Koh Phangan in Thailand is certainly one of the most amazing islands in the country. Today, although no longer an insider tip, it is now a popular destination for backpackers, dropouts and yogis, but also individual travelers and luxury vacationers are increasingly drawn to this dream island. Above all, the offer of paradisiacal beaches is on this island unparalleled in Thailand and makes the heart of sun-hungry beach vacationers beat faster. In addition to the many beautiful picture book beaches, you will find and really impressive offer on unique things to do in Koh Phangan, including visiting tropical waterfalls, picturesque temples, deep jungle and breathtaking viewpoints. Enough attractions to spend several weeks on Koh Phangan.
Ko Pha Ngan (or Koh Phangan) is the ideal, all-inclusive island in the Gulf of Thailand. It is surrounded by little sister Koh Tao in the north and big sister Koh Samui which can be seen from Phangan’s southern coast. It’s just a short ferry ride away from either of the sister islands and the mainland city of Surat Thani. If you’ve heard of Koh Phangan before, it is either for the legendary, original Full Moon Party or for Koh Phangan’s brief appearance in Leonardo Dicaprio’s The Beach (2000).
Koh Phangan is great for digital nomads, as it has a lot to explore for people with every interest. You’ll want the time to see and do everything so that you can live like a Phangan local. For starters, Haad Rin sunrise beach holds the biggest all-night beach party you can imagine. Every. Single. Month. However, be warned that the date of the party often gets pushed back a day from the actual full moon to respect Buddhist holidays. Love the party lifestyle? There are epic, psychedelic parties every day of the week if you know where to look!
- 🌟 Total score 80% top 20 in our Digital Nomad List% 80% top 20 in our Digital Nomad List%
- 🛍️ Quality of life score 75 Good% 75 Good%
- 👪 Family Friendly Score 65 Okay% 65 Okay%
- 💰 Cost of Living 100 🤗 affordable% 100 🤗 affordable%
- 🖥️ Internet 100 🚀 Fast: 23 (Mbps)% 100 🚀 Fast: 23 (Mbps)%
- 🌴Adventure 100 Great% 100 Great%
- ☀️ Temperature 50 Too hot: 31°C (feels 40°C)% 50 Too hot: 31°C (feels 40°C)%
|🗺️ Continent||Asia||🏳️🌈 Country||Thailand|
|✈️ Average trip length||📅18 days||🖥️ Internet speed (avg)||🚀23 Mbps|
|☀️ Weather (now)||31°C + 🥵 Sweaty (77%)||💨 Air quality (now)||👎😷 95 US AQI|
|🔋 Power||230V 50Hz||🚖 Best taxi app*||Grab|
The bulk of the rain falls in October and November. During these months, it will rain most days. May also gets a lot of rain, as this marks the beginning of the rain season. June through September gets a moderate amount of rain. The rainstorms are mostly tropical thunderstorms, so they will not last all day but rather dump a lot of rain in a short period of time. Storms can last only 30 minutes to 2 hours and then the sun will come out again!
February and March are the driest months. You will never have to worry about rain ruining any plans. By the end of March, the waterfalls might start to dry up, and they usually remain dry until a couple months after the rain starts. Be careful of swimming in still water, as there may be parasites. A moderate current will wash out anything harmful and is safer for swimming.
The hottest months are May and June with the average temperature at 32 or 33 degrees celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). The coldest month is January with the average high only at 28 degrees celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit). During the cold months, it can get surprisingly chilly at night. Humidity is almost always 80% all year round.
|💬 WeChat +255%||🌶 Adult +267%||📸 Model +259%||💉 Not COVID vaccinated +349%|
|💬 LINE +107%||🧖 Sauna +107%||🙏 Buddhist +135%||🕺 Breakdance +111%|
|🌊 Free diving +93%||🏋️ Weightlifting +62%||🥑 Vegan +62%||🏍 Motorcycling +71%|
|🇳🇱 Speaks Dutch +238%||😈 Kink +146%||💪 Fitness +58%||✨ Astrology +110%|
|💵 Cost of living for nomad||$1,078 / month||💵 Cost of living for expat||$765 / month|
|💵 Cost of living for family||$1,540 / month||💵 Cost of living for local||$440 / month|
|🏠 1br studio rent in center||$290 / month||🏢 Coworking||$113 / month|
|🏨 Hotel (median price)||$500 / month||🏨 Hotel (median price)||$23 / night|
|🏡 Airbnb (median from 1,001 listings)||$1,445 / month||🏠 Airbnb (median price)||$47 / night|
When choosing where to live in Koh Phangan, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself first. Do you want to buy a motorbike or do you want to be able to walk to everything you need? Do you want to live in a jungle setting or on the beach? Do you want to live near the parties or do you want peace and quiet? And finally, how much do you want to spend? These questions can help narrow down the housing options in Koh Phangan and help you pick an area to live in.
Beachfront bungalows are going to be more expensive than jungle bungalows. If you choose to stay at a hotel or hostel, they often offer monthly rates. Budget hostels can be as cheap as 5 USD a night while some beach bungalows go for 30-60 USD per night. There are plenty of “workaway” opportunities on Koh Phangan if you want free accommodation in exchange for part-time work. This is the route I took when living in Haad Rin. I had my own room and a light and flexible work schedule most of the time. For the week around the full moon, work was a lot busier and we slept in the staff dorm. I still had plenty of time to visit the beach and enjoy happy hour. This worked for me and my schedule, but it definitely does not work for those with a heavier remote workload.
Although it may not seem ideal, the best way to find an apartment for rent is to drive around and call the phone number on the ‘for rent’ sign. This does take extra time and require you to already be on the island, but it is the best way to find some of the best deals on the island. If you are like me, you may like to have a place to stay (at least for a couple days) before you arrive. You could either stay at a hostel or a beachfront bungalow for the first week while you scope out the accommodation options.
Another great resource is the Facebook community. Start by searching “Koh Phangan Houses for Rent”, and you will find a handful of different Facebook groups. You will find plenty of housing options for between 5,000 baht (less than 200USD) and 20,000 baht (less than 700USD). There are super nice villas for 60,000 baht to 80,000 baht per month (around 2500 USD). These options will usually come furnished, be either a one bedroom or a studio, and be equipped with a kitchenette. Most rentals are month to month. If you do not like your first rental or just want to change locations, you can ask around to find the perfect place for you.
There are pros and cons to looking online for accommodation in Koh Phangan. Online listings and prices are marketed for foreigners, so online prices will never be the best rates. However, being tailored to foreigners means the accommodation is ideal for digital nomads who do not want to worry about furnishing a place. Finding a place on a Facebook group is similar to booking accommodation on Airbnb. Everything will be taken care of before you arrive. For best rates, get to know the locals and ask for recommendations.
Lastly, you can try local real estate agents, although I have never tried this method. If you are looking for bougie accommodations, going through an agent will get you some pretty wild housing. The top three recommended agencies are Samui Phangan Properties, Phangan Island Properties, and Phangan Home.
|✅ Affordable to live||❌ Freedom of speech is weak|
|✅ Very safe||❌ Not very democratic|
|✅ Fast internet||❌ Very sweaty and humid now|
|✅ Lots of fun stuff to do||❌ Quality of education is low|
|✅ Warm now||❌ Roads are very dangerous|
|✅ Warm all year round||❌ People don’t speak English well|
|✅ Good air quality usually||✅ Nomad List members liked going here|
|✅ Many Nomad List members here all year round||✅ Spacious and not crowded|
|✅ Easy to make friends||✅ Very easy to do business|
|✅ Great hospitals||✅ Safe for women|
|✅ Family friendly||✅ Not many people smoke tobacco|
Love this island so much! The first time I went I only stayed in Haad Rin and hated it, second time I went, I ventured west and stayed nearly 3 weeks! Lots of great yoga retreats and healthy food
Beautiful island. For me it hits a sweet spot combining some of Canggu and Ubud. There’s good stuff like breath work and ecstatic dance close by but you don’t have to scooter a whole hour to get there. It’s not too hippy and you can easily avoid that vibe if you’re not into it.
Koh Phangan has potential to become an awesome nomad hotspot. It’s close, but it’s not quite there yet.
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