More About Phangan Island
Koh Phangan is about 70 kilometers from the mainland Thailand and its part of the Surrathani province. The Island is about 1:30mins from the mainland Donsak, Thailand with the fast catamaran speedboat. It’s about 25 min boat ride from Koh Samui, which acts as the main air link to Phangan because Phangan does not have an airport yet, so Koh Samui os the closest airport.
Koh Phangan has about 10,000 inhabitants, of which the majority of Chinese origin. There are also many Thais coming from different parts of Thailand who have moved on to the Island to work in the field of tourism. The towns are: Thongsala , Chaloklum , Baan Tai and the village of Haad Rin . Thai monkeys used to collect coconuts as a main source of income on the island: coconut plantations, fishing and tourism. Every month, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan produce more than one million coconuts which are then shipped to Bangkok. To collect the coconuts they use monkeys trained to do this work. Koh Phangan is always been a spiritual place. The island in the past had been visited by four kings of Thailand. King Rama V visited more than ten times, staying near the waterfalls of Thaan Sadet . In the last few years ithas also been visited several times by the current King Bhumibol . The Island was uninhabited up to 600 years ago, when Buddhist monks came and settled on Koh Phangan finding a peaceful and spiritual enlightenment, they settled in what is now the Buddhist temple Wat Phu Khao Noi near the town of Thongsala .
The first tourists who landed at Koh Phangan in the late 80s , they were hippies and young people with backpackers (backpackers ) who left India to discover new mystical destinations. At the time the lack of paved roads and facilities to accommodate up to people, Haad Rin was the only beach to be visited, this is because it was easily accessible from the nearby island of Ko Samui and why the only one to be equipped with simple bungalows built of wood and bamboo style still very much present on the island.It is precisely by hippies in the late 80’s that is born of the famous Full Moon Party a big party with music that is held once a month during the full moon night .
The Island is the fifth largest Island in Thailand and is 167 square kilometers. 90% of Koh Phangan is un-spoilt tropical forest and surrounded by white sandy beaches and because of its granite structure there are many small mountains around the Island which make it a perfect place to trek or camp. The wildlife on Koh Phangan has a large selection of species from monkeys to lots of exotic birds, lizards, insects and hundreds of different types of butterflies. There is also an amazing underworld that surrounds the Island with over 10km’s of natural coral. Over 20 top dive sites are located around the Island.Koh Phangan is an Eco-tourism destination with a great selection of activities to do in the wild jungles.
The Island has a wonderful selection of restaurants, bars and clubs to visit along with some of the best beaches in the Gulf of Thailand.