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Is Koh Phangan Expensive?

8 Nov 2019

The ambiguous answer to that question is No and Yes. No, Koh Phangan is not an expensive place to visit but depending on your budget and the type of experience you want to have, yes it can be. Expense is also relative depending on your own personal income.

But let’s break it down a bit…

Koh Phangan has always been a famous stop on the backpacker route through Asia, famously for its Full Moon Party and laid back atmosphere. Backpacking culture is not meant to be an expensive way to travel, with travelers choosing cheap hostels to stay in where they can meet other people in the shared dorms and getting from one destination to the next is done the cheapest way possible.

Trains, buses and even hitchhiking rather than domestic flights from city to city. Food costs are kept down by eating street food and local cuisine rather than going to International restaurants.

Backpacking is still a thing, even though you will see more young people with suitcases on wheels these days, the culture is still going strong. Koh Phangan caters to these travelers and has done since the beginning, in fact at hostels and cheap accommodation here on the island you will get a lot more for your small amount of money than you did years ago! Most Hostels, because of competition offer swimming pools, on-site bars and restaurants plus other facilities and much nicer bunk beds than the standard metal framed ones.

Affordable Hostel accomodation along with cheap local thai food means that you can have a non-expensive visit to Phangan.

You can rent a moped to get around and see the island for an average of 250 Baht per day and because the island is so beautiful in itself means that there are lots of free activities to do. Beach hopping, swimming and snorkelling, viewpoint gazing and sunset watching are all free of charge here.

As long as you stick to a budget and plan then Koh Phangan is not at all expensive.

On the other side of things, Koh Phangan does cater to more expensive tastes. However, what is seen as expensive here is still incredibly good value for money compared to other parts of the world. You can stay at luxury 5 star resorts here in paradise for much cheaper than you would anywhere in Europe for example.

As well as local Thai cuisine and simple places to eat, Phangan has a wide variety of Western restaurants of good quality including high end dining experiences for something special or romantic. There are also more ‘expensive’ Thai dining options around the island or situated within resorts themselves.

Valentine restaurant Koh Phangan
Valentine restaurant Koh Phangan

The growth of the island means that more people are investing to build luxury villas, usually in the mountains with gorgeous views overlooking the ocean equipped with their own swimming pools and luxuriously decorated and equipped to western standards. These types of villas are available to those with more of an expensive budget and are perfect for couples getaways or friends wishing to share and have a more upmarket experience.
Valentine restaurant Koh Phangan

You can rent a car or a jeep rather than a moped which is more costly but as we said before, although these are the expensive options they will still seem affordable to many people in their 30s, 40s and upwards compared to youngsters just out of college in their late teens or twenties.
Valentine restaurant Koh Phangan

And so, there is no real answer to the question of ‘Is Koh Phangan Expensive?’, we believe it depends on the context of who you are and what you want. There is something for every different kind of budget and all types of travelers here on magic island, come find out yourself!