22 Top Things To Do in Koh Phangan in 2024: Travel Guide

In this travel guide, we detail the top things to do in Koh Phangan, famous for its monthly Full Moon Party, but that offers a lot more than just one big party, from beautiful beaches, waterfalls, hiking trails, great food, and lots of things to do.
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Observing Bottle Beach from the rock at Bottle Beach Viewpoint, Koh Phangan, Thailand

About Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is a stunning island located in the Gulf of Thailand, often regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand.

Best beach in Koh Phangan, Thong Nai Pan Beach, Thailand

Situated just north of Koh Samui and south of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan is a renowned destination with breathtaking beaches, pristine waters, and a relaxed ambiance, even though it’s known for crazy parties.

So it’s no wonder Koh Phangan attracts such a diverse crowd, from those seeking to party all night to those just wanting to laze on the beach or snorkel around.

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Koh Phangan Travel Tips

Before we jump into the top things to do in Koh Phangan, let’s cover the travel essentials and tips to help you have a more fun, enjoyable, and safer trip to this remarkable island in Thailand.

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Top things to do in Koh Phangan

While everyone always thinks of the Full Moon Party, there are plenty of other great things to do in Koh Phangan, an island that offers much more than just partying.

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1. Enjoy the beaches

It goes without saying that enjoying the beautiful beaches in Koh Phangan is the top thing to do on the island.

And what’s great about Koh Phangan is that it has plenty of beaches to offer (more than 30!), so it never feels too busy.

Floating at the best beach in Koh Phangan, Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach, Thailand
Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach

We visited almost all the beaches in Koh Phangan and compiled a list of the most worth visiting ones.

Best beaches in Koh Phangan:

  • Haad Rin beach
  • Thong Nai Pan Beach
  • Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach
  • Bottle Beach
  • Secret Beach
  • Mae Haad Beach

Note: Our personal favorite beaches were in order, Bottle Beach, Thong Nai Pan Yai, Thong Nai Pan, and Haad Rin Beach.

And before you ask yourself why we liked Haad Rin, the beach of the Full Moon Party, let us explain.

We visited the Haad Rin beach a few days after the Full Moon Party, so it was essentially empty. The beach was clean, the water was clear, and it got deep fast enough so you could go for a swim. Also, it’s long and wide so we easily found our own little spot.

Haad Rin, the best beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand
Haad Rin beach

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2. Snorkel the coral reef

Even though Koh Tao is known for the best snorkeling in Thailand, snorkeling in Koh Phangan is still one of the best things to do on your visit.

All along the western coast of Koh Phangan lie coral reefs, which you can snorkel by swimming a bit out from the beach for about 5 minutes.

Snorkeling with fish on a day trip to Koh Nang Yuan from Koh Tao, Thailand

The best snorkeling in Koh Phangan can be had at Koh Ma, the nearby Mae Haad beach, and at Haad Yao, which also has a long reef not far from the beach.

Compared to Koh Tao, snorkeling in Koh Phangan is less impressive, but you still get to see plenty of species of fish and nice corals.

Best snorkeling spots in Koh Phangan:

  • Koh Ma (Mae Haad Beach)
  • Haad Yao
  • Haad Khom
  • Chaloklum
  • Haad Rin

Barracuda next to person snorkeling at Sai Daeng Beach, Koh Tao, Thailand


You can rent snorkel masks and fins from beach bars, restaurants, or dive shops in Koh Phangan for about 100 Thai baht per hour.

It’s worth buying your own snorkel equipment if you plan on staying longer in Koh Phangan or also visiting nearby Koh Tao and Koh Samui. You can, of course, buy all this on the islands, but expect to pay about 30% more than if you purchased it in advance. Still a reasonable price, though.

Note: Koh Phangan’s best snorkeling is at offshore coral reefs. This means that many times you have to walk or swim the shallow water for up to a few hundred meters (Haad Yao) to get to the best spots. In comparison, Koh Tao offers more accessible snorkeling spots, where you simply enter the water and snorkel not far from the beach and see a lot.

3. Visit the island’s most famous photo spot at Koh Ma Sandbank

On the northwest of Koh Phangan, a sandbank connects the island to the island of Koh Ma, and when it’s low tide, you can walk to it without even getting wet.

Koh Ma sandbank at Mae Haad Beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand

For the best view of Koh Ma, you can visit the 420 Club Phangan on the nearby hill (formerly 360 bar).

Koh Ma island has little to offer, though, as it’s just a tiny island where you can chill in the shade of trees and snorkel around.

Nonetheless, Koh Ma’s sandbank is an excellent place for a short visit, as you can also chill on the nearby Mae Haad beach and enjoy a drink or food in one of the restaurants.

Koh Ma sandbank at Mae Haad Beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Ma and Mae Haad are famous for their snorkeling, as there is a lot to see at the long coral reef offshore.

To have the best conditions for walking on the sandbank at Koh Ma, we recommend checking the tide graph/chart for Koh Phangan on Tide Forecast before you visit. Make sure that the tide is at its lowest level or is falling.

We visited when the tide was at its lowest, and the sandbank was actually really wide. Once, we also came just after sunset and saw people walking through ankle-deep water to Koh Ma.

4. Go diving

The island’s location makes diving to great diving sites one of the best things to do in Koh Phangan.

From Koh Phangan, you can go diving to stunning diving sites like Sail Rock, midway between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, among others.

You can find many dive centers at Chaloklum Beach and Haad Yao, the best spots on the island to head out for diving.

Scuba Diving with batfish in Koh Tao, Thailand

4.1. Learning to dive

While the neighboring Koh Tao is the most famous place for getting your diving certificate in Thailand, you can also do the open water diving course in Koh Phangan.

If you’re interested in going deeper and want to expand your limits and knowledge, Koh Phangan also offers the advanced open water diver course (includes accommodation).

Open Water Scuba Diving Course, Koh Tao, Thailand - pool session

And if you’re not yet sure if you want to pursue diving, you can go on a so-called Discover Scuba Diving Experience and enjoy two amazing dives under the supervision of professionals.


4.2. Fun dives

Certified divers in Koh Phangan have plenty of fun dives available, with the best one being the scuba diving trip to Sail Rock.

5. Visit the stunning Ang Thong Marine Park

A great day trip from Koh Phangan is to Ang Thong Marine Park, a stunning archipelago of 42 beautiful small islands covered with dense jungle and lined with stunning white sand beaches. 

With activities like kayaking, hiking, swimming, and snorkeling, this picturesque marine park has no shortage of things to do.

But the highlight of Ang Thong Marine Park is, without question, the panoramic viewpoint, one of Thailand’s best viewpoints!

Viewpoint at Ang Thong Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand

While taking a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park is more popular from Koh Samui, you can go on a day trip from Koh Phangan.

Best Ang Thong Marine Park trips from Koh Phangan:


UPDATE: After traveling through Thailand for half a year and seeing MANY viewpoints, we can confirm that Ang Thong Marine Park viewpoint, Samet Nangshe (Phang Nga), and the Hong Island Viewpoint (Krabi) are the best the country has to offer!

6. Visit Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan on a day trip

Another great trip from Koh Phangan is the day trip to Koh Tao and the neighboring Koh Nang Yuan, offering excellent snorkeling spots and beaches.

Three islands and white sand beach seen from Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint, Koh Tao, Thailand

Best trips to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan from Koh Phangan:


7. Go hiking

Koh Phangan is great for hiking, and there are some nice trails around the island, both for beginners and intermediate hikers.

Best Koh Phangan hikes:

  • Bottle Beach hike 
  • Haad Khom hike
  • Haad Yuan hike
  • Khao Ra hike
  • Dom Sila & Phaeng Waterfall hike

Most hikes in Koh Phangan are either easy or moderate, with the Khao Ra hike being the hardest one.

Make sure to start your hikes in the early morning, because it gets super hot by 9 am, and the humidity doesn’t help either.

We’re so happy we did the Bottle Beach hike, as there’s nothing better than getting rewarded with a beautiful beach after hiking for 1 hour and a half.

At the Bottle Beach hiking trail’s start is also where you can do the short 10-15-minute Haad Khom hike, which gets you to a nice viewpoint over Haad Khom and you can also see parts of Chaloklum.

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8. Visit Bottle Beach

Bottle Beach feels like a hidden gem that offers a tranquil and secluded escape from the bustling tourist areas. With its pristine white sand, crystal clear turquoise waters, and lush green surroundings, Bottle Beach is a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking peace and relaxation.

Bottle Beach, best beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand

We spent a few hours at the Bottle beach and only wished we could stay longer! And we can easily say that Bottle Beach is one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Koh Phangan. 

Top tip: Make sure to try the sandwiches at the restaurant right next to Smile Bungalows, they are amazing!

You can get to Bottle Beach in Koh Phangan by a longtail boat ride from Chaloklum or Haad Khom, hiking for 1 hour and a half from Haad Khom, or by a 4×4 vehicle. The road to Bottle Beach is steep and dangerous, so getting there by motorbike is not recommended, as many have broken their bikes or got hurt.

Bottle Beach, best beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Accommodations at Bottle Beach, Koh Phangan:

9. Take in the views at Koh Phangan viewpoints

Koh Phangan is a picturesque island famous for its stunning viewpoints. There are countless spots to enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the island’s lush jungles and sparkling turquoise waters.

Best viewpoints in Koh Phangan:

View of Haad Rin beach from the southern viewpoint, Thailand
Haad Rin Rock Viewpoint

10. Visit Bottle Beach Viewpoint

The Bottle Beach Viewpoint is without a doubt the best viewpoint in Koh Phangan and one of the highlights of the island.

Sitting on the rock at Bottle Beach Viewpoint, Koh Phangan, Thailand

You can climb the Bottle Beach viewpoint directly from the Bottle Beach which will take around 30-45 minutes or you can visit the viewpoint separately from the beach. In that case, you have to drive to Bottle Beach Scooter Parking from where you start the hike. From there it takes around 20 minutes to reach the viewpoint.

The viewpoint is a huge rock sticking out of the jungle, so be careful while climbing it. Especially if it’s very windy or raining as it can be slippery.

The Bottle Beach viewpoint is free of charge and you can visit at any time.

Walking on the rock at Bottle Beach Viewpoint, Koh Phangan, Thailand

Note: Please be mindful of others while visiting the viewpoint. When we visited one family took the main part of the viewpoint as their picnic spot and didn’t care at all that others would like to enjoy the spot as well. Keep in mind that this is a narrow rock. Be nice! 

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11. Visit a bar with a great view

Koh Phangan’s hilly landscape allowed many great bars and restaurants to set up shop on hills overlooking beautiful beaches and bays.

Bar with the best view, 2C Bar, Koh Phangan, Thailand
2C Bar

Cafes and restaurants with the best views in Koh Phangan:

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12. Visit waterfalls

There are nice waterfalls that are worth visiting in Koh Phangan if you are in the right season, either in the rainy season or right after it.

Best waterfalls in Koh Phangan:

You can visit the Phaeng Waterfalls which consist of two different waterfalls, the Phaeng Noi and Phaeng Yai Waterfalls. Although, according to the reviews from others the waterfalls are not the most impressive, the hike to Phaeng Waterfall offers nice nature and views. So even if there’s no water, it might be worth a visit if you have extra time. This is also where Dom Sila Viewpoint is located.

As we were in Koh Phangan in a really dry part of the year, we decided to skip the waterfalls.

13. Party in Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is renowned for its vibrant party scene and it’s home to some of the most known parties in South East Asia, attracting thousands of visitors each month.

Parties here cater to a diverse range of people so there are endless opportunities to dance and celebrate under the stars in this tropical paradise.

DJ and people at the Zen Beach for sunset in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Best parties in Koh Phangan:

  • Full Moon Party
  • Half Moon Festival
  • Jungle Experience
  • Eden Garden Party

It’s important to note that while Koh Phangan’s party scene is vibrant throughout the year, it’s advisable to research beforehand about specific events happening during your visit. This way, you can align your trip with parties that match your desired music genre and vibe.

14. Attend the Full Moon Party

The most famous party on the island of Koh Phangan is the Full Moon Party, held monthly on the beautiful Haad Rin beach during the full moon night. It attracts thousands of partygoers from around the world and has various stages playing different genres of music such as EDM, techno, and reggae.

Welceom to the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

The entrance fee for the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan is 200 THB or about 6 USD.

Full Moon Party Dates 2024

  • January 25, 2024
  • February 25, 2024
  • March 24, 2024
  • April 23, 2024
  • May 23, 2024
  • June 21, 2024
  • July 22, 024
  • August 19, 2024
  • September 17, 2024
  • October 18, 2024
  • November 15, 2024
  • December 15, 2024
  • December 31, 2024 (NYE)

15. Visit Koh Phangan’s temples

While exploring the island, you’ll pass through some of Koh Phangan’s temples, which of course are not as impressive as Bangkok’s temples but are still worth a short stop when passing by.

Best temples to visit in Koh Phangan:

16. Go kayaking

As on most Thai islands, kayaking in Koh Phangan is a fun activity, and you can do it from most beaches, but the best kayaking is at Haad Yao, Mae Haad, and Thongsala.

Kayaking at Koh Taen Coral Island on Pig Island day trip, Koh Samui

In Thongsala, you can rent a kayak and go to the island of Koh Tae Nai in about 30 minutes, just off the shore of Koh Phangan.

You could also rent a kayak and head out to Bottle Beach from Haad Khom, although it’s quite a bit of a distance, so it’s not for beginners.

From Haad Rin, you could rent a kayak and reach the east coast beaches.


Kayak rental is available on almost every beach in Koh Phangan and one hour costs between 100 and 150 baht or 3-4 USD.

Kayak rental in Koh Phangan:

17. Visit the Night Markets

For some delicious street food, great snacks, and tasty drinks, head out to Koh Phangan’s Phantip Market operating every day, or the bigger Saturday Walking Street Market on Saturdays.

While island night markets in Thailand are not as busy and visited as those in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Phuket, it’s still a great way to enjoy the evening.

Night Market in Koh Phangan, Thailand

18. Learn Muay Thai

Muay Thai is one of the most effective martial arts practiced in Thailand for centuries. And while its home is in Thailand, it has become one of the most popular fighting styles in the world.

Muay Thai in Koh Phangan, Thailand - gym, class, workshop

You can find Muay Thai gyms in every city and town in Thailand, and Koh Phangan is no exception.

It offers a few different gyms, classes, and workshops for all experience levels – from beginners to advanced fighters.

Best Muay Thai centers and gyms in Koh Phangan:

19. Join a cooking class

If you’re looking to learn more about Thai cuisine, then a cooking class in Koh Phangan is the perfect way to do it!

Learn how to cook delicious and authentic Thai food so that you can cook these delicious dishes at home.

Not only will you learn about the essential ingredients and techniques used in traditional Thai cooking, but you’ll also get to taste some of Thailand’s most delicious dishes.

One of the Koh Phangan cooking classes you can join is the Home Style Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour.

20. Go kitesurfing

A great water activity in Koh Phangan is kitesurfing, as the reef-protected calm waters with stable wind make it easy for beginners to learn.

Koh Phangan is not yet a very popular kitesurfing destination in Thailand, so you can have a more relaxed session with not so many kitesurfers around.

The best kitesurfing centers in Koh Phangan are Kiteflip, AccroKite, and KBA Kitesurf Center.


21. Explore the island on an ATV adventure

Koh Phangan is one of the islands of Thailand where going on an ATV ride makes for a great day out. It’s a great way to go off-road to some places you usually can’t go by yourself or it’s a bit too dangerous with a motorbike.

Best ATV adventures in Koh Phangan:


22. Attend a Yoga Retreat

Koh Phangan hosts some of Thailand’s best Yoga Retreats and classes with great facilities and skillful teachers in a serene environment.

Best Yoga Retreats in Koh Phangan:

Best time to visit Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is an all-year-round destination that is great to visit anytime except for a short period from mid-September until early December when it can rain a lot and rougher seas are more common.

Generally, Koh Phangan has three main seasons: the dry, hot, and wet season. 

Best beach in Koh Phangan, Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Thailand

The dry season lasts from mid-December until April and this time is considered the best time to visit Koh Phangan.


Songkran Festival (Thai New Year) takes place in April. It’s when water fights are organized all over the country.

The hot season lasts from May until September when it’s extra hot and occasional storms can happen during your stay in Koh Phangan.

It’s when the sea temperature is very high, especially on the beaches where the water is shallow. We visited Koh Phangan in May, and the sea was super hot on some beaches.

The wet or rainy season lasts from mid-September until mid-December and these are the wettest months in Koh Phangan.

Koh Phangan’s location helps it steer clear of the heavy monsoon rains that hit Thailand’s Andaman coastline. If you are planning a trip to Thailand during the European summer months (June, July, and August), Koh Phangan and neighboring Koh Samui or Koh Tao would be a sensible choice due to their more favorable weather conditions.

Bottle Beach, best beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand
Great weather in April.

However, Koh Phangan has a tropical climate which means that weather can be unpredictable and vary locally. While one part of the island might be perfect for sunbathing on the beach, the other side may experience scattered thunderstorms. We’ve experienced this firsthand on many Thai islands. But usually it’s short periods.

Where to stay in Koh Phangan

The best place to stay in Koh Phangan depends on what you want from your stay as there are many distinct areas on the island offering different experiences.

Cliff villas with infinity pools at Thong Nai Pan Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand
Panviman Resort at Thong Nai Pan Beach.

Best areas to stay in Koh Phangan:

  • Baan Tai & Baan Kai: best for watersports
  • Haad Salad: beautiful, not too busy beach
  • Haad Yao: cosy long beach with snorkeling options
  • Thong Nai Pan: best for families, relaxed atmosphere
  • Haad Rin: amazing beach and location of the Full Moon Party
  • Srithanu: away from the crowds
  • Thong Sala: the most developed, main town with the port
  • Mae Haad: great beach with the best snorkeling on the island
  • Bottle Beach: fabulous setting far away from development and crowds

Below are the top-reviewed stays in each area that are worth checking out for your Koh Phangan visit.

Thong Sala

Hostel: Prachan Hostel
Hotel: Dreamville
Resort: Baan Manali Resort

Baan Tai and Baan Kai

Hostel: See Sea Backpacker House
Hotel: BeauBo Beach
Resort: Milky Bay Resort | CheeVa Beach Resort

Haad Rin

Hostel: U Hostel
Hotel: Princess Paradise 
Resort: Bayshore Resort | Vannee Golden Sands Beachfront Resort | The Cabin Beach Resort (Leela Beach)

Haad Yao

Hostel: Shiralea Backpackers Resort
Hotel: High Life Bungalow
Resort: Baan Kiao Resort | Amara Beach Resort | Sun Moon Star Resort

Haad Salad

Salad Hut Resort | Cookies Salad Resort | Haad Salad Resort

Mae Haad and Koh Ma

Koh Ma Beach Resort | Wang Sai Resort | Maehaad Guesthouse

Thong Nai Pan

North Beach: Buri Rasa Village | Anantara Rasananda | Panviman Resort
South Beach: Havana Beach Resort | PingChan Beachfront Resort | Longtail Resort

Bottle Beach

Smile Bungalows | Haad Khuad Resort | Bottle Beach 1 Resort | Bottle Beach 2 Bungalows

Where to eat in Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan has some great restaurants with both local and Western food. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of choices for you in Koh Phangan, as it’s known as the best island for vegetarians in Thailand.

We mostly ate near our place in Haad Yao, so we have some great recommendations for that area.

Our restaurant recommendations for Koh Phangan:

How to get to Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is one of Thailand’s most famous islands and it’s easy to get there, although the journey can be long.

You can get to Koh Phangan by ferry or speedboat in about three hours from Surat Thani, in about 1 hour from Koh Tao, and 30 minutes from Koh Samui, or a combo bus and ferry transfer from Bangkok in 14 hours and Phuket in 8 hours. The closest airport to Koh Phangan is the Koh Samui International Airport.

Since Koh Phangan doesn’t have an airport, you’ll have to take a ferry or speedboat for at least one part of the journey. 

We always book all our transfers online on 12go.asia to be sure we’ll have our spot! This is very important if you travel during the high season.

Getting to Koh Phangan from Bangkok

You can get to Koh Phangan from Bangkok with a combined transfer of a bus and then a ferry in about 14 hours.

To get to Koh Phangan by train, you get off at the Surat Thani train station and then catch a transfer to the island.

You can book a train and van combo transfer or organize it by booking a train to Surat Thani and a transfer from Surat Thani train station to the island.

Getting to Koh Phangan from Surat Thani

Beyond arriving at Surat Thani by bus or train, you can also fly into the Surat Thani Airport and then get a transfer by van and boat to Koh Phangan, as it’s easy to fly into Surat Thani from Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

Getting to Koh Phangan from Koh Samui and Koh Tao

There are frequent daily speedboat and ferry trips between Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Koh Tao, providing a fast and efficient way to travel between these islands.

Getting to Koh Phangan from Phuket and Krabi

You can get to Koh Phangan from Phuket and Krabi with a combined transfer of a bus and then a ferry in about 8 hours.


How to get around Koh Phangan

The best way to get around Koh Phangan independently is by renting a motorbike. There are many motorbike rentals across the island, and many times you can rent them at your hotel.

A scooter rental in Koh Phangan costs around 250 THB or about 7 USD daily.


You may need to leave your passport or pay a deposit of about 3000 THB (around $88) to rent a motorbike. We mainly left the cash deposit, as we don’t like anyone else having our passports.

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If you’re not driving, you can use the local taxis or Songthaews (shared pick-up trucks) to go around Koh Phangan.

The fares are usually fixed starting from 50 THB and depend on the distance you wish to travel. From Thongsala Pier expect to pay around 100 THB for a trip to Haad Rin and 200 THB for Chaloklum, Haad Yao, and Thong Nai Pan. 

The prices to different spots on the island are usually displayed on the taxis, however, always confirm the price before starting the trip.

And if you’re looking for an organized trip to take you around Koh Phangan’s best spots, check out the Private One Day Road Trip around Koh Phangan.

How many days to spend in Koh Phangan?

You should spend at least 3 days in Koh Phangan to have enough time to see the island’s main highlights, and do at least one day trip and relax on the beaches. 

Anything over three days in Koh Phangan will give you more time to have a more relaxed schedule or do extra activities.

Is Koh Phangan worth visiting?

Yes, Koh Phangan is absolutely worth visiting as it’s a tropical paradise with stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a laid-back atmosphere.

I love Koh Phangan sign at Haad Rin Beach, Thailand

While Koh Phangan is most famous for its Full Moon Party, it also offers pristine nature, breathtaking beaches and viewpoints, and a range of other activities.

We were positively surprised by Koh Phangan and will happily return!

Incredible sunset at Secret Beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Is Koh Phangan a safe destination?

Like all of Thailand, Koh Phangan is a safe destination for all travelers, including women, solo travelers, and families.

However, always practice general safety precautions such as being aware of your surroundings, keeping an eye on your valuables (especially in crowded places and on beaches), and wearing a helmet while driving a motorbike.

And be extra careful around the Full Moon Party when the area of Haad Rin will be full of drunk people. If you don’t plan on going to the party, we would advise staying further away like we did, so you won’t be bothered by the party at all.

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Internet in Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan generally offers reliable Internet access across the whole island with an average speed adequate for the needs of most people. 

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