Ko Pha Ngan is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Pha Ngan as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Pha Ngan's different areas.
Most of the restaurants at Mae Haad are part of resorts. Island View Cabana enjoys the best location, with lovely views of Ko Ma and the sea and has the best seats for viewing an unforgettable sunset. The food is fairly standard around the beach with tasty Thai cuisine providing the cheapest options and a decent cross-section of standard western faire. Pim restaurant located off the beach in the middle of town has the most relaxed atmosphere and friendliest staff. The food is inexpensive and delicious with great vegetarian options and an above average western menu, and real cheddar cheese available for those who need a cheese fix and the standard processed stuff just won't cut it. Roots Korner at the beginning of town and the Rolling Stoned Bar on the beach offer the only semblance of a nightlife, though these brightly-coloured psychedelic bars remain relatively low key. On busier nights they have been known to kick things up a notch and bump loud techno music well into the night.
Most of the guesthouse restaurants offer a fairly standard menu of Thai food and basic western options like spaghetti and simple sandwiches. Tofu is available most places, providing tasty herbivorous options. Salad Hut has the best restaurant on the beach with cool lighting and great atmosphere. They serve delicious Thai and some of the best western food around, notably fancy salads and sandwiches. Jay Jay's Italian restaurant near the entry to town makes some good pizza and pasta dishes and is the only independent restaurant in the area.
A lot of good beach front dining options are provided by the many resorts lining Haad Yao. O.T.'s High Life has a wonderful hilltop terrace and serves some tasty dishes. Tantawan, up the hill from the beach, has delicious French cuisine and other European specialties served along with great views and the most laid-back vibes around. Absolute Island T:(077) 349 109 sits near Tantawan on the hill and does some good local seafood with fine views as well. The bar scene and nightlife remain pretty mellow here, the Eagle Bar on the south end of the beach throws occasional parties but typically remains very low key with a groovy psychedelic atmosphere. Jacks's Bar at Ibiza Bungalow throws parties every Saturday with happy hour specials and free beach barbecue. These can get rowdier in high season but stay fairly quiet when the crowds thin out.
As with most of the less mainstream beaches on Ko Pha Ngan, the dining here is mostly associated with the bungalows, but there are some very good options and most restaurants sit right on the beach for great views and atmosphere. Seetanu's garden restaurant is a friendly and cozy spot to enjoy cheap authentic Thai. Sunset Cove is the classiest place around and a bit spendier than most, but their fresh seafood and steaks are very nicely presented. Hut Sun's intimate little restaurant does everything from pizza to steak and good Thai for good prices. Located on the road not far off the beach, Village Green T:(077) 349 217-8 is an English-style pub serving good western food and some decent Thai as well as a fine selection of imported beers. This is about as close as you get to a good night spot in these parts besides the Pirate Bar around the rocks to the south of the beach. Their monthly Moon Set parties and other late night techno parties can get pretty wild and cause considerable noise on the southern end of the beach -- quite annoying if you're not taking part.
Having more of a proper town than other beaches, there are more dining options around Seethanu than in most Ko Phangan locales. As usual, most bungalows have reasonable attached Thai restaurants, many on the beach and quite cheap. Loyfa in the north provide the best views to accompany their tasty cuisine and is great if you feel like a beach barbecue. A little more off the beaten path, Peppercorn sits by itself further inland. This is a comfortable and classy place specialising in Western dishes. For all-night beach dance parties head to the far north end of the beach. Around the rocks on the headland the Pirate Bar serves up some mean cocktails and booming bass that keep the party going till the sun comes up. This is the home of monthly Moon Set parties and can be found at the next turn off past Golden Rock; park your bike and walk to the beach before turning left and you will see its black skull sign.
In the centre of town opposite Taboon (just before7-eleven) turn in to the sidestreet and there on your right is a small hub of local shacks serving delicious and cheap Thai food. The barbecue chicken and sticky rice for 60 baht is particularly tasty. Taboon Middle Eastern Cafe &Restaurant has a Moroccan feel and is great for a breakfast or lunch of Israeli food such as malawach (90 baht) and shakshuka (150 baht) – it's especially good for dinner parties and ordering a range of dishes to share such as a variety of pitas, hummus and other dips (50 baht). Near town also is Mama Pooh’s, known for its cheap and authentic Thai food, or you can try eat.co if you want some vegan food. It also has a space for workshops and sells healthy products.
The only dining options around here are provided at the bungalows, and the menus are similar enough that it's largely a matter of atmosphere. Pimmada's restaurant sits high on the hillside offering awesome views of the sea and Ang Thong National Marine Park, and the sunsets are always lovely. Sea Scene's beach side restaurant is laid-back but a little classier feeling than other offerings. Head up the hill -- way up -- across the road from the beach area to the Amsterdam Bar at Stone Hill Resort. This is about as high as you can get around here and has the best views and a very cool atmosphere. A popular spot among expats for drinks and pub food. Sea Sunset's Chocolate Bar is a tiny bamboo shack offering a good selection of cocktails and a relaxed vibe right on the sand. It's worth checking out if you're in the area, but don't make a special trip to find it.
Ao Wok Tum
The only food options around Wok Tum are connected with bungalow operations, and most offer similar varieties of delicious Thai noodle and rice dishes and curries and a simple selection of western grub. The Mantra Restaurant at Wok Tum Resort has a good location for sea views and serves up a slightly classier menu with free pool and live sports. JJ Resort in Hinkhong has a small beach side restaurant and bar that makes some great English specialties and authentic nachos. Vegetarians can find some good stuff just about anywhere in this area, but the restaurant at Ananda Yoga Resort features predominantly vegetarian and vegan options (meat is also available). This mellow locale is not big on nightlife, but JJ and Mantra also have good atmospheres and lend themselves to drinking quite nicely.
Seethrough Bar and Restaurant on Ko Pha Ngan’s Haad Yao is a funky spot that nearly always has pumping tunes; it’s a great place to get in the mood to party, or just to chill out and internalise the beat. The staff are friendly and hilarious, always cracking jokes and sometimes even sitting down at your table with you to talk about life and love. The service is a bit lazy, but the relaxed... Read our full review of Seethrough Bar and Restaurant.
“Cheap price but nice” are the words strung up in bamboo lettering at the entrance to the ever-charming Mama Pooh’s on Ko Pha Ngan. This popular joint is favoured by travellers, locals, yogis, and basically everyone in... Read our full review of Mama Pooh’s Kitchen.
How can you not love Haad Salad’s laidback Salad Hut, where the staff wear shirts saying “same shit, different day”? This funky place has a relaxed atmosphere that provides a great place to eat, then chill out, and then eat again, if you’re into that kind of... Read our full review of Salad Hut.
Ao Chaophao’s Art Cafe doesn’t look like much from the outside. But this charming little Ko Pha Ngan coffee shop, restaurant and lounge is testament to the old adage that you can’t judge a book by its... Read our full review of Art Cafe.