Dangers & Annoyances
Koh Phangan is a very safe place where most troubles are self inflicted; with drink driving and drug arrests the biggest problem makers. Motorbike accidents are fairly common; the unsightly scar has become known as a “Koh Phangan Tattoo” so you should always wear a helmet and shoes; most of the roads here are concrete now so they are crucial, jeans and a jacket are advisable. If you are an inexperienced rider, be careful on sandy corners and do not attempt the hills of Haad Rin or Thong Nai Pan. Taxis and rental jeeps are cheap, especially if you hire one in a group!
Our advice is don’t be tempted by drugs; this island has had a bad reputation for a long time and the open taking of drugs is not tolerated. Thailand has also had a crackdown and the police are very hot on stopping the problem. The days are gone when you could buy your way out for a few dollars and the penalties in Thailand are harsh to say the least – expect a hefty fine and possibly an extended jail term if caught.
Theft is uncommon, but if it does happen go to the police station near Thongsala town and get a report for your insurance. Always leave your valuables in the resort safe (especially during FMP) and do not give opportunists the chance, as most theft is through an open bungalow window or from the front basket on the motorbike.
Trekking and rock climbing without a guide or proper equipment is not recommended, the island is a big place and gets dark early. Guides can be contacted at the Phaeng Waterfall National Park.