The monthly Full Moon Party holds the title of the "biggest night out" on Koh Phangan, closely followed by its Half moon and Black Moon sister events. But the party culture is developing on the island and its now possible to choose a more personal,carefully planned night out.
Even outside the party dates, Haad Rin remains the centre of the action, but many of the island's other beaches also have a good selection of bars, pubs and clubs. In fact, there are now some sophisticated venues for both live music and dance tunes littered around the coast.
For something different, try The Eagle on the west coast bay known as Ao Hat Yao. This is essentially a live music venue but als has some good house djs. Another funky alternative is Pirate's Bar, also on the west coast at Ao Chaophao. You have to walk through a bungalow resort, along the beach and over a rickety bridge to reach it, winding your way around a series of boulders to the ship-shaped bar.
Closer to the Full Moon Party, Coral Bungalows In Hat Rin West hosts one of Thailand's famous cabaret shows with beautiful ladyboys dressed in spectacular costumes performing to classic anthems.
In fact, every beach on Koh Phangan has its choice of venues, and with everything from lamp-lit bamboo beach bars to full scale outdoor nightclubs, it's hard to stay in at night.