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Ko Pha-Ngan

Getting around

Roads on the island are being paved at a rapid rate, which will no doubt mean fewer low-speed accidents and more high-speed ones. The worst place for motorcycle riding is between Ban Khai and Hat Rin, which is a paved but very hilly road; don’t attempt this unless you’re very good on a motorcycle. Also, the unpaved midsection to Ao Thong Nai Pan can get pretty rough.

You can rent motorcycles all over the island for about 250B per day. Wear a helmet, especially if you’re going to be taking on dirt or steep roads. Bicycles are sometimes available for rent for 100B a day. Car rentals are around 1300B a day.

Some places can be reached only by boat, such as Hat Khuat and some sections of the eastern coast. If you do find trails, bear in mind that they can be overgrown and are not recommended for walking if you’re wearing a heavy pack.

To and from Thong Sala, sǎwngthǎew cost 50B per person to anywhere on the island except for Ao Thong Nai Pan (100B). Rates jump at sunset or if petrol happens to be particularly expensive that week. The best time to move around the island, whether by boat or sǎwngthǎew, is around midday. This is when the majority of the boats from Surat Thani and other islands arrive and sǎwngthǎew and boats swarm in to move people to their final destinations. At other times you may have to charter the whole sǎwngthǎew or boat if there are not enough people.

Long-tail boats from Ao Chalok Lam to Hat Khuat cost around 50B per person with at least six people; otherwise it’s 350B to charter the whole thing. Boats between Thong Sala and Hat Yao or Hat Rin cost about 150B per person from January to September (in calm weather only), though there are rarely enough people to warrant these boats running. From Hat Rin to Ao Thong Nai Pan Yai by long-tail boat expect to pay around 250B. You can charter a boat ride from beach to beach for about 200B per 15 minutes of travel.