Koh Phangan Review

Koh Phangan is Thailand’s fifth biggest island. It is located in the Gulf of Thailand, just 12 km from Koh Samui. Unlike Koh Samui it is an island without big supermarkets, international schools and strip joints. It is an island that is a designated eco tourist area. 90% of the land mass is covered with virgin tropical forest, much of which is protected by National Park status.

For many people Koh Phangan is best known for its Full Moon Party. It is a great party on the beach, but it is an unfair characterization to think of Koh Phangan as only a party island. It does provide a great night out for those who love beaches and music but there is much more to Koh Phangan than merely hedonism.

For many Thai people, Koh Phangan is associated with Kings of Thailand. Three Kings have visited the same waterfall at Than Sadet including the much beloved present monarch and King Rama V.

Koh Phangan was first permanently inhabited by monks 600 years ago who recognized the spiritual possibilities of the beautiful isle. They built the first temple on a hill just outside modern day Thongsala. Since then there have been over 20 temples built in Koh Phangan. Temples worth visiting are the Chinese temple in the North West that has great views and Wat Pho in Ban Tai where the monks still prepare traditional herbal steam saunas.

The island is also famous for Muay Thai or Thai kickboxing. A number of Bangkok champions have lived on the island. There are some great schools to learn Muay Thai and every month there are some lively fight nights.

Koh Phangan is also great for water sports. There is a long range of corals just off the west coast. Also nearby is the Gulf’s only 5 star PADI rated dive site, Sail Rock. You can also wake board in Chaloklum and kite board in Ban Tai.

And of course Koh Phangan has over 20 white sand beaches which have unspoiled natural scenery. The most famous beaches are Thong Nai Pan, Haad Yao and Haad Rin.

To sum up, Koh Phangan is an island rich in history and culture. It has one foot in the past as well as one foot in the present.