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Six Unforgettable Beaches in Southeast Asia


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Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Phangan
Jim Doberman/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

This island in the Southern Gulf of Thailand was once known primarily as King Chulalongkorn’s favorite vacation getaway. In the past 20 years, the place has developed rather rapidly from “backpacker’s best kept secret” to “tourist hot spot”.

The tiny island has plenty to offer: pristine beaches made for swimming and snorkeling; accommodations to suit any budget; fun outdoor activities for adults and kids alike; and, for partygoers, Haad Rin’s notorious “Full Moon Parties”: described elsewhere as “a monthly ‘Burning Man’” with a surfeit of trance music, fire-spinners, drugs, and alcohol.

To get to Kho Phangan, take a bus from Bangkok; this will take you to the provincial capital of Surat Thani, where you can board a ferry to Thong Sala on Koh Phangan.

Resorts in Koh Phangan

Guests in Koh Phangan have plenty of resorts to choose from. A short list of hotels and resorts in Koh Phangan follows below.

  • Royal Orchid Resort - Mae Haad Beach. 0066 77 374182; royal-orchid-resort-phangan.info. From $25 (compare rates).
  • Bounty Resort - Haad Dao Deuk. bounty-resort-phangan.info. From $49 (compare rates).
  • Baan Bang Rak Resort - Hin Kong Bay. baan-bang-rak.com. From $76 (compare rates).
  • Phanganburi Resort - 120/1 Haad Rin Nai Beach. phanganburiresort.info. From $79 (compare rates).
  • Santhiya Resort and Spa - 22/7 Moo 5 Bantai. santhiya.com. From $125 (compare rates).
  • Rasananda Resort Koh Phangan - 5/5 Moo 5 Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach Baan Tai. From $176 (compare rates).
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