Evolution is change and change is evolution, this island of Koh Phangan has grown and evolved immensely since tourism to the island really took off around 30 years ago when people started coming for the Full Moon Party.
Like it or not, the Full Moon Party is the reason we are all here, all of you business owners, yogis (yes, even you!), expats, retired people, Hostel workers, DJs and people who have made the island their home. Even if you don’t relate one bit to this monthly rave on the beach, it is the reason you can make a life and living here.
The Full Moon Party brought people to the island which then helped the economy grow which also helped in people being able to see past the party and to what a beautiful island this is.
Even though Koh Phangan is still mostly known for the Full Moon Party and for being a ‘party island’, in recent years it has also become known for its other attractions such as Yoga Schools, being Spirituality Hotspot, Diving, Kite Surfing and also as a Romantic getaway and even family vacation destination.
Just look at Thong Nai Pan Noi, there you will find exclusive resorts along the beautiful beach with families alongside kids playing in the sea, a far cry from the world of Haad Rin where the Full Moon Party takes place.
All of us know that this island is so much more than just a party place but there is still work to do to get it its full reputation as an island that has something for everyone. Trust us, here at Phanganist.com for the last decade we have been working hard with all our media to try to promote the island for all its worth!
So is there a new kind of tourist coming to Koh Phangan nowadays?
Is the island not so much about backpackers but for people with more of a budget looking for a more well-rounded trip when they’re here in the Gulf of Thailand?
With reports of tourism on the decrease and businesses struggling in low season it can be hard to see past the stereotypical views of change, however, we should take off our tinted glasses and look at how the tourist is evolving and that maybe we should evolve with it!
Like anywhere in the world people will come to expect more, they will expect to be treated nicely with customer service and smiles and in return they will spend more money.
As the island gets more noticed for being a family friendly environment the atmosphere can become more wholesome and this could even please the local Thai community who when treated right are the most warming of people you could meet, without the rude raucous behaviour of Full Moon tourists they could see that not all of us Westerners are inconsiderate drink-driving A-holes.
Of course the Full Moon Party will continue and although it is a far cry from its hippy laid-back roots, this once per month event is what many people come to rely on for their livelihoods. Don’t be a nag just because the youngsters like a different kind of music now to what you did!
Coming to the Full Moon Party is often the first spark of a young person's relationship with the island. They come, they party and they go out for the day, and after seeing what an amazing place Phangan is they decide to visit year after year for longer and longer. This tourist will evolve and change too, each year they will help the economy and different businesses, maybe eventually making it their home just as so many of us have and bringing with them the next generation.
It is true that more and more other lesser known locations are becoming more attractive to the backpacker fleet such as Cambodia, but what Phangan needs to do is to continue to evolve for the new kind of tourism that is coming to us!
It can only be a good thing for our lovely little island.