Thailand is a country that possesses many different large and small islands such as Koh Samet, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Chang, Koh Phuket, Koh Lanta. There are a lot of Kohs because “Koh” means “Island” in the Thai language. If you are planning on having a trip to Thailand, set aside the crowded Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai, instead, visit Koh Phangan Island – the land of feasts and festivals. Take your time to admire the turquoise sea, white sand, cool forests, thousands of springs and exciting festivals. So, is Koh Phangan worth visiting and what to do in Koh Phangan for 3 days? Let’s check it out our Koh Phangan travel blog (Koh Phangan blog) with the Koh Phangan travel guide (Koh Phangan guide) and suggested Koh Phangan itinerary for 3 days from how to get there, best time to visit, where to stay, top things to do in 3 days in Koh Phangan for the first time to find out the answer!
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Koh Phangan travel blog: About the island of Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is famous for its beautiful and clean beaches with various water games, and magnificent wild nature but romantic at the same time. It must be called the wonderland, especially for its vibrant nightlife. Belonging to Surat Thani Province, Koh Phangan is rather close to two other islands, namely Koh Samui and Koh Tao (about one hour by boat). That’s the reason why so many tourists often choose to fly to Bangkok and from there make a trip to experience all three beautiful islands.
Koh Phangan travel guide: When to visit Koh Phangan?
When traveling to an island, the weather is always the top consideration. In Koh Phangan, September – November is the raining season (it’s almost raining every day) so traveling during this time won’t give you much satisfaction. A lot of travelers don’t select proper days for their trip and go right during the rainy season. They end up spending all day long hiding in the hotel just eating and sleeping.
It is best to go there during February – April, or the Lunar New Year holiday, because it is the dry season during this period. The weather should be pleasant, a little hot in the day with a bit of sunshine, but with sunscreen you will be ok, right? Without rain, it is convenient to check in all corners of the island. Not to mention Lunar New Year is the time when many festivals take place.
The summer is around May – September, it is much hotter and sometimes there will be thunderstorms so you are not recommended to go to the island this summer.
Koh Phangan blog: How to get to Koh Phangan?
There are actually many ways to get to Koh Phangan, depending on your schedule, amount of time, health and budget, you should choose the best way to commute. Anyway, pick anything as long as you enjoy yourself.
You can fly to a Bangkok airport, then board an additional flight to Koh Samui. When arriving at Koh Samui, you can then take the boat to Koh Phangan, travel time from 20 minutes to one hour depending on the type of boat you board.
There are two ports in Koh Phangan: Haad Rin (the South) and Thong Sala (the Southwest). If you already book an accommodation in any area, make sure to ask the ticket seller carefully to buy tickets to an appropriate port.
The schedule includes several transits, which seems quite awful, but it is really worth the money. Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is brand new and modern, the terminals are interesting enough for you to hang out and take great photos! There are many foodcourts for you to eat well before boarding your next flight.
ffWhat’s new around here is Koh Samui Airport – a private airport located right on the beautiful island of Koh Samui. Koh Samui Airport has landed at the top 1 of the most beautiful airports in the world (impressive?). When first coming here, I was overwhelmed because it doesn’t look like an airport, but a resort instead! There are beach chairs, swimming pools and souvenir stalls of the same kind that a resort should have! What an experience, guys! The airport only offers its service to BKK Airway and Thai Airway. Such a beautiful but slightly picky airport.
Option 2: Bangkok – Surat Thani – Koh Phangan
The first part is similar to Option 1, but after entering Bangkok port of entry, you can take another flight to Surat Thani Province (the airport is small but it is generally clean and decent). Next, catch a taxi or grab to get to the province’s Donsak port and from here buy tickets heading to Koh Phangan Island.
* Note: Unlike Option 1, from Surat Thani Province’s Donsak port, you can only get to the Thong Sala port in the Southwest of the island and it is impossible to get to Haad Rin port. Most of the fun activities on the island gather in the Haad Rin area so you need to reconsider this aspect!
Option 1 costs more than Option 2, and of course more expensive means you can save more time on traveling. It’s completely up to you.
Koh Phangan travel blog: Where to stay?
One interesting thing about Koh Phangan is that it will make you happy wherever you would like to stay. From expensive hotels to affordable housing areas for backpackers, the island has them all.
Tourists visiting Koh Phangan often stay overnight, and for at least two days because you cannot fully enjoy sightseeing the place in one day. The time it takes from the airport in the downtown to the island is almost half a day, then traveling back to the mainland is quite far and time-consuming. Thus, you should still reserve a room before starting your trip, do not wait until the last minute or you may have to stay on the beach overnight.
Some accommodations for your reference:
- Deluxe (which is actually not too expensive): Long Bay Resort, Morning Star Resort, The Sanctuary Resort.
- Happy budget: For anyone who only needs a place for bathing, sleeping, and storing luggage in good low-cost areas to save some money for more interesting activities on the beach. Look for the nearby Thong Sala Market right at the port, there are a number of hostels there. Prices fluctuate only around 300 – 400 Baht/day.
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels in Koh Phangan with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Milky Bay Resort (Address: 103/4 Moo 1 Bantai Koh Phangan Suratthani 84280, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 332 762), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $40/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa (Address: 22/7, Moo 5, Bantai District, Ko Phangan, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 428 999), a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $144/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Sea Breeze Resort (Address: 94/16 Moo 6 Baantai, Ko Phangan Surathani, 84280 Haad Rin, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 375 162), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $29/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Summer Luxury Beach Resort & Spa (Address: 145/40 Ban Tai, Amphoe Ko Pha-ngan, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84280, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 377 299), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $72/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
The Coast Resort – Koh Phangan (Address: 117/21 Rin Nai Beach, Ban Tai, Koh Phangan, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 951 567), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $76/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Zama Resort (Address: 81/5 Moo 8 Haad Chaophao Koh Phangan, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 349 098), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $61/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Buri Rasa Koh Phangan (Address: 55 Moo 5, Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach Baan Tai, Koh Phangan, 84280, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 956 075), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $118/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Sarikantang Resort & Spa (Address: 129/3 Moo.6, Haad Rin, Ban Tai, Ko Phangan, 84280 Haad Rin, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 375 055), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $80/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa (Address: 130/20 Had Rin Nai Sun set Leela or Seekantang Beach Moo 6 T. Bantai A.Koh Phangan Suratthani Baan Tai, 84280, Thailand / Phone: +66 77 375 368), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $66/night. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Koh Phangan itinerary: What to do in Koh Phangan for 3 days?
Now, let’s start our 3-day itinerary hanging around the island, which is often referred to as the land of diamonds!
Koh Phangan itinerary: Day 1
Morning: Travel and settle in
Let’s skip over this part. It is the same for anyone traveling to anywhere. Upon your arrival at the place, check in to the room, put away your stuff and take a rest before thinking where to go. Don’t throw yourself right into the sea the moment you arrive here.
How to travel to the island and arrive at your accommodation? I already mentioned the details above.
* Tips: Since Koh Phangan Island is far away and there is no airport on the island, you have to take two flights and catch a boat for an hour to get to the island. If one of your flight is unfortunately delayed, it may take you up to half a day to just arrive at the accommodation. So you need to sleep a little and eat a little to have enough energy in the afternoon. Does it make sense to you now?
Afternoon: Discover around the island and watch the sunset
Why didn’t I go to the beach on the first day? Of course if you want to go swimming immediately, just rush into the sea. But I thought I should have saved the sea for the following day after fully recovering from my long journey. And to take part in the water games as well. You cannot swim in the evening after sunset for an extended time.