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Samui to Koh Phangan

Koh Samui is now a major destination for millions of visitors that travel to Thailand on a beach holiday every year. The island's boutique airport has won several awards for its tropical, open-plan designs and welcoming Thai hospitality, which has also prompted a number of well known international hotel brands to choose Samui as a location, raising the bar when it comes to luxury and top end resort facilities.

In parallel to this high-end development, Koh Phangan has also seen a significant rise in the number of visitors heading for its palm-fringed shores. The choice of accommodation on the island has improved dramatically in the last few years, which has also led to the introduction of improved facilities, more dining options and wider exposure for the island on the international stage. The Full Moon Party continues to draw thousands of revellers to Koh Phangan every month, which means transport services have also improved to ensure swift and safe passage for those arriving by air from Bangkok to attend Asia's biggest rave.

Fast and regular ferries now carry passengers between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan on a daily basis, one leaving from a dedicated pier close to the island's famous Big Buddha temple, the other generally departing from its own pier on the northern beach of Mae Nam. The trip takes less than 30 minutes and the boats drop people in the main town of Thongsala before continuing onto the popular diving island of Koh Tao. A slower ferry also leaves from the central pier on Big Buddha beach but takes passengers direct to Haad Rin, the home of the Full Moon Party and also a major destination for food and accommodation on Koh Phangan. For those in a hurry, there is also a special speedboat service from Big Buddha Beach known as the Phangan Express, which takes just 10 minutes to reach the coastal village of Baan Tai.

On the night of the Full Moon Party, the sheer number of people heading to Koh Phangan requires additional transport services. To supplement the regular ferries, private speedboat companies therefore run hourly trips to and from Haad Rin and tickets can be booked in advance at most of Koh Samui's hotels and even at the airport on arrival. The speedboats shoot across the channel that separates the two islands, delivering partygoers in groups of 30 or more. In fact, more than half the number of attendees now arrive at the Full Moon Party from Koh Samui, which is one of the reasons the attendance figures have risen to the tens of thousands in recent years.

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