Koh Phangan is an island in the Gulf of Thailand in South East Thailand. It is famous for its full (and half and black) moon party at Haad Rin Beach and as a backpackers destination. Ko Phangan has two sister islands: the larger Koh Samui to the south and the smaller Koh Tao to the north.
Ko Phangan featured prominently in Alex Garland's 1997 novel The Beach, and is also mentioned in the song Magick by the new rave band Klaxons'
The infamous Full Moon Party, which often involves illegal drugs, occurs on Ko Phangan every full moon of the month. Recently, though, steps have been taken to stop the drugs at these parties and make Koh Phangan into a more family-friendly tourist destination. The efforts have failed miserably however.
While the majority of travelers stay in the Haad Rin area of the island, many choose to stay in other quieter and safer parts of the island such as Baan Thai. Haad Rin is known for its regular occurrences of break-ins into the rooms during full moon parties. Many trips have been ruined by everyone knowing where you will be full moon party night leaving your room and valuables completely at the mercy of any would be thief.
One very common and painful lesson many tourists never seem to learn is that driving should be left to the locals. It is so common that road rash scars from wiping out on scooters has been termed the "Koh Phangan Tattoo". You will see dozens of tourists all wrapped in bandages as well as dozens of medical centers in Haad Rin usually always full of someone getting bandaged or recovering from some bad drugs.
The full moon party itself can better be classified as the night when thousands of people piss in the surf while thousands more walk through it. The other part of the full moon party is 10,000 guys dancing around 5 girls hoping they will be the closest when the girl passes out so they can take advantage. It is really a sick spectacle that must be witnessed to believe it, and be disgusted by it.
In addition to the above, the taxi's are overly reckless and aggressive in Koh Phangan and are usually the cause of the heavily injured tourist population.
As Koh Phangan’s larger and calmer cousin, Koh Samui is the most accessible of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, with an airport and ferry service. Koh Samui has rapidly established as …