Ko Pha Ngan is an island in southeastern Thailand that is notorious for its raucous Full Moon Party. This is a dance party and it attracts all sorts of people from veteran partygoers to people curious to learn what this infamous party is all about. However, Ko Pha Ngan is much more than a party destination and has other activities for various types of people. Partygoers and homebodies alike can all benefit from the numerous beaches, fiery sunsets, waterfalls and restaurants that make Ko Pha Ngan an exciting place to visit.
1. Full Moon Party
A little over thirty years ago, a small group of no more than thirty people threw an impromptu party to celebrate the full moon. They had no idea that the tradition would continue every year since and attract anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 attendees. As its name suggests, this wild party takes place when the moon is full and continues until sunrise the following morning. A variety of genres of upbeat music are played to keep partygoers dancing all night long. Between fire rope jumping and buckets of drinks, there is plenty of opportunity for mishaps. Carry only the minimum amount of cash you need (eg. for a few drinks, transportation, bathroom fees), and keep your shoes on to avoid stepping on broken glass. Party in a safe and smart manner; have fun, and bring back crazy stories for your friends back home.
Full Moon Party
Address: Haad Rin Beach, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
Entry fee: 3 USD
Hours: Dusk (day of full moon) to afternoon (following day)
Website: Full Moon Party
2. Half Moon Party
If you missed the monthly Full Moon Party, or would just like to attend another party, check out the Half Moon parties, which occur twice per month. This party is smaller than the Full Moon Party but equally as fun. It is perfect for people who would like to attend a lively party, but do not want anything as crazy and potentially overwhelming as the Full Moon Party. Enjoy dancing to electronica and making new friends from all over the world.
Half Moon Party
Ticket Packages: from 36 USD to 72 USD
Website: Half Moon Party
3. Hit the beaches
Ko Pha Ngan is an island with no shortage of beaches. There are different beaches for different types of travelers, needs, and even moods. Haad Rin Beach is also known as the Full Moon Beach, as it is where the infamous party occurs. The reason why it hosts the event that is practically synonymous with the island is because its clear waters and warm white sands make it a breathtaking beach. Many even consider Haad Rin to be the most beautiful beach on the island. Additionally, there are several bars and restaurants conveniently located on the beach for people to peruse. Thong Nai Pan Noi is a smaller beach with shallow waters that are perfect for families with young children. Haad Yao is another family favorite beach; it is beautiful, surrounded by resorts and has relatively shallow waters compared to the other beaches.
Haad Rin Beach
Address: Mu 4 Tambon Ban Tai, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
Thong Nai Pan Noi
Address: Ban Tai, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani, Thailand
Address: Tambon Ko Pha-ngan, Amphoe Ko Pha-ngan, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84280, Thailand
4. Visit the waterfalls
Ko Pha Ngan has several waterfalls that are ideal for travelers seeking to hike, swim, and escape the heat of the beach. Paradise Waterfall is conveniently located on the main road and therefore should not be difficult to find. During and soon after the wet season (which typically runs from September to December) there are two pools that form at the base of the waterfall that are perfect for swimming and cooling off.
Phaeng Waterfall located in the Thansadej National Park is the largest waterfall on the island. It is a majestic sight: a mighty waterfall surrounded by vivid tropical plants, brightly colored butterflies, and the occasional monkey peeking at visitors. The view at the top is equally exquisite and is worth the challenging hike.
Than Sadet Waterfall is actually three waterfalls located close together. If you are up for the challenge, you can trek across the three waterfalls using the gigantic boulders at the waterfalls as stepping stones. Regardless of the waterfall you select, you will be in the presence of a power stream or streams of water located against a jungle background that is guaranteed to be beautiful. Since the best times to visit the falls are after heavy rains or the wet season, it is best to wear sturdy, sensible hiking footwear to avoid slipping.
Address: Ko Pha-ngan, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand
Contact: +66 814157294
Address: Tambon Ko Pha-ngan, Amphoe Ko Pha-ngan, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84280, Thailand
Access: A short walk from the entrance of Thansadej Nation Park
Than Sadet Waterfall
Address: Ban Tai, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand
5. Night markets
The Night Market opens every evening, so you should have ample opportunities to visit. A wide variety of foods and spices are sold at the market. If you feel like creating a delicious pad Thai, you should be able to find all the necessary ingredients at the market; best of all you can have the food prepared right at the market. Similarly, if you want burgers and fries or organic vegan food or pasta, you should be able to find it at the market. The vivacious environment, mouthwatering aromas, foods with diverse colors and textures are experiences that you do not want to miss.
The Night Market
Address: Tongsala Rd., Ko Pha-ngan, Koh Phangan, Suratthanee 84280 Thailand
Opening Hours: 4pm - 11pm
6. Take cooking classes
Learn how to make the delicious Thai foods you have most likely been eating during your time on the island. Whether you are a professional chef or can barely make a bowl of cereal, take cooking classes at the many culinary schools available. In these classes, you will receive clear, easy to follow instructions on how to make various Thai dishes. The Phangan Thai Cooking Class is a popular and beloved cooking class in Ko Pha Ngan. Take a class and dazzle your friends and family back home with your newfound cooking skills or stories about any disasters that you made in the kitchen.
The Phangan Thai Cooking Class
Address: 101/13 Moo 1, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand
Price: from 36 USD to 45 USD
Class Hours Options: Morning (9am) and afternoon (4pm)
Contact: +66 872788898
Facebook: The Phangan Thai Cooking Class
7. Amsterdam Bar
Amsterdam Bar is located at the top of a mountain and requires a grueling trek up seemingly endless stairs. Though you may be panting and sweating on your way up, you will realize that the hike was worth it because of the view: a panoramic view of the entire west side of the island. This view becomes infinitely more awe inspiring during sunset. Treat yourself for making the climb by sipping on a cold drink from the bar while relaxing on the sun loungers available at the bar or even taking a dip in the pool.
Address: Wok Tum, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand
Opening Hours: 12pm - 12am
Contact: +66 927537044
8. Chinese Temple Guan Yin
The bright orange colored, intricately designed buildings on the temple grounds stand out against the green hilltops that surround it. These three eye catching buildings make up Guan Yin, the most visited Chinese Buddhist temple in Ko Pha Ngan. It was built 25 years ago as a temple to the Goddess Guan. You can see her likeness in the main building, which also has rooms for meditation. Walk through the temple grounds and allow your eyes to feast on the colorful dragon paintings and the ways that sunlight interacts with and enhances the statues on the grounds.
Guan Yin Temple
Location: On the hills above Chaloklum Bay on the main road to Thong Sala
Price: Free (donations are encouraged)
Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm
Ko Pha Ngan has a variety of adventures for virtually everyone. Its epic parties are but one - albeit an incredibly exciting one - facade of the island. There are plenty of opportunities to make your time there one large party, without going to actual parties. Sample wonderful foods, learn new skills, hike, swim, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of Ko Ph Ngan. Are you ready to party?
Ko Pha Ngan has a variety of adventures for virtually everyone. Its epic parties are put one, albeit and incredibly exciting one, fascade of the island. There are plenty of opportunities to make your time there one large party, without going to actual parties. Sample wonderful foods, learn new skills, hike, swim, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of Ko Ph Ngan. Are you ready to party?
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