We were on Ko Phangan for 6 weeks, looking back, it was a blissful, perfect time, other than my husband’s health problems. It’s a lovely island, but if my husband hadn’t had surgery we would have moved on earlier as it was just slightly over our budget. We used Haad Salad Villas Ko Phangan and highly recommend them to you.
Costs of Staying on Ko Phangan ( Haad Salad)
These are our costs, they should give you a guide as to what to expect.
At the time 100 Baht was just over $3 AU/ US
Budget Family Accommodation on Haad Salad
We’re looking for the best value, not the most luxurious family accommodation. There are a few luxury resorts on Haad Salad if you want to spend big, they look lovely, but to us they’re not worth the expense.
Haad Salad is very quiet at the moment ( Sept/October) things get busy for a few days either side of the Full Moon Party and accommodation prices go up.
Booking online ( booking.com), we found a 3 bed air con bungalow (Haad Salad Villas Ko Phangan ) with fridge and Wifi, almost on Haad Salad beach for 800 Baht/night.
On arrival we were given a 4 bed bungalow, we negotiated the price down to 700 Baht for a longer stay. We volunteered to give up our air conditioning and got the price down to 500 Baht.
We loved our bungalow, we had 2 big beds, plenty of space, our own bathroom and little patio with a hammock. We could see the sea from our front steps. It really was heaven.
We searched this beach for cheaper accommodation, it turned out we were already in the cheapest place. The place next door ( My Way) wouldn’t go below 900 Baht for the 4 of us in a similar bungalow. We had a friend staying there with her son, she was paying 500 Baht for a two bed bungalow, no air-con.
We found a lovely 4 bed bungalow with a basic kitchen for 500 Baht/night for a long stay, but the location wasn’t so good, it was a short walk from the beach.
Comparison with other parts of Thailand. This family accommodation is a lot cheaper and better than anything we found in Bangkok and significantly more than we were paying in Kanchanaburi ( 200-350 Baht). The cheapest room we found in Chaweng, Ko Samui was 800 Baht. We have not been able to find anything online for Koh Tao for under 1000 Baht. We’ve decided to skip Ko Tao for now. Partly because of chef’s recovery, he can’t walk far.
Food Costs Haad Salad
We’re finding food to be quite expensive here, but the portions are usually big enough to share between two. There is no market or restaurants catering for locals in Haad Salad . There is a Saturday night market in Thong Sala (9Km away). Haad Salad shops are limited and pricey.The nearest 7-11 is at Haad Yao, you can walk, it’s about 45 mins there and back and the hill is really steep. I love a good walk, I’ve been going most days. The nearest supermarket is a small Tesco in Thong Sala.
A few examples of food prices on Haad Salad beach ( not in the fancy hotels).
Simple black coffee 30 Baht
Green curry chicken 80-100 Baht
Fried chicken with vegetables 70-90 Baht
Steamed Rice 30 Baht
Toast and eggs 60 Baht
Large Singha Beer 110 Baht
Glass of wine 140 Baht
Fruit juice or shake 50-80 Baht
6 Pack of large water 70 Baht if you walk up to the purple shop. Elsewhere, 100 to 150 Baht.
Transport costs on Ko Phangan
The only way to get around Ko Phangan on a budget, as a family, is to hire motor scooters. Scooter hire is 140 Baht per day in Haad Salad. Long term it is cheaper.
But watch out, accidents are common and if you so much as scratch a bike, repair costs are huge ( see what repairs cost us here). While we were there a young man, a resident, died, it was tragic. He was rear ended by another rider. The people who hire out the bikes never offer insurance, they’re waiting for you to stuff up.
There is car hire on the island, but none in Haad Salad.
Taxis are your other option, each guest house or hotel has its own. They are rather like songtaws, open backed trucks with bench seats, we find them quite expensive. They like to charge per person, so families struggle, try and talk them down, but we never had much luck.
Thong Sala ( the ferry port) to Haad Salad cost us 400 Baht
Haad Salad to Haad Rin ( for the Full Moon Party) cost us 600 Baht going down ( it was just us), 500 Baht coming back ( sharing with several others)
Motorbike Taxis are cheaper, but they just don’t work for families.
The ferry/bus combo from Ko Phangan to Surat Thani was 450 Baht each ( Boo was short enough to be charged 300 Baht). This puts it into perspective, they’ll charge you that much for 10 mins in the back of a truck around Ko Phangan. 450 Baht was for 2 hours on a fancy catamaran and a luxury coach for over an hour.
Our Daily, No Frills, Cost For 4 Would Be Roughly 1500Baht $50 AU
That’s without any extras. So it’s not particularly cheap by Asian standards. By the time we added on some wines and beers we’d be way over budget. We reduced food costs by sharing meals, I would often skip dinner as the lunches were so big. Sometimes the kids had cereal and milk in our room, but it wouldn’t fill them up and they’d be hungry before lunch.
Room 500 Baht
Breakfast 220Baht ( 4 toast and eggs)
3 coffees 80 Baht
Lunch 250 Baht (2 green curries, 2 rice, for example)
2 Fruit Shakes 50 Baht
Dinner 250 Baht
Things to Do on Ko Phangan
There are lots of trips and excursions you can book, we didn’t go, other than diving.
1. Scuba Diving. 2500 Baht ( Sail Rock is an excellent dive, Chef went before he had his surgery)
2. The Marine Park 2000 Baht
3. Snorkelling Trips 1800 Baht
4. Hire a kayak 100 Baht per hour. We had use of a kayak for free and really enjoyed it.
5. Elephant shows. Yes, they are here. I think they’re disgusting so I wouldn’t ever go.
6. The Full Moon Party. Admission is 100Baht, but if you walk to the far end of the beach it’s free.
7. Fishing Trips. Various prices.
8. Beach Massages 100 Baht for the kids. At least double that for adults.
There are a few dangers, annoyances and problems on Ko Phangan that I can warn you about, so if you’re thinking of heading this way you click the link to read about them.
If you’d like to know what we did all day on Ko Phangan you need this link. Very little, it was lovely!
So overall, we’re above budget. It was the food costs that were the killer, and our liking for beer and wine. Now we’re in Surat Thani a main course is 35 Baht and it’s delicious! We couldn’t afford Ko Phangan really, but it was forced upon us by circumstance and we really enjoyed it. I keep saying that there’s no point in scrimping, you need to spend as much as you need to enjoy yourselves. Being over budget just means our trip will be shorter. Oh well, it was good!
So go take a look at Haad Salad Villas Ko Phangan and if you’re interested in travel anywhere and everywhere else in Asia, you need our family accommodation recommendations. We show you everywhere we stayed that we’d recommend, sometimes multiple times, over the last 3 years. We took out the bad ones!
If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!
We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of travel insurance.
Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!
Tuesday 12th of March 2019
Looking at traveling here with our teens in September, 2019. How did you travel from the mainland to Ko Pha Ngan? Thank you for your very helpful information in your blog!
Tuesday 12th of March 2019
We took the ferry to Ko Samet, had a night or two there, then took the ferry to Ko Phangan. I think you can also take a direct ferry straight to Ko Phangan if you want to skip Samet. Or you can fly to Samet and ferry from there.
Wednesday 23rd of April 2014
Thanks to your glowing recommendation we have just booked a beachfront family room at Haad Salad Villas for September. So nice to hear a first hand report from a family with kids similar ages to mine. We've always avoided Koh Phangan in the past, but going to give it a go now we realise it's not all partying backpackers :) Thank you!
Saturday 26th of April 2014
I'm jealous Jackie! We'd love to go hang out there again. Say hi it Ayam, Pepsi, Cola and Baguette from us. Maybe we'll be back too!
Tuesday 4th of February 2014
Ko Phangan is a dream destination. I first saw it in the movie "The Beach", ever since, I've been drooling to get there some day and I will!
Tuesday 4th of February 2014
Ah, you mean the rice run to Ko Phangan. It's one of my all time favourite books, I read it on a beach in Goa years ago and knew then that independent travel was for me. Love the music in the movie too! One of my kids' favourite catch phrases is "You wanna drink snake blooood?"