4. It has a dual personality.
Koh Pha Ngan may be the ultimate party island at night, but it’s actually more relaxed during the day. Part of the island’s charm is it’s not your typical glamorous island resort full of hotel chains and luxurious villas. Instead, Koh Pha Ngan is rustic and unpretentious. It is carefree and hippy. Hat Rin, the most popular beach on the island, is lined up with ramshackle bungalows and colorful makeshift stalls that sell booze buckets, devoid of posh resorts with a carefully manicured facade.
5. It is naturally beautiful.
If you are going to Koh Pha Ngan just to attend the Full Moon Party, you’re missing out on a lot of things. The island is tremendously gifted with natural attractions. All you have to do is to not get totally wasted every night to have the energy to explore the beautiful spots during the day. You will need to arrange the exploration on your own, but you can pick up a map from a tourism office or ask a local to guide you.
You may start by visiting the various waterfalls on the island. Some of the notable ones to consider visiting include Than Sadet Falls, on the eastern part of the island and Phaeng Falls, which is located off the main road that goes in between Ban Chalok Lam and Thong Sala. Snorkeling is always an option but for a more memorable visit, try scuba diving at Hin Bai Sail Rock, where tropical fish and corals are abundant. Go jungle trekking and follow trails such as the one that leads to the 620-meter Khao Ra, the island’s highest mountain. Drop by Wat Khao Tham Cave, a cave temple which beautifully sits on top of the hill, near the Ban Tai village.
6. It is not motorbike-friendly.
It is not easy to get around Koh Pha Ngan without a vehicle. The cheapest way to get from one place to another is by riding a motorbike. This option is very tempting as it is so easy to find a rental shop and make the arrangement. But driving a motorbike on Koh Pha Ngan is no joke. In fact, it is quite a risky move. Most of the roads are rough, unpaved, hilly and narrow. All these features spell disaster to an inexperienced rider. Despite the obvious dangers, many tourists still attempt to drive. Some even do it while intoxicated. That’s why, it is quite common to see tourists limping around or wearing support casts. So what is the safer option? Take the local public transport if you really need to go somewhere. You will need to spend about 100 baht each way, but it’s worth the money, if it means having a safer and more stress-free holiday.