Don’t be afraid to do the ‘Tourist Stuff’ whilst on Koh Phangan

12 Feb 2021

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It might feel like you’re being pulled in all sorts of directions when you meet other travellers during your Asian trip. You planned down to the minute where you will go and what you will see or you are just playing it by ear and will decide when you get there, but someone is always there to spoil your fun aren’t they…

There’s always a traveller who’s done it before or is doing it another way so you may be swayed to miss out things that initially you thought would be pretty cool, fun and life changing. Well, be strong! Stick to your plan! People will always tell you that the tourist things are not ‘cool’ to do but they are tourist things for a reason.

The good thing about Koh Phangan is that it is still not very known about around the world, even some people in Bangkok haven’t heard of this little island so even though it may seem ‘touristy’ here, many many people will not get to have this experience, remember that.

Your friends and family will be in awe at all these adventures you get up to even if the dread headed boy with the hemp harem pants in dorm bed 6 is not, who cares what he thinks anyway…

A lot of the tourist attractions on the island also help the economy of the local Thai people, either they are the sole owners or employees or they may be partnered with a westerner to make the business work.

The Full Moon Party
The biggest craziest most famous tourist attraction on Phangan with 20,000 visitors coming every month for this huge rave on the beach.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, you may not of come here to party at all and who can blame you but it is good to go and just even see it. You may not get to see anything like this again in your life, thousands of young people, painted in neon colours, dancing, making friends, drinking and having fun all in one place for just one night, it is awe inspiring and you don’t need to get involved as such if you don’t want to, you can just go and take a look, sit on the outskirts with a beer then return to your comfy bed. Or get involved of course, you may be swayed!!

The Full Moon party is what has helped the island to develop and brings in a good economy to many local families with small or large businesses, a lot of them rely on this every month and many aspects have been put in place over the years to keep tourists safe and take care of the environment.

Drop In Bar on Haad Rin Beach
Drop In Bar is situated on the beach in Haad Rin and is one of the wildest most fun places to hang for Full Moon but the great thing about it is that it has parties all throughout the month even with no Full Moon.

You can still experience a taste of the action any time of the month with fire dancers, games drinks and loud cheesy classic tunes which go perfectly well with your classic bucket.

Waterfalls and Nature
It’s cliche to visit a waterfall in Thailand but it’s cliche for a reason, waterfalls are great. It’s a great day out with friends, a great way to bond with new people from your hostel and you can swim, explore and cool off.

There’s probably nothing like it where you come from so it’s a must see, you can organise a tour to take in a few waterfalls and some other spectacular nature at the same time.

You might hear that ‘the best’ places are off the beaten track but honestly most of them are known about and held in high regard of the hearts of the locals, plus you need to think about safety. There are snakes and spiders and weird things in the jungle so unless experienced it is not advised to go exploring on your own, much better with a guide and more fun!

Kitesurfing and Diving
This island is a great place to learn these skills and one of the cheapest in the whole world. Even if you’re worried that you have never done it before and may embarrass yourself, don’t be!

Most people are in the same boat and instructors want you to do well so just go for it even just try it for a day.

Koh Phangan has become a global hub for yoga schools, yogis and meditation and it offers classes from renowned teachers. Your mates might think you’re being a bit ‘too hippyish’ but don’t listen to them, yoga is a great way to relax your mind and strengthen your body and you may just try it the one time but the likeliness is that you will enjoy this experience.

Anyway, where better than to get ‘all hippyish’ than on a paradise island with beaches and jungle.

Amsterdam Bar for Sunset
It’s named after that famous city in the Netherlands for a reason and it’s usually one of the first places that people will mention when you arrive on the island. There are tons of places to enjoy Phangan’s beautiful sunsets but this is the most touristy one but again for a very good reason.

Amsterdam Bar is situated above Hin Kong beach up high with a large platform full of tables and thai cushions for you to have a beer, smoke and chill on whilst watching a majestic spectacular sunset from a glorious spot.

Although it gets busy with lots of people trying to do exactly the same thing, this is the best place to get that amazing sunset photo to show people back home.

So don’t be afraid that you’re doing the same as the other travelers here, you want to experience as much of this beautiful island as you can in the short time you are here so use the local knowledge and guides to help you.

There are many things you can do on your own or out of the norm still, walk a bit further round the corner of that beach for sunset, go to a party for sunrise instead of 11pm to see how the local expats party and enjoy the sun rising rather than setting, make new friends and try a food stall that is in the middle of nowhere, it’s all to be had here.

One thing is for sure, your friends back home won’t think that you have just done ‘all the tourist stuff’ when you return and tell them your tales of this magic island that is Koh Phangan.