The Quieter Side of Koh Phangan, Thailand

Classy ladies!

Koh Phangan in Thailand is famous for probably the world’s most well known dance gathering – The Full Moon Party. A favourite on every backpackers 10 Best Things to do in South East Asia to-do list – But is that all Koh Phangan is good for?!

Most people stop in Koh Phangan’s Haad Rin long enough to party their asses off, recover for a day or two, then ship on out to another island.

But what about the rest of this stunning island? Bucking the trend somewhat, we decided to stay on and explore what the quieter side of Koh Phangan had to offer. Post-hangover.

Koh Phangan is pretty big, and getting around is limited to relying on the most Annoying People You’ll Probably Meet When You Travel in Asia – The tuk-tuk Mafia rip-of merchants (100+baht from the Thongsala port to Haad Rin!).

Being big scooter advocates, we commandeered our own transport in the form of 2 wheels!

Haad Yao beach at night

The island is predominately uninhabited, the busiest parts being Haad Rin in the south east and the main town Thongsala by the port on the south west. The west coast is a beautiful area to explore, with luxury resorts, empty beaches and jaw-dropping views along the coastal roads. The north is the most sparsely populated area, not really accessible without a dirt bike (hire one in Haad Rin).

Haad Salad beach

We moved over from Haad Rin to Haad Yao as soon as the alcohol had left my system and I could control a vehicle again. For the same money as our tool-shed, erm beach shack we moved to a ‘wellness retreat’ equipped with swimming pool, steam room, attached restaurant, fresh juice menu, yoga facilities and bedding!

Haad Rin is excellent fun, with more drinking and eating options than you can throw your shrivelled liver at. But when you want to escape the carnage, get yourself mobile and head to where the crowd’s aren’t.

Sunset at Haad Salad

Haad Yao and Haad Salad (yes Salad) are probably two of the best beaches I’ve been to on my travelling adventure so far. Pristine warm waters, spotless and quiet!

Don't ask

The Full-Moon party is Koh Phangan’s unlikely best asset. It draws worldwide attention from the party crowd, and that same scene puts off a lot of travellers from going. Thus keeping the beautiful parts beautiful and the island nice and quiet between the monthly partier in-flux.

Massive discounts are available just a few days after the party, up to 50% off in some swanky establishments in the quieter western and northern hotels and resorts.

Meet you on the other (quieter) side!

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6 Responses to The Quieter Side of Koh Phangan, Thailand

  1. Adrian Fleur September 4, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    Oh yes, I am so glad you posted this! I also did a post on the quieter side of Koh Phangan, and I honestly think I would have missed out on so much if I just went there to party. It’s a beautiful island with so much more to offer!
    Adrian Fleur recently posted…Tripping Down South: Ko Phangan & Ko TaoMy Profile

    • Stuart Edwards September 4, 2013 at 6:42 am #

      That north west side of Koh Phangan has to be one of my favorite places ON THE PLANET! Glad you liked it too!

  2. Danny January 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Totally agree with you, there’s no better place to stay on Koh Phangan than Haad Salad in my opinion. It’s perfectly placed too, being close to Haad Yao and not far from Chaloklam to get a longtail round to my favourite beach of them all.. Bottle Beach! Phangan is by far my favourite of the Thai islands and I can’t wait to get back there!

  3. Jimmy Johns March 5, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Great tips! This is definitely an event that would be much more enjoyable when you know all of the details to keep safe AND have fun.

    Koh Phangan Resort

  4. Jillian November 14, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    Where did you say in Haad Rao (or wherever you stayed on the quieter side)?

    • Stuart Edwards January 5, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

      We stayed in a place called Secret Beach just around the next bay – We highly recommend it!

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