Koh Phangan — pronounced as Kow Pang-yan — is Thailand’s fifth biggest island, located just slightly north of Koh Samui. (Heading to Thailand for the first time? Here’s what you need to know!) It’s an extremely popular destination for young travelers and backpackers, whose go-to accommodations are usually hostels—thanks to their affordable costs and the opportunity to meet like-minded friends. However, affordability doesn’t have to mean dodgy! I mean nothing can ruin a trip more than coming home to an uncomfortable bed, right?
Luckily, Koh Phangan has no shortage of fun, cozy hostels. Below, I’ve listed some of the best hostels on the island, according to the type of traveler that you are!
FOR SOLO TRIPPERS: Mad Monkey
(Image Credit: Mad Monkey Hostels)
Mad Monkeys is a group of hostels located throughout Southeast Asia and Australia, and is widely known for being ideal locations to meet fellow backpackers. What makes this particular hostel stand out is their dedication to providing super fun parties—especially the ones right before the Full Moon and Half Moon. Moreover, it houses one of the largest swimming pools in the area, making the perfect place to wind down, socialize, and sip a martini or two.
FOR COUPLES: Love Station
(Image Credit: AHAbooking)
While its interiors may be plain and straightforward, the Love Station is comfortable and spacey, with its outdoor décor heavily reminiscent of our very own local nipa huts. Visiting couples often ask for the private suites, which may be a bit pricier than a standard hostel room, but are good if you want a little bit more privacy. There are tons of date-friendly activities you can do nearby too, since the hostel is surrounded by lots of local sports clubs. You and your partner can play a round of golf or take a dip in the pool, which you can access even if you’re not a member.
FOR CHILL TRAVELERS: Amsterdam Backpackers
(Image Credit: Agoda)
Amsterdam Backpackers is one of the more secluded hostels on the island. With its stunning location by a hill instead of on the beach, it’s best for casual backpackers who want to enjoy the Koh Phangan sights from the top. Though it’s relaxing and quiet in the day, guests like to gather at its rooftop and party the night away! A bit further down is the local go-to Fisherman’s Village. As its name suggests, this area has traditionally been the center of the fishing industry in Koh Phangan—making it the go-to place for most seafood delicacies.
FOR PARTY BACKPACKERS: Lazy House Shenanigans
(Image Credit: Worldpackers)
If you enjoy drinks and dancing the night away, the Lazy House Shenanigans is smack in the middle of all the festivities. Located in the heart of Haad Rin, this hostel is within walking distance from all the local night life. You might even catch some people enjoying their night over card games and sports betting — a popular pastime among Thais. Don’t be shy to join in and try your hand at it, especially since there are countless tips on how to bet online. Just remember that you’re there to have fun and immerse yourself in the local activities! So, try to observe how the locals do it and which teams they keep an eye on.
FOR MODERN TROTTERS: Phanganist Hostel
(Image Credit: Hostel Maniacs)
What sets the Phanganist Hostel apart from other establishments on the island is its modernity and discretion. Instead of vibrant wallpapers and bunk beds, Phanganist favors monochromatic designs and capsule-style beds. Its nature-inspired interior décor, such as the bamboo and local flowers, give it a distinctly tropical-oriental feel. If you want a cheap but private place to stay, then the Phanganist Hostel is your best shot! Plus, it’s just a stone’s throw away from two of the island’s most picturesque beaches, Baan Tai and Thongsala.
If you’re visiting for the Full Moon Parties, you should check out what else to do on my previous blog post here!
Whether you’re looking to experience the Full Moon parties or simply explore its natural wonders, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in Koh Phangan. Then again, due to the island’s widespread popularity, hostels get booked pretty quickly. So if you want to stay in the best ones, book at the earliest possible time.
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