A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
For a lot of people Phangan Island is synonymous with the world famous Full Moon Party, which attracts up to 15,000 people every month to the island. It is definitely worth experience it but it should be remembered that the area where the party takes place (Haad Rin) is just a small slice of the island's shoreline and that Phangan Island has much more to offer. Whether you want to do yoga at sunrise, get a massage on the beach, go diving, do hammock stretching exercises, go hiking in the jungle or one of the national parks or dance all night, Phangan Island offers it all.
Phangan Island is part of the Suratthani province and is located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the center island of the Samui archipelago, stretching about 15 km north to south and 10 km east to west. A large proportion is covered by coral reef fringed beaches, tropical rainforest and coconut groves. Fishing and coconut production are still an important source of income, together with tourism.
Phangan Island still has the island feel that many islands lost because of overdevelopment. Phangan Island is renowned for its relaxed special atmosphere which brings people from all over the world back every year.
WEATHER ON PHAGNAN ISLAND
Due to its proximity to the equator, Phangan Island has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 25° - 34° C, with lots of sunshine, high humidity and - as the word tropical rainforest implies - the occasional showers.
The weather is pretty constant during the year but roughly there are three main seasons: the dry season (mid December - April) when it is mostly dry and relatively cool, the hot season (May - September), when it can be very hot with occasional storm showers and the wet season (October - mid December), when there can be a strong and windy monsoon and a lot of rain. However, like in every country the weather can be unpredictable and local: on one part of the island you might lie on the beach while on the other side you may have to shelter for a scattered thundershower. Overall we would say the best time to visit Phangan Island is from January to August, when the weather conditions are usually at their best. If you like a tan, be aware that the sun can be extremely strong. Even on a cloudy day you can get sunburnt easily.
BEACHES AND AREAS ON PHAGNAN ISLAND
Phangan Island has more than 20 different beaches. There are roughly two tidal seasons: April to November (low) and November to April (high). In low tidal season swimming on the West coast is not always possible during certain hours of the day due to sand banks and shallow water, where as it is possible on the Northeast side of the island. Each beach has its own characteristics and atmosphere. It really depends on what you are looking for and the time you'll visit Phangan Island to tell which beach is best for you. Around full moon almost every area and beach is more lively. Many people that come for the party choose to stay in a more quiet area like Ban Tai or Hin Kong because it is easy and cheap to go to Haad Rin by taxi. If you want you can read about each area first to decide where you prefer to stay. By clicking on the map on the homepage or here you get a more detailed description of the five different areas: the Northwest, the Southwest, Haad Rin, the Northeast and the Southeast.
GETTING AROUND THE PHAGNAN ISLAND
An easy way to get around the island is by taxi also called songthaew. Prices are negotiable and vary depending on the amount of people in the car.
The most common way to explore Phangan Island is by motorbike. You can hire motorbikes in every village for around 150 to 250 baht, depending on the type. Although there are still many dirt roads, it is possible to visit a big part of the island because the Southwest and Northwest area have good cemented roads. Please note that having a " Phangan Island Tattoo" is a very well known expression on the island so remember to drive very carefully. It is advised to wear a helmet and not to drive faster than 40 km/h. Be aware of stones, sand and water on the road and use the rear brake instead of the front brake as much as possible. Also it is recommended not to put any valuables in the basket.
As there are still quite some (steep) dirt roads, 4WD jeeps are a good way as well to get around the island. Most of the hired jeeps are not insured, so shop around if you want insurance. Hiring a jeep is a great way for making daytrips to the more remote parts and attractions of Phangan Island like the Than Sadet waterfall, Thong Nai Pan or Haad Rin.
THINGS TO SEE & DO ON PHAGNAN ISLAND
Getting bored being lazy? There are plenty of activities to do. Click “things to see and do” in the menu.
EVER THOUGHT ABOUT STAYING LONGER?
Siam Quality Assets, the hotels' management company, owns several parts of land on Phangan Island.