During the night of the full moon party, pick up truck taxis are responsible for getting people to and from Haad Rin and run all night long. They can send you anywhere accessible by car but if you are going back to your resort any further than Thong sala, sometimes you have to wait in front of Big A supermarket for what seems like ages before you can continue on your way. The taxi drivers wait to fill up the truck with people headed in the same direction and this may take a while dispite all the complaining and verbal abuse from wary party goers. My tip is to be patient and dont let it spoil your night. Just go to the seven eleven across the street and stock up on supplies for the after party!
It is easy to get to Koh Phangan by ferry.If you are coming from Koh Samui you can catch the ferry at Bo Phut Pier.The fare is around 90 baht.From Koh Phangan you get the ferry at Thongsala to Surathanni and there are a number of ferry companiesyou can choose from.Seatran ferry ,Raja ferry and Lomphrayah speed catamaran are all very good.
One of the easiest way to get to Ko Phangan is by the regular ferry service from Ko Samui or from Ko Tao, the two closest islands.
Of course, there are direct ferry services to Ko Phangan from the mainland itself from Chumpon and Surat Thani.
If you are prone to seasickness especially after days of island hopping, do take some medication before the ferry ride.
Taxi will charge u around 100 bth to 200 bth depends on where u want to go.
e.g From the pier at Tongsala ( main town ) to Haad Rin ( down south ) they charge u 100 bth.
The cheapest way of tranportation is to rent a bike. 150 bth per day. U can spot the vendor easily all over the island.
If you want to see Koh Phangan properly, I believe that you really do need to rent a motorbike.
That way you can take your time as we did and find all the out of the way little bays,waterfalls and beaches that you might not otherwise find.
Many of the bungalo's and resorts will rent you one but there are many places in the towns and villages where you can rent one.
You would expect to pay about 150 Baht per day so it's not much and they are quite small slow and easy enough for anyone to ride.
There are a few different types of boats that you can take to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
These Photo's show the car and people ferry that runs from Nathon in Koh Samui to Thong-sala in Koh Phangan.
You can also see the "Haad Rin Queen" which runs from KohSamui to Haad Rin direct.
If you want a faster more comfortable trip to Thong-sala then you can catch the Sea-Trans Caterman from Bohput pier in Samui to Thong-sala port in Phangan.
This is air conditioned and takes about 30 minutes.
There are plenty of options to get to KPG from Samui.....dont think youll be on Samui and there is only one boat per day from one pier....thats simply not the case....allot of people take the large barge from Big Budha Beach...It runs twice a day (9am and 1pm?? check that)....cost is 100 baht, about 1.5 hrs........we took that route one yr....it was just fine and we met tons of people..... In this photo we were going from a different area on Samui and inquired about transportation...we could go to the big budha OR take a catamaran from another beach. The hotel drove a group of us over and the trip on the Catamaran was about 45mins.....I think the cost was $300 baht ea. Moral of the story...there are planty of options....every beach/pier/etc on the north end of the island will have daily transportation and options ranging from a small speed boat to a large barge. Note: be specific about the pier you want to arrive at....some go to Tong Sala others to Haad Rin.... Tong Sala to Haad Rin, another 100 Baht cab ride....everything has to be factored in.....if your going north on the island first....Tong Sala is your best bet for proximity.....if you have no choice but simply have to get there....jump on anything that floats and simply arrive.
Taxis - whatever the form...car, 4 wheel, pick up or bike - are all easy ways to get around the island...they are generally available through the evening and run more so on holidays and nights of the full moon party....for a shared cab your looking at 100 baht ea one way....a couple yrs ago the same trip would have been half that....in any case....bungalow resorts will provide this service no problem and sometimes have scheduled daily departures to different areas of the island....makes an easy way to move around or to do some day tripping. And finally, if youre so inclined, you can hire a car and driver for the day or evening to take you around...one yr we were on a pretty secluded beach and wanted to go out...we arranged for a taxi which took us to tong sala for the night ...bar to bar...thai boxing and food...returned us home when we wanted...5 of us 100 Baht for the night...you can do the smae during the day going form beach to beach or sightseeing......not bad!
From Haad Rin there are a couple options to get around the island up to another beach....the boats depart from the port on the sunset beach side...walk through town, past the 7/11 out towards the west. Negotiate the prices of course.....we paid $1000 baht for the two of us to go up to Tong Nai Pan....rate started at $1500....watch as the driver will try to take multiple people to different destinations on the same boat....price should then be cheaper.....our trip was around 45 minutes and it just gorgeous going up the coast...when arriving at the beach the driver throws off the anchor and drifts in...we had to walk knee deep in the ocean - with bags on our heads - to the land.....not bad at all.....also, stock up on beverages and snacks for the trip....it is quite fun, relaxing and way better than taking a 1 hr bumpy cab ride. Good Luck!
Sawngthaew (pronounced, song taw) are the hatch back jeeps with 2 rows of seats and a roof. These are the main route of transport around the island. A trip from Thong Sala to Had Rin is usually around 50Bt and leave quite regularaly you can also flag them down when they're passing on the road.
I rented a 4 wheel drive. In my opinion, that is the only way to go in Koh Phangan. The island has hilly interior, and for most part still consist of dirt road. Renting moped, like so many people do just doesn't make any sense.
Shared taxis are abundant, and available almost 24 hours during the full moon season but if you plan to move around a lot, the fares will definitely add up, it might cost more than having a private vehicle
Price for 24 h rental start at 1,000 bht, depending on the make and model.
There are many boat operator plying the Surat Thani - Koh Samui - Koh Phangan route.
Upon arrival in Phun Phin station in Surat Thani, you will be swarmed by many touts offering basically the same service, except that each of them may represent a different ferry company. I end up using the Seatran ferry service.
When I arrived at the station in the middle of the nite, I was cornered by a tout who did a good job of setting me up in a decent guest house in Surat Thani for the overnite stay, and sell me a Seatran ferry ticket for my trip to Koh Phangan.
All in all, it was a hassle free experience. Remember, if the tout who talk to you look dodgy, just walk away becoz there are many others who offer similar service. I don't remember how much I pay, but from what I gather from other fellow travelers, everyone pay the same fare as I do, so I guess there's no need for you to haggle down the price.
There is no direct train connection from Kuala Lumpur to Surat Thani. You need to break the journey and change train in Penang.
Depart from Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station at 8 pm, and arrive in Butterworth Station, Penang at 6 am, next morning. The ticket cost roughly RM 40 per person for a 2nd class sleeping compartment. For more details, check out this website: www.ktmb.com.my
From Penang, change to Thai train. The train depart from Butterworth at 2 pm, and arrive in Phun Phin Station at midnite on the same day. For information about Thai train, check out this website: www.railway.co.th
You will need to sleep over at Surat Thani town and catch the next morning boat to Koh Phangan.
9 hours of bus ride from khaosan road, bangkok at 8pm. we reached surat thani at ard 5am. waited for the bus to bring us to the dock at 6am. then it was a gurling 3 hour ferry ride to phangan via koh samui. instead of hanging ard inside the ferry, most of the party goers would hang outside making friends and getting a tan. be careful where you put your slippers/ music players etc though... some went overboard.
when we finally reached phangan, i felt as though i could kiss the ground.
The bus ticket from Bangkok to Koh Phangan can be bought on the Khao San road in Bangkok for about 500Bt which is excellent value as this includes a bus and ferry. The only down side to this is that it takes about 18 hours to complete this journey and in by the time you arrive in you are absloutly shattered!
The other alternative is to get the sleeper train to Surat Thani and the ferry to Koh Phangan but this is a lot more expensive and is more hassle really.
The easiest way to get to Koh Phangan is to fly to Koh Samui and to get the ferrry from Big Buddah pier. Obviously flying is the most expensive option and is therefore rarely taken by many backpackers.
I have done the journey by each of these modes of transport and would say if your backpacking take the first option but if your not on a too tight budget then take fly.