Some of us like action-packed holidays whereas others prefer quietude and relaxing beach destinations. This is why I have come up with this article about the best beaches of Koh Phangan.

I will describe most of the beaches and also give some suggestions on where to stay on Koh Phangan. All my recommendations are based on inside knowledge: either I or one of my friends have stayed in these places so you can be sure that you are in good hands. I have listed the Koh Phangan beaches clockwise, starting from Haad Rin.

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In this map you can see all the beaches of Koh Phangan

Map of Koh Phangan. Pic credits go to Koh Phangan tourism

 

Need some similar advice for Bangkok? Take a look at this extensive post to know the best area and hotel for you:

Best Area to Stay in Bangkok (Also Travel Bloggers Reveal Their Favorite Hotels)!

 

Haad Rin

Haad Rin is the place of the world famous Full Moon Party. In addition, the beach is stunning (outside the actual party night and the day after, when it gets cleaned up)! The FMP beach is called Haad Rin Nai which is the sunrise side and Haad Rin Nok is on the other side (the sunset side) and it’s quieter.

Haad Rin has accommodation for everyone though it attracts backpackers the most, I’d say. There are plenty of hostels, small boutiques, tattoo shops, and restaurants so it’s no wonder that young revelers like staying in this area. After 6PM, the restaurants put the tables on the beach and you can have a romantic dinner here (before the small beach parties get going a bit later at night). You can also make a cool hiking trip from here to Haad Yuan to experience a completely different place with its hippie vibes.

Where to stay:

  • Sunrise Resort (clean hotel rooms and villas right on the Full Moon Beach -one of my friends always books one of them for the party- in the heart of Haad Rin) Book it here!
  • The Coast Resort (modern and stylish hotel for adults with a private beach and a pool area) Book it here!

 

Haad Rin at night

Haad Rin and Full Moon Party madness

Leela Beach

Leela Beach is one of my favorite Koh Phangan beaches. The sand is white and powdery and it’s not usually too busy. It’s just 5 minutes from Haad Rin by scooter or you can walk there also. This would be the perfect place if you want to be close to Haad Rin and its services but far from the noise.

Where to stay:

  • Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa (various comfy/luxurious bungalows with a spacious pool area and private beach)  Book it here!
  • Lighthouse Bungalows (basic bungalows with awesome views and secluded location) Book it here!

 

Baan Tai/Baan Kai

Beach with a few huge palm trees

Ban Tai at its best – the farther end close to Ban Kai can be quite nice!

These two beaches are situated in the southern part of the island. Baan Tai is my favorite part of the island even though the beach is not the best; it’s quite shallow and the sand is a bit coarse (it improves towards Ban Kai though).

During the hot months, it’s even more shallow which means you have to walk really far and even then, the water reaches pretty much up to your knees. Swimming is pretty much out of the picture starting from April or so and lasting a few months but it’s cool just chilling in the water too, with a Chang in your hand. Okay, the water is quite warm in the hot season so it doesn’t really cool you down so much but then you can head to Infinity, which is a super cool swimming/bar/restaurant/hostel complex in Ban Tai.

 

Violet sunset

One of those perfect moments on Koh Phangan

The definitive perks of Ban Tai are the nice views over to Koh Samui and inexpensive Thai food restaurants you can find all around. Oh, and most of the big parties, such as Half Moon, Black Moon, Loy Lay, and Jungle Experience are located in Ban Tai too. Another bonus is that you are kind of in the middle of the island. You are able to reach all the other Koh Phangan beaches in about 30 minutes with a scooter. This way you can try a different beach every day!

Ban Tai and Ban Kai are good for water sports. You can, for instance, rent a SUP board, kayak or try kite surfing. Scuba diving and snorkeling spots, then again, are concentrated on the west coast. For yogis, I recommend Siam Healing Centre which, in my opinion, is one of the best yoga schools on the island.

Where to stay:

  • MiKasa (super friendly and accommodating owners with clean bungalows) Book it here!
  • Milky Bay (comfortable bungalows in an awesome garden & fab restaurant) Book it here!
  • Le Divine Comedie (a new boutique hotel with modern rooms that come with spacious balconies) Book it here!
  • Pink’s Bungalow (an oldie but goldie: very simple bungalows right on the beach with good vibes) Book it here!
  • Chantaramas (comfortable rooms and luxurious villas with a superb breakfast) Book it here!

 

Thong Sala

Thong Sala is the port town where most of the boats take you to and leave from. Nowadays, there are different companies and ways to reach Koh Phangan. I have explained them in detail in my Ultimate Koh Phangan Guide so definitely check it out to know more (pretty much everything) about this island.

Anyway, the beach is divided into different sections and some parts are really nice and others are quite close to the pier, so perhaps not the best in that sense. Thong Sala is really good for shopping though and you will find many souvenir shops, clothing, jewelry, handicrafts, and regular household items. For the latter, visit 20 Baht Shop for cheap, cheap everything (kitchenware, cosmetics, souvenirs, beach essentials, games…).

 

 

Pantip Plaza food market happens daily and it’s a must-do! They have food stalls selling pretty much all the cuisines you can think of; Thai, Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican plus vegan food, salads, cakes and the oh, so delicious, coconut ice-cream. And don’t forget to enjoy a fruit shake (smoothie in English)! It’s pretty much my staple when on Ko Phangan. If you want to be super cool and environmentally conscious, bring your own cup or at least refuse of the disposable straws and buy a metal/bamboo one instead.

On Saturdays, there is the Saturday Night Market which is good for sampling Thai dishes and making real bargains. Nowadays Thais sell second-hand clothes too and you can find unique garments here at a good price.

Where to stay:

  • First N Frang Hotel (a quite new hotel with very clean rooms in a good, central location and a lovely staff) Book it here!
  • Cookies Bungalows (one of my fave resorts, a cozy, yet simple Thai bungalows and a fab beach) Book it here!
  • Lime N Soda (a super cool resort with a pool and a good, central location) Book it here!
  • B52 (from basic to unique boutique villas on the beachfront with a pool) Book it here!

 

Wok Tum/Hing Kong

A colorful beach bar

The coolest ever, Freeway bar at Hing Kong

Hing Kong is a long beach stretch, the perfect place for taking beautiful pics and doing some walks on low tide. It’s not ideal for swimming nor sunbathing, unfortunately. Then again, they have some of my favorite restaurants here: JJ makes delicious Thai food and then you have French bistro L’alcove and Italian Romazo Tropicale for romantic sunset dinner dates.

Where to stay:

  • Beach 99 (very basic bungalows in a good location with quiet setting) Book it here!
  • L’alcove (new and clean bungalows with super friendly staff and fantastic restaurant) Book it here!
  • Castaway Bungalows (simple yet new bungalows right on the beach) Book it here!
  • Coco Lilly Villas (brand new stylish and well-equipped villas with a shared or private pool) Book it here!
  • Kupu Kupu Phangan by L’Occitane (luxury brand with its spa and matching rooms and service) Book it here!

 

Sri Thanu

is the Koh Phangan yoga mecca/ new age epitome. I did my Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training here and have visited most of the yoga schools too. I could completely recommend for instance:

The best is to compare the prices and read the reviews of all the yoga retreats and yoga teacher trainings on Koh Phangan to find the best for you. There are just so many!

Sri Thanu has different sections so the beaches are a bit different from another. One thing is common though; they are all excellent choices for watching the sunset. Actually, every evening, many local yogis and musicians flock to Zen Beach to socialize and enjoy the picturesque view when the sun starts going down.

Zen Beach is quite nice but the bungalows here are super popular and are mostly fully booked year after year or they have long-term dwellers. Next to it is Bovy Beach which is a good choice too and has more choice when it comes to accommodation.

Where to stay:

  • Lipstick Cabana (basic yet spacious bungalows at the beach) Book it here!
  • Loyfa Natural Resort (a lovely peaceful resort with great views, up on the hill and a pool) Book it here!

 

Klook.com

Haad Chao Phaow

Sunset with opening gates in the front

Sunset At Samma Karuna, around Haad Chao Paow

The aforementioned yoga school, Samma Karuna is situated here and some really nice hotels too. In general, the area is really quiet and it has many yoga schools and restaurants close by.

Where to stay:

  • Haad Chao Phao Resort (basic bungalows with a good location right at the beach and authentic Indian food) Book it here!
  • Seaflower (cozy bungalows and brand new stylish hotels rooms with a great restaurant & beach bar) Book it here!

 

Haad Son/Secret Beach, Haad Yao and Haad Salad

Lots of people at the beach at sunset

Bizarre Bazaar is a cool market place/event at Seaboard bungalows, Haad Yao

I have combined these 3 because they are all good choices for families and couples looking for a relaxing beach holiday with all the amenities close to you but not too much noise.  Having said that, they have Rasta Home here for some reggae vibes and dancing on the weekend.

Haad Son is also known as the Secret Beach though it’s not so secret anymore. It’s a nice beach anyway. The entrance to the beach is at a steep curve so be careful when parking your motorbike! Remember to visit the amazing, picturesque Koh Raham restaurant at Haad Son Resort, next to the beach.

There are several restaurants right at the beach at Haad Salad and also some at Haad Yao. At night, the tables are set on the beach and many restaurants play soft music in the background. The perfect setting for a romantic date if you ask me!

Where to stay:

  • Shiralea Backpackers (a vibrant resort with a pool and a good restaurant/bar aimed at backpackers) Book it here!
  • Cookies Salad (stylish and modern rooms on a hill with wonderful vistas to Haad Salad) Book it here!
  • Seaboard Bungalows (a laid back resort with cool events right on the beach) Book it here!

 

Mae Haad and Koh Ma

Koh Ma island that is linked to Mae Haad beach with a sandy path

Koh Ma island at Mae Haad

Mae Haad is quite far from everything else but nevertheless, it’s a favorite to many. It’s suitable for families and couples. The simple bungalows are slowly getting replaced by modern villas and bigger resorts so this area seems to be developing fast. The downside of Mae Haad is that aren’t so many restaurants and activities because of its remote location.

 

I in a swing at the beach

Swing time at Mae Haad

The sand is quite coarse but then again, the adjacent island gives this beach its unique look. You can walk to Koh Ma in the shallow water. Moreover, the area around the island might be one of the best places for snorkeling even though, unfortunately, there aren’t that many spectacular places for watching marine life underwater nowadays.

Where to stay:

  • Mae Haad Resort (traditional and simple Thai bungalows on the beach, quiet location) Book it here!
  • Koh Ma Beach Resort (good value for money new resort with a huge pool and comfy, modern rooms) Book it here!
  • Mae Haad Bay Resort (another new hotel with clean and modern rooms) Book it here!

 

You might also enjoy: Best Koh Phangan Yoga Retreats

 

Chaloklum

Doing yoga on Malibu Beach

These green trees are multiple at Malibu Beach. You can do yoga on the beach also!

This northern location is usually my pick when I want to do a beach day. The beach, especially around Malibu Resort is spot on. The sand is white and fine. It’s not too shallow nor does it get too deep. There are small pine bushes around so you can find shade or alternatively, play volleyball to get a good exercise.

On the opposite side, you can see a peak/mountain covered in the tropical forest. Closer to the Chaloklum village, there are colorful Thai fishing boats. Chaloklum has old fisherman’s village charm though nowadays, there are newly built bungalows and cute bakeries & cafes for tourists. Check out my Koh Phangan Cafe Guide to know the best ones all around the island!

Where to stay:

  • Malibu Beach Resort (different kinds of bungalows in a beautiful garden setting plus one of the best beaches) Book it here!

 

Bottle Beach/Haad Khuad (in Thai)

Sunny beach

Bottle Beach is one of my fave Koh Phangan beaches

Bottle Beach is one of my favorite beaches. I usually like to hike here from Chaloklum. Read my hiking post and stay on track! You will get sweaty but it’s not too bad. Another option is to take the longtail boat from Chaloklum or Thong Nai Pan. Bottle Beach is a serene and picturesque beach. It never gets crowded really and it has a chilled atmosphere with a few restaurants and resorts.

 

lazy legs in a hammock at the beach

Hammock time!

The road leading here frequently gets flooded during rainy months and then your only option is to take the boat. But I guess this is part of its charm. It might require a bit of effort to make it here and when you reach it, you don’t want to leave.

Where to stay:

  • Bottle Beach Resort (clean, standard bungalows with friendly staff on a secluded and peaceful beach) Book it here!

 

Thong Nai Pan Noi & Yai

A long beach with a longtail boat in the front

The bigger Thong Nai Pan (TNP for short) beach

These two northeastern beaches are quite secluded and far from the rest of Ko Phangan. However, the beaches are fantastic and perfect for a beach holiday. The only negative thing is that if the water level rises up a great deal, there isn’t much of a beach to speak of for a couple of days.

Thong Nai Pan Noi (the smaller one) especially has quite a few luxury resorts so they cater to upscale travelers. The prices on both of these locations tend to be higher because as I previously mentioned, they are quite far from the remaining island. There isn’t a lot of nightlife here either so these two beaches are perhaps better suited for families and couples.

 

Thong Nai Pan Noi (smaller one)

Where to stay:

  • Sandee Bungalows (nice and clean basic bungalows/rooms in a good location next to the beach and all the shops) Book it here!
  • Buri Rasa (a lovely resort with modern and clean rooms right at the beach plus my fave Koh Phangan cafe) Book it here!
  • Panviman (one of the best luxury resorts on the island, in my opinion: the service and the room were fantastic) Book it here!

 

Than Sadet

Than Sadet (or Haad Sadet to be exact) is a small beach and quite secluded; it’s far from all the other beaches and action. However, if you are looking for some quietude, this might be it. The water is quite deep at Than Sadet so you can still swim here unlike at many other beaches during the hot months. Than Sadet waterfall is just a few minutes’ away.

Where to stay:

  • Mai Pen Rai Bungalows (simple bungalows with back to nature attitude and spectacular views) Book it here!

 

Haad Yuan/Haad Thian/Whynam

Tri-Bay love at Haad Thian

This trio is a super popular place among hippies and old timers. Many people keep on returning year after year to Tri-Bay because of its special atmosphere. There are a few yoga schools, new age vibes, the infamous detox center The Sanctuary but also the famous Guy’s Bar and Eden parties even though, in general, this place has a mellow atmosphere.

 

Whynam beach with jungle around

The beautiful Whynam beach

The beaches are not spectacular, in my opinion, but vistas around the beaches are; the mountains and cliffs add up to the whole experience. Sea can get rough too, making swimming and getting here difficult. Long-tail taxi boats nowadays charge a whopping 300-500b/one way which is a rip off for this 15-minute journey if you ask me.

There is the jeep also (when the rains haven’t washed away the dirt track) but this bumpy ride lasts triple as long and it certainly isn’t any more comfortable for this journey.

 

Sunrise at Haad Yuan

Rise and shine at Tri-Bay for this!

The secluded location has given Tri-Bay its old-school character and some people love it and for some, the isolation is a bit too much. Even though this area is a bit more expensive compared to other parts of the island, it’s definitely worth a day trip at least. I prefer hiking from Haad Rin to save money and have a good workout. About halfway on your hike, you will encounter one of the best viewpoints on Koh Phangan. So worth all the effort!

One more negative thing is that during high season, it can be extremely difficult finding accommodation. Most of the resorts don’t take any bookings online so you just have to show up and hope for the best (unless you have a friend there that can make the reservation for you).

Where to stay:

  • Barcelona Resort (modest bungalows but spectacular vistas) Book it here!
  • Pariya Resort (stylish bungalows and villas with a nice pool area) Book it here!

 

The Best Beaches of Koh Phangan in Summary

Koh Ma from a lookout

Koh Ma from Utopia 360 bar

 

Okay, by now you probably know more about the beaches in Koh Phangan and furthermore, have some insight on the best hotels on Koh Phangan. Koh Phangan is my favorite island in Thailand so most likely, you will have a great time anyway. It’s not too big and not too small either. With a scooter, you can drive around the island and explore the different areas and decide what’s the best place to stay on Koh Phangan for your needs.

If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them in the comment section.

 

Want to know more about this island and tips for living in Thailand? I recommend these articles:

 

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