Our Koh Phangan Travel Essentials guide offers insight into everything you need for a satisfying holiday to this Surat Thani island in southern Thailand. You'll learn about the local climate, electricity, plug styles, emergency phone numbers and more, including the best way to get to the island and how to get around once you're there.

This island is home to plenty to see and do, including landmarks and festivals like the ones detailed in our handy guide. With this guide, you'll have everything you need to get the most out of your trip to this popular island in the Gulf of Thailand.

  • When is the best time to travel to Koh Phangan?

    When is the best time to travel to Koh Phangan?
    • Temperatures are relatively constant throughout the year regardless of the season, with average mean temperatures ranging between 26.8°C and 29.2°C.
    • While there's a chance of rain all year long, the true rainy season is near the end of the year. October and November have daily chances of rain around 50%, though November is the rainiest, getting about 51.1 centimetres per month on average.
    • The hottest month in Koh Phangan is a tie between May and June when highs reach around 33°C, though May's average and lows tend to be higher than June's.
    • Although the temperature is fairly consistent all year long, the best time to visit Koh Phangan is during the winter months when you don't have to worry about rain all that much. Just make sure you dodge the rain of November.
  • Koh Phangan basics

    Koh Phangan basics
    • Plug type: Koh Phangan primarily uses Type C and Type O outlets, though Type A and Type B are occasionally found. Regardless, you'll need an adapter for Type G plugs from the UK.
    • Electricity: Thailand uses 230 V at 50 Hz.
    • Currency: Koh Phangan uses the Thai baht.
    • International dialling code: Dial +66 for Thailand.
    • Emergency telephone number: Call 191 for police, 199 for fire and 1669 for an ambulance.
  • How to get to my hotel in Koh Phangan?

    How to get to my hotel in Koh Phangan?

    Koh Phangan is an island, and the only way you're getting to the island is via ferry. When you're travelling from outside of the country, your first step should be getting to the port from which you can then get to the island's shores. Fortunately, there are easy routes to the ports from major spots in Thailand like Bangkok, so the island is never all that far away.


    There are no airports on the island itself, but there are quite a few from which you can reach the ferries. Samui International Airport is the closest to the island, but it only serves domestic flights and can be expensive. Surat Thani Airport is a cheaper alternative, but it's farther away and includes a 4-hour bus and ferry trip to reach Koh Phangan.

    Major train stations

    The train doesn't reach the island, of course, and the closest station is in Phun Phin, which is about 9 miles to the west of Surat Thani. The station serves connections to and from Bangkok.


    Ferries coming into the port are the only way to get to Koh Phangan. You'll be arriving at the Thongsala ferry terminal on the west side of the island with some going to the southern side through Dragon Dao.

  • How to get around Koh Phangan?

    How to get around Koh Phangan?

    Travel tips

    You'll have basically just 3 ways to traverse the island once you arrive, so be prepared to drive yourself with a motorbike hire, take a songthaew or take a boat and venture around the shores. Just be cautious when hiring and look for a company that doesn't ask you to leave a large cash deposit or your passport as collateral.

    Underground system

    There is no underground or train of any kind in Koh Phangan.

    Taxi and ride-hailing apps

    Taxis are prevalent here, and they're in the form of songthaews, which are converted pickup trucks. Prices can vary, and you can occasionally haggle with them to get a better deal. Sharing the ride with other people also tends to make things cheaper as well. Just keep in mind that prices are generally more expensive at night. Remember that songthaews are the only taxis on the island. No ride-hailing options from apps are available here.

    Bus network

    There is no bus network on the island. Public transit is handled by the legion of songthaews rather than buses.

    Car hire

    Car hire is available on the island with quite a few options available, though they can be expensive. To qualify, you'll need a driving licence and an international driver's permit. Occasionally, car-hire agencies will overcharge for every little scratch, so it's best to book through a reputable source.

    Bike hire

    Motorbike hire is especially popular, as they're an efficient way to get around the island. Just make sure you practise a bit on a quiet road or car park before setting out properly, as they can be difficult to control for those without experience. Bicycles are available too and are good for getting around the populated port areas, but the island is a bit too large to take them everywhere.


    The bays surrounding the ports are populated with boats that can take you to different parts of the island along with other nearby islands. In fact, a lot of boat tours make several stops along Koh Phangan's shore before moving on to other islands.

  • What are the main annual festivals in Koh Phangan?

    What are the main annual festivals in Koh Phangan?

    Koh Phangan Full Moon Parties

    • When: Every full moon
    • What: Koh Phangan Full Moon Parties are all-night beach parties with electronic music and dancing and are held monthly on either the night of, the night before or the night after the full moon. While electronic music is the most popular genre, the DJs often mix a bit of house, dance, R&B and reggae in there as well.
    • Where: Hat Rin

    Songkran Festival

    • When: 13-17 April
    • What: Songkran Festival is a traditional festival that celebrates the Thai New Year. Water is the traditional motif that defines this festival, but these days, that's mainly expressed by people blasting each other with water pistols in the street. Everyone's invited to participate, so don't hesitate to grab a bucket or water pistol yourself and join in on the fun.
    • Where: Across the island

    Loy Krathong Festival

    • When: November
    • What: The Loy Krathong Festival is a traditional festival in which participants release vessels of light. This can happen in floating vessels on the water or through the air with lanterns. After sundown, you'll be able to see the water and the sky consumed by thousands of tiny lights. This festival includes fireworks shows and beauty contests, too.
    • Where: Along the island's shores
  • What are the main landmarks in Koh Phangan?

    What are the main landmarks in Koh Phangan?

    Thong Sala

    Thong Sala is the administrative and financial centre of the island, but the town is best known to travellers as a premier shopping and dining destination. When you visit, you'll find a variety of restaurants offering traditional Thai food as well as a few favourites you might be more familiar with, including a genuine English pub.

    Kuan Yin Temple

    Kuan Yin Temple is a picturesque Chinese temple adorned in bright yellow and green colouring and tucked within the vibrant greenery of the island's canopy. Inside this temple, you'll find an impressive Great Treasure Hall that's home to Puxian and Wenshu bodhisattvas. You may even want to get a glimpse of the 1,000-hand Guanyin figure, which is an imposing yet fascinating statue.

    Yang Na Yai Tree

    The Yang Na Yai Tree is a towering tree said to be more than 4 centuries old. You'll find it in the heart of Ban Nok village looking over the surrounding area and with quite a few small shrines set up near the foot of the trunk. The tree is often adorned with colourful ribbons.

    Wat Pho

    Wat Pho is a scenic temple best known for its temple sauna. Not only will you be able to relax at the herbal sauna here, but you can also get a massage. It's open daily, and the temple is free. Massages cost about 300 baht, which is fairly cheap compared to a lot of other offerings in places like Bangkok.