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Koh Pha Ngan Travel Guide
The beautiful little island of Koh Pha Ngan is a fantastic holiday destination lying in the centre of the Gulf of Thailand, about 62 miles (100km) from the mainland, and home to 8,000 or so people and hundreds of thousands of coconuts. Coconut exports and fishing have long been the mainstay of the locals, but in recent years tourism is becoming increasingly important as visitors flock in on ferries, lured by the island's magnificent beaches and the world renowned monthly Full Moon Party.
The site of Koh Pha Ngan's legendary parties is the crescent-shaped beach of Haad Rin on the island's south-east corner, which is besieged by up to 10,000 people from around the world at full moon each month. As dusk falls thousands of lamps are lit on tables along the beach and the music is cranked up, sending party-goers into a frenzy under the rising orb of the moon.
Visitors on holiday in Pha Ngan generally stay in one of about 200 thatched bamboo bungalows that line the island's beaches and are let out for a pittance. Those after more luxury can choose from three holiday resort hotels: First Villa at Ban Tai Beach, the Pha Ngan Chai Hotel in the main town of Thongsala, and the Thong Nai Pan Beach Resort at Thong Nai Pan beach. Wherever you stay, the holiday is wiled away pleasantly with snorkelling, swimming or relaxing on the white sands.
Facilities in the Koh Pha Ngan town of Thongsala are limited, but there is a bank, police station, clinic and pharmacy. Motorcycle taxis can be waved down, or mountain bikes hired to explore the more remote beaches. Some beaches can only be reached by sea, and water taxis are available in the town.