Phangan 5 Zone

Phangan Zone 1

Phangan Zone 2

 Ko Pha-ngan: Heaven of Nature Lovers

     Many people recognize Ko Pha-ngan as a site of world-famous full-moon party, which was initiated by a group of foreign tourists who arrived in Ko Pha-ngan on a full- moon night and were impressed by the sand on Hat Rin Beach. They later put their impression in a book by mentioning Ko Pha-ngan as one of the best beaches to watch a full moon. The book has inspired many other tourists to visit Ko Pha-ngan on full-moon nights, leading to a full-moon party on the beach held under the most wonderful atmosphere. A trend was finally set among foreign tourists that a full-moon party on Ko Pha-ngan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed. Today, of tens of thousands people come to the party on every full-moon night on the island.


     As a result, many look at Ko Pha-ngan as an island full of drunkards and parties, and this gives the island a negative image. As a matter of fact, Ko Pha-ngan’s full-moon party is fun-filled, lively and has its own charms identical to nowhere. Many other places tried to imitate Ko Pha-ngan but nowhere can surpass the original site. In all, a full-moon party is a gathering of fun-loving people who want to unleash their freedom within manageable limits. Such a party, if carried out within limits, free from negative aspects, can be an additional magnet thatno other islands all over the world have.

     However, the full-moon party is not the only attraction at Ko Pha-ngan. If strolling around the island to witness the unspoiled nature, visitors will find that all beaches circling the island, have a unique charm and identity, like Wok Tum and Nai Wok bays, Thong Sala, Si Thanu, Yao, Salat, Mae Hat beaches in the West, Chalok Lam, Khom and Khuat beaches in the North, Ban Tai, Ban Khai, Rin Nai, Si Kantang, Rin Nok, Yuan and Thian beaches in the East and even Thong Nai PanNoi and Thong Nai Pan Yai beaches on the northeastern-most spot of the island, which drivers have to venture across the mountainous terrain in the middle of the island to reach. People on Ko Pha-ngan have culture and traditions that are tied to nature which still doesn’t change much compared to other islands which have mostly turned into full-scale tourist spots. There are still many corners of Ko Pha-ngan to explore, especially in terms of nature and friendliness of people.



Stunning Lunar Light, Full Moon Party of Your Life

     About 45 years ago, way back in 1967, Ko Samui started to gain a reputation among foreign tourists.After adventurous nature trips, the word of mouth spread just how fantastic the place was. Of course, at that time very few foreign tourists knew about Ko Pha-ngan and it had been that way until 1972. Before Ko Samui became famous, some travellers were getting curious and explored its nearby twin island called








     Boon Bungalow (later called Rin Beach Bungalow) was the first to open for service in 1980. After the first bungalow, many followed to meet the growing number of tourists visiting Hat Rin. Small parties were held at each bungalow. In those days the atmosphere was full of laughter, joy, food, booze, music, and people dancing on the beach; it could have been used as a movie set. With a dreamy scene like this, the story of living free among nature was spoken about widely and in articles publicizing the legend of the full moon night on the beautiful Hat Rin ; this made Hat Rin even more famous.

Phangan Zone 3


Ko Pha-ngan and Virtues and Meaning of Royal Visits

  In the history of royal visits to various places by Thai kings, King Chulalongkorn or King Rama V loved to constantly visit his people in the provinces. He sometimes travelled incognito to create familiarity with his subjects, to find out their hardships and happiness on different occasions.  

   Ko Pha-ngan was one of King Chulalongkorn’s favorite places of visit. He stopped by the island 14 times during 1888-1909, more often than any other places he had visited, sometimes on his way to Malay Peninsula or during his visits to southern provinces such as Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla.


His first visit to Ko Pha-ngan was made on 31 August, 1888 on his way back from Songkhla. On this visit, King Chulalongkorn went to a waterfall. He later named it “Than Sadet Waterfall”, where he came back several times. And as a record of his visit and a gesture to declare his possession of the land against the effort of colonization by western people, KingChulalongkorn inscribed his initials ‘จปร’ [read: jo po ro] on a rock at the waterfall.

     Than Sadet Waterfall in 1888 was said to be splendidly beautiful with unspoiled nature. Today, after 124 years, forest conditions at Than Sadet are still pristine and considered the most beautiful on Ko Pha-ngan, although water is not as plentiful in the dry season as it was in the old days. Its natural charms always remain.

     In his later visits to Ko Pha-ngan, King Chulalongkorn often went to swim at the waterfall. The royal retinue also used water at the waterfall for consumption as freshwater was scarce. As a keen traveler and man of great vision, King Chulalongkorn alsoexplored another two waterfalls in nearby areas which he later named as ‘Than Praphat’  and ‘Than Prawet’.

     At present, traveling to Than Sadet Waterfall is much easier than in the old days because the road being built across Ko Pha-ngan to Thong Nai Pan Bay on the northeastern side of the island is nearly finished, leaving only a short distance of laterite path that also joins with the entrance to Than Sadet Waterfall and leads to the office of Than Sadet National Park. In the dry season, the road is easily accessible by pick-up trucks, but in the rainy season, only four-wheel drive vehicles can be used while sedans are notrecommended.

     From this junction, the land is truly historical as Than Sadet Waterfall was visited by not only King Rama V but also by King Rama VI, King Rama VII and Queen Rambhai Bhanni, as well as King Bhumibol Adulyadej or Rama IX. Those kings had inscribed theirinitials on rocks, numbering a total of 10, lying one after another along the stream, forthe younger generation to study.



     From the junction to the right of the road heading towards Than Sadet Waterfall stands a group of ancient buildings where a statue of King Chulalongkorn is located. Nearby is a rock with the inscription of royal initials in Thai alphabets and numerals ‘จปร 108’. Adjacent are some plantations. Opposite the stream stands a rock inscribed with royal initials and years in Rattankosin era ‘ปปร 2469, 2471’. Walking further down the path, visitors will find the second group of ancient buildings on the right-hand side. Here, more royal initials ‘วปร 130’ an






 another ‘จปร’ with the year of visit are found, followed by ‘ปปร, รพ 2469’. Walking past the national park office will lead to the third group of ancient buildings where royal initials are found on both sides of the stream including ‘รพ’ and ‘ภปร’ 23 April 1962, as well as the name ‘Than Sadet’ in Thai which he had it inscribed when coming here in 1889. Close to the mouth of the stream stands the last group of ancient buildings. Royal initials of the three mentioned kings and an old pavilion where they used to stay appear on the left-hand side.



     The pavilion has been renovated as a memorial of the royal visits. Near the stream find royal initials in Chinese of King Chulalongkorn and numerals 119. The inscriptions are the last set found along this historical stream. As for the four ‘Jankapho’ (Vatica diospyroides) trees recorded to have been planted by King Chulalongkorn at the pavilion, they no longer exist.

     The best time to visit Than Sadet Waterfall is at the end of the rainy season or in January when there is more water seen than in the other months. In the dry season, the amount of water in the falls is quite low, but the waterfall is still worth a visit for those who are interested in history or long for a rest in pristine forest. As for ‘Than Praphat’ Waterfall, the 4-km access road is reachable only by 4-wheel drive vehicles with several hills to cross, and road conditions are not good.



     To access Than Prawet Waterfall, visitors have to take the road branching out from a bend that goes to Thong Nai Pan Beach. The road heads to Hat Khuat Beach and the waterfall is only 300 meters away from the bend. Recommended vehicles are pick-up trucks only due to laterite road surface. At present, the two waterfalls have water only in the rainy season and are not attractive.



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