Koh phangan

Where to Stay, When to Go, Why Pick Koh Phangan - Tips from a Digital Nomad

This tiny paradise-like tropical island is located in the South of Thailand close to the larger and more established island of Koh Samui. Koh Phangan is well known and loved for its Full Moon, Half Moon, and Black Moon parties which the younger backpacking crowd flock to but there’s far more to the island than just partying. Yogi’s love the energy that this island gives off, families enjoy unwinding on the beaches as they immerse themselves in the local culture and, in recent years, it’s become a bit of a hotspot for digital nomads.

This beautiful place is honestly a dream come true for many people — It boasts a desert island lifestyle with the added benefits of having good wifi and all the other mod-cons and comforts of home. Just take a moment to conjure up serene white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, coconut trees, hammocks, and golden temples with Buddhist monks. Add to this the great hiking opportunities in the mountainous jungle interior, great scuba diving locations, too many yoga centers to count, an array of fun watersports, and the best international DJ’s and you begin to understand that the island of Koh Phangan offers something for everyone whether they seek peace or parties.

For those who need to work, the island has a few dedicated co-working spaces as well as laptop friendly cafes with most rentals also having a reliable wifi connection. Though the island has only recently taken off as a digital nomad location, it has been one of Thailand’s more popular destinations since the 1980’s when first Full Moon Parties took place. Today, this vibrant nightlife scene rivals that of Ibiza. Don’t worry if this is not your style though as the madness is easy to avoid by heading North or East, away from Haat Rin.

 

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Best time to travel to Koh phangan

Lying close to the Equator, Koh Phangan has a tropical monsoon climate with temperatures varying very little but the rain falling frequently. The island has 3 seasons that can be summed up as wet and windy, hot and wet, or hot and drier. The weather is fairly unpredictable within the seasons though, there might be some hot dry days in the monsoon season and lots of rain in the driest season, you can never tell. Saying this, Koh Phangan does receive less annual rainfall than Phuket and benefits from a shorter monsoon season.

The best time to visit Koh Phangan is from January to April when the weather is at its driest. If you don’t mind a little rain, you can visit up until September before the monsoon season hits. The island is at its most crowded on the days surrounding the monthly full moon parties and from January-March and July-August. May to June can be good months to visit for a less crowded time but these are some of the hottest months. Monsoon season itself is best avoided unless you want to run the risk of getting stranded on the island for a few days due.

Dry Season: January-April – This is the islands main tourist season with comfortable temperatures that are just about right, not being too hot and humid. January and February are particularly busy with tourists due to the good temperatures and February is usually the driest month of all.
During mid-April Songkran takes place, this is the Thai New Year and the biggest festival of the year which coincides with the end of the dry season. Visit Koh Phangan during this time and you’ll witness 3-7 days of a vibrant party atmosphere. April 13th is the main day with locals visiting temples to pray to Buddha and covering each other in water – Water is supposed to wash away bad luck and symbolizes the cleansing of mind, body, and spirit so whilst the elders are getting gently sprinkled in scented water as a sign of respect, the youngsters are pulling out the water pistols and hose pipes resulting in some epic water fights. It’s highly recommended that you pack money, phones, cameras, and other valuables in waterproof plastic bags as even innocent bystanders will get a soaking! For the past 2 years, The Koh Phangan Color Moon Festival has also taken place in April with a 5 day event that promotes the local culture. A variety of events take place including a local music festival, sporting events and competitions, food stalls and more.

Hot Season: May-September – May and June are the hot months and occasional storms should be expected, these can actually be a welcome relief from the heat. July and August are busy months as young backpackers flock to the island for their Summer holidays and to witness the moon parties but if you’re a scuba diver, this is also the ideal time to visit with visibility usually at 20+ meters. Between July and September, it’s considered to be pre-monsoon season with more rainfall occurring than earlier in the season.

Wet Season: October-December – These monsoon months are warm but also the wettest and windiest (particularly November for rain) and the island is at its quietest with most tourists having left. Although the monsoon season is short on Koh Phangan (compared with other parts of Thailand) and it doesn’t rain every-single-day, ferries are often disrupted and seasonal flooding is likely so it’s not the ideal time to visit for a 1 week vacation as you could become stranded. December is a very unpredictable month as the monsoon might have arrived early and therefore departed early or it could have hit late and still be staying around.

Author

Tal Gur is a world traveler and personal development enthusiast. An adventurer at heart, after trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, Tal spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey continues as a location-independent blogger, lifestyle entrepreneur, and coach. Tal’s published two books: One Year to Freedom, a 1-Year Roadmap to Living Life on Your Own Terms; and, his most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living – 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World.

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