There is perhaps no greater backpacking mecca than Koh Phangan, the world famous island in the Gulf of Thailand. The island, over half of which has been designated a national park, offers stunning vistas, looming mountains and some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever likely set eyes on. What’s more, it’s the birthplace and host of the notorious, wild full moon parties. Yep, the phrase ‘something for everyone’ never sounded so succinct.
At a little more than 40 square km, it’s even possible to walk across the entirety of the island, if you have 10 hours of your trip to spare, that is. Of course, as a destination so beloved of the backpacker community, there are heaps of adorable, affordable hostels for you to lay your heavy head. Here are some of the best; our 5 IDEAL hostels in Koh Phangan, Thailand.
Located beachside, Sarana Bungalows is another popular hostel choice for weary travellers partied out and in an need of a rest. All of their accommodation options are in the dorm-style setting; sociable, convivial and conducive to making new friends and swapping tales over a few cold ones. You have your choice of twin, triple, or quad rooms, ideal for groups of friends travelling together. All dorm rooms are air-conditioned, which is a huge relief as temperatures can touch on 40ºc in the hotter months. And if you’re not satisfied with cooling off in the sea, then Sarana Bungalows features a relaxing pool as well as a well-stocked bar. All you need, right?
Jungle Vibes hostel is about a ten-minute walk from Thong Sala Pier, your likely port of entry to the island. This hostel is located near the heart of the action, with the main town walking distance away; a lively strip containing a night market, coffee shops, restaurants and bars. They offer dorm-style accommodation, with 6 or 10 person dorms. If you value your privacy, perhaps this one isn’t for you. Motorbikes are available for rent on site, the primary mode of transportation on the island, allowing you the freedom to roam at will. A word of warning; make sure this isn’t your first time riding the steel horse, and you have a fair bit of experience on two wheels, as some of Koh Phangan’s roads can be extremely treacherous.
ECHO BEACH BACKPACKERS
Echo Beach Backpackers hostel is a great place to stay for those who value sociability. The on-site bar features tons of activities at night from drinking games to late night parties. The hostel even features an in-house tattoo artist for the daring, though the mix of free flowing alcohol and the potential to ink is certainly a perilous one. Accomodation wise, it’s double and triple rooms, as well as dorm-style options, with all having Wi-fi access and air conditioning.
The hostel offers free daily tours and transportation to some of the biggest festivals on the island like the infamous, excessive Full Moon Party. They offer UV body painting onsite during the festivities; an essential element of the Koh Phangan partygoer’s uniform.
SHIRALEA BACKPACKERS RESORT
Summing up the great diversity of visitor to Koh Phangan in accommodation form, Shiralea offers a unique combination of hostel and resort. They provide both affordable, air-conditioned bungalows or dorms, depending on your preferences, as well as more upmarket options. Known for being a hub of nightlife, it’s a great choice for those who are looking to enjoy a party every night. What sets Shiralea apart is it adds a little touch of class to the traditional hostel experience. Perfect for those who want to ‘slum it’ but with a few mod cons and home comforts at the same time.
MAD MONKEY KOH PHANGAN
Saving the best till last, perhaps. Our top choice for best hostel on Koh Phangan is Mad Monkey. This boutique hostel is conveniently located 15-minutes on foot from the main entry point on the island, Thongsala Pier.
The hostel itself offers a wide range of fun nighttime activities, from pub quiz nights to beer Olympics. There’s an on-site pool and a well-appointed bar as well as a restaurant facility. If you weren’t feeling intrepid, you could easily stay here and happy without venturing further afield. All rooms are air-conditioned and free Wi-fi is available, with laundry facilities and hot showers adding to the comfort. Accomodation options are dorm-style and range from 4 to 6 beds per dorm, with single-sex and mixed dorms both available.