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Magical tropical Thai island -Koh Phangan

This magical tropical Thai island which is Koh Phangan (pronounced ‘gho pha ngan’) – is the laid back, independent, free-spirited, slightly wild child that everyone just loves to love. The name is derived from ‘koh’, meaning island in Thai (so no need to say Koh Phangan island), and ‘Pha ngan’, said to mean ‘sand banks’. More accurately that should mean ‘coral reefs’ as the island is almost encircled by them.

Koh Phangan is often called the sister island to the more famous (and more developed) Koh Samui, here in the Thai Gulf. But…Koh Phangan has its own unique flavour! The island is currently gaining popularity with an ever-increasing influx of new faces and personalities, even withstanding COVID-19 curbs. Here and now Koh Phangan Businesses that were not sustainable just a few years ago are now very much on the cards.

Koh Phangan weather

OK, please don’t get annoyed, but it’s great (or should I say magical)! Coming from an often grey and rainy England I quickly appreciated the sunny-every-day weather pattern. In fact, often it’s too hot, hehe. Basically, when you come to this amazing tropical Thai island, be prepared for, well, the tropics! Don’t forget your shades, your bikini, and your Speedo’s (kidding, leave the budgie smugglers at home!), because you will need them, along with some factor 30 SPF too. 

Bring light clothing, cotton, linen, new-fangled lightweight SPF concoction fabrics, thongs (yes for feet and for peaches too). This will make your days here (nights are hot too) more comfortable and enjoyable. But don’t worry too much, usually, you will be merely meters away from a cooling pool or the pristine Thai Gulf Sea.

But all joking aside, do be careful not to overdo the irradiation side of things. Getting severe sunburn, or even worse, will not be an enjoyable anecdote to tell later to your mates in Bali, Goa, Milton Keynes,…

Talking of safety…

Is Koh Phangan safe?

Stories abound around the internet about the perils of Thailand but in general, they are just that, stories. Is it safe to leave your key in a bike outside a shop all day to return and find the bike there and untouched? Yes, definitely. Is it safe for women to travel and hang out alone? Again, a yes, although it’s always good to be careful, no matter where you’re in this big wide world.

Is there crime in Koh Phangan?

Of course, there is here as there is everywhere (with the exception of Bhutan before they had TV) but it’s relatively low. Violent crime is very very uncommon and even thefts are pretty much non-existent.

Sometimes a bike will be taken from a party, here and there, but often it is by an over-intoxicated rider who has just got on the wrong bike. Remember most of us here use rentals and they all look the same, especially if from the same shop! Ah but what about the key/lock I hear you ask. Well, many lock barrels are so worn that even a screwdriver can be used to turn the lock to enable ignition. Still, an APB sent out over one of our various FaceBook groups often locates the two-timing motorbike in question and they are returned to their rightful renter.

Koh Phangan magical tropical Thai island properties

Koh Phangan’s bountiful hotels

Koh Phangan has an abundance of hotels. From the upscale, private pool on the room balcony type, to the beach shack style of bygone days. Hotels a la Koh Phangan are big business and for good reason, as we have some of the best and driest weather, not to mention the most stunning beaches in Thailand (and the world). Add to this gorgeous recipe some great parties then we have a real delight.

Koh Phangan rental investment properties

I remember the heady days when one might even keep their hard-earned cash in the bank and receive an interest rate of 5% or more. What a luxury those days were. Let’s say, just, for example, you are British (like me) and using a British bank. Now, a good interest rate on a savings account will now yield just over 1% for the lender. When you factor into this the current UK inflation rate of approximately 1.8% (2019 data) then you quickly realise that keeping money in the bank and doing nothing with it actually loses you money, over time. This is just one example but there are many from various countries and geographic areas of the globe. Just feel lucky that you aren’t Venezualan (my apologies and compassion if you actually are Venezualan) who have a staggering 6,500% inflation rate – 2021!

So current world interest rates low, inflation rates in-line with inflation or even higher. What does this mean? Well, you need to make your money work harder. And Koh Phangan Realty Co. knows how to make you money on this magical tropical Thai island…

Koh Phangan rental properties are in high demand as the island attracts ever more affluent visitors. Current rental rates are breaking new record highs year on year (for better or for worse!) If there was ever a time to invest then it would be now. With ever better services, supplies, hospitals etc the island is becoming truly world-class and a cleaner, safer option to its bigger sister – Koh Samui. Phangan land purchase prices are still relatively low compared to Samui, other resorts, and of course, Phuket.

Koh Phangan - mystical, magical, magnificent
Wok Tum sunsets…

So what’s so great about Koh Phangan you might say?…well, Koh Phangan is not ‘just’ a beautiful tropical island gem with awesome natural beauty and amazing beaches. Koh Phangan also has a personality…it is laid back, free, individual, a thinking person’s Koh Samui, an unprocessed and unpackaged holiday destination. A great place to be and live. Stemming from the local Thai peoples natural acceptance of others, it’s very unjudgemental here. Often I think of it as the perfect antidote to a hurried and stressful life eaked out in Hong Kong, London, New York, or wherever. Koh Phangan seems to exist in a kind of time warp where everything seems to slow down…no really it does 🙂

Working in the magical tropical Thai island Koh Phangan since 2004

Over the years of living and working here, there have been astonishing changes and now the island boasts world-famous food supermarkets such as Big C, Tesco, and also Makro. The island did flirt with KFC for a while but, for better or for worse, that didn’t last so long. There were none of these bastions of buying when I first arrived here. Although it’s nice to have some conveniences of course it’s always good to remember the fresh markets for vegetables, fish, and also various meats too. One has to remember that a small island economy must be nourished at times, putting something back into the local community.

Koh Phangan still has a local fishing industry, so fresh (and I mean fresh) fish, crabs, and prawns may be bought that have been caught the same day. Squid? Koh Phangan is a squid island. Come evening time you will see a flotilla of eerie green glowing lights covering the water like alien algae. Worry not, for these are the squid fishermen catching the all-Thailand-renowned tasty Koh Phangan squid. Semi-dried this squid is then sent all over Thailand for squid connoisseurs.

In Koh Phangan we now also have some new well-equipped hospitals on the island if there should happen to be some kind of mishap during your stay, however long that may be. Thai hospitals such as Bandon, Bangkok, and also First Western Hospital are now present on the island.

Magical tropical Thai island Koh Phangan parties…yes it does! 

So, many people have heard of the world-famous Koh Phangan Full Moon Party, but did you know that for the last ten years or so there have been many other ‘smaller’ parties here on the island? By smaller, I still mean 3,000 plus party-goers! Think of a type of moon…and there will be a party named after it! Full Moon, Half Moon, Black Moon, ‘2.35 days after a Half Moon party party’, and so on. There is also the very popular and extravagant Jungle Experience Party too, can you guess where that one is held?

What about after the parties or for the ‘more mature’ crowd?

Since 2015-2016 we have noticed a marked increase in services, restaurants, and businesses here on this magical tropical Thai island. The (not so) recent western economic crisis affected nearly everyone, and Koh Phangan was no different. But Koh Phangan has bounced back and is now as vibrant as it was ten years (or more) ago with even more choices of places to eat, drink, exercise, practice yoga, and generally enjoy. Now Koh Phangan island can also be seen as many things. A yoga dream destination, a kiteboarder hub, a meditation center, a beach lovers destination, or just somewhere you can feel safe leaving the keys in your motorbike while you pop into the 7-11 or even go and get a meal. 

So, if you have never been here I suggest that you get yourself (Covid 19 permitting) on the next flight out from where ever you are. Come to see for yourself this magical tropical Thai island we call home, or Koh Phangan, t o be precise. Take a look and see if it fits with your perception of a paradise on earth, or at least, as close as you’d like to get to that.

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