Being always a bit in the shadow of the bigger and well known Island Koh Samui, Koh Phangan is often a surprise for the visitors, because it has much more to offer than just the famous full moon party. For example it is a beach paradise. This is a quick overlook of the beaches:
- Haad Son — A beautiful bay with a beach.
- Haad Chao Phao — A small quiet beach on the western shore of Koh Phangan. It has some resorts and bungalows offering budget rooms with full facilities. Has several beach bars and restaurants where you can have dinner and drink while the sun is setting. To go there from the main pier by taxi takes around 15 minutes and 20 minutes by motorbike. If you need a real escape, here it is. Also has a Moon Set Party at the Pirate Bar. The party is arranged regularly a few days before the Full Moon Party.
- 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, but clean nice sea and snorkelling further from the beach with accommodations from 150 baht. Maybe the best beach on the west coast.
- Haad Salad — An idyllic cove with several high-end resorts on the northwestern part of the island.
- 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: 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 when the tide is receding can be difficult and painful. Not much else to do but snorkel here.
- Thonglang Bay — Between Chalok Lam and Haad Mae Haad Mae Haad, this almost undiscovered bay offers a delightful and peaceful escape from the crowds.
- Chalok Lam — Fishing village with a picturesque beach in a long beautiful sandy bay at the northern tip of the island. Not touristy because of few boats making the trip, and the western part of the bay has some of the most beautiful waters off the island with a nice narrow beach under palm trees.
- Haad Khom— 20 min walk east of Chalok Lam on a steep concrete road or a few minutes ride from Chalok Lam you will find a nice quiet beach with clean seas and soft white sand where you can relax and do some of the best snorkelling on the island. There are only around 5 accommodations with good prices (from 150-300 baht for a bungalow), so the beach is not crowded. Only the one closest to Chalok Lam, CBB, has 24 hr electricity, the others use diesel generators. Together with Bottle Beach and Chalok Lam Bay these are the best beaches on the northern coast and the entire island.
- Bottle Beach — Also called “Haad Khuat”, one of the most isolated beaches on the island, on the north coast accessible by longtail boat from Chalok Lam (150 baht/person) 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 quiet beach with few accommodations but very resonable prices (from 250-300 baht/bungalow). Nice long and wide soft white sand beach and good clean water for swimming even during dry season. There is only one disadvantage. Due to its isolation, there are no ATMs or 7-11s or local restaurants so you have to buy everything for inflated prices at your accommodations (e.g., 90 baht for fried noodles). But what you pay for meals you will save on accommodations and enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Phangan.
- Thong Nai Pan — Scenic area on the northeastern part of the Koh Phangan 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 unspoiled beaches, tranquillity, and peace. Here you get safe swimming all year except during the November monsoon which normally ends around the middle of December. Both beaches have a variety of restaurants ranging from inexpensive Thai to 3-star 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 traveller needs and the home of the famous Full Moon Party. The biggest party scene on Koh Phangan (along with Baan Tai). One of the few beaches during dry season where is possible to swim.
- Ban Kai — Between Ban Tai and Haad Rin this beach offers an idyllic setting, just minutes from the Full Moon Party. Sea also quite dirty and very mountainous terrain.
- Ban Tai — Facing Ko Samui, the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach on the entire island.
Koh Phangan beach,
Siam Property, 213