Say ‘Koh Phangan’ and here you are in the middle of the partying crowd, old-school hippies and modern flashpackers, party animals and adventurous party goers from all over the world who come to the island to partake in a once in a lifetime celebration experience. Koh Phangan’s epic Full Moon, Black Moon and other ‘Moon’ parties rock the island creating an overwhelming atmosphere of freedom and happiness. If drinking and partying all night through is not your thing, it does not mean that Koh Phangan is a total no-no for you. A stunning island has much more to offer. When the parties are not raging, the island settles into a sleepy hippie town, perfect for the unconventional traveller who is looking for an organic experience. The terrain of the island is quite mountainous and provides a picturesque backdrop for white sand beaches and infinity pools in mushrooming luxury five star hotels and resorts which are consistently gentrifying the island, slowly transforming it from a budget destination to a Babylonian one.
Getting to Koh Phangan from Koh Samui
Koh Phangan lies within an easy reach of Koh Samui. You sea journey will not last longer than 50 minutes, and both Lomprayah and Seatran can whisk you to the island in sheer 20-30 minutes. It means that even if you are prone to seasickness there is no reason to miss an opportunity to visit Koh Phangan from Samui.
Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran and Seatran Discovery are the fastest options for getting from Samui to Koh Phangan. They both take about 20-30 minutes from one island to the other and cost THB 400 and THB 300 correspondingly.
Lomprayah calls to Samui’s Maenam Pier twice a day, at 8am and 12.30pm. Seatran Discovery has three boats a day, at 8am, 1pm and 4.30pm, but they pick up passengers from Bangrak Seatran Pier in Samui. Both companies then head for Thong Sala on Koh Phangan.
There is a small Haad Rin Queen boat which brings you right to the epicentre of Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan. Note that Haad Rin Queen departs and arrives from/to Big Buddha Pier in Samui. The timetable is subject to change, so check in advance. At the time of writing there were four departures a day at 10.30am, 1pm, 4pm and 6.30pm with 6.30pm being the latest boat to leave Samui. Transit time is from 50 minutes to one hour. It is not possible to buy tickets or make a booking for Haad Rin Queen online. Tickets cost THB 200.
There is also one more option to get to Haad Rin and other east coast beaches on Koh Phangan, which is a rickety Thong Nai Pan Express. Depending on your destination, expect to pay from THB 200 to THB 400 per person. Thong Nai Pan Express runs only when the weather is good.
When you arrive to Koh Phangan, there are a few ways to get around the island which depend on your budget and your desire to explore or immerse yourself in the island experience.
Taxis, or songthaews, are pick-up truck which connect the busiest parts of the island. Depending on your destination they will cost between 100 THB and 200 THB per person. The prices are usually fixed and tend to double after the sunset. They are convenient, but limit your freedom to explore, and cost quite a bit when you add it up. They are however the best and safest option for full moon party goers – you know why.
Motorcycles can be rented from shops all over the island. They are a great way to admire the scenery on the coastal road which boasts awe inspiring views, quaint resorts and pit stops along the way. Fuel is cheap, and normally brought in whiskey bottles from local shops or from brightly coloured coin operated machines. Rental for motorcycles will cost around 150 THB per day and you're generally expected to give up your passport until you return the bike. So take photos and look after it. But above all drive carefully, you will undoubtedly see plenty of tourists walking around with bandages and scrapes, more often than not from motorcycle accidents.
Bicycles can be rented all over the island for about 50 THB a day. As usually, they are a great way to explore the island, but do not underestimate the tropical heat. Follow secret jungle trails or just move about the flatter parts of the island at a leisurely pace. Koh Phangan is very hot though, so keep plenty of drinking water at hand.
Long-tail boats are usually moored at the beaches and are an amazing addition to the island experience. With these you can cruise between the bays taking in rich scenery, including cliff formations which can only be accessed by a boat or by hiking. Besides that, they are probably the quickest way around the island. Prices are negotiated with the boats' owners, and usually works out quite well if you're in a group.
Where to stay
No matter which beach appeals to you most, if you come for the Full Moon Party, do arrive early. It means 4–5 days before the party hits the island; otherwise you risk counting the stars by night – literally. Almost all the guesthouses require the minimum stay of at least three nights, with some places not letting you in for less than a week. There is transportation to Haad Rin, where the Full Moon Parties are held, from all the beaches, so it is not so important where you finally settle down.
Families and those looking for some serenity and peacefulness should try the remote Haad Thong Nai Pan Noi with its elegant resorts which bring an air of Samui to Koh Phangan. Tip: If you fail to find accommodation on Koh Phangan during the Full Moon period, consider staying on Koh Samui which is the closest option.
With the diving mecca of Koh Tao within an easy reach, there is no much sense in visiting much more modest diving sites of Koh Phangan. Still there are nice spots for snorkelling in the vicinity, including Koh Ma, and you may also sign up for a hiking and snorkelling adventure in the Ang Thong Marine National Park. Waterfalls and worthy trekking trails await those to venture to the island’s hinterland. Climb the highest island’s pick, a 630m Khao Ra, or hire a kayak and reach some hidden beaches and visit Saturday Walking Street market in Thong Sala (the best time to do so is between 6pm and 8pm) for local souvenirs and cheap tasty food.
If you are going to the Full Moon Party not just to party and drink, but to take drugs as well, remember that drugs are completely illegal in Thailand and punishment is severe. To get inspired, watch Bangkok-Hilton and think twice. In any case do not leave drugs in your accommodation and do not carry any with you.
Passenger reviews out of total 5,408 passengers traveled with us on this route
At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:
Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them! Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains) Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand) Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)
Make your choice! Please remember that though we are closely monitoring services, we are still an agency marketplace - meaning we focus on ticketing service and route availability / coverage rather than on factual seat recline angle you got today ^_^
Jan 4, 2018 (ferry Ferry, Songserm)
Great service and comfortable onboard the ferry. Expect the ferry to be full as it is the last ferry of the day to Koh Phangan from Na Thon.
Jan 2, 2018 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Boat left a bit behind schedule but everything was fine.
Dec 31, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Dec 27, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Dec 21, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Ferry very late. No communication regarding being late.
Dec 21, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Dec 11, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Oct 8, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Het ging echt flitsend deze keer. Met e ticket in de hand. Zo uit vliegtuig naar taxibus binnen 15 min sta je op de pier. Dan binnen 15 min. op de ferry richting koh phangan. Ging echt super.
Oct 7, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Oct 6, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Es hat alles perfekt geklappt. Wir könnten direkt nach der Landung mit einem Shuttlebus vom Flughafen zum Pier fahren. Das Warten am Pier war deutlich angenehmer. Super Service würde ich jederzeit wieder buchen!
Aug 18, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Lomprayah)
no place to sit
Aug 17, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Aug 14, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Lomprayah)
Aug 11, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Lomprayah)
A bit disorganized as to where we were supposed to go, to whom we were to give our luggage, etc, but generally a good trip. We ran about 15 minutes behind schedule--not had.
Aug 7, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Aug 7, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Lomprayah)
The boat was delayed 45 minutes.
Aug 4, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
The Ferry trip was fine but When we arrived my suitcase was pulled out of my hands while I said i wanted to keep it with me. When I wanted to go after it (in a bus that wasn't arranged through 12go.asia someone broke into my suitcase) they pulled me back roughly and said that the luggage had to go first. I was Pretty mad
Aug 2, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Aug 2, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Jul 20, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Jul 10, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Jul 10, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Lomprayah)
Boat could not hold enough people so we waited almost 2 hours for it to leave, get to our destination and then come back for us... they did provide water
Jun 11, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
The ferry was obviously overbooked.
The staff had us gather on the pier and loaded one boat to Koh Phangan. They then told the rest of us it would be ten minutes until the next ferry arrived. We waited and they loaded the next ferry with people to Koh Tao and we waited for another ferry.
We waited on the pier for 30 minutes in the sun (I had a bad sun burn :( )
Jun 10, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Well organised and no delays. Boot was completely full due to full moon party on Ko Phangan
Jun 7, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Excellent service we use every time we are here
May 30, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
All worked well
May 19, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Mar 2, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Good new boat. Fast ride.
Feb 22, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Lomprayah)
Feb 20, 2017 (ferry Ferry, Raja Ferry)
Der MiniVan von RP war super pünktlich, sauber und in einem tadellosem Zustand. Die Fähre RAJA, nach Phangan war einfach nur ekelig, dreckig und hat nach allem erdenklichem gestunken. Bei uns würde man dazu Seelenverkäufer sagen. Nicht noch mal!!!
Feb 20, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Feb 12, 2017 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Dec 31, 2016 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Oct 26, 2016 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Very relaxing and nice. Seats were a bit uncomfortable but overall quick and nice ferry.
Jan 10, 2016 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
40+ minutes late, not on time...
Jan 5, 2016 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
On time. All great v
Jan 2, 2016 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Booked online only 24hrs before and presented phone pdf at ticket office - really easy. Cafe (with WiFi at ferry pier was great; reasonably priced by Thai standards) and good quality. Ferry boarded fairly quickly and smooth, fast crossing. Sat outside on way to Koh Panang and inside (air conditioning ok on way back to Koh Samui). Brilliant!
Dec 25, 2015 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Dec 23, 2015 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Lomprayah)
Dec 16, 2015 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Nov 16, 2015 (ferry High Speed Ferry, Seatran Discovery)
Bangrak Seatran was great and changed my booking with no issue when my flight was delayed. Very helpful unlike 12Go whom didn't respond at all.
The Thai Meteorological Department says heavy rains and storms will batter Thailand’s southern provinces over the next few days. The alert said the storms would bring downpours, strong winds and choppy seas which are expected to be sporadic through until Friday.
Lomprayah ferries between Chumphon and the Gulf of Thailand island of Koh Tao have resumed service. A Lomprayah agent confirmed yesterday that the ferries were running again as the sea was a lot calmer than it had been on Tuesday.
Local government officials on the Thai island of Koh Phangan have ordered full moon party organisers to call off this month’s event. The chief of the island’s municipal council says the party is being cancelled out of respect for the forthcoming cremation of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.