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.
If you’re like many backpackers on Ko Pha Ngan, you came to the island to experience one or more of its parties. But parties from the Full Moon, to Jungle Experience, to Black Moon, don’t get started until around 23:00 — what’s a traveller to do in the transition period between dinner and the party? Why, head to a bar that caters specifically to those looking to get the party started a bit early. Here are a few of Ko Pha Ngan’s best backpacker bars… you may have so much fun at one of these joints you’ll forget to make it to the party.
Backpackers flock to Amsterdam Bar in Ao Plaay Laem for its great, lively atmosphere, tasty food and magnificent view. Chill out on its funky wooden deck and enjoy a frosty beer or colourful cocktail while looking out upon a panorama that includes Ko Samui, Ang Thong National Park and Ko Tao. The sunsets can be truly spectacular. There are no backpacker specials here — the main draws are the view, the atmosphere, and of course, the bar’s name …
If you’re heading to the Full Moon Party, start your night at Fubar, about a minute’s walk from the party beach itself, Haad Rin Nok. Pad your stomach with one of their freshly-baked pizzas, mingle with fellow party-starters, and await the deep rhythms of house music soon to begin pumping from the bar’s speakers. What’s more, if you elect to stay in their guesthouse, they give generous discounts at the bar.
Ringside Guest House is always packed with young partiers looking to socialise and have some fun. It’s conveniently located in Ban Tai, sandwiched between the Thong Sala pier (where you arrive on the island by boat), the road to the jungle parties (Half Moon, Jungle Experience, and Sramanora Waterfall Party), and Haad Rin (the Full Moon Beach), making it an ideal place to start the night, especially if you’re not entirely sure which party will be graced with your presence. The bar puts on a host of drinking games, including crowd favourite, beer pong. Among other extras you can expect are free glow paint, movie nights, sports night, daily happy hour and free boat tours during the non-Full Moon period. The owners are opening up a new club here in 2014.
Located on the beautiful west coast of the island, Shiralea Backpacker’s Resort is a backpacker haven. Part of the reason for its haven status is that it throws some pretty wild parties at its bar. Whether you’re staying here or not, head to the restaurant/bar, and you’ll be sure to meet some new friends. The food is fantastic, and the bartenders encourage a lively night, while also passing out party tips. This is a can’t-miss backpacker hotspot.
The self-proclaimed “life and soul of paradise”, The Beach Village in Thong Sala is a fantastic place to head for a warm-up before the party. Tiki Bar is located near the resort’s expansive outdoor pool, allowing for some wet and wild fun. Not only that, but they host a three-hour happy hour, from 17:00 to 20:00, drinking games, beer pong tournaments and DJs from all genres. Best of all? The bar is right on the beach.
By Kaila Krayewski
Last updated on 18th March, 2015.