Skip to content

Ready to travel NOW? Check out our Travel Advisory Page for the latest updates.

Parties, palm trees, and perfect snorkeling may seem like a paradise one only dreams of. There is one island in Thailand, however, that is making this fantasy finally obtainable: Koh Phangan. It is one of many islands making up the Samui Archipelago and is arguably the most whimsical of them all. If you get the chance to explore this enchanting island, be sure to check out Mad Monkey‘s comprehensive list of the top things to do in Koh Phangan before packing up your biking and climbing aboard the ferry boat.

Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Get a Massage by the Beach

If you have just arrived on the island, it is probably time for some much-needed R & R. What better way to treat yourself after the long journey then with a massage while relishing the island’s beautiful beaches? Getting a Thai massage is a must while vacationing in the Land of Smiles, as is enjoying the long, stretches of sand. Kill two birds with one stone by getting one of these affordable pampering services on the beach.

Massage by the beach on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Lounge on the Beach

Speaking of beaches, there is no better way to spend a day on Koh Phangan than on a stretch of sand soaking in the sun. Afternoons are well spent on any one of the top beaches around the island, including Leela Beach, Malibu Beach, and Thong Nai Pan Yai. Be sure to check out our entire list of the top beaches below!

  • Haad Rin Nok
  • Bottle Beach
  • Secret Beach
  • Haad Salad
  • Son Beach
  • Yao Beach
  • Haad Khom
  • Haad Yuan
  • Haad Rin


Koh Phangan Beach © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Watch the Sunset

The best nightly shows on Koh Phangan are free; we are talking about the island’s unforgettable sunsets. Palm trees and the Gulf of Thailand make for some pretty incredible foreground as the sun goes down. Some of the best places to watch a sunset on the island are Bluerama, Leela Beach, Secret Beach, and 360 Bar.

Sunset on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Dine at the Phantip Night Food Market

Although there are plenty of delicious restaurants scattered around the island, travelers should not miss out on dining at the Phantip Night Food Market while visiting. Also known as the Thongsala Market because of its location, this collection of street food vendors is sure to please every appetite that makes their way here for dinner. It is open daily from about 4-11 p.m. Grab a to-go item or select a few of your favorite Thai dishes and pull up a seat at one of the many tables found around the market.

Phantip Night Food Market © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Shop at the Phantip Plaza

If you are already heading to the food market for dinner, be sure to check out the adjacent Phantip Plaza. If you need any last-minute souvenirs for loved ones or have baht to blow on clothing, jewelry, and more, this is the place to be. Local vendors reasonably price their goods and are generally willing to bargain, as well.

Phantip Plaza © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Enjoy the Nightlife

Whether you are looking for a sunset cocktail or a stretch of sand where you can drink the night away, Koh Phangan is renowned for its nightlife. Haad Rin is the beach to be at after dark. Plenty of bars line the sand and have drink specials to keep the party going, regardless of your budget. If you were hoping for some panoramic views to go along with your alcoholic beverage, then you should beeline for 360 Bar. Other top nightlife venues include Merkaba Beach Club, Sandcastle Club, Infinity Beach Club, and Loi Lay Floating Bar, just to name a few.

Nightlife on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Get a Tattoo

If you are looking to get inked to commemorate your trip to Thailand, Koh Phangan is an excellent place to do so. There are several reputable tattoo shops with artists on hand offering affordable yet well-done pieces of work. Get a renowned bamboo tattoo at Tiki Tattoo or be super adventurous and get something freehanded at Tattoo Club.

Getting a Tattoo on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Go to the Half Moon Party

The Half Moon Party is one of the biggest celebrations in all of Thailand. Luckily for visitors, it takes place twice a month so you will hopefully get to attend, even if you are not on the island for very long. The Half Moon Festival is just that: a festival. It is exponentially more expensive than the Full Moon Party but also gives visitors so much bang for their baht, including fire shows, multiple stages, epic DJs, and more.

Half Moon Party © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

Half Moon Party © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Full Moon Party Koh Phangan

Thousands gather at the biggest party each and every month on Koh Phangan: the Full Moon Party. The price is only ฿100 (about $3), which is fairly cheap considering the number of DJs and stages that make their way to Haad Rin beach to go absolutely mental. Mark your calendars as the 2018 Full Moon Parties are scheduled to take place on September 24, October 25, November 22, and December 22.


Koh Ma

No visit to Koh Phangan is complete without a visit to Koh Ma Island. The island is connected to Koh Phangan by a shallow sandbar that visitors can actually walk on. Herds of people venture to this lovely stretch of sand to spend a sunny afternoon snorkeling, exploring, and sunbathing.

Koh Ma © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Enjoy a Day at Slip N Fly

There are plenty of things to play on at Slip N Fly, one of Koh Phangan’s top attractions. Take to their body board slide to get an adrenalin rush. If you are only interested in relaxing, perhaps you should take a dip in their pool or their splash pool. There are also plenty of lounging areas just adjacent the slides, so you can sit back and watch as your friends fly meters into the air before landing in the crystal clear pool. The slides are about 40 meters in length and are sure to get customers flying each and every time they go down. A one day pass is ฿700 (about $21.30). With the pass, you get unlimited slides usage, unlimited swimming pool usage, and the chance to win prize giveaways.

Enjoy a Day at Slip N Fly
Slip N Fly © Courtesy of Slip N Fly

Enjoy a Day at Slip N Fly
Slip N Fly © Courtesy of Slip N Fly


Indulge in one too Many Southern Thai dishes

Savor the taste of Southern Thai cuisine on the island of Koh Phangan. This region may be renowned for its beautiful beaches and sunny afternoons spent on them, but the food alone is enough reason to visit, as well. Fresh seafood is in abundance and the curries native to this region pack a powerful punch. Many would argue that Southern Thai cuisine is the best Thai cuisine, so be sure to sample a few signature dishes before departing this region. Our favorite dishes include khao yam (rice salad), gaeng sataw (stinky beans), and gaeng som pla (sour curry with seafood).

Southern Thai dish © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Go Diving

Though not as memorable as the neighboring island of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan has diving spots that are sure to impress even the most seasoned divers. The island is a great spot to start learning, as courses are relatively inexpensive and dive groups are small, allowing instructors to give newbies plenty of guidance both above and under the sea. If you do get the chance to go diving, be sure to check out Sail Rock. Otherwise known as Hin Bai, the dive site is about an hour boat ride from Koh Phangan and is known for its wide array of marine life and good visibility. Other memorable dive sites include Koh Ma, Haad Salad, Haad Yao, and Koh Tae Nok.
Sail Rock © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Go Snorkeling

If you do not have the time (or money) to get certified to go diving on the island, snorkeling is certainly the next best thing. Gear is cheap and easily accessible. Some of the best places on the island for snorkeling are Koh Ma, Haad Yao, and Haad Salad. The best time to snorkel is from about December to March.

Koh Ma Island in Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Pixabay


Slumber Party Pub Crawl

Slumber Party hostel has certainly made a name for itself in the nightlife scene in cities across Thailand, and Koh Phangan is no exception. If you are traveling alone on the island and are wanting to meet your fellow backpackers, this pub crawl is the place to be. The pub crawl is only ฿500, which includes the cost of a tank top, drink specials at each bar you go to, and a free bucket back at Slumber Party. The price also includes the cost of the songthaew (taxi) that takes you to each bar, and there are free shots along the way.

Slumber Party Pub Crawl on Koh Phangan © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Have a Drink at Bluerama

Offering visitors panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand is Bluerama. This restaurant and bar is one of the most renowned eateries on the island because of its spectacular location atop a large hilltop. The infinity pool gives swimmers views for days and the food and drinks are relatively inexpensive, as well.
Bluerama © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Thong Nai Pan

Thong Nai Pan consists of not one but two beaches on the northeast coast of the island. You can come and repose on either one of the lovely beaches or partake in one of the many beach activities here, such as scuba diving. Though most of the beaches are memorable, this is one you cannot miss out on visiting.

Thong Nai Pan © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Explore the Than Sadet Koh Phangan National Park

Almost half of the island of Koh Phangan is protected, which is great for visitors because it leaves the island relatively clean and naturistic as ever. Than Sadet Koh Phangan National Park is about 45 square kilometers in size and consists of cascading waterfalls, hiking trails, and plenty of naturistic and marvelous views.


More Information About the Top Things to See and Do in Koh Phangan

Did you love this article about the top things to see and do in Koh Phangan? Do you want even more information about how to spend your vacation on this incredible island? Then be sure to check out these articles we have rounded up for your reading pleasure!


Pin Now, Read Later

About the Author