I continue my series of review articles on the beaches of the main resorts in Thailand. I already have beach reviews Phuket, Samui, Phangan, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Krabi, Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Hua hin. Now take an overview of Koh Phangan beaches.
All of them are divided into major and minor, and are also listed from Tong Sala in the south (as from the main pier of the island) - and further clockwise. To better navigate where and what is in Phangan, look at the map of the beaches at the end of the post, where you can click on the beach marker and go to a detailed description with photos. Below I present a description of the main beaches of Koh Phangan, although there is still a small piece of work left there, since there are a little more secondary beaches than I managed to visit.
The content of the article
- one List of the best beaches in Koh Phangan
- 2 Main beaches
- 2.1 Thong Sala Beach
- 2.2 Sri Thanu Beach and Ao Niad Beaches
- 2.3 Haad Chao Pao Beach
- 2.4 Haad Yao Beach
- 2.5 Haad Salad Beach
- 2.6 Mae Haad Beach
- 2.7 Malibu Beach and Chaloklum Bay
- 2.8 Bottle Beach
- 2.9 Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach
- 2.10 Ao Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach
- 2.11 Haad Rin Nok Beach
- 2.12 Leela Beach
- 2.13 Haad Rin Nai Beach
- 2.14 Ban Tai Beach (Ao Ban Thai)
- 3 Non main beaches
- 4 Koh Phangan map
List of the best beaches in Koh Phangan
If you are traveling for a long time, then I would start choosing a place to stay in the area Sritanu beach. There is a good selection of accommodations here, with many options by the sea. Well-developed infrastructure, and in general a good place for wintering. As an option for longstee, great Chaloklam - one of the best beaches on the island and a developed area by the standards of Phangan. And if you are not embarrassed by life away from the sea, then feel free to consider Thong Sala area, with its excellent infrastructure.
If you are going on vacation for a couple of weeks, then choosing the best beach depends on your preferences.. Ban Tai beach, Smoothly flowing into Thong Sala, it is not suitable for a beach holiday, but as a convenient location for active movements around the island, in addition, there are quite a few budget hotels there. Famous for its Full Moon Party, Haad Rin beach, perfect on party days for party people, and the rest of the time for seal lovers, as Haad Rin is a great beach in itself.
Beaches are good for a quiet and inexpensive beach holiday. Haad Yao and Haad Salad. These are western, shallow beaches, but they look attractive and have some infrastructure. It makes sense for yogis and vegans to settle on Sritanu, there are at least two yoga centers and a bunch of different healthy cafes. For those who are looking for an expensive beach holiday in a reasonable separation from civilization, I recommend the beaches Tong Nai Pan. Well, for those who want to see a lost paradise without people and in general almost without civilization - you are at Bottle Beach and Haad Yuan.
Phangan is a small island that can be crossed from north to south in 15-20 minutes, no more. If you live in the western, more developed half of the island, then wherever you settle, everything will be «near». But the eastern side is still very little inhabited (with the exception of Haad Rin in the southeast), and personally I would not consider it for myself. But this is my opinion, and in fact it may not coincide with someone else's. Be sure to ask questions in the comments, I will try to advise something specific. And your advice is also welcome..
Thong Sala Beach
Thong Sala is the main port town of Koh Phangan, which also has its own beach, although it is conventionally called a beach. It is difficult to rest on the shore, where the two largest piers on the island are located with a fairly dense transport traffic. The piers accept boats and ferries with thousands of tourists who fly through Tong Salu without stopping, and dissolve in the jungle of Phangan. There is really nothing to see in Thong Sala - this is the administrative and commercial center of the island, where a lot of commercial and government institutions are concentrated. People come here to buy food or clothes, change money or buy ferry tickets.
But few can boast that he spent his vacation at Thong Saly beach. A part of the coast here is sewn into concrete, and the rest does not look the most attractive way for a beach holiday. Oil stains of diesel fuel in the water, marine debris on the shore - all this does not look the most nightmarish, but also not the most seductive way. Thong Sala is more of a technical beach, a place for contemplation, a bite to eat, a couple of shots, or to wait for your ferry to the mainland. All more or less decent beaches begin after the outskirts of the town of Tong Sala, and I highly recommend moving there. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Sri Thanu Beach and Ao Niad Beaches
In addition to Sritanu beach, which is actually Si Tanu, there are also Zen Beach and Naked Beach, which, as it turns out, are not independent beaches, but simply local names of Sritanu sites. Hard? In fact, not very much, when you ride around the area and see with your own eyes the differences and features of all the beach locations. Be that as it may, Sritanu is good in any place, wherever you decide to go to the sea. I would call it a paradise for children and yogis, because there are many secluded places for solitude and introspection, and the sea is so shallow that even a cat will not drown there..
Sritanu at the very beginning of the beach is a classic of the genre. Clean sand, resorts, restaurants, sun loungers with palm leaf umbrellas, cocktails, a beautiful sea, a busy first line. Zen Beach is a place to hang out, meet like-minded people, relax on the beach and get away from the world. In a word - Zen. But Naked Beach is already a savage, compared to the first two, and he is chosen when nothing helps. Naked Beach has few people, resorts and bars, but a lot of silence, waves and grass on the shore. In general, the beauty of Sritanu is that there is a place for every taste. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Chao Pao Beach
If we talk about the beaches on the western part of Phangan, then I would say that Chao Pao is a secret beach. Not because everyone who found out about Chao Pao is immediately thrown into the sea, but because you just can't find him from a running start. The beach is hidden from casual views behind a large palm grove, there are no large signs to the beach, and there are almost no particularly enthusiastic reviews about it on the Internet. And Chao Pao, with all this, deserves at least one day for visiting and toning, which I once did with pleasure..
The first line of Chao Pao is occupied by resorts, whose clients are almost the only visitors to the beach. Awesome uncrowded beach, combined with tropical tranquility, shallow but beautiful sea and a pirate bar by the cliffs create a very soulful atmosphere. Clean sand, palm trees, smooth entrance to the sea, without stones, and all this is only yours. You can really get here either by turning the wrong way by mistake, or after carefully studying the map - only then you will know that in this part of Koh Phangan there is a beach that you did not even know about. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Yao Beach
If you are allergic to compatriots, then I do not recommend Haad Yao as a long term vacation destination. This does not bother me at all, just according to my observations (and this is very subjective) I very often heard Russian speech on Haad Yao. And this is not surprising - our people love to hang out on good beaches, and Haad Yao is just one of this category. Long, without broken bends, clean, well-groomed, with good tourist infrastructure and a lot of services.
The sea, of course, is shallow in Pangan style, but incredibly beautiful, especially in sunny weather. A beach holiday on Haad Yao is suitable for those who do not need serious infrastructure, although in general there is everything you need, from shade to cocktails. You can also come as a savage, with your own rug, the main thing is to carefully look under your feet, and if you come across a blue plastic pipe that leads from houses to the sea, then choose a place farther away, and preferably upstream. Local features, you can't go anywhere. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Salad Beach
Haad Salad is considered one of the middle beaches in Phangan. Average in the sense that in terms of its size, distance from the benefits of civilization, its infrastructure and external characteristics - Haad Salad is not something outstanding. It is located at the entrance to the most (well, or one of the most popular) beach on the island - Mae Haadu, on the far, northwestern edge of Phangan and occupies no more than half a kilometer of the coastline. The infrastructure is mainly the one offered by several resorts adjacent to the beach, that is, there is even less civilization here than on Haad Yao.
The beach itself has a standard Pangan set of characteristics: relative shallow water, fine light sand, a small number of palm trees on the shore, a clean entrance to the sea in the center of the beach, rocky bottom at the edges and crowded. The beach is quite famous and is not located in the wilderness, so people come here both for permanent residence and passing from other beaches. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Mae Haad Beach
The beach is a fairy tale, the beach is joy and just a beautiful place for a beach holiday. One of the most famous, revered and visited beaches of Phangan, which is always popular among tourists with and without cameras. Its main feature is the coastal profile and the neighboring island, with which Mae Haad is connected by an underwater sandbar. At low tide, the spit is exposed and guests of the island are presented with a stunning landscape like in a movie - a path in the middle of the sea. In general, people really like it and Mae Haad remains the same photo model for most of those who have visited Phangan. After Malibu beach.
The infrastructure around Mae Haad does not really match its popularity; here, just like on Haad Yao and Haad Salad, there were no major entertainment and shopping establishments. There are hotels, a couple of shops, cafes. There are two great attractions near the beach: Wang Sai Waterfall with an adjacent natural park and Bar 360. Mae Haad is a rather crowded place during the day and during the season, while the prices for everything, in principle, are average for the hospital. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Malibu Beach and Chaloklum Bay
One of the most famous and beloved beaches of Koh Phangan. I'm talking about Malibu, which is part of the large Chaloklum beach on the northern edge of the island. You can get here in a straight line from Tong Sala and thousands of tourists use it. The beach is really crowded, promoted, favored. He has already been photographed from all sides and described by bloggers of all stripes. But Malibu is worth it, it is a really cool tourist beach with excellent sea, clean coast, excellent infrastructure and service..
Malibu is located in the left half of Chaloklam, slightly apart, in its own, separate corner of the coast. It is strikingly different in appearance from Pangan beaches: a large space with white sand, a beautiful garden with casuarin balls, shallow water with an exciting color of the sea - this is a real bounty on an island not the most famous in the world. That is why he was nicknamed Malibu - he is great. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
The northernmost and most inaccessible beach on this part of the island. With all this, it is one of the most famous and popular among fans of exotic and true island holidays. Bottle Beach is located at the end of a difficult dirt road that is crossed twice by rivers (and you have to wade through them knee-deep). Only drivers of off-road vehicles or scooters will be able to get here by personal transport, and the passenger will have to be dropped off in some places. Or you can take a taxi boat and get to the beach by sea, this is already a way for cheaters.
A very beautiful, long beach, with fine and light sand, several resorts on the coast, the services of which constitute the infrastructure of the beach. Several bars and massage pavilions, kayak rentals and sun loungers all over the beach - there is everything for a non-climbing and uninterrupted tying. Vagrant tourists rarely get here, so the beach remains uncrowded even during the high season. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach
The pearl of the east coast of Phangan. In principle, the entire east of the island can be considered a pearl for the fact that it is difficult to get here. There are more untouched lands here and you can still feel the atmosphere of a wild island. Uninhabited, not dug up by construction equipment, with terrible roads through the jungle, this land hides such pretty beaches like the Tong Nai Pan brothers. True, recently the road to these two beaches has been significantly improved and this has led to an increase in the influx of independent tourists..
With all that said, Thong Nai Pan Noi remains an enchanting, classic kiddie beach destination, although there are already little more than a couple of bars and a massage parlor. There is a chain mini-market, there are a number of pharmacies and Thai shops, many offers for tourists, from rentals to tours to other regions of the kingdom. And the beach is a shady paradise. White sand, dense vegetation, sun loungers, shallow water, infrequent waves, and the absolute absence of any kind of coastal strengthening. The beach retains its natural beauty and is remembered for this forever. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Ao Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach
And this beach is the neighbor of Tong Nai Pan Noi. They are approximately equal in size, but each has its own infrastructure and Nai Pan Noi is distinguished by a slightly deeper sea, which may become a criterion for someone when choosing a beach in Phangan. In principle, if you look in a straight line, they are within walking distance from each other, but separated by a rather high hill. So moving between beaches on foot is too tiring. Even though there are relatively good roads between them.
Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach is wide, with a clean entrance, good light sand and under constant supervision by the staff of the adjacent resorts. The place attracts with its authenticity and the absence of high buildings or all kinds of coastal fortifications, which are so often and willingly abused by landowners in an attempt to preserve the monstrously expensive land on the coast from erosion. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Rin Nok Beach
The same beach. Yes, this is the same Haad Rin where the original Full Moon Parties take place. I emphasize «original», because the entertainment format has become very popular, parties gather thousands of crowds, and the full moon happens only once a month. Therefore, throughout Phangan, you can already count three or four clones created with the same goals - to collect money from drunken youth to entertain a mass tourist. Haad Rin Nok among them was and remains the first, main and most famous. All these buckets of alcohol, a specific musical format and dancing non-stop until dawn - this is Haad Rin Nok.
In the morning, the beach is licked clean after drunken battles, and Haad Rin Nok turns into a huge space, flat like a football field. Trees remained in isolated cases, the entire first line is built up with bars and restaurants, there is no shade at all. The shallow water is such that at low tide the water runs away 50-60 meters leaving you with a dense wet bottom, on which you can walk on stiletto heels (I have not tried it, but I guess). Swimming here is real only at high tide. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Not everyone likes Lila Beach from the first hit, so it is strongly recommended to come here only in good weather. The peculiarity of Haad Seekantang (this is the original toponym of the beach) is that along the entire coastline there are mangrove trees, between which you can hide from people and the sun or lie in a hammock, and at high tide the beach is almost completely hidden under water. Bathing, beautiful, wild, with a couple of vacant lots and a rather popular techno bar.
Most of the coast is built up with very simple bungalows, which were literally blinded on the knee from what the sea washed ashore. It looks unattractive on the one hand, but on the other, the beach does not remain uninhabited, hippie savages and people who are simply tired of hot water constantly come here. There are a couple of capital resorts, a beautiful cliff bridge and a sunset horizon overlooking Koh Samui. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Rin Nai Beach
One of the two beaches of Haad Rin, which are located on the southern tip of Koh Phangan. Haad Rin Nai is a long west facing beach and does NOT host the famous Full Moon Parties. But here there is a well-developed infrastructure with services for tourists and chain stores, a huge selection of housing of different levels, good roads, a pier and rental offices. Haad Rin Nai is more of a technical resort beach than a party beach. Phangan is considered an island of youth and fun, but only all this applies to another Haad Rin..
The beach itself is a rather narrow strip of sand, which is flooded by high water, in some places completely blocking the walking path along the sea. Local resorts are forced to somehow protect their property from erosion, and here you often come across sections of the beach, which are disfigured by stone or concrete superstructures. This, of course, helps, preserves the coast, but fundamentally harms the attractiveness of Haad Rin Nai. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Ban Tai Beach (Ao Ban Thai)
The best option for those who are going to see a lot, sunbathe a little and live independently, and not in a hotel. Ban Tai is one of the longest beaches in Phangan with a good infrastructure, which even contains hypermarkets and a world-class hospital. There are a lot of inexpensive housing, a very convenient location relative to key locations: piers, tourist infrastructure, road junctions. The beach has average characteristics, in my opinion. It's nice to look at him, but not everyone wants to swim..
Ban Tai has severe shallow water, not the cleanest bottom, muddy water, many wastelands, many unkempt areas where deposits of marine debris lie. Again, this is one of the most eroded banks. In general, Ban Tai is not considered the best beach in Phangan in terms of beach holidays, there are many more attractive and photogenic places on the island. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Non main beaches
Ao Nai Wok Beach
Across the river from the town of Tong Sala (we are now moving from south to west, you remember, right?) Is a small beach-splash Ao Nai Vok. I call it a paddling pool not because it is overgrown with algae or has a swampy shore, but for its shallow water and artificial lagoon, which cause a strong association with a kind of beach, safe enclosure for children. The lagoon was formed after the mouth of the river was widened, adapting it for use by small sea vessels, and the spoil heaps were piled right there, near the coast. The result is an L-shaped sand spit with an island at the end.
The spit closes a decent stretch of the beach from the rest of the sea, forming a very calm and shallow backwater where kids can walk. The coastline of Ao Nai Vok is a bastion of fortifications that pretty much disfigures the exterior of the beach. On the one hand, the Thais reliably protected the coast from erosion with concrete and stones, and on the other, it did not seem attractive to me personally. In general, the beach is more practical than entertaining. It is close to Thong Sala's infrastructure, has beautiful sunsets and a few simple front line resorts. But the swimability and attractiveness let us down. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Ao Plai Laem beach
I recommend to go to Plai Lam for those who are looking for truly secret, not promoted and beautiful beaches of Phangan. He, of course, not without comments, but still worthy of attention for his location and features. And Plai Lam is located at the foot of the mountain, below the main road of the island and therefore is not visible from it, which is why it constantly remains out of sight of tourists. And thanks to the same foot, the beach is a broken line, in which huge rocks, large rocks, small rocks, mangroves and patches of soft sand, hidden from prying eyes, alternate..
The advantages of Play Lam include convenient proximity to the infrastructure of Tong Sala, low population and comfort. It is not crowded here because people do not know about this beach, and for those who know, very few houses have been built on the shore. Because of the mountain, on the slope of which it is quite expensive and not so easy to build. So, only the most inquisitive seekers of separation from civilization get the light sand and azure tints. In good weather, it is incredibly beautiful here, thanks to the light sand, which reflects the sun's rays under the water and illuminates the sea from below. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Ao Hin Kong Beach
As in the case of Tong Sala, it is possible to call Ao Hin Kong a beach only with a bunch of reservations. It is located on the shore of a fairly large bay, which fishermen have chosen, and where these comrades are based, as a rule, there is no cleanliness. Partly due to the peculiarities of the profession, and to a greater extent - to their mentality, fishing villages in Thailand «please» the eye with deposits of unusable tackle, household garbage and marine organics that did not go on sale. Together with the fishermen, small shipping companies settled here, which use the left edge of the beach with the pier for their own purposes..
The right edge of Ao Hin Kong is more livable, so the beach has places to surprise you. It is not always clean and well-groomed, not all areas are suitable for swimming and often the water is cloudy. And it is also small and does not boast of infrastructure, in general, I would call it an extreme option on Phangan, like Wok Tum, which adjoins Hin Kong on the left. Wok Tum is a shortened and more winding version of Hin Kong, where some of the beaches-patches are used by tourists, and more or less spacious backwaters went to the same fishermen. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Son Beach
Haad Son Beach, which still has the local name Secret Beach, which does not need translation, is living proof that a good secret place can become a good popular place. I envy those pioneering tourists who were the first to come ashore on Haad Son and kept it a secret. Being the only living soul in such a beautiful place is an emotion for life. But globalization and tourism are doing their dirty work, and you get to visit the crowded, noisy, very young and cheerful Haad Son, which he has become now.
It is no longer difficult to find it (there are only two slopes to the beach), either by the name of the hotel or by the large number of bikes parked on the road. The bay is hidden by jungle and uneven terrain, and the Haad Son beach itself is very short and is now built up with bungalows along the first line. Nearby there is a cult place - Ko Raham, with a bar and rocks from which those who like to jump into the sea like to jump - it's safe. Well, right there, under the rocks, you can often meet people with masks for diving, I myself have not seen, but people who are keen on snorkeling say that there is something to see there. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Kruad Beach
Haad Kruad Beach belongs to the small beaches, if I may say so - private, although the privacy of the beach in Thailand is an ambiguous thing and is often dictated not by legislation and law, but by the fact of the construction of a resort, which slightly less than completely blocks the passage to the sea. In the case of Haad Kruat, we have a loyal administration of the only resort on the beach, which also represents its only infrastructure. This part of Koh Phangan is still sparsely populated and even the access to the beach runs through open and empty spaces, with roads, but no houses..
The beach itself is very short and relatively cozy. It is tidy, few people and mostly used by the guests of the adjoining resort. The infrastructure is just one resort and its services. The sand, seabed and sea are not the most attractive in Koh Phangan, although I have seen beaches and more terrible. The main advantage of Haad Kruat so far remains its solitude, isolation, and it will perfectly fit for a couple of weeks of separation from civilization, if you have a rented bike, to get out somewhere, if anything. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Ao Hin Ngam Beach
A very conditional beach, rather a place where a beautiful beach could be, if instead of slippery boulders there was at least some sand and a couple of seedy palms. And in essence, there is only a convenient descent to the sea - a concrete staircase with railings. And you won't get into the sea itself - it's dangerous. At high tide, you can still try to swim with a mask over the rocks and snorkel in the beach area, but at low tide there is nothing to do but contemplate, meditate or relax on the way from point A to point B. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Khom Beach
Haad Khom Beach is also called Coconut Beach and it belongs to small beaches, albeit with one small clarification - to small and good beaches. It is located at the edge of geography, in fact at the end of the main island road that runs along the entire western coast of Phangan and ends in the hills to the north. The beach is hidden at the bottom of a rather steep slope, behind the territory of a small bungalow resort. This resort constitutes the entire infrastructure of Coconut Beach, with the exception of one bar, which is located three minutes drive to the north..
Haad Khom is cozy, green, with palm trees and swings, with good sand, not the most convenient entrance to the water and rocks around the edges. The downside of Haad Khom can be called its orientation to the north, so here you will not find either sunset or dawn, but there is always a shadow. Haad Khom is chosen only by knowledgeable people who either have already come here before, or on a tip from those who are well acquainted with the island. The place is wonderful, secluded and not crowded. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Wai Nam Beach
Vainam Beach is located in a small secluded cove, and is a hundred-meter strip of sand. The place is very cozy, secluded, which, however, can be said about any beach on the east coast of Phangan. Probably for its beauty, I liked him almost more than anyone else. Vainam differs from other colleagues in its small size, small population and lack of popularity on the Internet. This is used by tourists who are not indifferent to silence and tropical peace. Sometimes local parties of strange people gather here, chatting, playing and listening to music. Most of these hangouts spill over from the neighboring Haad Tian and Haad Yuan during parties at the Guise Bar and Eden Bar. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Thian Beach
Haad Tien is the middle beach in the trinity of hermits on this side of Phangan: Wai Nam, Tian and Yuan. Haad Tien is famous for his Guy’s Bar, which is considered an iconic place and one of the most interesting viewpoints in the east. Only the strongest will be able to come here on their own, and only the most generous by sea, so Haad Tien scares off the average tourist, allowing true connoisseurs of the wild lifestyle to feel at home here. The beach is not very beautiful, but calm and uncrowded. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Haad Yuan Beach
If I say about Haad Yuan in three words, then I would choose: rocks, sand and sea. Yes, he is exactly like that. Small in size, beautiful, in their personal cove between the huge rocks, where people settled, they built bungalows and cafes, and along the coast they built bamboo bridges. It is difficult to come here by car, to sail by boat is expensive, so either the most desperate or the most curious come here. The rest of the beach population is connoisseurs of a secluded recreation format. Bonus to the sea and authenticity - techno parties in Eden and Gaisa. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Ban Kai beach (Ao Baan Kai)
Bang Kai is one of «melting» beaches in the southwest of Koh Phangan. By melting, I mean the excessive destruction of the coast by sea waves. Such beaches look beautiful in sunny weather, but every storm for them is blurry centimeters of the coast, with which landowners are strenuously fighting. Therefore, Ban Kai is thoroughly studded with concrete rings. This beach is usually chosen by people who did not come to seal, but to ride and explore the area. With about the same goals that Ban Tai is chosen, which is a continuation of Ban Kai, or vice versa, whoever is comfortable with it..
It is located in convenient proximity to the Ban Taya and Tong Sala hypermarkets, as well as to the Phangan party center - Haad Rin. Nearby are the main roads towards the northern and eastern coasts of the island. And houses on Ban Kai are cheaper, although the infrastructure is so-so, well, the beach also leaves much to be desired. Here you are both shallow and rocky, just now there are no problems with the shadow at all, and the sunsets from Ban Kai are really beautiful. More detailed description of the beach with photos look here.
Koh Phangan map
Koh Phangan beaches
Koh Phangan beaches:
P.S. Likes and re-posts are welcome 🙂
P.P.S. I will also be very happy to express your opinions regarding the various beaches in Phangan, where you rested. What and what did you like.