Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand: where the fish don’t sleep

travel , backpacking , adventure , ocean , asia , thailand , remote , sunset , hiking , party , snorkeling , island , budget-travel
Sunset on Haad Yao during beach dinner.

Dancing, partying, drinking. Three of the most popular activities for young travellers are brought to a new level on Koh Pha Ngan. Home of the famous Full Moon Party on Haad Rin, this island is bustling with backpackers at any given time, though particularly on the days surrounding the full moon party. With fire dancers, EDM, buckets and neon body paint, this island is a great place to let loose and meet other free-spirited travellers.

Don’t be fooled by its party reputation though. During the day, Koh Pha Ngan hosts some of the most beautiful scenery in Thailand. The beaches are not as long as those on Koh Samui but the intersection of white sandy beach and jagged rock that form the island’s edge make for stunning scenery and pictures. If you’re near the west side of the island, head over to Haad Yao where you can catch an incredible island sunset over dinner on the beach. Haad Yao is lined with affordable restaurants boasting refreshing cocktails, making it another perfect spot to meet fellow backpackers and share your adventures.

Finding a place nice place to stay during your travels is fairly easy, with options for budget travellers and luxury-seekers alike. I used booking.com to find a lovely bungalo right off of Haad Yao featuring an infinity pool, complimentary breakfast, A/C (the best perk for those humid nights), and friendly staff. After splitting the cost with my travel companion, we were looking at $20 a night each; you can’t ask for better value!

View of Haad Yao from our bungalow.

The hotels and hostels try to make your Full Moon Party experience as convenient as possible by typically providing shuttle service to and from your resort to Haad Rin, as they realize the event draws in most of their travellers. They’ll usually also have information on other events or activities you can enjoy during your stay. Don’t let the partying distract you from the opportunities to snorkel is some impressive coral, hike some beautiful jungle views, and island hopping tours.

It became immediately obvious that the island is more than its most popular attraction. There are so many incredible experiences to be had while backpacking and when one point of interest takes you somewhere, be sure to explore the surrounding areas too!

This unique island is a must-do if you’re looking to meet other travellers, backpack through some gorgeous scenery, and experience the simpler lifestyle that is still preserved here. With so much to do on Koh Pha Ngan, travellers find the mental strength to brush off a night of partying to dive right into the emerald waters the next morning, never allowing the fish even a wink of sleep.

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Great read! Even as a (slightly) older traveler, this post makes me want to keep those fish awake for days!🤘🏻🍻🤗