Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand is an island that has something for everyone. And, if you’re looking for the best Koh Phangan Hostels, then this article was written especially for you!
While many people travel here for the Full Moon Party, the island also has a thriving yoga scene and there’s also plenty of luxury accommodation for those wanting a pampering beach holiday. Your reason for going to Koh Phangan will determine where you decide to stay.
If you’re heading to Koh Phangan to relax and perhaps take in some yoga, you’ll want to be near to Sri Thanu, on the west coast of the island, which is where you’ll find the majority of yoga schools, plenty of vegan and vegetarian restaurants and a very hippie scene indeed, especially at yogi’s favourite ‘Zen Beach’. Nearby Haad Yao and Haad Chao Pao are also beautiful beaches to be explored. If you’re heading to Koh Phangan to party – then read on!
Note – Read more about the different areas to stay in Koh Phangan in our full guide to the island here.
Best Full Moon Hostel?
If you’re heading to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party, which is in Had Rin on the south-east coast, you’re likely wanting to base yourself in either Haad Rin itself, the popular Baan Tai, which encompasses the southern coast, or even Thongsala, which is the main pier-town on the south-west coast. See below for our list of the best hostels in each of these locations. Our absolute top picks for the best hostels for Full Moon Party antics would be…
- Best Full Moon Party Hostel in Haad Rin – Lazy House Shenanigans
- Runner-up – S & C Hostel
- Best Full Moon Party Hostel in Baan Tai – Phanganist Hostel
- Runner-up – Majestic
Don’t expect much sleep at these hostels above! For more of the best hostels in Koh Phangan check out our full list below…
Don’t Forget – Minimum Number of Nights Booking Policy
Most hostels in Koh Phangan have a minimum booking of at least 5 nights over the Full Moon Party. Availability is tight and prices can rocket, so make sure you book in advance! You can check availability and find some cheap deals on Booking.com.
Important Notice: Hostel Closures!
Many hostels in Koh Phangan recently bit the dust and were forced to close down due to not having the proper license to operate as a ‘bunk bed’ style backpacker hostel. Most of these hostels were located in the areas of Haad Rin and Baan Tai, which is the area where most backpackers base themselves to enjoy the famous Full Moon Party.
The hostels that closed down were 6 in total and were: Slumber Party Hostel, Echo Beach Backpackers, Cats in Space, The Wonderlust and The Nomad House. You’ll find that many travel blogs are still recommending these hostels as the best hostels to stay in Koh Phangan. So which backpacker hostels are actually still open? Have any of them re-opened? And are there any new gems which have sprouted up since the closures? Here’s our pick of the best hostels in Koh Phangan for Winter 2018 and 2019…
The Best Hostels in Koh Phangan – 2018
Haad Rin Hostels – Top 5!
Haad Rin is the home of the Full Moon Party that takes place every month on the sands of Haad Rin Beach. (By the way, if you’re heading to Haad Rin when there is no party on, you’ll find very few tourists, a gorgeous white sandy beach and clean waters that are perfect for swimming! A friend of mine recently stayed in Haad Rin with her husband and 1-year old baby and had a very relaxing time!)
The town of Haad or Had Rin is located on a strip of land that sticks out like a wayward foot off the south-west coast of the island. It’s a funny place, especially at times when there isn’t a party on, and everything these days looks a bit shabby, particularly since many hostels and bars have closed down on account of the police tightening up on Koh Phangan’s drug scene. If you’re eager to stay right in the heart of this legendary backpacker ghetto, then here are your best options for backpacker hostels….
1. Lazy House Shenanigans – TOP PICK! From $8 US for a dorm bed.
*Voted Best Haad Rin Party Hostel Koh Phangan!
Hostel hoppers looking to ring the party bell in style should check out this gorgeous property! Located not far from Haad Rin beach, their rooms feature stunning original murals and the property has a pool bar where you can hang out with your new friends before you take off to the nearby Full Moon Party.
This hostel will keep surprising you with their careful curation of everything, from drinking games to top-notch performers. They arrange a warm-up BBQ party before every major event, surrounding the island festivals, and it’s all free if you book for at least five nights. They have quite a rocking list of international DJs (think Terry Francis of London’s Fabric) who bang out tunes at the venue as you party in their pool! All their rooms are air-conditioned and there is free WiFi for the guests. Check out their video below to get a feel for their cool party vibe…
2. S & C Hostel – TOP PICK! (Prices depend on the date)
This hostel is perfectly located near the Full Moon Party, yet far enough to get a bit of peace and quiet after a night of loud music and dancing. Run by a woman who identifies herself as ‘Mama’ – a fairy godmother who will make sure you have a ton of fun whilst staying here, but that you’ll also feel cared for. She even throws a free BBQ the night before you hit the floor at the full moon party! The set up is pretty basic, but the social atmosphere is to die for. The beds are comfy and mama cooks soul food that will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy throughout your stay!
3. Paradise Bungalows – From $11 US for a dorm bed.
Claiming to be the ‘original home to the Full Moon Party’, this legendary hostel is located right on Haad Rin Beach. Comfy dorm rooms with a keen emphasis on cleanliness, this property might appear a bit dated to a few eyes but their service is top notch. They have a lovely, big pool with a slide for those young-at-heart travellers! You could idle here all day with a kickass view of the sea spread in front of you! This property is right on the beach and there are several restaurants and pubs nearby to keep your evenings occupied. During Full Moon Party though, if you are not up to incessant loud music, needless to say, you should avoid staying here!
4. Coral Bungalows – From $9 US for a dorm bed.
As the hostel tagline screams – ‘best of both worlds’, I think if they mean budget and backpacking by that then they are on the right track. Often regarded as a dated property, reviews go on to show that location, services, cheap and tasty food and a pool on the beach more or less makes up for it! Looking to rent a motorbike or find a cheap massage? The tour desk will help you with that. Don’t forget to ask for discounts because they sometimes do consider that. If you are a student who is on a tight budget and yet wants to stay at the heart of the action, then this is a great pick!
Run by a friendly pair of Danish ladies this establishment oozes warmth and hospitality. The guesthouse is teamed with a restaurant and bar serving an array of local Thai and international cuisines from Italian to Danish to Mexican. All dorm rooms are equipped with air con and have attached or shared bathrooms. A few guests complain about the noise from the nearby road, but what do you expect from a hostel in such a central location in Haad Rin? If you’re wanting to chill under a palm tree then this hostel is not ideal, but with Haad Rin Beach just a five minute walk away – who cares?
Hostels in Baan Tai – Top 10!
Baan Tai is the name for the southern coast of Koh Phangan that has a long beach, very shallow waters on account of the low tide and loads of great backpacker hostels. You’re just a short drive from the Full Moon Party beach of Haad Rin and yet you’re perfectly placed to hire a motorbike and explore what the rest of the island has to offer. Many travellers reckon that this is the best place to base yourself if you’re heading to the Full Moon Party and it’s here you’ll find the best backpacker hostels. Here are our top 10 Baan Tai hostels!
1. Phanganist Hostel Koh Phangan – TOP PICK! – From $6 US for a dorm bed.
*Voted Best Baan Tai Party Hostel Koh Phangan!
Phanganist Hostel has gained a reputation for being the most sociable hostel on the island! Many people choose to spend a couple of nights here but end up extending their stay, simply due to the sheer number of fun activities on offer at this hostel, from Latin dancing nights to beer pong! From from the location (near to other hangout zones like bars, pubs, and restaurants) to the atmosphere – this hostel has everything a backpacker could want. As the reviews scream, ‘This is the best party hostel ever!’ The hosts are attentive and are always inventing interesting activities throughout the day to help travellers unwind and bond. The common areas are cutely decorated with loads of hanging lamps and hammocks to create the beachy-vacay feel! Want to take a break from the sea-dip? Splash around in their swimming pool with a pint for a company. Play a game of pool or explore the island with your new-found travel buddies. And in the other news, the beds, bathrooms, and rooms are all clean and comfy and brand spanking new! 10/10 Phanganist!
2. Majestic Koh Phangan – From $8 US for a dorm bed.
Everything you’ve ever dreamt about in a hostel and a few things more – Majestic is here to floor you for sure! Slip into the party mood as early as 12 noon when the music is turned up a notch! Jump into the pool or spill your drinks as you melt into a gurgle of laughter with a stranger you just met at the bar. Yes, they have a 24-hr bar where food and drinks are available round the clock at a very reasonable price. You can indulge in a ton of activities ranging from a game of table tennis to a football match on their on-site football pitch! After dancing and partying, if you get some time for shut-eye then the beds are comfy and clean. However, be aware that this place is really loud and might have to kiss your peace goodbye!
3. Dancing Elephant Beach Club – From $8 US for a dorm bed.
A hostel hanging around for nine years speaks volume, doesn’t it? You can rest assured that you will get the best of services and a swell experience at Dancing Elephant. But if you are worried that long-time spells doom on the room qualities (it’s a hostel we are talking about after all), then you don’t have to worry. Only last year they have moved into a brand new location which boasts of beach proximity of 30 seconds. Their 24 beds beach facing dorm room is spectacular! Their warm-up parties keep loyal patrons visiting them every time they are on this island. Highly recommended!
4. La Villa – From $12 US for a dorm bed.
Fancy living next to the ocean with a killer view and a restful vibe? Not all of us want to party 24X7 and it’s important to have some time to relax on this beautiful tropical island too. If you belong to that tribe then you will find your stay at La Villa the perfect balance! This relatively new hostel is managed by an affable couple who are experts in giving you tips to explore the island and make your stay all the more immersive and fun! The set up is basic, but a few dorms are equipped with a terrace and the property has a lovely garden. You can rent out motorbikes, kayaks, bodyboards and even jet skis from here to explore the island in a variety of ways. There’s an on-site restaurant serving Thai and Western cuisines at a fairly discounted rate.
5. Love Station Hostel – From $8 US for a dorm bed.
If you are looking to dodge the rowdy party crowd but you’re still looking for a sociable scene, then Love Station strikes the perfect balance! Located close to all of the happening party places, yet in a secluded spot where you can chill and relax when you feel like it, this hostel nurtures a chilled out backpacker scene. Sample some food in their lip-smacking Indian restaurant or pick up your snack supply from 7-11 located just next door. The rooms and bathrooms are cleaned and maintained regularly and there is a lovely garden at the back where you can hang your clothes to dry or hang out with other guests.
6. The Magic Wave – From $7 US for a dorm bed.
Staying here is like staying with a friend, in a hostel which looks more like a hotel! Owned and run by a lovely Belgian couple who remember your name from day one and make it their responsibility to introduce you to the rest of the guests there. These are the little human-touches that ‘weave magic’ into an ordinary stay. They have a swimming pool and a bar with an amazing music collection for you to enjoy while you’re pre-gaming. You can rent motorbikes here or consult them on various other activities that you can try out on this island besides the full moon party. They even have a day after ‘crazy party’ session of pizza and movie to let your body and mind rest in a fun way!
7. Smile Hostel – From $15 US for a dorm bed.
The clue is in the name! Manned by a super friendly owner who creates a kind of big brother vibe, you are taken care of very well at this hostel and you’ll feel like your safety and enjoyment is the hosts’ number one priority. Right from the onset, it is made very clear that it is not a crazy party hostel, but if you’re heading here for Full Moon expect a fun warm-up atmosphere and a sociable experience at all times. As it goes with many hostels in Thailand, if you are not dog-friendly then don’t bother booking room here! As one girl said ‘the friendliest hostel I’ve ever stayed at” – and that includes the friendly pets too!
8. Sarana Bungalows – From $9 US for a dorm bed. (Also pictured as the header of this article.)
*Voted Best Backpacker Hostel on the Beach in Koh Phangan!
Beach huts propped up on a secluded beach with an infinity pool overlooking the sea – need we say more? Once you step onto this property the positive energy of this place will sweep you off your feet and put you in holiday mode… The rooms are basic but the hostel is immaculately clean and there is free fast WiFi for the guests. Situated just a few steps away from the popular half-moon party, the location makes it ideal for guests who wish to party and to explore what the rest of the island has to offer. There are street food stalls and restaurants nearby, although the property also serves great Thai and Western fares!
9. Na-tub Hostel – From $8 US for a dorm bed.
Situated in a great location in Baan Tai, this hostel is a relatively new property and you will find everything is clean and modern. The staff are very keen to help you settle in and help you to explore what the island has to offer (besides partying!). They have a lovely pool to cool you off and their surrounding gardens are immaculate. They provide complimentary breakfast, which is basic, but nevertheless serves a purpose to kickstart your day on the right foot! When it’s Full Moon Party time, they organize shuttles to the party venues and also to the ferry points. There are cheap street food restaurants located nearby too.
10. White Rabbit – From $8 US for a dorm bed.
All travellers crave to discover something new, especially at a place which is overridden by tourists – hidden beaches, different activities, best restaurants and killer ambience. If you want to tap into the local treasure trove of knowledge, then Sam is your man! He is the cool host of this unique hostel and is always ready with his stories to share to benefit others. The hostel also reflects the personality of the owner through its cool exterior of graffitied walls. The booze at this hostel is also cheap and the food is delish. (They have air-conditioned and comfortable dorm rooms.)
Hostels in Thongsala – Top 5!
Thongsala is the main town of Koh Phangan, the capital if you like, and it’s home to the pier where the main ferries pull in. It’s got a great little night market, lots of restaurants and bars, but no real beach to speak of. In terms of the Full Moon Party, you’re about 20 minutes by taxi from Haad Rin Beach. Never fear – all of the hostels on this list will put taxis on during Full Moon and Half Moon so you’ll be sure to get to the party on time! (And for a cheap price).
1. Goodtime Koh Phangan – TOP PICK! From $11 US for a dorm bed.
24-hr swimming pool, round the clock food and cocktails, yell ‘good time’ loud and clear! Top that off with a 100 m beach right in front of the property. Need we say more? There are designated areas for pool and ping pong, as well as a beach volleyball court that keeps you occupied on a lazy beach day. This is a great hostel to base yourself whether you want to party or not as it strikes the perfect balance between fun and chill. After a night partying, take your yoga mat to the adjoining beach and welcome the day with the rising sun! If you want a short Koh Phangan experience, book with them for just three nights because unlike other hostels they don’t have a minimum of five nights.
2. Lime n Soda Backpackers – Bungalow from $20 US per night.
Offering affordable rooms with basic amenities in place but a gorgeous beachfront location, this hostel is sure to entice both backpackers and flashpackers! The hostel complex has everything that you would ever need – restaurant, bar, swimming pool, travel desk, did I mention the ocean views? The cluster of bungalows features big windows that offer spectacular views and reduces that cramped dorm feeling. Guests can use free WiFi in the public areas and there’s always a friendly face around to help you with whatever you may need…
3. Coco Garden Resort – Twin room from $20 US per night.
Ready for some Vitamin-Sea? Live the island vibe right on the beach in these cute beach huts with hammocks on the porch where you can swing and gorge on some stunning sea view. Feeling thirsty? Head to the beach bar which is ready to floor you with their wide range of drinks and all that at a very cheap rate. The rooms are great, the bathrooms are clean and the staffs are very informative and guide you to your good times. You can find a 7-11, a hospital, and a big market and bike rental place nearby to this property.
4. Indy Home Café – From $12 US for a dorm bed.
Located in the heart of town, people mostly stop here for a breakfast bite and agree unanimously that the food is scrumptious! What they don’t know is that same kind of attention has been paid to the hostel they have created in the same vicinity. The rooms are modern and well-designed and the staff have the excellent Thai hospitality down to a tee. The property is spacious and dorms are all air-conditioned. It is a quite quiet place where your party-weary soul can enjoy some much-needed downtime in a cosy environment.
5. Asia Blue GoodFellas Hacienda – From $7 US for a dorm bed.
As you read all of the excellent reviews of this hostel on Booking.com you’ll start to get excited. But here comes the caveat: apparently the hostel offers a free shot for every 10/10 reviewer. Oopsie! Haha! Of course, this will make you apprehensive. However, amongst the opportunistic reviewers, you’ll find many many genuine reviews with customers raving about the hospitality, facilities and the welcoming staff. The ocean-view pool is supposedly amazing. However, some backpackers have complained recently about the general upkeep of the hostel as they found it to be pretty shoddy. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a comfy bed with air conditioning, pool, and free WiFi, as well as friendly staff, an ocean view pool and a good location, then this place is a good pick!
BRAND NEW! 6. Mad Monkey Hostel!
One of the most popular party hostels in Southeast Asia has finally landed on Koh Phangan and it’s ready to make a big, big splash. Located just a five-minute walk from Thongsala Pier and the town centre, Mad Monkey Koh Phangan is ready to make the party. With a swimming pool, nightly events, and dedicated Customer Experience Reps, Mad Monkey is sure to have a social atmosphere and will definitely help you make the most of your Full Moon Party or Half Moon Festival experience.
Hostels in other parts of the island – Top 3
Koh Phangan is a beautiful island and it would be a crime to travel to the island only for the Full Moon Party without sampling everything that the island has to offer; from deserted beaches to snorkelling to diving and the yoga scene of the west coast! Place yourself in a different spot on the island (you’re still only going to be 40 minutes from the Full Moon Party if you want to go) and explore a different vibe entirely…
1. Shiralea Backpackers Resort (Haad Yao) – TOP PICK! – From $6 US for a dorm bed.
Surrounded by beautiful luscious jungle, this unique backpacker resort boasts a gorgeous environment and a beautiful deep swimming pool. The dorms are very comfy and they have privacy curtains and come with lockers to keep your backpacks. The general vibe of the place is chill. Located near to Haad Yao beach, one of the best beaches on the island for swimming. The French-Canadian / Australian owners, as well as Thai staff, are super attentive and the hostel bar is a great place to strike a conversation with fellow travellers and later party a little if you so wish. The shared bathrooms are spacious and they are cleaned frequently. Guests can enjoy free WiFi in all public areas. Read our full review of Shiralea here.
2. Tantawan Bungalows (Haad Son) – $27 US for a bungalow.
A five-minute walk from Haad Son Beach will take you to this beautiful bungalow village set on a hillside overlooking the sea. So much attention has been paid in propping up this place with cute and delicate curios creating a boutique styled hotel feel. It is advised to rent a scooter while staying at this property and their recommended vendor is cheap and hassle-free. There is a secret beach just down the property where you can swim in the warm shallow water swim and relax at the beach bar. The property has a beautiful pool and tonnes of open spaces where you can chill with a sundowner.
3. Mae Haad Cove Bungalows – (Mae Haad) – $9 US for a beach bungalow.
If you are looking for an incredible snorkelling experience, then Mae Haad Cove’s location is for you! The ocean just off the property provides an excellent spot for the activity. This property is a perfect marriage of good mood and good food with a rustic backpacker vibe that can be difficult to find elsewhere. At any time of the year, you will have an almost private beach to unwind and a wooden bungalow with hammocks facing the sea to relax for as long as you want. The staffs here are excellent and the family who runs the place gives it a very homely touch. The travel desk also arranges for other activities like canoeing and fishing trips.
Have you stayed at any of these hostels in Koh Phangan, or stayed somewhere amazing that we haven’t mentioned? Tell us in the comments below!
Header pic: Sarana Bungalows, Koh Phangan.