Koh Phangan – Recommendations

After a number of months in Koh Phangan you get to know some of the good spots to visit. The below is my subjective list of things to see and do –

1) Best spot for Dinner

  • Bottom line is you’re spoilt for choice on Koh Phangan for excellent places to eat. The island caters for all budgets and the best recommendation is to get out there and try as many different places as possible. But there can be only one winner and Thong Yang Seaview takes the prize. After initially stumbling across Thong Yang, which is on the final decent out of Haad Rin towards Ban Tai, I ended up eating there well over 30 times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It really is the full package with an amazing view (sunset is outstanding) and great food and service to boot.

2) Best beach on the Island

  • Well the answer could really be all of them but for my money it has to be Bottle Beach. A Stunning and isolated location that is great for swimming and has plenty of tree cover if you want to get out of the sun. Plus there are a couple of resorts to have a bite to eat and a drink so a perfect place for a day trip.

3) Best Pizza on Koh Phangan

  • FuBar in Haad Rin without a doubt. Blue Cheese and Salami pizza simply outstanding… And from what I saw it also looks like the best place to recover post the Full Moon Party!

4) Best party

  • Now if I told you the answer to this then I wouldn’t be allowed back on the Island. But I’ll give you a clue – take the time to get to know some local ex-pats and ask them (and I can assure you that they won’t say the “Full Moon Party”).

5) Best nature walk

  • Once again the Bottle Beach walk takes the cake, closely followed by the Haad Rin to Haad Yuan Nature walk. Why? Well it was arguably the most challenging of the walks and Bottle Beach as previously mentioned is well worth the effort!

6) Best food

  • This is a tough one as there are plenty of excellent places to choose from – Thong Yang for example. But rather than go for one of the main stream spots or ‘highly recommended’ restaurants on Trip Advisor I suggest you try something a bit out of the way. Glad Gaew Garden Restaurant in Thongsala. You’ll find Glad Gaew on the main straight into Thongsala just down the road toward Thongsala from more well known Anda Loco Mexican restaurant. At Glad Gaew the food is cooked in an open kitchen and from sitting right next to the kitchen I can confirm that they use the freshest ingredients so it is no surprise that the end result is delicious. After eating there on a number of occasions I can recommend pretty much everything on the menu – especially the fresh spring rolls. Not the most romantic of settings being right on the main road but this is all about the food and Glad Gaew takes the prize.

7) Best place to watch the sunset

  • Again another tough one but the Amstardam Bar wins simply through the “you’ve just got to experience it” factor.

8) Best place to watch the sunrise

9) Best website to get information on what’s going on

  • There’s a bunch out there but The Phanganist will keep you posted on what’s happening on the island.

10) Best location to stay on the Island

  • Totally depends on what you want to get out of your trip. If you’re going to Koh Phangan to party then Haad Rin is the obvious choice. If you’re looking at staying a bit longer term (hence want cheaper accommodation options) but don’t want to be too far away from the action then Ban Tai is for you. If you want to chill out on the beach and have as few people around you as possible either Haad Yuan North (East/North East) or anywhere on the North West. Just remember Koh Phangan is deceptively large so expect to take an hour to get from Haad Rin to the opposite side of the island.

Hope that some of these recommendations are of some use! All comments welcome…

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