Chain Reaction: The Koh Phangan Loop by Motorbike
Smooth, empty roads, blue skies and adventure. Koh Phangan by motorbike is one of the best islands of Thailand to explore..
Koh Phangan is the perfect place to jump on a motorbike. Small enough to explore but big enough to get gloriously lost in, this island will keep you zooming round for days. The process of hiring a bike here is cheap and easy and the only traffic jams you’ll see will be caused by water buffalo wandering across the road! Many of the best spots are best accessed on two wheels so grab a helmet, fill up the tank and start your own island adventure.
How to Rent a Motorbike in Koh Phangan
There are bikes on offer in most of the tourist spots so ask around for a good deal. You don’t need a top of the range luxury model but you do want something that’s safe and well-maintained; check the lights and brakes and go for a short test ride to make sure the steering is solid. Take some pictures of the bodywork of the bike so there can be no disagreements about damage when you return it later.
Koh Phangan is full of little-known wonders. There are countless beaches and waterfalls to explore but you’ll need to find them first! Ask the bike rental company for a map or download some offline maps onto your phone before you set off. Make sure you have the motorbike documentation stashed away safely and have your passport and driving licence to hand. You’re ready to go!
Heading to North Koh Phangan by Motorbike
Start your tour with a trip up the west of the island. Take the coast road north from Thong Sala, passing the Challenge Phangan waterpark on the way. This route will take you past Sri Thanu village, home to multiple yoga schools and organic cafes galore. Stop here for a chai latte and a walk along the beach before continuing your journey north. The roads here are well-surfaced, winding and almost empty of traffic and it’s a glorious ride. The beaches signed off to the left-hand side are gorgeous so head down a few side roads to take a look. If somewhere takes your fancy, stay a while!
At the very northern tip of Koh Phangan you’ll find Mae Haad beach, a golden strip of sand connecting Koh Ma island with the mainland. This is picture perfect stuff so plan to spend a bit of time here; sunbathers love to lie out along the sand and enjoy the ocean lapping on both sides of the beach. Leave the bike down one of the side streets and grab some lunch in one of the local beach bars and enjoy the relaxed place of island life.
East to waterfalls and relaxation
Your next destination should be Paradise waterfall near Chaloklum village. The bike comes into its own here as public transport isn’t an option; park at the top of the access track and enjoy a cooling dip in the plunge pool at the bottom of the cascade.
When you’ve had your fill of jungle swimming then jump back on the bike and drop back down south towards Thong Sala and then east to Thong Nai Pan bay. This is the upmarket side of Koh Phangan. High class resorts line the beautiful white sand beach and you can easily while away a couple of hours sipping a drink and wandering round the boutique shops. You can’t linger too long though as there’s still more to see!
Taking to the road again, zoom all the way south to Haad Rin. This is Koh Phangan’s party capital, host to the infamous Full Moon Party and a hedonistic playground for tourists and locals alike. You’ve got the bike so no drinking today, but you can use the time to scope out the lay of the land for your next visit! There’s no shortage of cafes and restaurants along the bay to sit and watch the buckets being filled in preparation for a fun evening head.
The end of an island odyssey?
A day on the motorbike will show you a glimpse of what the island has to offer but there’s so much more to see. Each side road in Koh Phangan is its own adventure so extend the bike hire, get a good night’s sleep and head out again for another day in paradise!