Koh Phangan has a wealth of beautiful white sandy beaches which are perfect for travellers looking to unwind and relax. Due to the tidal nature of the Koh Phangan the best beaches for swimming tend to be on the North and East coasts of the Phangan Island however there are many secluded bays and coves which stretch around the Phangan Island suitable privacy and seclusion, beach games or just taking in the beautiful palm fringed scenery! Below is a list of a few of our favourite beaches on Koh Phangan:
Ao Baan Tai Beach and Baan Khai Beach (South)
A long stretch of beautiful Baan Tai sandy coastline which has a several bungalows and resorts. Baan Tai beach offers a great view of Koh Samui, outstanding sunsets and the opportunity to indulge in beach games and a spot of snorkelling. Between the villages of Ban Tai and Baan Khai is a series of sandy beaches with quite a few well-spaced bungalow operations. From the main road, the signs to these places can be small and hard to see. A taxi from Thongsala pier costs 100 B per person to Baan Tai and Baan Khai area. If choose to stay here pick a place with amenities to keep you entertained.
Ao Nai Wok (Thongsala Beach)
A delightful bay North of Thongsala offering an incredible sunset over a series of large granite boulders and a beach rich in colourful seashells. Those with a sense of adventure can kayak to the nearby island of Koh Tae Nai which has an untouched feel and some beautiful coral.
Ao Hin Kong & Ao Wok Tum (Thongsala)
Wok Tum is long bay sometimes divided in two by a stream that feeds into the sea is just a few kilometres north of Thongsala and has relatively subdued tourist development. Bungalows are cheap; most don’t have air-con. Taxi here cost 100 baht but you’ll see them only at ferry departure and arrival times.
Haad Chao Phao and Srithanu Beach (West)
One of the more tranquil beaches on this coast, Hat Chaophao is a rounded beach two headlands south of Haad Yao; Ao Sithanu sits south of this beach. There’s a charming lagoon at the southern end of Hat Chao Phao as well as a few bars and mini-marts scattered along the road, so you’re never far from essentials like water or beer.
Ao Haad Yao Beach (West)
A popular beach on the North West of the Koh Phangan Island. Here you will find plenty of bars and restaurants on the beach playing relaxing music. Some of the restaurants offers evening BBQ at competitive prices making Haad Yao beach a perfect spot for socializing, beach games and cocktails at sunset! The coral-fringed beaches on Haad Yao beach are getting more developed as the road from Thongsala gets paved. Haad Yao is a very long, pretty beach with a reasonable drop-off that makes it one of the islands best swimming beaches. There are a few diving outfits and seveal ATMs along the beaches also 7-Eleven.
Ao Haad Salad Beach (West)
A secluded palm fringed bay which many regard as one of the most beautiful on the island. Those looking for solitude and scenic vistas wont be disappointed!
Ao Haad Mae Haad Beach (West)
Mae Haad beach and sand bar to Koh Ma Island located in the North of Koh Phangan is a popular spot and a must see for all visitors to the Phangan Island. At low tide it is possible to walk along the sand bar from Haad Mae Haad to Koh Ma. Bring your snorkel and mask as the area is rich in marine life with vibrant coral and a wealth undersea life. Ban Mea Haad is small fishing village with a few bungalows and resort. The beach at Mae Haad is fantastic, with a coral offshore and very good snorkelling. Namtok Waterfalls Wang Sai, also know as Paradise Falls, is nearby. Ao Thong Land is exceptionally quiet and devoid of development except for one midrange operation. Taxi from Thongsala pier should be about 150 baht.
Ao Chaloklum Beach (North)
A long stretch of coastline which is suitable for swimming and snorkelling. A great place to relax and watch local fishermen arrive and depart in their long tail boats. There is a wealth of good seafood restaurants where you can enjoy the fruits of their labour! Chalokum is Koh Phangan’s second-largest settlement is a laid-back little fishing village on the north coast of Koh Phangan. There are a couple of piers in Chalokum and eager boatmen happy to take tourists to surrounding beaches, such as Haat Khuat (Bottle Beach). The Chaloklum beach is fairly shallow and not one of the island’s best, but there’s a couple of decent sleeping options, good restaurant and plenty of amenities, like grocery stores, laundry, internet cafe’s and motorbikes-rental places. Taxi will cost you 100-150 baht.
Ao Thong Nai Pan Beach (North)
The North and South beaches of Thong Nai Pan offers a stunning mountain backdrop and a true taste of paradise. This area has become a favourite hangout for those seeking the ultimate chill out spot and has a friendly, laid back feel. A nice wide beach for swimming and beach games. Thang Nai Pan bay is really made up of two smaller bays, Thong Nai Pan Yai and Thong Nai Pan Noi. The latter is the best all-round swimming beach. Thong Nai Pan Yai has a related vibe and a good set of rocks for advanced climbers. Many places have recently upgraded and offer some luxurious air-con choices-two of the swankiest places on the Phangan island. Otherwise , there’s always the nice wooden, ramshackle fan-room variety for budgetarians. Taxi cost 200 baht per person.
Haad Than Sadet (North)
Haad Than Sadet sits past a rocky headland and is a large but relaxed beach cove that has all year round great condition for swimmning. Here lies a string of modestly simple places – the remoteness of these places makes them perfect for a romantic getaway . Do not miss famous and pretty well know beautiful Than Sadet Waterfall.
Ao Bottle Beach – Haad Khuad (North)
Accessible either by boat from Chaloklum or by road from Thong Nai Pan, this well known beach is well worth the trip! The crescent shaped cove is one of the most scenic places on the Phangan island and the wide, white sandy beach is surrounded by lush mountain greenery. Bottle Beach is the more stunning of the two bays, although Haad Khom is still quite the beauty queen. Both are becoming more popular by the hour,attracting tourists for their gorgeous beaches, calm waters and low-key atmosphere. These bays are backed by lush, thick jungle and the relative isolation is exactly what many people look for in an island getaway. During the high season both fill fast.
The clientele is still mostly backpackers – the type that thinks Haad Rin is too built up, but still craves a little action. Bottle Beach offers decent snorkelling around the points, and some places only have electricity at night. From Chaloklum there are regular long-tail boats to Haad Khom and Bottle Beach (100 B.). You can walk to Haad Khom in about 50 minutes or take a taxi. Motorcycles should be able to negotiate the hard, sandy road though it can get a little tricky after heavy rains. You can also hike the 2.5km from Haad Khom to Bottle Beach.
Ao Haad Thian Beach (West)
A stunning location with a pretty beach backed by large granite boulders and rugged mountain forest. Accessible by boat from Haad Rin, this beach and the accommodation available is popular with the more relaxed backpacker due to the popular yoga and healing centre situated here. Around a headland, Haad Thian is a small, quiet beach with a couple of very good places to stay. Boats from Haad Rin Cost 150 Thai baht.
East Coast Beaches
There are areas of the east coast of Ko Phangan that are still undeveloped, which is great if you’re trying to avoid the big party scene. For the most part, you’ll have to hire a boat to get to these places, but that’s not difficult. The road from Thongsala to Ban Nam Tok is partially paved and only partially traversable by motorcycle; it’s best to take a boat. Another dirt track runs along the coast from Haad Rin before heading inland to Ban Nam Tok and Than Sadet Falls. Think about how much isolation you really want before heading out here; some people can’t get enough of the remoteness, others go crazy when they realise there’s nothing to do but sit in the hammock and read all day long.
Ao Haad Rin Beach (South)
Although famous for the monthly Full Moon Party, Haad Rin has two stunning beaches either side of its peninsula. The eastern beach is generally packed with bronzing bodies with plenty of water sports options and beach games to enjoy. The Haad Rin beach on the west coast is the quieter, more relaxed beach at Haad Rin where you can escape the crowds and enjoy the sunset. The island’s most popular area made up of tow beaches, separated by a small shopping and eating district jam- packed with travel agencies, internet cafe’s funky bars, retro clothing shops and unique jewelery stores. It’s an exciting little scene that’s especially crowded on cloudy days.
Haad Rin Nok ( Sunrise Beach), on the east side, is along a sandy bay lined with bungalows and coconut palms, and is busy with boat traffic.It’s the better of the two beaches, and the snorkelling here is good, but between October and March the surf can be a little hairy .
This is the Full Moon party beach, so forget about sleeping on party nights. Hat Rin Nai (Sunset Beach), on the western side, has a less- enticing beach, and is where the pier is located. It’s a straighter beach than Haad Rin No and pleasantly relaxed, with much less activity and a more isolated feeling, with wind blows. It also has a number of bungalow operations. It’s only a five – minute walk between the two beaches, so it doesn’t really matter which side you stay on.
Often the only different between budget and midrange is air-con, and more expensive accommodation. Almost all operations have bars and restaurants, which show movies throughout the afternoon and evening.