Koh Phangan is now famous for its Full Moon Parties, but the island has lots more to offer visitors besides. Day trip options from Koh Samui are easily available, but there's enough here to justify a longer stay.
Koh Phangan is considered to be around ten years behind Koh Samui in terms of development, so the island offers plenty of old style charm, and picturesque beauty. Had Rin is the main tourist beach and busiest on Full Moon nights. It's a fun mix of bars, clubs, restaurants and handicraft shops. The locals are friendly and help make the atmosphere laid back and chilled. Every night is a party night on Had Rin.
The rest of the island boasts pristine beaches, with bungalows, a few resorts and some exclusive luxury villas. Tong Nai Pan is the most up market beach. Had Salad and Had Kuat attract long stay backpackers. Had Tien is very shallow and pebbly, but is home to a spa and wellness centre which offers a range of fasting, yoga and treatment packages and has an excellent vegetarian restaurant.
The interior of the island is covered in mountainous forest, full of surprising delights. A hill-top temple named Wat Khao Tham is ideal for meditation. The Than Sadet Waterfall and the Namtok Pheng National Park are examples of tropical island nature at its finest.