor. Located extremely close to Thong Sala Pier (the main entry/exit point of Koh Phangan), this market will give you much to browse and try.

Thong Sala Night Market Koh Phangan

The Thong Sala Night Market © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

Saturdays are the best days to go to the market, as between 4-10 p.m. the street is shut down and turned into a walking street. This is the biggest day of the week for the market and sees both tourists and locals meshing together.

Waterfalls in Koh Phangan

There are a few different waterfalls in Koh Phangan that are worth a visit. One of which being the Phaeng Waterfall. One of the largest on the island, this waterfall on Koh Phangan can be accessed easily by bicycle and a small trek of about 250 meters. We also suggest Thaan Sadat, Wang Sai, and Thaan Prawet. If it’s not dry season (March to June) these waterfalls in Koh Phangan can be quite stunning! If it is dry season, they can be a bit lackluster on any given day.

Waterfalls in Koh Phangan

A Waterfall on Koh Phangan © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

Nightlife on Koh Phangan (Non-Full Moon Party Nightlife)

As mentioned, the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party is not the only nightlife on Koh Phangan available. The Mad Monkey Koh Phangan bar is certainly a great place to start (and even finish!) an awesome night. Other than our shameless promotion of our own bar, there are other great options on the strip of Moo 3 for things to do at night on Koh Phangan. (Note: Moo 3 is the name of a street, not a cow farm.) With restaurants and bars ranging from high class down to low budget, there is certainly a spot for you on Moo 3 when you’re looking for things to do at night on Koh Phangan.

Mad Monkey hostel backpackers
Guests of Mad Monkey Koh Phangan enjoying the bar © Mad Monkey Hostels

Hang Out By The Beach

Don’t be uninformed! Koh Phangan has beautiful beaches just like its neighbors Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and the other southern tourist hotspots of Thailand. Our top beach suggestions are Salad Beach, Secret Beach (shhh!), Son Beach, and Leela Beach!

Beach Koh Phangan

Watch The Sunset

We all too often take the sunset for granted. It happens once a day and yet it can be so beautiful and breathtaking every time. Before you’re looking for things to do on Koh Phangan at night, you should first position yourself strategically for the sunset on at least one of your evenings on the island. Some of the best places to watch the sunset include:

  • Amsterdam Bar
  • Secret Beach
  • Top Rock Bar
  • Haad Rin Nai
  • 360 Bar
  • Oxa Bar
  • Blue Rama

Sunset in Koh Phanghan

A beautiful purple-tinted sunset view from Koh Phangan © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

The Half Moon Festival

The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party’s neglected little brother is no longer keeping his mouth shut. The Half Moon Festival which takes place - you guessed it - during each half moon, is quickly becoming a fan-favorite of tourists on Koh Phangan as well as expats living there full time.

Half Moon Festival Koh Phangan

Three festival-goers at the Half Moon Festival © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

A very different experience from the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party, the Half Moon Festival is not on a beach, rather it is in a venue deep within the jungle. This event is ticketed, with entry costing 1500 THB (~40 Euro) for general admission or 3000 THB (~80 Euro) for VIP. Unlike the disorganized nature of the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party, this festival is more like a traditional concert or mini music… festival. With three stages spinning different genres of music, you’ll find that the Half Moon Festival is more of a relaxed vibe as compared to the Full Moon Party. Don’t get it twisted, though. The Half Moon Festival is still a rager.

Half Moon Festival Crowds Koh Phangan

The crowd of the Half Moon Festival at one of its three stages © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

Take A Day Trip to Koh Nang Yuan

While visiting if you’re looking for things to do on Koh Phangan don’t forget to also look off of Koh Phangan. Situated very close to Koh Phangan is the tiny island of Koh Nangyuan. This island does not have any accommodation and is only available for a day trip but it’s certainly worth it. Visited by thousands of tourists every day, a moderate hike up to the top of the mountain on the island reveals a breathtaking view of three sandbars joining together seamlessly.

A beautiful purple-tinted sunset view from Koh Phangan © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

A beautiful purple-tinted sunset view from Koh Phangan © Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey Hostels

If you’re visiting Koh Phangan during your trip to Thailand be sure to take note that Koh Phangan is so much more than the Full Moon Party. While the party is certainly a good time and experience, you really shouldn’t leave the island without taking in all the other opportunities!

Need a hostel in Koh Phanhan? Check out Mad Monkey hostels

Article by Kellan Rauch

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