The tropical island of Koh Phangan with over 20 stunning beaches is situated in the Gulf of Thailand, north of Koh Samui. It has a population of about 13,700 (2012) and 90% of its 125 square km is covered with mountains and tropical forest. Unlike its bigger and more famous neighbour, Koh Samui, the island has maintained its relaxed pace of life and unspoiled natural beauty.
Koh Phangan is well known for its famous Full Moon party which takes place once a month on the beach at Haad Rin but the island also offers a great deal more. In addition to its stunning powder white beaches, the island is peppered with hidden waterfalls, streams, tranquil hideaways, mountains, reptiles, rare birds, jungle trails and abundant natural beauty.
The island is full of undeveloped bays and coves and some of the remote beaches are only accessible by trekking through jungle paths or by taking a boat.
Koh Phangan offers elephant trekking, scuba diving, snorkelling, island tours by longboat, jeep safaris, hiking, trekking, Thai cooking classes, Thai boxing classes, yoga schools, sailing and day trips to other Islands plus bars and restaurants with many choices of international cuisine; there is something for everyone.
Thong Nai Pan has been a destination in travellers’ circles for over 20 years. Softly curved white powder beaches, towering palm trees and massive granite boulders make the area a nature lover’s paradise.
Thong Nai Pan Noi is the smaller beach of a beautiful double crescent cove set in an amphitheatre of forest covered mountains on the north eastern coast of Koh Phangan.
Travelling from Thong Sala pier, the road runs through the mountains and jungle to Thong Nai Pan Noi where you will find Koh Phangan Pavilions. We are an oasis of 8 privately owned serviced apartments tucked discreetly amid towering coconut palms above the picturesque Thong Nai Pan Noi beach; for more information see our Getting Here section.
Thong Nai Pan Noi is the best beach on the island having an addictively laid back atmosphere and clear, warm and inviting waters. The small village has a bohemian vibe with some great restaurants and bars to choose from. Alternatively the 5* hotels of Panviman, Santhiya, and Anantara Rasananda offer a wide choice of excellent restaurants. There are a few shops where you can stock up on any toiletries or other basic necessities and several ATMs.
Once you’ve been to the beach of Thong Nai Pan Noi you will not want to venture anywhere else.
Travelling to Koh Phangan by air
There is no airport on Koh Phangan, although plans for a small airport are under way. The nearest airport is on Koh Samui. There are many daily flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui run by Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways with the flying time about 60 minutes. There are also flights to Koh Samui from Phuket, Pattaya, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
It is short taxi ride from Koh Samui airport to the ferry for Koh Phangan where the ferry journey will take 30 minutes. Hi-speed boats are operated by two companies: Lomprayah and Seatran.
Air Asia flies from Bangkok to Surat Thani daily with the flying time around 50 minutes. The transfer from Surat Thani airport to Donsak ferry port is by coach or taxi and takes about 1½ hours.
Koh Phangan Pavilions will collect you from Thong Sala pier on request or you can catch a local taxi for approximately 300 Baht per person.
The Thong Nai Pan Express is a great way to arrive at Thong Nai Pan as the boat follows the coast from Haad Rin to Thong Nai Pan. It is a perfect way to see all the beautiful, secluded beaches of the Eastern part of Koh Phangan. The boat was previously a fishermen’s boat and so it is a typical traditional journey that takes 2 hours. You will be dropped directly at the beach of your choice (Noi or Yai) so that you don’t have to take a taxi. The Thong Nai Pan Express runs every day at 12:00 from Maenam beach on Koh Samui, from January to September, weather conditions permitting.
Koh Phangan Pavilions offers a complimentary collection from Thong Nai Pan Noi beach on request.
Travelling to Koh Phangan overland from Bangkok
Trains leave Bangkok several times a day with the journey taking about 12 hours, 1st and 2nd class sleeping berths are available on some services. When arriving at the train station, in Surat Thani, there are a number of travel agencies who can provide a coach transfer to Donsak pier and the ferry to Koh Phangan.
There are many luxury bus services from Bangkok to Koh Phangan. The journey takes about 10 hours to Donsak, the ferry port for boats to Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.
There are 2 companies that run luxury coach services from Bangkok to Chumphon, which takes about 6 hours. At Chumphon you transfer to a large express boat that stops at Koh Tao and Koh Phangan before arriving at Koh Samui. The boat journey from Chumphon to Koh Phangan takes about 2½ hours.
From Donsak pier there are 3 companies who run regular ferry services to the island. Lomprayah, Seatran and Raja Ferries (this ferry service also takes vehicles). The journey takes around 3 hours to Koh Phangan.
Koh Phangan enjoys a warm climate throughout the year with the best times to visit being from December to March or June to September; temperatures remain fairly constant all year due to its proximity to the equator. Sunshine can be found even during the monsoon season so the island can be visited at any time of the year.
Weather forecasts can be quite difficult as the island appears to have its own weather patterns. Sometimes it rains in the north of the island whilst remaining dry in the south.
There are three main seasons in the Southern Gulf of Thailand: