Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan

Introduction to Koh Pha-ngan

Koh = island
Pha = meet or find
Ngan = sandy beach which can be seen at low tide

Koh Phangan is an island paradise in the Gulf of Thailand, located about 100 km from the coast of Southern Thailandís Surat Thani Province and about 15 km from the famous resort island: Koh Samui. It is the largest of Koh Samuiís neighboring islands, with an area of 168 square km. Over 70% of its total area is mountains and tropical forest, with the lowlands being beaches and coconut fields.
About 8,000 people live on Koh Phangan Island; some are Chinese whose ancestors migrated from China more than hundred years ago. The main population lives in Thong Sala Town. Standard Thai is used as the official language, but the southern dialect is more widely spoken among the local people. English is understood in business circles and tourist areas. More than 95% of the population is Buddhist, but there are a few Muslims in Baan Tai village. The most important product of Koh Phangan is coconut. Each month Koh Samui and Koh Phangan produce more than 1 million coconuts for export to Bangkok. Another prominent island industry is fishing and of course the growing tourism business.

History

Koh Phangan has always been a beautiful and spiritual place for the Thais, it has been visited by no less than four Kings of Thailand; with the Great Rama V coming over 10 times, leaving his royal seal engraved on a rock at Thaan Sadet Waterfall and the current King Bhu-mibol follows in his footsteps. The island was uninhabited until about 600 years ago when passing monks realized its tranquility and spiritual importance and settled in Wat Phu Khao Noi just outside Thong Sala. It is Thailandís fifth biggest island, thus over 90% of Koh Phangan is unspoilt tropical forest; and due to its granite structure, there are several small mountains where itís possible to trek and even camp. There is an abundance of wildlife, from monkeys to birds of paradise and then there is the amazing underwater world that surrounds Koh Phangan; with over 10 kms of vibrant coral and 20 local dive sites. And if you have any energy after that, there is the nightlife that the island became internationally famous for, with the globally renowned Full Moon Party and weekly outdoor events in the jungle and beachfront venues; not forgetting the daily session that goes off in Haad Rin.

Koh Phangan, Thailand