Koh Phangan first found favour with a small number of tourists around 25 years ago, when the first ever Full Moon parties on Haadrin took place. The numbers were small, between one and two hundred people at most and there were no resorts to speak off, just bungalows scattered around. There were no roads back then and one went from village to village by the local boats known at “longtails”. They are still the best way to reach remote beaches such as Haad Thian, Haad Yuan or Bottle Beach. Take one for a day trip and explore some of the truly world class beaches that can only be found right here in the tropics.
Whilst our bigger sister island Koh Samui developed rapidly, Phangan stayed below the radar of holiday makers for many years, and much of the infrastructure that you see now has only been in place for the last 5 to 10 years. The local government is aware that there still is much to do. Building new roads and repairing the bad ones, building new drainage systems to reduce flooding are all high on the list of priorities.
Before the “ferrang” as Westerners are affectionately known (do not let anyone tell you “ferrang” is a derogatory term, it is a word used in many countries in SE Asia for “foreigner”) arrived here, the islands income came solely from fishing and coconut farming. This is still an integral part of the lives of many of the islands locals. But tourism brought a new income to many of the local inhabitants whether it be via resorts, bike/car rental, restaurants, shops, internet cafes, travel agenst or laundry services!! So whilst there are still many who do not speak English, never think that you are not welcome, we value your visit to our island more than you could ever know!