The beautiful beaches, breathtaking silence, powder soft sand and a dense jungle interior, all add to the beauty of the island named Koh Phangan. In addition to that, the spiritual side of the island is enhanced by the presence of 20 temples, each with its own different atmosphere and ambiance. With that said, here are some of the best and most fascinating attractions of Koh Phangan:
1. Visit the island’s tallest tree
With an impressive circumference of about 14 feet, this monstrous rubber tree stands by the side of the road near Wat Pho. The sight of this tree definitely makes for a great photo opportunity. A neighbor, smaller but no less impressive, is located nearby.
2. Khao Ra
The Ra Mountain, which towers over the island, provides some of the best and most panoramic views. There is a central “street” that runs across the island. However, the only problem with this road is that it is heavily rutted in places, so it is recommended to take the right vehicle (4×4, dirt bike, taxi) – do not try to run a normal car on this road, especially when it is raining!
3. Muay Thai – kickboxing
There are no movie theaters on the island, but should you need an adrenaline rush to consider checking out the Muay Thai kickboxing competitions where no stuntmen or actors perform- it’s all real and live. Muay Thai or Thai kick boxing contests are generally held at different places in Kho Phangan. Rather, the locations are chosen with the help of a lottery system.
If you want to know where the next game might happen, head to the nearest boxing stadium and ask. Both Haad Rin and Thong Sala have impressive setups for this kind of boxing.
4. Phaeng Waterfall
Phaeng waterfall is one of the biggest waterfalls in Koh Phangan. This beautiful waterfall is easily accessible and well worth a visit, especially after a steady rainfall. This waterfall is the property of Thon Sadet, a National Park on Koh Phangan. Guides can be hired for an easy tour of the place.
5. Kuan Yin Temple
Heading north towards Chaloklum stands the Kuan Yin temple. This Chinese temple is made up of seven different buildings – all with attractive and beautiful views of the countryside and the nearby Chaloklum Bay. There is an impressive “dragon drum”, several pagodas in bright colors and a sizable image of Buddha in gold. The grounds are dotted with bougainvillea with wind chimes spread throughout the temple.
The idol of Kuan Yin, which is the Chinese name for the Goddess of Mercy, has its origins in the Chinese Taoism.
6. Wat Pho
Wat Pho is one of the most popular attractions in Phangan. Even when the place is heavily crowded, it retains its tranquility and calm. Attracting many health enthusiasts from around the world, an inexpensive sauna and massage center is the principal attraction of the temple. The structure is made up of rudimentary buildings and a large water pond with lilies. Wat Pho is probably the best massage destination on the island.
7.Wat Phu Khao Noi
The island’s oldest temple, Wat Phu Khao Noi (meaning “temple in the small mountain”), is considered as the most peaceful location on Phangan due to the many retreats that are run here. It is a shaded area with an attractive and intimate atmosphere for retreats. Visitors are encouraged to maintain the silence. They are also advised to park their vehicles outside the grounds and not pose with the images of Lord Buddha. In addition to that, wearing a respectful dress is obligatory.
Apart from being a place full of natural attractions, Koh Phangan is also a destination for food enthusiasts. Many of the tourists visiting this place are also interested in learning Thai style of cooking. Consequently, many culinary classes running in Koh Phangan offer extensive Thai cooking courses that are both fun and informative.
How to Get There
You can get to Koh Phangan by a ferry from Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Surat Thani. For information about tickets and schedules, visit http://www.ferrysamui.com
John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand. He likes writing about Thailand and he writes not only about traveling in Thailand, but also about business, culture, economy, education and food.