People have asked me over the years, “What is your favorite spot in Thailand?” I always mention Koh Phangan, which is home to the legendary full moon party and is simply known as a party island! People instinctively assume I’m here to drink and chase girls, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t done a little bit of both over the years.
What has kept me returning to this island year after year for the past five years is that it is simply so darn absolutely lovely in so many ways. It’s an island full with hidden viewpoints and beaches. It’s an island where you can see the sun paint the sky twice a day from hundreds of breathtaking vantage points. It’s a spot where you may journey through the forest and emerge on the other side to a beach so magnificently beautiful that it will be etched in your memory for the rest of your life.
Koh Phagnan has forty beaches, each of which is unique and attractive in its own way.
Some beaches resemble the white sands of Hawaii, some the west coast of Florida, and yet others may compete with the best beaches in the Caribbean. There are beaches that are small hidden jewels, completely private because they are not on the map. Perhaps just a few people are aware of them because they are as wide as your living room and are hemmed in between a couple boulders with a secret path leading to them.
Everyone who visits Koh Phagnan has a favorite beach, and mine is Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach, which is located in the island’s northwestern part. I really enjoy the northern end of this beach, which is home to the Buddhist Monastery. As you lie in a natural formed underwater, knee height rock garden, the sand is soft and powdery, the water is generally completely quiet and crystal blue, and you can see little tropical schools of fish swim by. A truly amazing beach in so many ways.
There are hikes on this island that will take your breath away with their views. Roads that climb up hills and provide views of the 14-kilometer stretch of sea that separates you from the neighboring island of Koh Samui. The sunset can be seen in the distance behind a group of islands that make up the Ang Thong National Marine Park, which offers even more natural beauty and world-class snorkeling. Day tours from Koh Phangan are very popular.