Koh Phangan, an island located in the Gulf of Thailand, has transformed from a fishing and farming island into a known tourist spot. Famous for its full moon party, it has drawn many tourists looking for the ideal combination of beautiful beaches and parties. Even though this island is far from what is called a ‘virgin island’ (untouched), it has its own kind of beauty and quiet places can be found. The south(west) and west coast is where it is most crowded and where full moon parties can be found. The north, middle and eastern part are less crowded with tourists and tourist accommodations. This island is a perfect combination of finding a getaway, but not too far away.
Explore Koh Phangan on motorbikes
Loaded with our backpacks and other gear, we drove to the mountains on the east in an attempt to reach North beach. On the ferry to Koh Phangan we heard from a local that the northern part is less crowded as there are less accommodations for tourists and it is more expensive to get there by taxi or something. But the 100 Baht / 2,51 Euro* scooters we rented were not strong at all. Our friends Sam and Chalita were driving in front of us up hill, and their scooter suddenly could not handle the hill. What happened next is that they stopped on the hill and we felt our scooter doing the same thing. It almost went wrong, we could stop on time but Sam and Chalita almost fell. We decided to take the western short cut route to North Beach (Chalok Lum beach).
Accommodation at North beach (Chalok Lum beach)
North beach (Chalok Lum beach) is a quiet beach, at least in the low season, and families on vacation can casually be found. There are some bars and you can find budget places to stay there. If you walk on the beach, you will see some cottages from Sarisa Place and these are 300 Baht / 7,53 Euro* per night. The cottages are not very well maintained, but it is the cheapest accommodation you can find in a tourist place like this. It is probably fine enough for backpackers and travellers. We were the only ones to stay there for two days, afterwards Dutch backpackers also stayed there. They told us they have been here a few years ago and that the cottages were only 200 Baht / 5,02 Euro* per night. So prices can change fast.
All in all, Koh Phangan is a perfect place for snorkeling, hiking and you can even find some places where you can do yoga. The island will probably be more crowded in the peak season, but it is definitely a good place to visit in the low season. The weather was perfect as well, we did not experience any rain!
* currency at the time of traveling