Thongsala Koh Phangan
Situated on the south west coast all roads around the island basically lead to Thongsala Koh Phangan. Above all, principally used by tourists arriving from Koh Samui and Don Sak as the main arrival port. The port area of Thongsala Koh Phangan has three main piers. Firstly, one of which is able to handle medium to large sized vehicle and passenger ferries. While the others deal with the smaller passenger ferries and fishing boats. These travel between the islands of Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and the mainland ports at Surat Thani and Don Sak.
Certainly, Thongsala Koh Phangan is the commercial and administrative capital of Koh Phangan. Most tourists only stay long enough in Thongsala to catch a ride elsewhere on the island after arriving by ferry. This shouldn’t be the case these days. Because Thongsala offers a growing number of decent accommodation options. Also a great variety of shops, markets, bars, restaurants and cafes.
In the town you will find banks, ATMs, medical clinics, travel agents, pharmacies. As well as the island’s main post office and the police station. You can also pick up essentials from one of the many larger supermarkets. Including Tesco Extra, Macro, Big A and Big C. Clothes shopping is good here too, with both markets and shops. There are many boutique style shops offering everything from mainstream T-shirts and swim wear to one of a kind outfits. The surrounding streets are filled with market stalls, fruit shops and stores selling electrical goods, clothes and typical Thai tourist souvenirs. Shopping is cheaper here, compared to other areas of the island and offers a greater variety.
Pantip Market (also known as the Night Market) is a must for low cost snacks or your evening dinner. The food market is always filled with a mix of locals, expats and tourists. A range of food stalls gather here on a daily basis. All offering a huge choice on cuisine and at the lowest prices anywhere on the island. Here you can enjoy a taste sensation of local Thai dishes. Plus Italian, Indian, vegetarian and other western style cuisine.
Choose from a selection of pre cooked Thai curries, including meat and veggie, with rice. For about 50 THB a portion. You can also choose your favourite Thai dish and have it prepared to your preferred spice/heat directly in front of you. Maybe you fancy the taste of Italy with authentic crispy pizzas on offer. Or how about a little bit of Japan with freshly made rolled sushi offerings.
BBQ grills sizzle all around you with an array of different delicacies, from squid on a stick, chicken, pork, kebabs and whole fresh fish. If you fancy something a bit more substantial, check out the slow roasted chicken or pork, prepared in a clay pot. You can get just about everything on a stick here, including a potato chip! Yes, fried slices of finely cut potato and threaded onto a stick, very tasty.
For a healthier option, you can choose from freshly prepared seasonal fruits or Papaya salads. If you like shakes then this is the place to get them. You can choose from around 80 different combinations of fresh fruit or veg shakes and all for only 30 THB each. You can’t miss Pantip Food Market, it’s on main Taladmai Road, just after the roundabout and next to the 7-eleven.
Bars & Restaurants
Thongsala Koh Phangan also has many good restaurants and bars. Enough to suit anyones budget and taste. You can eat meals from all around the world, including French, Italian, British, Mexican, Indian and Japanese. There are loads of bars in Thongsala, many have pool tables and TV’s showing live sporting events. The nightlife in Thongsala is limited compared to Haad Rin. But you can still find some bars offering live music events or a small DJ parties during the evenings.
If you don’t want to be in the middle of the party action such as in Haad Rin but still enjoy being close to the main services, Thongsala Koh Phangan is the place to stay. There’s plenty to do here, from exercising at the gym, practicing Muay Thai, relaxing in a spa or treating your body to a massage.
Thong Sala has a wonderful stretch of sandy beach, where you can sunbath or kite board by day and then relax and watch the evening sunsets into the night. Finally, along Thongsala Beach there are plenty of beachside bungalows and resorts to suit every budget.