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Land on Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is an Island in the northeast of Surat Thani, about 20 kilometers from Koh Samui. Its area  of 170 square kilometers, or 106,250 rai, is surrounded by several minor islands such as Koh Tao, Koh Tae Nok, Koh Tae Nai, and Koh Ma.

Vast plains stretch out on the west coast of the island, while steep cliffs drip to the sea in the east. It is encircled by charming beaches, beautiful bays, and clear waters, with an abundance of coral reefs and marine life.

Koh Phangan is a district (Amphoe) of the Surat Thani Province in the Southern Region of Thailand. Koh Phangan enjoys a warm climate around the year. Best time for a visit is from December to March or June to September.

The island has 9.2 sq. km of coral reef, which is 100 to 1000 meters wide, with its widest part in the Wok Tum area. 50-70% of the reef is alive with 300-500 meters covered in seaweed. The most abundant fish is the Mackerel.      

Koh Phangan is full of undeveloped bays and coves and some of the remote beaches are only accessible by trekking  through jungle paths or by taking a boat.

The Island attracts many popular activities one being snorkeling at many of the island beaches; one beach in particular is in the northeastern tip at Koh Maa. Other activities now include kite surfing, kayaking and trekking. Phangan has now become synonymous with the full-moon parties on Haad Rin.

These monster raves take place every month and have become world famous, attracting up to ten thousand revelers each time. However, it should be remembered that Haad Rin is just one small slice of island's shoreline.

About 15 years ago the most common way of getting from one side of the island to the other was by boat or foot, but these days now new roads have been built everywhere, making it much easier to access to almost all parts of the island.

Koh Phangan was before the backpackers heaven, currently a 'wide range' of tourists travel here.

One thing most of them have in common is they want to find a relaxed and easy going place. It is rare how tranquillity and parties can mix so amazing on the island. On one side, you can have a good time at the regular happening parties attracting young people with a wide range of music, dancing and a relaxed atmosphere. As a natural eden-like island in the Southern Gulf of Siam, Koh Phan Gan serves as the ideal getaway retreat.   

Fullmoon Party Koh Phangan

The south eastern part of Kho Phangan is the main party area including Haad Rin and the full moon party beach. Most of the area surrounding Haad Rin is mountainious making most of the excellent white beaches unable to reach by road, the only way to get to them is by long tail boat from Haad Rin.

On contrary, as this island has so much more to show the interested visitor than a mad party island, you can find a less noisy area, having the private atmosphere of a secluded bungalow resort with great beach scenery, cooking courses and various other options.

Koh Phangan consists of a tropical paradise with a lot of coconut palms and crystal clear turquoise  waters. The name of the island is often written as 'ko pangan' or 'koh pha ngan'  and also as 'panghan'. 'Koh' in thai language means island.

Koh = island

Pha = meet or find

Ngan = sandy beach which can be seen at low tide

  

People and Culture

There are approximately 14,000 people living in Koh Phangan, the majority of which  are Chinese descent. There are also many Thai's from all over Thailand, who moved here to start a tourism related business. Most inhabitants live in Thong Sala, the main gateway into the island from Samui.

The most important produce of Koh Phangan is coconuts. Each month Koh Samui and Koh Phangan produce more than 1 million coconut exports to Bangkok. Others prominent island produce is fishing and of course there is the growing tourism business.

Around 95 per cent of the island’s population are Buddhists and it plays a very significant role in their daily life. Buddhism inevitable involves almost every occasion such as birthdays, marriages, moving to a new house, funerals, opening business offices and buying new vehicles etc.

 

Climate and Topography

Positioned harmoniously in the east coast on the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan is the third largest island in Thailand and most of the island’s area of 168 square km is made up of mountains and tropical forest. The lowlands are abounding with coconut fields and sandy white beaches.

Koh Phangan stretches 19 kilometres from north to south and 12 kilometres from west to east.

Due to its proximity to the equator, Koh Phangan`s temperature remains fairly constant all year round and the conditions are tropical. Sunshine can be found even during the monsoon season. Weather forecast can be quite difficult, Phangan appears to have a weather of it's own. Someday it rains in the island's north, but it stays dry in the south.

There are three main seasons in the Southern Gulf of Thailand:

Dry season (th.'na nau') Mid December to April is the dry and coolest time

Hot season (th. 'na ron') May to September is hot with occasional showers

Wet season (th. 'na fon') October to Mid December, monsoon, raining season


 

Activities

Snorkeling

There are really nice snorkel and dive spots on Koh Phangan, with the northwest coast as premium spot, there you can find one of the best places for diving around the little island of Koh Ma, opposite of Mae Haad beach at the Northwestern tip of Koh Phangan.

Diving  

Ever tried scuba diving? If not, why not get your scuba diving certificate here in Koh Phangan. Central Cottage Resort arranges diving for beginners as well as advanced divers. We have daily diving trips to reefs and other interesting dive sites around Koh Phangan. The professional instructors will make sure you'll have a fun and safe experience.  

Boat trips / Kayaking

Boat trips around the island or to other islands can be arranged at most resorts and travel agencies. Kayaks can be rented at most and at beaches.

Paintball

Just outside main town Thong Sala there is a Paintball Shooting Area, the place is called 'Paintball Warefare Phangan'.

Thai Boxing (Muay Thai)

Although Lumphini Stadium in Bangkok is the place to be for the real Muay Thai match, Koh Phangan also has some small Muay Thai 'stadiums' in Thong Sala and Haad Rin. But the tickets for the fights are overpriced and the fighters are not really special. You can learn the art of Muay Thai yourself at the Jungle Gym in Haad Rin and Thong Sala.

Jungle Trekking

There are a number of tracks through the jungle of the island, it is the unique opportunity to experience the nature on the island very close. A large number of different kinds of plants and animals gives you a wonderful jungle experience.

The Green Dot Trail is a 4 km trek through the jungle terrain from Haad Rin to Haad Thien. If you're standing behind Phangan Bayshore Resort and start walking towards the hills you will see a sign saying Laluna Bungalow as you reach the jungle. This is where the trail starts. The trail ends at The Sanctuary Resort in Haad Thien.

Khao Ra - The Highest Peak of Koh Phangan

Khao Ra, Koh Phangan's highest mountain peak with 627 m above sea level

The viewpoint at the top of Khao Ra offers some most spectacular views around the island. The trail, which takes approximately 2 hours to climb, has a few spots that leave you guessing. That is why we recommend hiring a guide. Guides are available at Phaeng Waterfall National Park. This guide service costs about 500 Baht per trip. The trek is very steep at times, but has many trees that offer a nice umbrella of shade almost the entire way.

Horse Riding

In the jungle of Chaloklum you have the unique opportunity to enjoy the nature on the back of a horse.

Elephant Trekking

In Baan Tai on the way to Thong Nai Pan, on the way from Haad Salad to Mae Haad and just outside Chaloklum, you can enjoy an elephant ride through Koh Phangan's jungle.

 

Volleyball

For those of you getting restless of just lying on the beach drinking milkshakes  and frying in the sun. Why not join up for a game of beach volleyball? Bring your partner and team up the others around the volleyball court. It's a good way to meet new and keep your body in shape during your  vacation. See you on the beach.

 

Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding

This adventure surface water sport has been getting more and more popular on the island. Kitesurfing Schools offer lessons, lessons start every windy day, in the morning and the afternoon.

These schools offer also windsurfing, wake boarding, waterskiing and jet skiing.

 

Exotic Animals and Plants


The Thai Elephant - Symbol of Nation

Elephants have been revered in Thailand for many centuries. Famous as the strongest beasts of burden, in Thailand they were important in battle, with kings mounted on Elephants fighting the Burmese to defend Thailand on many occasions. They have also been noted for their intelligence, memory and pleasant nature. A Thai legend has it that a marriage is like an elephant-- the husband is the front legs, that choose the direction, the wife the back legs, providing the power!

We meet many exotic animals and plants in Thailand. It is also for a non-botanist and zoologists a pleasure to meet all this sorts of plants and animals with all their beauty and splendor. You can find many lizards, geckos and tokays here.  Among other things and with a little luck you can watch dolphins and whales, there are many crustaceans on the beach. Frogs are also far common and in the evening you can listen to their concert.

 

 

Plants

The tropical plant world fascinates by her blaze of color. Most hotels and departments adorn her plants with innumerable different and gloriously colorful orchids and other flowers. In all, it is believed that Thailand may host as many plant species as all of Europe.

Of particular beauty and importance to Thai culture are 9 believed to bring good fortune and happiness. These include:

• Golden Shower • Javanese Cassia • Coral Tree • Bamboo • Common Tembusa • Kalamona • Teak • Blackwood • Jackfruit

The orchid is the National flower of Thailand.

You can find over 1,000 kinds of orchids  in Thailand. Orchids range in size from tiny plants about half a centimeter high to vines about 30 meters long. The flowers come in all colors except black, and are often speckled or streaky.

Lotus flowers also grow within the country, it is the most popular water plant in Thailand.

The flowers are pink or white, and the round, flat leaves that float on the water are covered with microscopic hairs which keeps them dry when it is raining. Lotus flowers open in early morning and close by mid-afternoon. After about three days, the petals fall off, leaving a soft yellow seed pod containing many seeds. The lotus is a sacred plant to Buddhists. It is used as an offering in the temples.

 

 

 

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