Aside from its famous Full Moon Parties, Koh Phangan is filled with stunning beaches, small villages, and spectacular falls. And, you would miss all of these fantastic landscapes by staying in Haad Rin. Here is a quick guide to the local transport in Koh Phangan so you can get away from the party beach to check out the natural attractions that Koh Phangan has to offer.
MINI BUSES: THE BEST OPTION FOR FIRST TIMERS
This is the best mode of transportation if it is your first time on the island. Quite a new service, these air-conditioned minibusses take people to and from Haad Rin Pier. A slightly more expensive option, it is a worthwhile comfortable ride as you familiarize yourself with the town and the cheaper songtaew routes. If you are with a bigger group, you can get a good deal by renting one of these minibusses to tour the island for 800 – 1,500 Baht a day.
SONGTHAEWS: THE BUDGET OPTION
This covered truck with benches at the back can be a great budget option for getting around the island. On the downside, it might not be your best option if you are in a hurry as the drivers tend to wait until the truck is filled with people before they leave. And, when they take off with only a few people on board, you end up getting charged more, around 500 Baht. Before getting on, make sure that the driver is going your way and agree on the price to avoid any problems later on.
As a rough guideline, the minimum distance should cost you around 50 Baht and the prices from Thong Sala to the locations listed below would more or less be:
Ao Chalok Lam – 200 Baht
Haad Rin – 150 Baht
Haad Yao or Haad Salad – 200 Baht
Mae Haad – 250 Baht
Thong Nai Pan or Than Sadet – 250-300 Baht
Baan Tai – 100 Baht
RENT A MOTORBIKE: FOR THE BRAVE
The most convenient way to travel around the island is on a rented motorbike as it gives you the freedom to move about without worrying about stops, routes, waiting and haggling. For just 200 baht a day, you can rent motorbikes from 100-125cc in Koh Phangan.
Although it is easy to rent a motorbike in Thailand, with or without a license, the roads can be quite dangerous and accidents are frequent. Without an international license, you will have a hard time making an insurance claim for medical problems. Worse, you will need to pay for damages, which won’t be cheap.
RENT A CAR: FOR THE HIGH-END TRAVELER
There is a variety of rentals from Suzuki Samurai Jeeps to 4x4s on Koh Phangan. It would, however, set you back at least 1,800 Baht per day. The longer you rent one, however, the lower the daily rate would be. You would also need to present a driver’s license when you’re in the rental shop.
CATCH A BOAT: FOR THE BEACH EXPLORERS
The budget mode of transport for exploring remote beaches like Bottle Beach and Haad Yuan are the traditional longtail boats which would set you back around 200 Baht, however, the price tends to change depending on the number of passengers and the height of the waves. If you have a big group with you, you can also hire a boat for half-day or full-day island hopping trip.
MOTORCYCLE TAXIS: FOR THE PATIENT BARGAINER
Motorbike taxis are great for short distances and are readily available all day. Before getting on one, make sure that you have agreed on the price and you are provided with a helmet. Hiring one can be really cheap depending on your bargaining ability.
BICYCLES: FOR THE FIT
You can go around Koh Phangan on a bicycle for just 50 Baht a day. In addition, some hotels do have free bikes available for their guests. Just make sure you have plenty of water and do keep calm when you encounter some island dogs.
HAVE YOU GOT ANYTHING TO ADD TO THE LIST?
What was your Koh Phangan transport experience like? Do let us know if the prices have changed or if there are new forms of transport on the island. Your updates would be much appreciated.