Lying just north of the high-end beach resort island of Koh Samui and laidback diver’s paradise of Koh Tao, what draws travelers to Koh Phangan is spirituality and wellbeing; Buddhist temples, yoga and meditation retreats, on top of holistic spa treatments and tranquility. Thailand’s fifth largest island, Koh Phangan is probably best known for its monthly Full Moon Party, held at the southeastern beach of Haad Rin. However, don’t let this put you off, as outside of the backpacker enclave Phangan offers quiet, white-powder beaches, lush inland jungle prime for hiking, and excellent diving opportunities. If you’re very lucky, you may even spot pink dolphins jumping through the waves just offshore.
A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
A popular day-trip from Koh Phangan as well as neighboring Koh Samui and Koh Tao, Ang Thong is a stunning collection of over 40 islands, two hours by wooden boat or 45 minutes by speedboat off the west coast of Phangan. Enjoy kayaking, snorkelling and swimming in its crystal blue waters, with hikes through caves and to spectacular viewpoints.
Chaloklum Fishing Village
Located on the island’s north shore, Chaloklum is a picture-perfect version of a Thai fishing village, complete with a beach dotted with longtail boats and seafood restaurants adorning its few streets. Here is also a great place to grab a taxi boat to the secluded Bottle Beach, located on the northernmost tip of the island.
Neighboring Koh Tao may be better-known as a diving destination than Koh Phangan, but the dive destination - Sail Rock - actually exists between the two islands. As such, it is just as easy to get to this world-class reef from Koh Phangan as it is from Koh Tao, the bonus being that Koh Phangan boasts more diversity as a travel base. Here, divers swim amongst massive schools of fish, and whale sharks are a common sighting. Other popular dive spots on Phangan include Koh Ma, a small island just off the coast, connected to Haad Mae by a picturesque sandbar, which is also great for snorkeling.
Sunset Beach Hop
The west coast of Phangan is a mecca of perfect beachside spots to take in a spectacular sunset. Enjoy some small bites and live music at ™Alcove as the sun sets over Hinkong beach, or take a seat at the beachside bars and restaurants up the coast on Secret Beach, Haad Yao or Haad Salad. For an extra special view, head up to the 360° bar at Utopia Resort for a stunning panoramic sunset view.
Than Sadet Koh Phangan National Park
Than Sadet Koh Phangan National Park
An expansive area of jungle and mountain close by the eastern shore of the island, this protected area is the perfect spot for a daylong hike, with natural spots to stop for a refreshing break at the beautiful Phaeng and Than Sadet waterfalls. If you can make it, the two-hour trek to Khao Raa - with its summit at over 2,000 feet - offers the best views on the island.
A mecca of detox and wellness retreats, Koh Phangan offers several picturesque spots to perfect your dancer’s pose and engage in some mindfulness training. In the northwest corner of the island near the town of Srithanu, stop into The Yoga Retreat, Agama or Samma Karuna; down on the south shore in Baan Tai, Siam Healing Centre also offers challenging hatha, vinyasa and ashtanga classes.
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Just 40 minutes by speedboat from neighboring island Koh Samui and yet a world away from the hustle and bustle, Tong Nai Pan Noi beach is where the Anantara Rasananda is hidden. On a remote private stretch of white sand, sprinkled among coconut palms and lush jungle foliage, the resort’s 64 villas and suites welcome guests with a sense of peace and tranquility. Each with its own private plunge pool and every luxury and convenience, the accommodation options are consistently opulent, standing just steps from the shore and the resort’s myriad amenities. Diners will enjoy the fresh seafood and Thai cuisine served at the beachfront restaurant and the delicious cocktails mixed at the bar. The infinity pool and spa, meanwhile, allow for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Santhiya, Koh Phangan
Nestled in the cove of Thong Ngai beach on Koh Phangan’s secluded north east coast, heavenly Santhiya is a tropical getaway just 30 minutes by speedboat from Koh Samui. Languishing in 18 acres of lush island jungle and set on its own private beach, lapped by the turquoise waves of the Gulf of Siam, this gorgeous beachfront eco-hideaway boasts a natural setting with matchless ocean views. The range of accommodation covers deluxe rooms, suites and villas, all of which are decked out in warm wood and earth tones, with colorful accents and Thai design elements. Many suites and villas boast their own private pool and all guests have access to the sizeable hotel pools and lagoons, which are fed by cascading waterfalls. Diners can indulge in the Thai restaurant or opt for beachfront bites accompanied by signature drinks. The Ayurvana spa is renowned for its superb range of treatments, therapies and packages, guaranteed to relax and reinvigorate all.
Thailand Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
Though there are still a number of restrictions for Koh Samui, now is a good time to start thinking about what you’re going to do when you get to paradise.
- Duncan Forgan
Destinations become the latest gastronomic hubs in Thailand to be monitored by inspectors from fine dining bible.
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