Best Places to Stay in Koh Phangan – Tips and Advice
- Getting Around in Koh Phangan: You won’t lack options when you need to traverse Koh Phangan. A big group would be wise to rent a minibus for touring the island. Rent a traditional longtail boat for a day to get from one beach to the next. A lone wanderer might rent a motorbike for maximum freedom.
- Backpacking in Koh Phangan on a Budget: Koh Phangan can get pretty expensive, so stay smart. Don’t get suckered into blowing cash on beer buckets when you could buy single beers at a local grocery store. Take note if stores allow bargaining so you can always get a good deal. You can pay pickup trucks called the songthaew to get you around, but note that their prices increase during busier times.
- Where to Eat in Koh Phangan: You’re just about spoiled for great food in Koh Phangan. Bring a group to sample Portuguese cuisine at Bite Delight. The Canadian-owned Crave caters to the Western palate with burgers, kebabs, poutine, and freshly-made wraps served with homemade creamy mayonnaise and thick-cut chips. The Mason’s Arms is a pub that evokes the British countryside with its beer taps, ale pie, stew and steak, fish and chips, and lasagna and garlic bread.
- Sightseeing in Koh Phangan: This idyllic island setting has lots of opportunities for memory-making photos. The Yang Na Yai tree by the road is an immense rubber tree that rises more than 50 meters and is several hundred years old. The lavish Kuan Yin Chinese temple comprises three pagodas with views of the countryside linked via a staircase. The Than Praphet waterfall leads directly into the sea at Waterfall Beach on the island’s southeast coast and will be the highlight of a challenging hike.
Koh Phangan is Thailand’s fifth biggest island, located 70 km from the mainland and only 12 km from the island of Koh Samui. Its lush jungle interior is bordered by many long, awe-inspiring white sand beaches and over 20 diving sites.
This haven for raving will show you a good time with its exhilarating nightlife and various Moon parties. While you’re at it you can shop at a trove of stores and stuff yourself silly at world-class restaurants.
The island’s untamed geography is intimidating to traverse, so you’ll want to lodge at the right spot to ensure your trip’s efficiency. Koh Phangan can be chaotic and cumbersome if you aren’t careful, so find out where it’s best to stay and where it’s best to go.
Koh Phangan Neighbourhood Guide
The 5 Best Areas to Stay in Koh Phangan
1. Thong Sala
Thong Sala is the island’s administrative and financial center, which hosts the main port on Koh Phangan, welcoming ferries from Koh Samui and Koh Tao. The tourist hotspot of this shopping destination is Thong Sala Walking Street market, where you can get street food like papaya salad, sweet dough, and meat skewers.
You might buy jewelry at Workshop Silver or make your own. They offer hands-on jewelry-making classes where you can heat and shape silver and set stones to create traditional trinkets to take home. Moontribe Progressive Fashion is a hip clothing store stocking western brands and imports from Bali and elsewhere.
This party-adjacent retailer’s selection ranges from trance-wear to casual chic. Located near Walking Street and the main pier is Kali, a remarkable boutique wellness cafe selling natural remedies, decor, souvenirs, and even clothes. Its healthy vegan and vegetarian menu include meatless meatballs, sweet potato fries, caffeine-free lattes, and cocktails.
Thong Sala is replete with activities for families and solo travelers alike. Enter Playground Cafe for a small fee, where adults can enjoy a restaurant, a bar, and wi-fi while the kids go nuts on the playground with its trampoline, slides, and toys.
At Muai’s Thai Traditional Cooking Academy you’ll be taught authentic processes for delicacies like coconut milk and you can take home what you make.
Get fit with a group on the beach at Peace Out Pilates where you’ll be challenged to practice your breathing technique, activate your abdominals, and control your movements. Moonlight Cinema is a recovery establishment for relaxation where you can sip tea, try vegan food, and hang out at the smoothie bar.
The unique theatre seating arrangement showcases both modern movies and cult classics, an environment perfect for dates and birthdays. Go on a guided group trek with Phangan Bicycle Tours while noshing snacks and soft drinks, adventuring through paved roads and dirt trails in the countryside.
Thong Sala’s nightlife is more laid-back than Haad Rin but no less vibrant. Ku Club on Baan Tai beach is the island’s only open-air discotheque. It hosts world-class DJs like Netsky and Leeroy Thornhill who mix it up with different music styles.
Stay energetic with ping-pong, and indulge yourself at the bar that serves cider on tap, ice cream cocktails, skittle vodka, and grilled panini.The Loi Lay Floating Bar is located at the pier in Baan Tai, a party boat with local and international DJs.
Choose from a great range of cocktails, and find a hammock around the edge of the float to relax and watch the sunset on the southern coast. The dance floor is ripe for partying, and every Sunday night Loi Lay hosts its famous Tech House Party from 9 pm into the morning.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Varivana Resort Koh Phangan • 0.8km from Hin Kong
- ($$) • Lime & Soda Beachfront Resort • 0.6km from Thong Sala Walking Street
- ($) • The Cosy Koh Phangan • 0.5km from Baan Tai
Srithanu is a quiet market center of western Koh Phangan consisting of a coastline and peninsula. A highlight is its beautiful beaches for leisure and play. At the busy Zen Beach, people like to meditate, gather around bonfires, and socialize at the cocktail bar.
Drummers, dancers, and poi performers keep things lively, and the breathtaking sunset is a magical way to wind down the day. Haad Chao Phao Beach is conveniently located near cheap bungalows and has a volleyball net to get your blood pumping.
You’ll find places to eat along the beach, while hammocks in the tree line provide cool relaxation. The beach’s Pirate’s Bar throws a free Moonset Party where you can dance to loudspeakers with a decent crowd.
Treat yourself well at Sunny Yoga on the southern end of Haad Chao Phao near Seetanu Bungalows. About 100 meters out you can snorkel through the coral reef, or you might use a kayak to paddle out there. Hit Srithanu’s Belgian Beer Bar for European alcohol on tap.
Their kitchen is versed in Belgian and Thai food, including Belgian fries and mussels with garlic cream. L’Alcove Bistrot is a French beach bistro where you can down cocktails and wines while enjoying tuna tartar, salmon gravlax, and green mango salad.
On the beach, the Bistrot will dazzle you with jazz and rock music and fire show performances. Three Monkeys Bar is an old-school beach barbecue eatery where you can listen to special drummers from Malaysia and witness more fire show performances.
The bamboo-thatched Mama Pooh’s Kitchen cooks delicious staples like pad thai and curry soup. It’s also got fried crab and pancakes that you can wash down with beer or smoothies. Green Leaf Cafe is a vegan buffet selling freshly squeezed juices and homemade chocolate brownies.
Their smoothies have a dash of unusual ingredients like spirulina, bee pollen, and turmeric root. At Karma Cafe, you’ll find Bali-style vegan dishes and distinctive treats like raw pie and pumpkin soup. Baan Srithanu village is the main port for squid fishing on the west coast, where you’ll find cafes and bars on the main street.
Check out nearby Srithanu Temple to appreciate Thai culture, and take classes to enhance yourself at Agama Yoga.Laemson Lake is the largest freshwater body on the island and features the Wipeout waterpark where there’s an aquatic obstacle course for the whole family.
Get easy access by staying at Laemson Resort, a beach hotel with a barbeque that offers diving activities with a surcharge. Boat out to sea on an Attack Fishing Tour where you can catch trevally, mackerel, barracuda, cobia, and marlin during day or night trips.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Phangan Akuna • 2.2km from Haad Yao
- ($$) • Seetanu Bungalows • 2.8km from Salad Beach
- ($) • Phangan Cove Beach Resort • 2.7km from Hin Kong
3. Haad Rin
Haad Rin is the place for partygoers, most notably due to the various Moon parties. The upbeat nightlife makes this the best place in Koh Phangan for an extended time on the town. Infinity Beach Club on the Baan Tai beachfront has three bars, two restaurants, a rooftop terrace, and a swimming pool to meet your revelry needs.
Visit during happy hour for great discounts on sundowners and listen to rocking DJs from night into the morning. At Outback Bar you can unwind with live sports matches amidst decorations of vines and greenery.Its bar serves up drinks like Guinness, ciders, and spirits, as well as comfort food like pies, Sunday roasts, and Irish stews.
Haad Rin’s bustling Sunrise and Sunset beaches, separated only by a rocky headland, are famed for their party scene. It’s a wide, stunning landscape of fine white sand, with a stretch of sea fit for swimming.
The long expanse is suited to a walk for exercise, which you might do to check out the pristine sunset. North of here is the quiet Haad Yuan Beach, which you can reach by boat or a 4×4 pick-up taxi.
Exploring the interesting rock ledges and wooden walkways will give you some good views of the swimmable bay and its green palms. Check out well-priced bars along the beach, and stop by the Bamboo Hut restaurant to get a splendid view from its terrace. The Eden Bar is a chill spot with tasty food and a friendly atmosphere.
You’ll want to stick around to experience the bar’s thumping EDM parties. To get active you can rent a kayak and row to the neighboring beach of Haad Tien. Haad Rin is good for shopping with its many stores and roadside stalls throughout town.
You may be able to barter and haggle prices down, though higher-end shops have fixed prices. You’ll tend to find lots of party paraphernalia, and fluorescent beachwear for raving when the sun goes down. The free-spirited Fusion clothing store specializes in funky Indian and boho designs, with accessories gathered from all over the world to make you stylish.
The Nature Art Gallery is a classy handmade jewelry store for precious stones, broaches, wallets, textiles, bags, and more. Eat at Lucky Crab for fresh Thai seafood in the form of local dishes like fried rice, spicy seafood salad, and steamed squid with chili lemon sauce.
The Scandinavian-styled Same Same Restaurant specializes in northern European food, English pub grub, and pizza. Dine to the sound of live music at Same Same’s central bar with the restaurant’s open sides looking down to the street.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • The Cabin Beach Resort • 2.1km from Haad Yuan
- ($$) • Little Paradise • 1.8km from Haad Yuan
- ($) • Suncliff Resort • 1.9km from Haad Yuan
Chaloklum is northern Koh Phangan’s main fishing port that boasts many diving and snorkeling sites. This scenic region is quite rugged and mountainous, so there are plenty of photo-worthy trails to climb and waterfalls to visit. Haad Khom, also known as Coral Bay, is a little beach on the east side of Chaloklum Bay.
A cluster of rocks emerges from the water and makes a good sunbathing spot, while swings on the overhanging trees will satisfy the kids.The clear azure water houses an extensive coral reef ready for snorkeling. By kayak, you can explore rocky coves, or try scuba diving after arranging things in Ao Chaloklum.
At the Lost Dog Cafe, you can munch on Tex Mex cuisine and a variety of appetizers and entrees. Choose from an extensive cocktail list so you can sip while you watch sports and try out the free pool table. Chill on the beach-side covered patio while listening to music and watching the boats come and go.
The unusual Crow Bar is built on a wooden platform, a sort of local pub in the middle of a coconut plantation. It’s brimming with atmosphere and is surrounded by lush greenery, potted plants, and a pond. You’ll be endeared to Crow Bar’s relaxed vibe, cheap beer, mixed drinks, and a weekly sushi night.
Chaloklum’s Malibu Beach is on a sand spit at the southern end of Chaloklum Bay with a mountain backdrop, in front of the luxurious Malibu Beach Bungalows. Its soft white sand and shallow waters suit it to families, and there are plenty of shady trees for you to hang out and relax under.
When the monsoon comes to Koh Phangan, the Malibu Beach kiteboarding scene attracts spectators on the beach no matter the wind and rain. The Malibu Beach Bar and Restaurant is a reasonably-priced bamboo and thatch eatery where you can dine with your toes in the sand under the shade of trees.
The variety of dishes ranges from pad thai to fried fish to spaghetti to seasonal fruits. Chaloklum Bay conveniently has taxi boats that cruise the water delivering people to and from Bottle Beach, as well as nearby pop-up cafes for lunch. The fishing trade dominates the mid-section of the beach, resulting in a view of fishermen in action.
The bay is excellent for water sports, with snorkeling, kite surfing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and jet skiing available on a seasonal basis. Rent boats for day trips and see some picturesque sights while dropping off at Koh Phangan’s nearby beaches.
The bay is a departure point for diving sites like Chumpon Pinnacle and Sail Rock in the Gulf of Thailand, so the Chaloklum fishing village hosts many diving schools suited to divers of all abilities. Just minutes away from the village lies Chaloklum Bay Resort, once a coconut plantation and now a beautiful hotel with 19 well-furnished bungalows.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Coconut Beach Bungalows • 1.9km from Chaloklum Bay
- ($$) • Malibu Beach Bungalows • 0.6km from Chaloklum Bay
- ($) • Mythai Guesthouse • 0.9km from Chaloklum Bay
5. Mae Haad
The swanky Mae Haad is a chilled-out region away from the party scene where you can bask amidst some of the best vistas on the island. Mae Haad beach is on the North West Point of Koh Phangan, an 800-meter long beauty with hammocks, massage booths, sunbeds, beach swings, and a beach bar.
Mae Haad’s expanse draws a crowd and is suited to sunbathing but also gets enough shade from its trees. Coral formations dot the length of the bay like a bread crumb trail. You can walk over the sandbank to the minuscule green Koh Ma Island during low tide.
Hiking to the top of this hidden gem will grant you panoramic views of the area, or you can kayak around the tiny island for unforgettable scenes. Rent snorkeling gear for an up-close look at the beautiful reefs and tropical creatures like anemones and parrotfish.
The ample space contains a volleyball net for your exercise needs, or you might hone your spiritual well-being in a group at meditation and yoga classes. This luxuriant area is chockful of places to eat. Om Bakery by the Mae Haad village yoga spot has a “daily bread” for you to try and serves healthy fruit shakes and sandwiches.
The stunning waterside Wang Sai restaurant is a big teakwood building connected to the beach by a small bridge. You remove your shoes when you pass through either of its entrances for a fancy Thai experience with what they call tropical comfort food. Tom Yam soup, grilled fish, and European breakfast options should hit the spot.
The Island View Cabana restaurant has comfy open-air seating facing Koh Ma island where you’ll see a cosmopolitan mix of dishes on top of Australian wines.Western fare includes pizza, different kinds of pasta, sandwiches, and burgers. The Thai selection includes traditional soups, spring rolls, beef scallops, fish steak, and spicy curries.
In the afternoon Island View Cabana does barbecue and offers fresh seafood like barracuda, mackerel, and tiger prawn. They also have t-bone steak with baked potato and steamed vegetable salad. If you’re chasing authenticity, Mae Haad Cove is a beachside restaurant specializing in homemade Thai food.
Ginger, lemongrass, chili, and curry are highlights of their cooking, and you can kick back with beer and soft drinks at the bar. Three Sixty Bar View Point is perched atop a hill with tech house music from international DJs.
You’ll get a 360-degree view of the beach and island while soaking up beer and creative cocktails. Pim Restaurant is a traditional Thai place with Tom Yum Goong soup, fish cake and curry, and crispy whole grouper fish.
Royal Orchid has outside and inside seating with views of the water and a blend of Thai and international cuisine. Take your pick of rice and noodles, spicy soups, savory curries, and fresh seafood. Wun Restaurant is on the village main street serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an Italian and Thai mix.
There’s spaghetti, fried rice, green curry, massaman, and barbecue seafood, paired with fruit shakes, ice tea, and Thai beer. Mae Haad isn’t a party locus the way a lot of Koh Phangan is, so instead, you can appreciate calm vibes. Plop down at the wooden Rolling Stone Bar on the southern end of the beach for some mellow, bohemian relaxation.
Unwind at the Roots Corner bar to reggae and live sports while trying cocktails, spirits, and a mix of Western and Thai cuisine. The peaceful Mae Haad is one of the best places on the west coast of Koh Phangan to watch the sunset, which locals and tourists regularly show up to do.
As the intense colors paint the sky, don’t hesitate to stroll the sands and observe the sheer majesty of the setting. There’s a solid range of bungalow operations here, so you should be able to find something that matches your budget.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Mae Haad Bay Resort • 0.7km from Koh Ma
- ($$) • Phangan Utopia Resort • 2km from Salad Beach
- ($) • Mae Haad Beach View Resort • 2.4km from Haad Yao
- Best Luxury Hotel in Koh Phangan – Splurge at the five-star Anantara Rasananda Resort and Spa on the gorgeous Thong Nai Pan Beach by the Gulf of Thailand. Set in a coconut plantation, Anantara Rasananda has 64 villas and suites that give you access to a private plunge pool, a beachside and poolside restaurant, and a wine cellar.
The rooms are fitted with an LCD TV home entertainment system, an iPod docking station, and an espresso machine. There are yoga classes on-site, and nearby you’ll find rentals for biking and surfing. The fine dining includes bistro-style, Japanese teppanyaki dishes, and a champagne and wine lounge.
- Best Boutique Hotel in Koh Phangan – Beyond the Blue Horizon is a boutique bungalow hotel where the nine standalone villas have private balconies with scenic views. Each unit accommodates you with free high-speed wi-fi access, a flat-screen TV, a minibar, a hairdryer, a king-size bed, and a spacious bathroom with a shower.
The hotel provides complimentary amenities, such as toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, and daily bottled mineral water. Sample international dishes at the resort restaurant or take a dip in the outdoor pool. Staff is more than happy to help you with excursions ranging from photo shooting to getting to nearby islands.
- Best Cheap Hotel in Koh Phangan – Baan Manali Resort is a cheap but fair establishment surrounded by coconut trees and facing a lagoon not too far from Thong Sala’s village. The cozy traditional bungalows are practical and equipped with hammocks and private terraces for relaxation.
A modest pool is shaded by trees and has some sunbathing space, while the lush garden pretties up the premises. It’s a little inconvenient that the rooms don’t have kitchens, but you can check out the resort’s beachfront bar-restaurant. Food markets are a short distance away, as are Moonlight Cinema and Pet Tawan Silver Jewelry.
- Best Family Hotel in Koh Phangan – Rin Beach Resort is a comfortable hotel with everything a family needs. Kids will like the pool and on-site restaurant, while free wi-fi is provided in the lobby area. Every unit offers air conditioning, a seating area, and a private balcony. Hot and cold shower facilities are in the private bathrooms.
You’ll find laundry services, motorbike and car rental, and fax and telephone facilities helpful. Rin Beach Resort is well-situated, so you can get to interesting spots easily. It’s a 10-minute drive from Haad Rin’s Sunrise and Sunset beaches, where the Full Moon Party takes place, and a 40-minute drive to Than Sadet Waterfall.
- Best Romantic Hotel in Koh Phangan – Treat your partner to a romantic time at Salad Hut Bungalows on the tranquil Haad Salad beach with its soft sand and clear blue water. Stay at a cottage enhanced by lush surroundings, a stunning veranda view, and a pleasant hammock. Amenities are provided including a hairdryer, a safe, umbrellas, and beach towels.
Sunbathe by the pool or go for a splash with a romantic beach backdrop. Buy things at the shops to commemorate the occasion and lounge at refined restaurants. Strengthen your bond and have fun with Thai cookery lessons, yoga classes, and snorkeling.