Koh Phangan is transforming from mostly known for its monthly full moon party – to a popular digital nomad hub. A recent report named it the world’s top spot for a “workcation”.

Koh Phangan’s T.B.O. Remote Work Score = 7

Koh Phangan’s History

The name Ko Pha-ngan derives from the word ‘ngan’ or ‘sand bar’ in Thai.

Ko Pha-ngan has been a longtime favorite of past kings of Thailand; Rama V or Chulalongkorn, visited Ko Pha-ngan 14 times during his reign.

Archaeologists believe the first group to migrate to Ko Pha-ngan was Austronesians.
The Bronze Drum of Dongson Culture (500–100 BCE) was found on Ko Samui in 1977 – evidence the first settlers arrived in Ko Samui and Ko Pha-ngan more than 2000 years ago. 

The population thrived by fishing and farming coconuts. Later, tin mining boosted the economy. 

Tin mining became less common in the 1970s and was replaced by tourism, which has ever since steadily increased.

Koh Phangan is known for spirituality, with many Buddhist temples and a mecca for wellness and healing.

The movie “The Beach”

Although Maya Bay was the location of the film; the novel that inspired it came from the author’s experience while visiting Koh Pha Ngan in the mid-1980s, chilling in rustic beach bungalows as a break from being a psychiatric nurse in Australia.

He said he moved to Haad Rin at the southern tip of the island to explore its hippie scene, tai chi, yoga, and mind-opening drugs. 

Location – Getting There

All routes to Koh Phangan go through Koh Samui, Suratthani, or Koh Tao. 

When planning a trip, important considerations:

  • The Suratthani pier is about one hour from the Suratthani airport and town center.
  • When seas are rough avoid speedboats; sea sickness is almost guaranteed.
  • The ferry from Suratthani is comfortable and takes about 2.5 hours.
  • Maybe easiest to travel by ferry from Suratthani with your car or scooter.
  • Some scooter rentals on Koh Phangan are unsafe or poorly maintained.
  • Scooters are dangerous on Koh Phangan due to sandy, slippery roads.
  • Flying to/from Phuket takes as long as driving/ferry in total travel time.


Full Moon Party Dates 2022 

  • Saturday, 13 August 2022
  • Saturday, 10 September 2022
  • Tuesday, 11 October 2022
  • Tuesday, 8 November 2022
  • Thursday, 8 December 2022
  • Saturday, 31 December 2022

Why does T.B.O not score Koh Phangan higher as a remote work destination?

On July 3, 2022 Koh Pangan was ranked the No 1 destination for people seeking a workcation (work + vacation) in a recent survey by William Russell – a website that offers health insurance, life insurance, and income protection plans for people living and working abroad.

The Borderless Office scores Koh Phangan 7 as a destination for working remotely – with a score of 10 being the highest.

While Koh Phangan could be ideal for those on a $500 monthly budget, it lacks modern amenities desired for some online businesses to thrive – dependable electricity, quality healthcare, and ease of day-to-day living that is not disrupted when riding scooters on sandy, slippery, and dangerous roads.

Everyone should work from Koh Phangan for one week, it is a special place. For extended stays – it lacks infrastructure, modern amenities, and has rolling power outages – all of which are obstacles when operating an online business that thrives best when located in a modern – comfortable work environment.

Philip Beere, The Borderless Office
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