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Ko Pha Ngan (or Koh Phangan) is an island in the Gulf of Thailand in South East Thailand, and located in Surat Thani Province. It is famous for its full moon party at Haad Rin Beach and as a backpackers destination. Ko Pha Ngan has two sister islands: the larger Ko Samui to the south and the smaller Ko Tao to the north. The name of Ko Pha Ngan comes from the word 'Ngan', meaning 'sand bar' in the southern dialect, for there are many sand bars offshore around the island. Ko Pha Ngan has been a longtime favorite of past kings of Thailand. Specifically Rama V, or Chulalongkorn visited Ko Pha Ngan 14 times during his reign. The Bronze Drum of Dongson Culture that was found on Ko Samui in 1977 is evidence that there were settlements of people on Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and their islets from more than two thousand years ago. Some historians and archaeologists believe that the first group who migrated to Ko Pha Ngan were the Muslim sea Gypsies (Pygmy, Semung, and Proto-Malay) who travelled by boat from the Malay Peninsula. However, nowadays there are few Muslims who live on the island. Ko Pha Ngan featured prominently in Alex Garland's 1996 novel The Beach and is also mentioned in the 2006 song Magick by the new rave band Klaxons'. The world renowned Full Moon Party is a monthly dance music festival set on Haad Rin Nok Beach scheduled every month at full moon. The event primarily features electronic music and attracts anywhere from 10,000 party-goers on a normal month and up to 25.000 in high season. Recently steps have been taken to make Ko Pha Ngan into a more family-friendly tourist destination, promoting the Island's wealth of natural attractions and also stepping up the police presence; road blocks with stop and search procedures are commonplace and undercover police also patrol parties.
The song "Vision in Blue" on the album The Golden Ratio by Ace of Base mentions Ko Pha Ngan. Dj & Producer Ashley Wallbridge titled his 2012 song "Kopanang", an anglicized version of Ko Pha Ngan.