Emirates offers connecting flights from Washington Dulles to Bangkok. From Bangkok, fly to Ko Samui with Thai Airways (from $157) and then take a speed boat ($10; lomprayah.com) to Ko Phangan.
Thong Nai Pan Noi
The most luxurious hotel on the island, with private villas and suites. Doubles from about $300.
Ao Nai Wok
Basic beachside bungalows in a location convenient for both Thong Sala and Hat Rin, as long as you have a motorbike. Doubles from about $28.
Talad Kao Road, Thong Sala
From 4 to 10 p.m. every Saturday, this stretch of road is converted into an open-air market, with dozens of Thai dishes costing less than $1.60.
Southwest of Thong Sala
Friendly Mexican restaurant with an American chef. Killer margaritas for $4 a pop.
My Wok and Me
Just east of Thong Sala
A half-day cooking class that lets you buy, prepare and eat a wide range of local food. About $40 per person.