In a country famous around the globe for its beautiful islands, Koh Phangan (Ko Pha Ngan) is the quintessential easy-going beach bum’s paradise. More rustic than Koh Samui, much of the island caters to backpackers, hippies and budget travelers looking for affordable accommodations and a stretch of sand to sun on.
Had Rin, located on the island’s southeastern peninsula, has become famous for its monthly Full Moon Party, where upwards of 10,000 visitors descend upon Had Rin Nok Beach for a night of trance, dance and buckets of tropical libations. The popularity of these parties have inspired other smaller celebrations, like the Half Moon and Black Moon parties.
Koh Phangan isn’t just about beaches and partying, however. Secluded resort areas on the north and west coasts of the island feel worlds away from the din of Had Rin, and the interior of the island offers hiking trails and a series of yoga and meditation centers for travelers in search of a spiritual retreat. The waters off the coast of Phangan Island have some of Thailand’s best dive sites, including Sail Rock.