Koh Phangan Hotels Resorts

Adventure & Activities

phanga activities

Adventure & Activities In Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is full of outdoor adventure and most of it can be done on a few Baht . Rich coral reefs run along the north-west coast of the island, supporting a vibrant underwater world making it an excellent place to snorkel and one of the cheapest and least-crowded places to dive in Thailand. There are fishing trips, around the island boat trips and loads of watersports on offer including kayaks, catamarans and fishing.

The island has acres of undisturbed tropical rainforest and a wild jungle interior. Thare overnight mountain treks to e top of Khao Ra and coastli alks making it possible to beach hop round the whole island. There are also several Thai boxing schools, gyms and Thai boxing stadiums in both Thongsala and Haad Rin. Koh Phangan is great for cycling around and if you are an experienced motorcyclist it offers some fun rides. There are loads of temples to visit, spa and meditation retreats.

MOUNTAIN BIKING
Bikes can be hired in most towns and villages, just ask around; the quality varies but there are some reasonable machines out there. If you are staying long term there are several shops in Koh Samui that stock authentic bikes and they can usually be sold on before you go home. Prices range between Baht 80 to Baht 120 per day (prices are negotiable on monthly rentals). Apart from Ban Khai to Thongsala and on to Haad Yao, the island is predominantly hilly, thus be prepared for a work out if you cycle elsewhere. Always remember take plenty of water, head wear (helmet advised — the hills give you a lot of speed) and sun-cream.
There are no official tracks, though that can only be a matter of time, but any non-concrete road in the hilly areas is a good ride, especially the Thong Nai Pan and Than Sadet roads. Otherwise there are loads of trails to discover, just get those wheels rolling. For easier riding stick around the Thongsala area; a good ride would be up to Phaeng Waterfall where you can also see the Jade Buddha and then across to Srithanu and Laem Son lake, before heading back along the coastal road.

PAINTBALL WARFARE

Paintball Warfare, Thongsala
A new 3200m2 paintball battlefield has opened near Thongsala - there are a choice of 6 games to play (capture the flag, defend your base, free for all, rabbit hunt, find the flag, defend your man) and up to 12 peole can play at a time. Suitable for experts or beginners, you can play the whole day for only 300 Baht per person; there is also a really cool bar with great tunes and a groovy atmosphere. Thai and Western staff.

SCUBA DIVING & SNORKELLING
Koh Phangan is an excellent place to explore the underwater world. See page 30 for full review.

SAILING
There are a few places offering sailing trips and tuition, with one operation providing Hobie style Catamarans and Lazer sailing boats, available through December to April in Ao Nai Wok; ideal for learning or an exhilarating ride for the experienced sailor.

Cookies Bungalows
Ao Plaay Laem

Cookies has a selection of well-maintained Lazer sailing boats and a Hobie catamaran available for trips around the island. Suitable for beginners or those with more experience. Contact them for more details.

WINDSURFING
Cookies Bungalows
Ao Plaay Laem

Cookies offer fun windsurfing lessons for beginners on the west coast near Thongsala with beautiful views over Koh Tae Nok. Contact them for more details.

FISHING
Fishing can usually be organised through your resort and is often a short trip in a longtail boat out to a few local fishing spots. The normal equipment is a handline on a basic trip, so if you are looking for something a bit more high-tech ask around or go to a travel agent. There are plenty of operations with good rods and equipment and if you are willing to travel to the best spots and night fish, you may net a 20kg Mackerel or a 10kg Barracuda. If organised at a resort it should also be possible to have a BBQ on the beach in the evening. Fishing off the rocks on the coast can also bring a good catch; just ask a local where to set up - be warned it is illegal to go fishing in the marine rich waters around Koh Ma. Don't forget to cover your skin, bring enough water to drink and take care of the coral. If you fancy a good laugh, then head up to Chaloklum for a spot of squid fishing. Chaloklum is well-known throughout the area as an excellent source of squid. If you look out to sea after dark you will almost certainly see the bight lights from the squid boats shining in the distance. If you are interested in trying it out just ask some of the local people for more details.

FITNESS GYM
Jungle Gym & Thai Boxing
The Jungle Gym has a full range of work out equipment, fitness programs, yoga and provides personal fitness training. They have also been teaching and training Thai boxing on Koh Phangan for more than 12 years and have turned out more fighters than a Russian plane factory. There are male and female professional teachers offering tuition for every level of expertise, from absolute beginner to pre-fight training at one of the local stadiums. There are two gyms with excellent facilities; one in Thongsala and the original gym in Haad Rin. Jungle Gym also offers daily Power Yoga classes from 1pm to 3pm, give them a call for more information.

THAI BOXING (MUAY THAI)
Koh Phangan, like the rest of Thailand, loves its Thai Boxing; there are three stadiums in Thongsala, one in Haad Rin and one in Thong Nai Pan so you'll easily be able to catch a fight during your stay. There are usually about six fights a night with local and visiting Thai fighters and a few Farang (foreigners). To find out when the next big night is, try and decipher what one of the pick-ups with really tinny speakers is saying, look out for the posters or ask around. Price on the door is usually Baht 350. If you want to learn the noble art, there are a few good schools on the island with English speaking tuition and some very good facilities.

BOAT TRIPS
Easy to organise and perfect for those not planning to stay very long on Koh Phangan or just want to take a quick look around the island before deciding where to stay on longer. Boat trips can be arranged at most resorts and will leave late morning. Common itineraries for pre-arranged tours include Than Sadet waterfall, Thong Nai Pan, Haad Khuat, Koh Ma and Koh Tae Nok. If you are in a group, it is also possible to rent the boat for a day and arrange your own itinerary, but expect to pay a lot more. The boat will either be a traditional longtail or speedboat which will probably be able to take you further afield such as the Marine Park or Koh Tao. Any deal should include lunch and other essential supplies. Be aware of the sun and wear a hat and a healthy layer of sun lotion or risk feeling the affects of heatstoke later on as most trips leave about mid-day. All organised boat trips run every day depending on the weather of course - if you have booked ahead only to find that it is wet and windy you will receive a full refund.

KAYAKING
Kayaks are available for hire on most beaches for Baht 60 to Baht 100 per hour. The obvious precautions should be observed such as covering your skin from the hot sun, allowing enough time for long trips (sunset rides are not advised) and taking water to drink. Also be aware of the currents and tidal drift, it can be easy to go in one direction and very difficult to come back. The west coast from Wok Tum to Koh Ma offers some of the calmest seas and best beach hopping possibilities though if the seas aren't choppy, pretty much anywhere is good. Other popular routes are between Thong Nai Pan and Haad Khuat (Bottle Beach) and also from Chaloklum to Haad Khuat; or from Haad Rin it is easily possible to make it around to Haad Khontee and further on to Haad Thian and Haad Yuan but don't depart too late in the day.

TREKKING
Many parts of Koh Phangan are still untouched, which makes it perfect for trekking and camping. Most trekking routes are along the eastern coastline that link up peaceful coves and beaches, although there are also some fun treks in the jungle interior around the tallest mountain Khao Ra and Phaeng Waterfall National Park.

WARNING Please remember that it is easy to become lost, so if you are inexperienced please don't trek alone. Local guides can be found at Phaeng Waterfall National Park (Tel: 077 238275) - expect to pay about 500 Baht per day. If trekking alone or without a guide remember to take plenty of supplies, especially water and some high energy food.

Khao Ra
Central

The highest peak on Koh Phangan, Khao Ra stands at 630m and offers a fantastic viewpoint overlooking Chaloklum and Thong Nai Pan for those willing to climb to the top. On a good day with clear visibility you can see Koh Tao. The route is not too strenuous, but the path can be difficult to follow at times.

Phaeng Waterfall National Park
South West

The waterfall itself is a good attraction to visit, but walk further and there are many easy to follow paths leading up the mountain to an excellent viewpoint. Upon reaching the top there is still another longer well-marked trek for those who want to explore further.

Bottle Beach
North West

Easy to trek in about 2 hours, leaving from the western end of Chaloklum follow the dirt-track around to Haad Khom (which also has excellent snorkelling) and then becomes a narrower winding path sharply uphill and onto Bottle Beach.

Haad Yuan & Haad Thian
South East

A popular trek from Haad Rin that takes approximately 2 hours. The first part is hard-going, but once at the top of the mountain there are beautiful views over Haad Rin and beyond to Koh Samui. After this, follow the "green dots" along the mountain plateau which will eventually descend to the beach Haad Yuan. Only a little further is Haad Thian. Cheap bungalows are available on both beaches for an overnight stay.

JUNGLE SAFARI

Phangan Safari
Koh Phangan now has a elephant trekking based in the northern fishing village of Chaloklum. Treks are organised for 1/2 hour or 1 hour and take in the spectacular views looking out towards Koh Tao; afterwards watch the baby elephant perform amazing tricks. Hard to miss, if passing by stop and take say hello to these gentle giants.

Phangan Safari Eco-Nature Tour
Take a tour around the island in a comfortable 4WD jeep with the friendly crew and visit most of the must-see attractions on the island; including trekking to mountain viewpoints, waterfalls, temples, snorkelling, elephant trekking and Koh Phangan's famous homemade ice-cream. Half or one day tours available.

ARCHERY
First Bow and Arrow Club - The first Archery club has opened near Chaloklum Village. It is easy to try out this famous sport with equipment and instruction available, all levels welcome from beginner to professional. Make the best of your time and get a new experience or just have a laugh and enjoy some food and drinks in the restuarant. Open 9am-6pm.

COOKING COURSES
Same-Same Cooking Classes - Adding to their successful restaurant and lodge, Same-Same are now offering quality cooking classes so you can enjoy amazing Thai cuisine with friends when you get back home. There are 1, 3 or 5 day classes available, all taught by a fully-trained English speaking chef. Visit the market to purchase your ingredients, prepare and cook, then sit back and eat.

ANGTHONG MARINE PARK TRIPS
Ang Thong is a true natural wonder unique to the Gulf of Thailand; consisting of over 42 individual islands and easily reached from Koh Phangan by speedboat or cruiser it is a popular destination for travellers looking to explore this magical place. A few of the highlights include:

Viewpoint on Wua Ta Lap
Wua Ta Lap is the Marine Park Headquarters and consists of an open area with information centre, restaurant and a few modern bungalows. It is a steep climb to the viewpoint and lots of water and shoes are definitely recommended - the hard walk will will be rewarded by some stunning views.

Camping on Koh Mae Ko
There are only a few beaches in the Marine Park that tourists are allowed to camp and faciltilies are actually provided on request swing in the hammock under the stars with a warming camp fire and BBQ in the evening.

Inner Sea (Emerald Lake)
Don't miss the famous saltwater Emerald Lake. Hidden from view and accessed by a narrow pathway, it is a natural wonder. No swimming allowed. arrange trips to the marine park, some will do a standard 1-day trip which includes visiting a few attractions, lunch break and a bit of snorkelling. For those that want more adventure it is possible to stay overnight at the marine park in basic accommodation. All tour packages should include the entrance fee of 200 Baht per person.

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