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Mangrove Villa is perfectly located as a base to explore the island.

From this south westerly point it is an easy trip up the west coast road to the north of the island or to head east along the road to Haad Rin, home of the Full Moon Party.

Getting Around

villa     villa
  • Rent a bicycle – from 50b per day available from shops in Thongsala
  • Rent a motorbike – from 150b per day available from shops in Thongsala
  • Motorbike Taxi – can be caught from Thongsala town to anywhere you wish to go. Agree your price before you set off.
  • Car Taxi – These will take you along the main roads (Thongsala-Mae Haad/Chaloklum, Thongsala-Haad Rin) and act like busses, stopping to pick people up on the way. Prices are usually a set rate. If you wish to hire one for the day or travel away from the main roads then this is also possible and you can haggle the fare. In all cases always agree the price before setting off.
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Street map
Street map (Click to view larger)
Koh Phangan map
Map by kind courtesy of Phangan Info, the comprehensive guide to Koh Phangan

Travel time by car

bay
Driving and dashboard
beach
Thongsala – Ban Tai 5 minutes
Enjoy the freshest seafood on the island from at the wonderful Fishermans Restaurant on Ban Tai pier
Thongsala – Haad Rin (Full Moon Party) 20 minutes
Spend the day swimming and sunbathing then party the night away
Thongsala - Haad Yao 20 minutes
Spectacular photo opportunities from the hilly coast road and stunning beaches and snorkelling spots
Thongsala – Mae Haad 20 minutes
Walk across the sand bar to the deserted island of Koh Ma or learn to scuba dive
Thongsala – Chaloklum 15 minutes
Visit and ride the elephants or take a long tail boat trip to bottle beach and around the North East coast
Times shown above are estimates
elephant
Chinese Temple
waterfall

Getting to Koh Phangan

Plane
bus
Train

At present Koh Phangan does not have an airport. The closest airport is Koh Samui Airport (USM) and boat transfer times start from only 30 minutes. However, it is cheaper to fly into either Nakhon Si Thammarat or Suratthani government airports, then transfer to Donsak pier and onto a boat crossing. This total transfer time is at least 2 hours 30 minutes but often more depending on which boat company you book through.

Night boat
Boat arriving on Koh Phangan
Catamaran

If travelling by land then train or bus are both good options.

Sleeper trains run from Bangkok and Hat Yai to Suratthani. Book your bed, either upper bunk or lower berth (more spacious), and save on a night’s accommodation.

Many different bus and boat joint tickets are available for travel down from Bangkok and is the cheapest way to reach Koh Phangan. Be prepared to spend at least 7 hours of the journey on the bus, levels of luxury range from the government bus to various VIP buses including the Lomprayah high speed Catamaran and bus service. Joint tickets available from any travel agent in Bangkok (popular on Kao San Road) direct to Koh Phangan.

For further information you can visit www.backpackersthailand.com

Festivals

Songkran – Traditional Thai New Year

Songkran

This is the most celebrated festival in Thailand and a public holiday. Songkran is traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family, friends, neighbours and monks. The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then using this "blessed" water to give good fortune to others by gently pouring it on the shoulder.

Now it has also become a party for foreigners and the new Thai generation alike. The holiday has evolved to include dousing strangers with water to relieve the heat. The roads become lined with children armed with barrels of water, buckets and hoses.

Songkran

In the town roads are closed off and only fire engines and ice trucks are allowed access to ensure a maximum soaking! Thongsala high street is transformed into one giant water fight and street party for the day with everyone in good spirits and thankful for the cooling off in this hot season.

Mangrove Villa is only a few minutes walk from all the action so it’s easy to get back to base for a fresh set of clothes or a towel!