The island of Koh Phangan, just 12km away from Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand has some great tourist sights in the interior. Koh Phangan has a long heritage as a spiritual centre, and a visiting place for Thai Royalty, and there are over 20 temples and numerous spots of outstsnding natural beauty. While the incredible coastline is the main attraction for most visitors, it is well worth checking out some of these recommended spots to get a real feel for the island as a whole.
Phaeng Waterfall and national park: The main waterfall on Koh Phangan is a steep 250m walk up a jungle trail, and a further 200m up the path will bring you to a fantastic mountaintop viewpoint, where you can also find the trail onward to Kao Ra. There is a temple and national park office near this important site.
Kao Ra is the highest mountain peak on Koh Pha-Ngan and is an incredible hillside viewpoint. It is quite a hike, but well worth it for the spectacular scenery, both on the trail and at the top. The footpath up the mountain starts at the village of Ban Madua Wan in the central region of the island. The trail can be tricky in places, so it is advisable to take advantage of guide services offered in the area.
Laem Son Lake: A popular bathing spot with shady areas on the banks perfect for picnicking, the lake is between Haad Yao and Srithanu in the nort-west.
Wat Phu Khao Noi: This is the oldest temple on the island, and has some striking chedi and amazing views, as it is located high on a hilltop outside of Tongsala.
Jade Buddha: Located near the entrance to Phaeng Waterfall, the jade Budha is inside the temple grounds.
Than Sadet: Waterfalls on the East of the island, this waterfall was first visited by King Rama V in 1888, and he has left his royal inscription on a rock there. It is not the largest of the falls, but after heavy rain is quite impressive and has nice clear pools for bathing and is situated in a lovely forested glade.
Angthong Marine Park: Is an island chain hosting some spectacular dive and snorkel sites. It is also great for kayaking, with limestone caves to explore, and crystal waters to enjoy. The trip fron Koh Phangan takes around an hour, and there are plenty of travel agents that can arrange day tours or overnight stays.