Zen Beach, Ko Phangan

Zen Beach is a social beach on the west coast of Ko Phangan known for its spectacular sunsets. At the end of the day the beach becomes busier, since many people come to enjoy the sunset accompanied by drums and guitars.

With crystal-clear water and fine pearly white sand, Zen Beach offers an idyllic spot for those looking for conviviality and relaxation. The beach is well known to those looking for a more spiritual beach experience, with several yoga studios and wellness retreats nearby. Nudist recreation takes place on the northern part of the beach, but keep in mind that this is officially prohibited in Thailand.

At Zen Beach you can choose between the more basic bungalows of Zen Bungalows, Bovy Beach, and Baan Nonthawan or the newer bungalows of Beachub. You can eat at the stays’ restaurants or take an 8-minute walk to Srithanu village.

From the pier to Zen Beach, a shared taxi costs 200 baht per person. This beach is easily accessible by scooter.

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.