Renting a bike is one of the best ways to get around the beautiful island of Koh Phangan, plus it’s cheaper and safer than hiring a moped. Situated off the southeastern coast of Thailand, Koh Phangan is a lush island filled with stunning beaches, flowing waterfalls and jungle trails that are ready and waiting to be explored. With a bicycle, you have your own two wheels on which to get off-the-beaten-track so you can discover your own slice of paradise. Here we choose our favorite places to go cycling in Koh Phangan and give you some inspiration about what you could find along the way…
There are over 20 different temples to explore on Koh Phangan many of which are easily accessible by bike. Start your trip by finding your bicycle balance with a quick visit to Wat Phu Khao Noi, just behind the main drift of Thong Sala. This is the oldest temple on the island and is therefore well worth a visit. Once you’ve found your legs you can venture further out to explore The Chinese Temple (north west of the island), the Temple of the Jade Buddha (next to Phaeng Waterfall) and Wat Pho (on the road from Baan tai to Thong Nai Pan).
Phaeng Waterfall and Paradise Waterfall
The waterfalls on Koh Phangan are a definite highlight, especially in rainy season when the falls are in full flow. Even during the dry season, the waterfalls are likely to have some trickles tumbling down the rock faces and each has a small pool in which you can cool off. The route to the waterfalls inevitably includes some hilly sections to reach the mountainous centre of the island but this will make your waterfall dip even more refreshing when you arrive!
Koh Phangan’s coconut plantations are a vital part of the island’s economy and it’s great to see where these tasty treats (that you’ll probably enjoy on a daily basis here!) come from. Cycle through the plantations, checking out the towering trees as you pass by, before stopping off to chat to the locals about the collecting and processing systems. If you’re lucky you’ll receive some coconut snacks or a fresh nut to drink which will set you up nicely to continue your journey.
Ko Ma Island
Cycling to Ko Ma Island is certainly challenging, but the beauty you are rewarded with when you arrive makes it all worthwhile. The peaceful peninsula of Ko Ma Island is situated in the north west of the island and can be found by following signs to Mae Haad Beach or Chaloklum. If you’re coming from the south of the island you’ll need to venture over the hills in the centre of the island and over yet more hills from Chaloklum to reach Ko Ma on the corner of Koh Phangan. The beaches here are stunning though and there are plenty of places to stop off for food and refreshments en route!
Finish your day by dropping your bike back and hitting up the night markets. After your time travelling around the island by bike (and sweating buckets), you’ll deserve a cold beer and some delicious street food! Fill your boots with fresh prawns, stir-fries and tasty smoothies before crashing back at the hostel or continuing the night in true Koh Phangan style!
As always, make sure you check your bike thoroughly for dents and scratches, and take plenty of pictures before you ride away so you’re not stung for a fine when you bring it back.
Lastly, enjoy! You’ll feel great for keeping fit while exploring the island and you’ll work up an appetite for when you return – win win.