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About Thongsala

There is a lot to say about Thongsala, just as there is a lot to write about Koh Phangan. It is the main town on the island and the main transport hub until Koh Phangan Airport is completed (if it is ever completed). As a result, most people arriving in Koh Phangan will encounter Thongsala. The only alternative is the Haad Rin Queen ferry or private speed boat hire.

Thongsala has the best selection of shops on the island. It is here that local businesses come to make their purchases. You can get great deals on alcohol, imported food items, fresh food, meat etc. at such supermarkets as Tesco, Big C, Makro as well as the street markets. There is also plenty of whole food, health food options in shops like Limpipong.

Thongsala is also the best place to buy souvenirs, holiday essentials, electrical equipment, holiday reading, DVDs etc.

Over the past few years the Thongsala Saturday Market has become popular. This is on Talad Khao Road. This is the remains of Chinatown. You can still see plenty of Chinese characters on the street signs and many of the buildings are the original wooden fisherman's homes (also found in Chaloklum and Bophut in Koh Samui). Nowadays visitors and ex-pats often call this street 'Walking Street'. The market starts at 5pm and finishes at 10pm. It is a bizarre with a mix of stalls selling food, souvenirs, sunglasses etc. Often there is a bit of street music.

Whereas Thongsala is great for eating out, it is perhaps not the liveliest spot for late night drinking. The clubs and open air parties are on in Haad Rin and on the road to Haad Rin in Baan Tai. There are a few good bars where you can get a game of pool, catch some sport on TV amnd drink imported beer. The same goes for health food and yoga: you can find whole foods and healthy options in places like The Canteen. Yoga lessons pop up around town on an ad hoc basis. It is best to head up the west coast towards Srithanu to find more of a community of those devoted to healthy and transformative living.


Thongsala is the place to go for a number of things. The main Police Station is just outside of Thongsala on the government office road. Although Koh Phangan Hospital is farther north in Wok Tum, Thongsala has a private clinics uch as Phangan International Hospital and Koh Phangan Health Centre. These clinics have plenty of experience in dealing with motorbike injuries and burns from those silly enough to do the burning rope skipping during the FMP. These clinics are expensive as they expect clients to claim on their travel insurance.

Also in Thongsala is the main post office. It is at the end of Walking Street (Talad Kao). If someone posts you a parcel this is where it will arrive.

There are a handful of banks in Thongsala. They are all located on the main drag (Taladmai Road). These banks can change foreign currency as well as travellers' cheques. There are also a number of ATM machines around where tourists can use their cards.


Around Thongsala you will find a good selection of shops. Taladmai has clothes shops and souvenir shops as well as smaller shops where you can root out cheaper tobacco, sunblock and mosquito repellent. Farther up the road is a book shop and a computer repair shop.

In recent years Walking Street (also known as China Town on account of the few Chinese fisherman's houses still found on this road) and the streets nearby have received a boost in tourism. This is partly due to the inauugration of a weekly Walking Street Market from 4pm to 10pm every Saturday. During this time the road is made pedestrain only. There are plenty of food stalls selling Thai food as well as pizza and other Western food items. There is also live music.

For those looking for fashion there is Phanganer (Talad Kao) and just 3 door down Nok Shop. The shops sell Western brands and light clothing suitable for the hot weather.

At the top of the town there is Tesco Lotus that sells a wide range of Western supermarket items. On the road that goes to Baan Tai you ccan find a Home Mart and Limpipong Homeware. These are the best places to source DIY equipment. Next door to Limpipong is the Health Food Centre where you can find whole foods and health foods. For the bets deals on imported food items go up the road a few metres to Makro. Don't worry they can make you a 'member' on the spot.

Those looking for local produce should head to the covered markets behind Phantip Market or at the start of the Baan Tai Road.

Thongsala is the best place to get a bargain in Koh Phangan. It has the greatest variety of things for sale. You can try and haggle but always politely.

Thongsala Beach

Thongsala is not known for its beach, and indeed you would be forgiven for not realising that Thongsala actually had a beach. You can get to it most easily by going down Walking Street, past the Post Office and turning left. You will soon spot the beach nestled ina cove to the south of the Lomrayah Pier.

It is a suprisingly nice beach. It is clean and the water quality is not bad. You often see local lads fishing and swimming in the sea at Thongsala. Due to the way Thongsala is laid out nobody has thought to commercialise the beach other than Sucasa Beach House that has a few cheap beds next to the beach. While you would be a bit silly to visit Thongsala for a beach holiday, it is a pleasant and peaceful spot to get away from the concrete of the town. You can't really say 'to get away from the hustle and bustle of Thongsala' since it is one of the most laid-back and sleepy towns you are ever likely to encounter.

Thongsala Accommodation

Thongsala has lots of rooms for rent. Most of the accommodaton is aimed at the budget and mid range crowd. There are plenty of hostels all offering a similar deal - air-con room with bunk beds, lockers, free wifi and access to shared bathroom. These are small businesses converted for this type of business. Most don't have a common room or restaurant. However, if hostels are your thing there are tons of them along the Baan Tai Road.

Slightly better facilities are found in guesthouses. For You Guesthouse is above a bar. Sucasa Guesthouse has reasonably priced air-con rooms. Baan Nai Wok Resort is not on the beach but on the outskirts of town. It does have, however, traditional, Thai style bungalows. On Thongsala beach is Sucasa Beach House which has a small dorm. For a full summary see our Thongsala accommodation section where you can find links to separate pages describing each hotel/hostel/guesthouse in detail.

Bars and Restaurants

Many of the best restaurants on the island are found in Thongsala. Those staying in Thongsala are spoiled for choice as far as eating options. There is also a wealth of cheap local restaurants as well as stalls at Phantip Market. There are some good cheapies in Walking Street (Talad Khao Road). You can find seafood BBQ, Thai, Italian, Americana, Portuguese, Japanese and Israeli food are all available in Thongsala. One of the joys of the town is checking out the different places to eat.

Those seeking more microbiotic, raw food, whole food, super food type cuisine are better served by the eating eastablishments in and around Srithanu.

Beer prices are the cheapest on the island in Thongsala. If you have a fridge you can get a crate of beers from Tesco. Those who like going out can try such places as Harp Bar, The Flag and 4 Toes and the ultra-modern SOHO. There are also open stalls in the night market where you can drink cheaply outside and enjoy the flow of people. Thongsala has a good nightlife but it is not a ravers paradise like Baan Tai and Haad Rin.

Things to Do

Perhaps the main thing to do in Thongsala is get a bargain. Those not staying in Thongsala come in pick up cheaper supplies. Those staying in Thongsala often do so because of the cheap accommodation and cheap restaurants.

Another big reason to stay in Thongsala is to study Muay Thai. This is where you find the biggest fight nights staged. You can study at the Koh Phangan Muay Thai and Fitness Gym. They provide expert tuition both for groups and for individuals. The teaching staff speak good English and have a wealth of experience. The staff includes Rob from Poland Sri - a Thai woman who also specialises in Pilates, tabata, kettleball and weight training. The gym is well equipped and includes sparring ring and weight room. They also host yoga lessons. This gym is also commonly known as Chorenrit Muay Thai. See the link on the left for more details.

The Safari Boat has its offices next to the entrance to the Lomprayah Pier. This is a tour compnay that offers various boat tours that normally include a session snorkelling. They go Ang Thong Marine Park, Koh Tao and Nang Yuan. They also tour Koh Phangan taking in the best beaches and Koh Ma, the island's only marine park. The reviews of these tours are mixed.


The biggest spa in Thongsala is the Chakra Natural Therapies for Health. It is located on the coastal road, not far from Thongsala Beach and very close to the start of Baan Tai. They do Thai massage, oil massage, reiki and yoga. They also have training programs. It is a friendly little spot. Although quite new, the Chakra Natural Therapies spa has plenty of great reviews.

Island Beauty Spa is a more traditional spa that focuses on beauty treatments and massage rather than chakra manipulation. They have massages, scrubs, wraps and a barrel sauna. They also do waxing as well as eyebrows.


More Koh Phangan Beach Guides

Thong Nai Pan
Haad Yao
Haad Salad
Mae Haad
guide to Thong Nai Pan area
guide to Haad Yao
guide to Haad Salad
guide to Mae Haad and Koh Ma
Thong Nai Pan is famous for its stunning white sand beaches and luxury hotels.
Haad Yao is considered to have a 'perfect beach' as well as several great places to stay.
Haad Salad is an old pirate hangout that now caters for discerning beach lovers.
Mae Haad is a hidden gem that offers 3 beaches, snorkelling and stunning natural scenery.


Haad Rin
Bottle Beach
Baan Tai
guide to Haad Rin area
guide to Bottle Beach
guide to Baan Tai
Haad Rin is a sleepy village with 2 beaches that once a month become the scene of the legendary Full Moon Party
Bottle Beach is one of Thailand's best beaches. Its remote location inspired the novel and movie 'The Beach'.
Sea, sand, sun and lots and lots of parties. Baan Tai is the home to many of the best parties on the island.
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