Thong Nai Pan Yai, Ko Phangan

Thong Nai Pan Yai is known for its natural beauty, with powdery white sand, clear blue waters, and lush green palm trees. The beach is sheltered by surrounding hills and forests, which contributes to an overall serene and picturesque setting. The wide sandy strip is almost one kilometer long.

The calm and shallow water is perfect for swimming, especially for families with children. Moreover, there are opportunities to do water sports such as kayaking and paddle boarding. Snorkeling is possible, but it may not be as good here compared to other beaches on the island.

Thong Nai Pan Yai is a more tranquil alternative compared to the party scene on the island’s western beaches, making it an appealing choice for travelers who prefer a quieter and more relaxed beach experience.

On Thong Nai Pan Yai is a mix of mid-range hotels and upper range stays. We love the Limelight Village, which is a boutique hotel with a small pool and only a few bungalows. PingChan is the place to go if you are looking for a more upper range stay. However, there are plenty of places to stay in this area so definitely check the booking sites to find out what suits you best.

If you are traveling on a budget, you will find cheaper places to stay in the small village, just 200 meters from the beach. Both the beach and the small village offer a good range of restaurants.

Ko Phangan in the Lower Gulf is a nice surprise because most of the island is very touristy (the kind of place we normally avoid). However, we did find some very nice TreasureBeaches. Ko Phangan is perhaps most famous for its Full Moon Party, a monthly beach party held on Hat Rin during the full moon. It is probably better to avoid the island during this period. Outside this period, however, it remains a fun destination to visit.

The island offers a diverse range of activities, making it suitable for travellers with different interests, whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences. From scuba diving and snorkeling trips, to visiting a coconut plantation or feeding elephants. In addition to the opportunity to sign up for cooking or boxing classes, the island offers great hiking trails that take you to the island’s tropical rainforest. There are also kitesurfing spots located on the south coast.

Ko Phangan is known for its numerous wellness and yoga resorts that offer classes and retreats for those looking to rejuvenate their minds and bodies.

You have to visit Ko Ma! This is the most photographed beach on Ko Phangan. This island is connected to Mae Hat beach by a pure white sandbank. Bring your beach towel so you can sunbathe on the sandbank. Although the beach can be relatively crowded, Ko Ma is definitely a nice day trip.

The Thong Sala Night Market, also known to locals as Pantip Market, is home to Ko Phangan’s best street food vendors. The market is located near Thong Sala Pier.

The most common way to reach Ko Phangan is by plane, train, or (mini)bus from Bangkok to Chumphon or Surat Thani. You can take different types of ferry services to Ko Phangan from Dansok Pier near Surat Thani or from the Lompraya Pier near Chumphon.

Some people fly to Ko Samui and take the ferry from here. This is much more expensive, but faster compared to the Surat Thani and Chumphon connection – although the time savings are somewhat disappointing.

When you enter the pier in Thong Sala in Ko Phangan, take a shared taxi or private taxi to your beach. You can easily rent a scooter on the island.