Ko Phangan is an idyllic, laid-back hilly island offering a choice of several white- and golden-sand beaches lapped by crystal clear water and surrounded by a vibrant underwater world of pristine coral reefs and abundant marine life – the perfect honeymoon destination.
Also famous for its monthly full moon beach parties at Hat Rin Beach, Ko Phangan is just perfect for fun loving honeymoon couples.
Snorkel and dive Mae Haad Bay and nearby Ko Tao (photo) or enjoy an array of watersports including kite surfing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking.
Inland, the wild eastern coastline and pristine jungle interior offer great walks, bike and ATV rides along dirt trails. Hike to the summit of Khao Ra (627m) and visit Phaeng Waterfalls to admire stunning vistas from the viewpoint.
Learn the secrets of Thai cuisine, massage and meditation or get fit on a muay Thai kick boxing course.
Here’s a round-up of the best beaches on Ko Phangan, clockwise from the northeast coast, including …
(Bottle Beach) – Relax on this gorgeous crescent of pristine white sand framed by bush-covered rocky headlands and nestled beneath a steep, lush green hillside situated in a secluded cove on the northeast coast.
Visit on a day trip or stay overnight or longer at one of the budget bungalows that nestle among the palm trees on this remote beach.
Choose from two crescents of fine white sand – Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi (photo) to the north and Thong Nai Pan Yai to the south – that nestle beneath steep green hills and are separated by a small jungle-clad promontory that faces a wide horseshoe-shaped bay.
Sunbathe on either beach, swim in the calm sheltered bay and savour a cold drink or tasty snack at one of the beachfront bars and restaurants.
Indulge for longer and stay at a luxury beachfront resort such as the Panviman Resort, Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villa Resort & Spa or the Santhiya Resort & Spa where you can enjoy a full range of creature comforts.
Accessible only by boat on the east side of Hat Rin, this stretch of golden sand is good for swimming and snorkelling.
Come for a day or stay at one of the beachside resorts, including The Sanctuary (photo), a healing resort offering a wide range of alternative practices.
Choose from meditation, Reiki, astrology, inner child therapy, belly dancing, Ayurvedic massage, shiatzu, tai chi and Yoga. The Sanctuary Spa also offers a range of body treatments.
(Sunrise Beach) – Located on a peninsula at the southeast tip of Koh Phangan, Sunrise Beach is reknowned for its thriving nightlife, with a long strip of clubs that pump out techno jams every night.
It's also infamous for the Full Moon Party held once a month on or around the full moon.
By day, cool off with a swim, go snorkelling or sunbathe on the crescent of fine white sand that lies beneath the green hills. The beach is lined with numerous bars and restaurants –perfect for savouring a tasty seafood snack or cool drink.
Known as a party town, with loud music, bars and nightly fire-shows, Sunrise Beach is probably best for singles and couples rather than families.
(Sunset Beach) – Sunset Beach is located on the west side of the peninsula oppositie Sunrise Beach.
This beach is more peaceful and the resorts more reasonably priced, but the beach itself isn't as pretty or as wide as Sunrise Beach.
A quite alternative to Hat Rin Nai is this long stretch of uninterrupted beach facing Koh Samui, just minutes by car from the full moon party.
The beach is home to several 3-star resorts including the Phangan Orchid Resort and Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa.
This west-facing, golden-sand beach is fringed by a vibrant coral reef and offers magical sunsets.
Swimming here is good at all tides as the beach shelves deeper faster than most nearby beaches. A coral reef around 100m offshore makes this a popular spot for divers and snorkellers.
The beach is also home to a selection of budget resorts with excellent restaurants that offer fresh seafood and authentic Thai food at good prices.
Just north of Haad Chao Phao around a headland lies this long crescent of golden sand backed by steep jungle-clad hills.
It offeres an array of resorts, bars, restaurants and shops as well as a dive centre and jeep and bike rental outlet.
Enjoy good snorkelling and great sunsets on this west-facing beach.
This idyllic cove is home to a narrow, tree-fringed, white-sand beach, with excellent snorkelling off the northern rocky promontory.
A choice of budget and upmarket resorts line the beach, behind which sit a cluster of various retail outlets.
This wide white-sand beach is joined to tiny Koh Ma by a sand spit and offers some of the best snorkelling on Koh Phangan.
Choose from a variety of beachside resorts, restaurants and bars.
This stretch of white sand fronts a large and picturesque bay framed by steep jungle-clad hills on the northern coast.
Chaloklum is Koh Phangan's second port and a major fishing village that boasts very good Thai seafood restaurants.
Both the east and west extremes of the bay offer the best beaches and accommodation options.
Once the preserve of backpackers, Ko Phangan now offers an excellent choice of 5-and 4-star beachfront resorts offering all manner of pampering for honeymoon couples.
Check out the the luxurious Santhiya Resort & Spa, located directly on a private beach overlooking Thong Nai Pan Bay, and the following resorts…
Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas
Location: Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Ko Phangan
Ave nightly price: AUD316 per room
Description: Located along beautiful Tong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas offers spacious villas and suites with free WiFi, private pool and terrace. It also features a fitness room. Suites and villas are elegantly decorated in a modern Thai design. Situated in a garden setting, rooms are fitted with a 32-inch LCD TV with Apple TV, home entertainment system and iPod docking station. Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas can help to arrange private boat transfers from Samui airport. Public ferry transfers are also available from Tong Sala Pier. Other amenities include an espresso machine and rain shower. Services such as in-villa massage or dining are available. Rasananda's Bistro @ The Beach offers outdoor dining and serves a blend of local and western food with a seaview. It also has a champagne and wine lounge. Private beach dining is offered.
Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas & Spa by L’Occitane
Location: Pleayleam Beaach, Ko Phangan
Ave nightly price: AUD258 per room
Description: Steps away from the white sand of Naiwok Beach, Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas & Spa by L’Occitane boasts luxurious accommodation, as well as an outdoor infinity pool and a private beach. It offers the convenience of an on-site restaurant and free Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the resort. Units are stylish and tastefully decorated. They are equipped with air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and a satellite TV with a DVD player. En suite bathrooms come with a bathtub, a hairdryer and complimentary L'Occitane toiletries. All villas come with a private pool. Some villas also have a Segafredo Zanetti® coffee machine. Guests can laze around the pool or enjoy pampering massage treatments offered at Lilawadee Spa by L'Occitane. Watch the sunset while enjoying a selection of Thai cuisine as well as fresh seafood served at an on-site restaurant. Thong Sala Pier and the shopping street are a 10-minute drive from the property. Samui Island is a 30-minute boat ride away.
Panviman Koh Phangan
Location: Ko Phangan
Ave nightly price: AUD229 per room
Description: A dreamy retreat hidden amongst tropical greenery, Panviman Koh Phangan overlooks Thong Nai Pan and boasts a private beach access. The infinity pool and hilltop spa are excellent spots to catch spectacular sunrises. All rooms are luxurious with fine beddings and furnishings. They are designed to provide all the comfort of home and provide beautiful landscape views. They have large private balconies and lavish bathrooms with an indoor or outdoor bathtub. Guests can enjoy local and international cuisine at Panviman’s two beachfront restaurants, Pan Sea and Stone Beach restaurants. The Pan Sea offers a 360 degree view of the Gulf of Siam. Activities include a variety of water sports like diving, snorkelling and kayaking, or land activities like trekking or excursions in jeeps. Panviman Koh Phangan is a 30-minute boat ride from Koh Samui. Than Sadet Waterfall is about 4 km from the resort.
Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa
Location: Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Ko Phangan
Ave nightly price: AUD208 per room
Description:This beautiful resort is on the island paradise of Phangan, with beautiful beaches and panoramic sea views. A large outdoor pool, gym and free Wi-Fi are available. The stylish air-conditioned rooms feature elegant teakwood furnishings and classic Thai decor. Each comes with a cable TV, DVD player and minibar. Selected rooms have whirlpool bathtub. Santhiya's Ayuravana Spa features a relaxing menu of facials and body massage. There is also an on-site water sports center offering activities like canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing. Chantara Restaurant serves Thai cuisine, with the option of open-air dining. A daily breakfast buffet is also available there every morning. Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort and Spa is just 170 yards from the popular Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach. The resort is a 40 minute speed boat ride from Koh Samui.
Buri Rasa Koh Phangan
Location: Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Koh Phangan
Ave nightly price: AUD178 per room
Description: Located on Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Buri Rasa offers luxurious beachfront accommodation with a private balcony. This 4-star property boasts an outdoor pool, restaurant and free WiFi. Modern interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows feature throughout the stylish rooms at Buri Rasa Koh Phangan. All well-appointed non-smoking rooms have a flat-screen cable TV and sofa seating area. Recreational options include going fishing, diving, or relaxing with a traditional body massage. Car rental services and ticketing arrangements can be made at the tour desk. The hotel also provides pick-up service from Samui and Phangan with additional charges. Guests can enjoy dining by the beach at The Beach Club @ Buri Rasa Koh Phangan which offers a variety of Thai, Seafood and European cuisines. Koh Phangan Buri Rasa is a 15-minute drive from the Kor Mar diving spot and a 30-minute speedboat ride from Samui. Tong Sala Pier is a 45-minute drive away.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these and more resorts in Ko Phangan at TripAdvisor.
Ko Phangan can be visited year round, but it’s probably best to avoid November to mid-December when it is generally wet and stormy.
The dry season from late-December to April (also the high-season) is the best time to visit, as well as July to August.
For more climate info: Ko Phangan Weather Guide…
Ko Phangan is an easy half-hour boat ride from nearby Ko Samui, which lies to the south, or longer from Surat Thani on the mainland.
Latest update: Ko Phangan: 18 November, 2018
Search, compare and book the lowest possible prices on discounted airfares and hotels from our online travel partners.