Ko Pha Ngan (or Koh Phangan) is an island in the Gulf of Thailand in South East Thailand. It is famous for its Full Moon Party at Haad Rin Beach and as a backpackers destination. Ko Pha Ngan has two sister islands: the larger Ko Samui to the south and the smaller Ko Tao to the north.
Koh Phangan is located in Jangwat (province) Suratthani in the Southern Gulf of Thailand and is part of the group of islands that make up the Samui Archipelago; a group of over 40 islands fashioned in granite from age old igneous formations.The provincial capital is also called Suratthani and acts as the main overland transport hub for the islands. Koh Phangan is 70kms from the mainland and approximately 12kms away from Koh Samui which acts as the main air link to Koh Phangan.
History & Facts
Koh Phangan has always been a beautiful and spiritual place for the Thai people. It has been visited by no less than four Kings of Thailand; with the Great Rama V coming over 10 times, leaving his royal seal engraved on a rock at Thaan Sadet Waterfall; and the current King Bhumibol following in his footsteps.
The island was uninhabited until about 600 years ago when passing monks realised its tranquillity and spiritual importance and settled in Wat Phu Khao Noi just outside Thongsala.
It is Thailand’s fifth biggest island and has an area of 167km2; thus, over 90% of Phangan is unspoilt tropical forest; and due to its granite structure, there are several small mountains where it’s possible to trek and even camp.
There is an abundance of wildlife from monkeys to birds of paradise and then there is the amazing underwater world that surrounds Koh Phangan; with over 10kms of vibrant coral and 20 local dive sites.
And if you have any energy after that, there is the nightlife that the island became internationally famous for, with the globally renowned Full Moon Party and weekly outdoor events in jungle and beachfront venues; not forgetting the daily session that goes off in Haad Rin.
December to February
The cool season : temperatures can reach up to 30°C (86°F). Brief tropical rain showers occur mostly in December. This is the best season to visit Phangan.
March to June
The hot season : it becomes very hot – up to 40°C (114°F), with little or no rain. You will appreciate your air-conditioned hotel room during this time!
July to September
The pre-monsoon : it’s hot with occasional rains. More or less nice weather, depending on the years.
October and November
The rain season : it’s the monsoon, and you’ll see more rain than any other months, though it generally doesn’t rain every day, and even if it does, it only rains for a short while. You may even experience some hot days.