Koh Phangan Truths

If I say bread, people think of butter.
If I say pop people think of corn.
If I say Koh Phangan people think of full moon parties…
 

 
Which is a shame because the island is so much more than that.
 

 
Koh Phangan is an island notorious amongst travellers as a party island.
Every year it hosts an array of full moon, half moon, black moon…
Well, there’s basically a party for every time the moon is present.
But it also has a whole lot else.
 

 
Powdery sand, clear turquoise water, coral reefs, secluded bays, coves, mountain lookouts, waterfalls, or for the more culturally inclined, there’s Muay Thai camps, art enclaves, yoga retreats and temples.
 

 
S and I went to Phangan when we were island hopping, and were amazed by the sheer amount of travellers that we met that only came over for the <insert appropriate> moon party.
Their typical itinerary was to arrive, party, and then go home the next day.
Unless they were too hungover… In which case they would leave the day after that.
I know travel style varies from person to person but when you go to a place solely to party, you miss out on so much.
Like these views
 

 
This water
 

 
And an array of opportunities to monkey around!
 
I like to explore as much of a place as possible and get a real feel for what a place is truly about.
But having said that I also enjoy a good party.
Unfortunately the full moon was a few days after we were due to leave, but we did manage to go to half moon.
Which unbeknown to me at the time is a completely different thing!
For those wondering what the difference is: Full moon parties take place along Haad Rin beach with sections upon sections of different bars playing different music, whereas half moon parties take place in the jungle with one DJ and one bar.
I didn’t know what to expect but when I got there it was like a scene out of a movie.
People (of all levels of drunkness) were queuing to enter and as you walked inside the path was lined with food stalls, a bar and people ready to cover you in UV paint doodles.
Which is quite obviously a must!
 

 
Once you’re painted up and ready to party you follow the path into the trees where it opens out into a large circle. Stairs circle the outer rim leading to the bar, and the ground is covered with people dancing, doing the limbo or watching fire dancers. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of this as I’d had various people advise me against taking my camera due to the absolute carnage that happens at these parties. However when I got there I was bummed that I had listened to everyone as it would of been an amazing photo opportunity. My advice is that if you’re not planning on getting paralytic and trust yourself not to lose it, then it’s definitely safe to take your camera as long as it’s not your prized DSLR. Point and shoots or the ever trustworthy GoPro would be the safest.
 
The next day we rented scooters
 

 
Topped up the gas
 

 
And set off for a drive around the island
 

 
Stopping every few minutes just to admire the views.
Koh Phangan, to me has an almost bohemian vibe to it.
It feels relaxed, spacious and has a much more chilled-out vibe than other islands I have visited.
 
Have you ever been to Koh Phangan? If so what did you think of it?

Comments

  1. Amanda Boleman says

    Haven’t been yet, but it’s definitely at the top of my list! Especially after seeing this. Good to know that there’s so much more to do ~ gotta love a place with a good boho vibe! xxx

  2. Hi Amy, I’m planning to go to the full moon on NYE this year and wondered if you have any accommodation tips? I’ll be on Koh Samui the few days before hand and think I’ll go to Koh Phangan 3 days before NYE so I can do some exploring before the partying.
    Any hostel/ beach hut tips much appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Hannah

    • Hey Hannah, it depends on what you want to experience from the islands. If you want to go to full moon and then escape the party life i’d stay somewhere other than Haad Rin, but if you want to experience it all and be close to the action then Haad Rin is your best bet. Same goes for Samui, Bophut is a lovely area, but if you’d like to be close to everything then Chawang is the area you’re looking for. both islands are quite large so if you want to explore the island i’d recommend getting a quad bike and taking yourself on a tour!
      Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with xo

  3. I love hearing other peoples thoughts about Koh Phangan, and I’m happy you saw more of it than the parties! <3

    • I’m the same about my hometown, Bangkok and Koh Lipe – it’s interesting to find out other people’s thoughts on places you really enjoy/enjoyed! I’m not much of a partier, so that was incredibly easy for me 😉 xo

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