The Beach Village describes itself as the “life and soul of paradise” and it’s not far wrong. This backpackers hostel style resort is situated right on the Baan Tai beach, a short walk from the main port of Thongsala and has pretty much everything a travel-weary full moon partygoer might need. With a private pool, tiki bar, restaurant serving Thai and foreign cuisines and even it’s own Ibiza style beach club (Ku Club is named after the historic Ibiza night club of the same name) - it’s one of the best value resorts for young travellers on the island. The Beach VIllage is basically the definition of “Flashpacking” in Thailand.
Various room categories to suit different budget
Accommodation comes in a variety of forms, from large dormitories for those on a budget, to private bungalows for those who would rather not be kept awake by 20-something gap year backpackers coming in at all hours of the night. Bungalows come in a choice of Garden, Beachside and Poolside, while dorms start of as small 4 person dorms, 8 person group dorms and the huge 32 person party dorm, which are available as either mixed or female depending on whether it is peak season or not.
All rooms have air conditioning, though the party dorms can get hot during the summer season, and the islands do suffer from the odd power cut, so try and get into one of the smaller dorms while booking in advance if you can.
Eating & drinking
The resort has a main restaurant - The Showroom, that serves up a huge range of Thai and Western foods at tourist prices. There are plenty of tables and Thai style pillows to chill out on, or if you are still in a mood to hang out on the beach, order your food at the Tiki bar and the staff will bring it out to you.
If you are on more of a budget, take a short walk up the main road towards Thongsala (or jump on a rental motorbike) and eat at any of the small shops catering to both locals and tourists, or better still - hit one of the best night markets in Thailand (look for the Panthip sign), where you’ll find everything from freshly squeezed fruit juices, pad thais and tasty massaman curries to pizza, fish, chips and more.
Exploring Koh Phangan
The Beach Village is located in Baan Tai, the strip of road between the port Thongsala and the local Baan Kai village. Get here by taking the overnight bus (I recommend the cheaper, but higher quality government bus that departs from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok rather than the more expensive “VIP” buses that are aimed at tourists from Khao San Road). Alternatively fly to either Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani or Koh Samui Airports and take the ferry if you are looking for a shorter (and more comfortable) trip.
While not as popular in the guidebooks as the full moon party beach of Haad Rin, Baan Tai is far more conveniently located for tourists who want to do more than just partying on the Full Moon. In fact, it’s closer to other (better) parties such as Maya, The Jungle Experience, Beach & Beyond, Sramonara and Loi Lay, and offers 100 baht (approximately $3 USD) courtesy taxis on Full Moon night to Haad Rin beach as well - a far safer alternative than riding a motorcycle or relying on local taxis.
Once daytime hits, hire a scooter from the resort or from Kate rentals in Thongsala. Koh Phangan (and neighbouring Koh Tao) are notorious for rental scams, so avoid other rental agencies. Ensure that your bike is in good condition and take photos of any pre-existing damage while noting it on the rental forms - the fees are very high for any damage done while the bike is in your possession. Ride safely and wear a helmet, local police are always on the lookout for tourists with deep pockets to “fine” for not wearing a helmet, and there are plenty of inexperienced drivers on the roads.
The Beach Village hosts a variety of events around Full Moon and Half Moon period, either as one-off night club style parties in the Ku Club, or all-day pool parties to warm up for the night ahead. Expect the best of local DJs playing a wide variety of music catering mainly to a European tourist crowd from old school UK Garage to the latest in Deep and Tech house, or even Drum & Bass or Jungle. The resort has hosted international DJs including Goldie, T Williams, Netsky, Friction, Sam Divine, Fabio, Leeroy Thornhill from Prodigy and many more touring producer/DJs from the UK - Guests get free entry as well.
These parties go on all night, so make sure you sleep in the day before and be prepared for a long night, this isn’t the place to go to bed early when it’s party season.
With your new wheels, explore the island, checking out the more secluded beaches in the north, the waterpark and elephants inland, diving sites around the coast, waterfalls and temples dotted around the island. There is plenty to explore on the island and a scooter is the only way to do so.