Koh Pha-ngan is an Island in the south-east to Thailand. It’s probably most famous for its crazy full moon parties that attracts thousands of backpackers each year.
Though don’t let this put you off if partying isn’t your thing. If you are after a quieter more relaxed atmosphere travel to the island outside the peak periods the lunar calendar. During these times you are able to enjoy the beauty of the island without the alcohol fuelled parties.
Koh Pha-ngan doesn’t have an airport so your only option is to use a ferry service.
There are many ferry routes from both the surrounding islands and main land, with each provider offering on average 3 services a day.
We were travelling from Koh Samui so we booked a ferry ticket that cost us 300 baht.
A taxi from our hostel in Bophut cost 400 baht for 4 people.
The ferry only took 30–40 minutes and was a pleasant journey with comfy seats.
Once in Koh Pha-ngan we arranged a taxi from the port to our hostel for 100 baht each.
La Casa Tropicana
Our hostel, La Casa Tropicana was primarily a restaurant with extra space used as dorm rooms.
It was located on Baan Tai beach, with amazing views of sunrise and sunset.
The rooms were basic, but including an en suite bathroom and small lockers for valuables.
Our room featured 2 double beds and 1 bunk bed. Luckily we were travelling as two couples as we were assigned the double beds. Could get weird if you were not couples or friends?
All but one of the staff at the hostel were lovely.
The owner was slightly rude, they had free salsa classes and BBQ one night and our waitress told us to help ourselves to the BBQ.
When we did that the hostel owner was rude and told us it was only for people doing salsa classes. That would have been fine if others not doing the salsa classes were also told the same but that was not the case.
He made us feel pretty uncomfortable about it and just generally had a very strange style of customer service.
All other staff were fab though!
Exploring Koh Pha-ngan
We did not visit Koh Pha-ngan during the full moon or half-moon parties, our intention here was to relax and enjoy the weather.
Pha-ngan beach resort
This was a lovely resort, even as a non-guest if you bought drinks you were able to use their facilities.
They had lounge cushions, hammocks and shaded beds. You had access to the pool, private beach and volley ball court which was great.
It was a really chilled and pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
Milky Way beach resort
This was a luxury resort, with cute beach huts, beachside restaurant, spa and pool.
Again, you were able to use the facilities as long as you were buying drinks.
It was bliss, we all booked in for massages. Charlie Ann and I having foot massages, whilst Simon and Stephen choosing neck, shoulders and back.
It was honestly the best massage I have had. It was so relaxing being able to look out at the sea, and the ladies made the experience so lovely.
We came out of the massage feeling so chilled and content.
We also ate lunch at the resort and it was really reasonably priced, we had spring rolls and pad Thai and both were delicious. The iced coffee was tasty too.
Our waiter was lovely, chatting to us and making us laugh.
Ko Ma beach
This was a pretty incredible place, it was around 10 miles from Baan Tai and the roads were very hilly but it was worth the bumpy journey.
There is the main beach area, but connected by a tiny strip of sand and shallow water is another small island.
The snorkelling is also good here with lots of cool fish being spotted.
We chilled here for the afternoon, paying 30 baht for a sun chair and dipping in and out of the water to cool down.
Sunset at the beach
Haad Rin beach
This is the main party area of the island, and it’s where the full moon party is held.
We came here in the evening and enjoyed a few buckets on the beach.
There is also a sky bar (that’s not that high) which seemed to be a big hit with backpackers.
It also gave views over the fire jugglers and limbo challenges.
Food factory and BM Bar
Average food, but a nice spot to watch sports. They also have a pool table and cheap drink deals.
Amsterdam sunset bar
It’s in the name, a great spot to watch sunset and if your that way inclined a mushroom shake.
Thong Sala night market
A great place to get local foods at cheap prices. Only a food market though doesn’t include other items like most markets in Thailand.
There are various waterfalls around the island, hire a moped and go exploring.
Koh Pho-ngan is an amazing place to visit, whether that is to party at full moon or relax on the beach. Just make sure your dates suit the travel experience you’re hoping to get.
There are some really lovely resorts on the island offering the ultimate luxury and service. If you can’t afford to stay at these places most of them allow you to use the facilities as long as you buy some food and drink.