Thailand’s backpacker island is famous the world over for its full moon parties, which, for more than 20 years, have given Koh Phan Ngan the title of the world’s biggest beach party. But there’s plenty more to this chilled island – it’s reasonably unspoilt by development and is one of the cheapest, most down-to-earth in all of Thailand.
Most free-spirited travellers and rave fans arriving in Thailand beat a path to this small island, near Koh Samui, within the Thai Gulf. Even those who would rather avoid the crush of 10,000 partygoers find that Koh Phan Ngan is a brilliant tropical paradise for the ‘other three weeks of the month’. Here, you can find private beaches that are accessible by boat only and populated by only a handful of rustic beachfront bungalows that cost less per night than a bottle of beer in a plush Phuket restaurant. For complete listings visit our dedicated 1stop Koh Phangan tourist guide.
Full Moon Parties
It’s what Koh Phan Ngan is famous for – join thousands of other free spirits for a raving, all night party on Haad Rin, but be sure to get there early; here’s the low down…more
Some of the most pristine beaches of all the popular islands of Thailand are found here – for partying or simply chilling out, find out which is the best beach for you…more
There’s more to Koh Phan Ngan than full moon parties and this tropical island boasts a beautiful, lush interior and some cracking deserted beaches; go explore…more
Find a rustic bungalow on the beach for less than five quid, go upmarket, or join the crowds at Haad Rin – budget or upmarket, there’s some excellent choices…more
Most come for the party, which takes place on a two-kilometre long beach at Haad Rin, on the southern tip of Koh Phan Ngan. Days before the full moon night, the atmosphere livens up as travellers from all over the world pack out the entire island in the busy months. They descend on the beach for a wicked night of collective energy as this hedonistic, tropical beach becomes lined with sound systems and bars.
Koh Phan Ngan has a unique character that isn’t found elsewhere in Thailand. It attracts the bohemian crowd and is laid back and unpretentious without all the expensive resorts, noisy tuk tuks or flesh pits of go go bars found on other islands and resort towns. The bungalows are simple, the beer is cheap, and the people friendly. Each of the Koh Phan Ngan beaches have their own special character to suit different ideas of ‘tropical paradise’.
The island also has a lush and hilly interior which is great for exploring by motorbike or mountain bike – think hiking trails, cool waterfalls and delightful coconut plantations that are unchanged in centuries of local life. On Koh Phan Ngan you can escape it all or delve into the party world of Haad Rin. Few people ever leave with bad memories or impressions.