Koh Phangan Beaches
Koh Phangan Beaches
Did you know that “Koh Phangan” derives from the word “ngan”, meaning “sand bar” in the southern dialect, for there are many sandbars offshore. Koh Phangan beaches are many and varied with pro’s and con’s for each one. Below are the details of all beaches on Koh Phangan.
Places below are listed clockwise starting at Thong Sala:
- Thong Sala — The island’s “capital” and main ferry port.
- Ao Nai Wok – A quiet bay with a long white sandbar in front of it. It is the first bay to the north of Thong Sala (just 7 mins walk) and one of the best areas for sailing, windsurfing or kayaking. This is due to its orientation to the wind all year long and the proximity of the two wild little islands, Ko Tae Nai and Ko Tae Nok (approx. 10 min paddling in a kayak to Tae Nai)
- Sri Thanu – Bays and long Beach, sand on this beach is nice, water is relatively shallow most of the year and there isn’t much shade available. Good wading & tanning beach with many bungalows & restaurants around.
- Haad Chao Phao – A small quiet beach on the western shore of Ko Pha Ngan. It has some resorts and bungalows offering budget rooms with full facilities. It has several beach bars and restaurants where you can have dinner and drink while the sun is setting as well as a Moon Set Party at the Pirate Bar. The party is arranged monthly a few days before the Full Moon Party.
- Haad Son and Secret Beach – A beautiful small bay with a beach and nice water, very low development, quiet and family friendly with quite a lot children. Haad Son resort has a nice bridge and small artificial island from which you can enjoy a great sunset and great snorkeling with the water here being deep most of the year.
- Haad Yao – A long white sandy beach just north of Haad Chao Phao, slightly more developed with more beach bars, a 7-11, ATMs, and restaurants, clean nice sea with sandy bottom and snorkeling further from the beach (rocky bottom, lot of sea urchins). Nice sandy beach with lot of palm trees providing shadow. Maybe the best beach on the west coast because of good water, sand and infrastructure. Also very good for swimmers since in morning you don’t need to go far from coast to be in deeper water.
- Haad Salad — An idyllic cove with several high-end resorts on the northwestern part of the island, sandy beach is here very narrow and there is lot of shadow from nearby trees, family friendly with many children here.
- Haad Mae Haad – Wide sandy beach joined to Ko Maa, a national marine park, by a sand spit. Has some of the best diving and snorkelling on Koh PhaNgan, There is a small village and a variety of resorts, restaurants, and bars. Nice snorkelling where you’ll need to go over the first dead reef to see the coral. Make sure you get in and out during high tide as crossing the dead reef while swimming in more shallow water can be difficult. That said there is a small sandy pathway you can find to get through it as well.
- Chaloklam — Fishing village with a picturesque beach in a long beautiful sandy bay at the northern tip of the island. The beach itself, though lovely is not very touristy because of few boats making the trip. Attractive Malibu beach at the western end has some of the best sand on the island, but it’s usually only good for wading rather than swimming due to shallow water.
- Bottle Beach — Also called “Haad Khuat”, this is one of the most isolated beaches on the island. It’s on the north coast accessible by long tail boat from ChalokLam or by a 2-3 hr long tough hike from Haad Khom beach (this hike named the beach due to the use of plastic bottles to mark the trail). There is also the road option –on one of the worst roads on the island– but the taxi ride is so expensive that is always better go to Chalok Lam and take a longtail boat from there. Very relaxed and quiet beach with few accommodations and poor if any cellular reception. Nice long and wide soft white sand beach and good clean water for swimming even during dry season. There are no ATMs or 7-11s so you have to buy everything for inflated prices at your accommodation.
- Thong Nai Pan – Scenic area on the northeastern part of the island that includes the neighboring beach resorts of Ao Thong Nai Pan Yai and Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi, twin bays with two fantastic beaches. Thong Nai Pan Yai is the bigger one. The area caters to families with children, and singles and couples who are looking for nice beach. This beach went through rapid development. Here you get safe swimming most of the year. Both beaches have a variety of restaurants ranging from inexpensive Thai to luxury international cuisine.
- Haad Thien – Home of the Sanctuary Resort, a hip, up-scale resort with a nice vibe.
- Haad Yuan – A nice sandy beach on the southeastern corner. A hop away from Haad Rin if you would like to get away from the party crowd.
- Haad Rin – (Hat Rin) – The most touristy/crowded village, with all the services any traveler needs and the home of the famous Full Moon Party. The biggest party scene on the island. Very nice wavy ocean with blue colored water, outside of Full moon party dates the beach is pretty quiet, but you must be still careful about occasional garbage.
- Ban Kai – Between Ban Tai and Haad Rin this beach offers an idyllic setting, just minutes from the Full Moon Party. The sea is also quite dirty here and the terrain very mountainous, but not a bad option for cheap accommodation as a base for your trips around island.
- Ban Tai — Facing Ko Samui, the longest stretch of beach on the entire island.
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