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Party Island in the Gulf of Thailand

Posted on 03 Oct 11

By WorldTravelJoy

Koh Phangan is an island in the Gulf of Thailand.  It is claimed to fame for its full moon party.  Koh Phangan is situated between the two sister islands: Koh Samui to the south and Koh Tao to the north; these three islands are under the same administrative authorities of Surat Thani province.  The location of Koh Phangan is 55 km from the mainland Surat Thani, a short distance of 15 km from Samui and from Kao Tao 35 km.    Having been around the world I can say it’s a place that everyone wants to return to again and again. The Full Moon Party beach is generally electric with a great crowd of young party people from all over the world.  It can be easier to make new friends from your home town here despite being so far away, everyone wants to have a good time, and if you\'re from the city sometimes it can be hard to find everyone around you with this feeling of fun and youth. No inhibitions!  This unusual feeling combined with beautiful surroundings of great beaches, waterfalls, jungles some examples of which are listed below truly make Koh Phangan a magical place.   Haad Rin, the word “Haad” in Thai means “Beach” is situated on the south east of Koh Phangan and is comprised of two other beaches: Haad Rin Nai and Haad Rin Nok.  These two beaches are opposed to each other having a benefit to enjoy all day and all night long.  Haad Rin Nok is on the east end of the cape, widely known for its full moon party beach.  It is a famous spot to relax, sunbathing during the day and having a wild party at night. Because of its popularity, food and drinks here seems to be more expensive than other beaches.  On the opposite side to the west where sunset, Haad Rin Nai is fully occupied with high-end resorts. The beach has a length of one kilometre long, fairly deserted providing more privacy for visitors.   Haad Thong Nai Pan has been a major paradise in Koh Phangan with its beautiful landscape, curvy white sandy beaches surrounded by mountains covered in rich tropical rain forest and abundant wild life animals.  The most convenient means of transport to Haad Thong Nai Pan is by boat from Haad Rin or Chaloklum, a fishman village where you will find dried and fresh fish and squid.  Haad Thong Nai Pan divides into two scenic bays: Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai, these double bays are the most popular beaches, again, located in the east and west side of the island. Thong Nai Pan Yai has a larger beach than Thong Nai Pan Noi, though both names are self-explanatory – in Thai words “Yai” means “Large/Huge” and “Noi” means “Small”.  Nevertheless, both bays are great sites for swimming and adventurous activities such as rock climbing at Thong Nai PanYai, or trekking to mangrove forest in Thong Nai Pan Noi, this side of the island still has undomesticated animals living in the wild.  There are also small villages, cool bars and restaurants to check out!   Thongsala is the main town in Koh Phangan where the high speed ferries stop and you\'ll find the only Tesco Lotus supermarket in Koh Phangan. There is a food market here in the evening which serves popular Thai dishes at very reasonable prices.   Haad Yao Beach is a beautiful beach on Koh Phangan and easily accessible along the West Coast Road, it translates as long beach and has an array of beach bars and restaurants. The beach is recognised as a fabulous sunset spot, sitting at the end of the beach sipping cocktails is very popular with tourists.   Some where quiet like Bottle Beach is not always easy to access by boat if the waves are considerably high.  Only three resorts on this beach which makes it a great place to stay if you want to relax with loads of privacy. The road to Bottle Beach is long and bumpy and cannot really be reached by motorbike or accessed on a stormy day which can give you that \'Robinson Crusoe\' stranded kind of feeling when you stay there.   Last but not least, Thansadet National Park, its name was taken from the river Than Sadet which represents the Royal River due to the fact that it was visited by several Thai Kings including King Prajadhipok, the Great Rama VII an the current King Bumipol Aduldej, the Great Rama IX.   The river literally formed the largest and the most important waterfall in the history. King Chulalongkorn, the Great Rama V paid a visit a number of times and the name “Than Sadet” was a handwritten statement by the king.  Thansadet was the Great Rama V’s much-loved place.  The waterfall has water all year round and this was once the fresh water resource for the royal fleet when he visited the southern part of Thailand.  Adding to the waterfall, within the national park Khao Ra has the highest elevation at its peak of 727 metres above the sea level, the premier mountain in Koh Phangan providing a viewpoint overlooking sunrise and sunset at the same position. Travel memo   Climate:  Koh Phangan mainly has two seasons: summer and monsoon.  The temperature throughout the year varies between 20 – 36 degree celsius. ·         Summer months are February to April.  The climate is humid, warm clear water, and calm sea.  These months are the best period to visit. ·         The rainy season is between May to January, heavy rainfall from October through December with an average rainfall 20.2 days per month. The monsoon usually falls in May to October.   How to get there: The best time to travel to Koh Phangan is between the months of February to April.  During the monsoon, there are rough waves and strong wind, travels during these months are not recommended.    There are several types of transportation: ferries, high speed catamaran, Solar Air, and air-con bus operate between Bangkok, Chumporn, Koh Nangyuan, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Sumui, and Surat Thani by Lomprayah, the first and only fastest ferries operator crossing in the Gulf of Thailand, giving you a journey that is all about speed, style and service.   What you should know:  Parties in Koh Phangan - Full Moon, Half Moon, Black Moon, Guys Bar, Backyard After Party.   ·         Full Moon Party - The Full Moon Party began at Haad Rin Beach nearly 15 years ago, started by a small gathering of locals and growing quickly to crowds of more than 10,000 people. Christmas and New Year parties are always mobbed with crowds of 20-30 thousand people. It’s hard to imagine this many people on a beach partying but if you stay until sunrise you can really see how incredible this even really is. There are different music styles all along the beach, of course having Cactus and Drop In bars with their usual music and party games. Also Paradise, Tommy, Sunrise, The Rock, Mellow Mountain and many more places also open with crowds of people. There are plenty of actions before and after the party with the likes of five a side football beach soccer tournaments and the infamous Backyard after party.    ·         Half Moon Party - The most successful event in Koh Phangan held in a purpose built venue in the jungle of Ban Tai. This event is twice monthly, one week before the full moon and one week after. Entry to the event costs a few hundreds baht with one drink, and there’s a great show of DJs and fire dancers. It’s all well-organised and there is usually a crowd of 1,500-2,000 people.   ·         Black Moon Party - This monthly event is also a huge success, nicely arranged on the beach in Ban Tai with UV lights and heavy music to go with the dark atmosphere of Black Moon.   ·         Guys Bar - This particular party is held at Haad Yuan Beach.  It has grown to be the most popular party for the experienced party people in Koh Phangan. Usually, you can reach there by a long tail boat which means sharing the ride with some friends and making new friends along the way.  It’s a great night out just be prepared to be at Guys Bar until very late!   ·         Backyard After Party - The great little venue is perked up on the hill next to Full Moon Beach. Once you\'ve made the 10 minutes uphill walk after the Full Moon Party you\'ll soon forget you\'ve been up all night, with an impressive atmosphere and sea view from the second floor of music and partying. So popular is this event, some people skip the Full Moon and go directly to the Backyard the following morning for a full day and night partying here instead.   Special Thanks   Lomprayah Office hour: 07:00 – 23:00 (local time) Tel:  +66 (0) 7742 7765-6, +66 (0) 81536 7162 Fax: +66 (0) 7724 7691 Email:                          

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