4 of the best beaches on Koh Phangan

Bottle Beach one of the best beaches on Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is one of the most magical islands in Thailand. It’s notorious for its partying reputation, but there’s a serene side too: you just have to know where to go. There are around 30 beaches on the island, with a narrow hilly road climbing through the jungle of the island, making most of them accessible by road. In this blog we’ve selected 4 of the best beaches on Koh Phangan to visit and stay at. So we hope you enjoy these top picks.

Bottle Beach (Haad Khuad)

Bottle beach (featured image) is located on the north side of the island, and is absolutely stunning. You get there by boat from Chaloklum beach or travel by road through the jungle. Once there, you won’t be disappointed. The white sand and laid back atmosphere is serene. There are many resorts on this beach and they range from simple bungalows like Smile Bungalow to the high end Chantaramas Resort and Spa. For something mid range, we recommend Bottle beach 1.

Bottle Beach is frequented by chilled out travellers and families looking for a peaceful getaway. Many visitors return to Haad Khuad year after year for the relaxed vibes. It isn’t the easiest of beaches to get to, but well worth the effort. And the snorkeling here is also fantastic, which is why we consider this one of the best beaches on Koh Phangan.

Bottle beach 2, is a great place to eat on Haad Khuad. Best of all, in the evenings they often have a barbecue beach party with a campfire.

Haad Wai Nam

Haad Wai Naam one of the best beaches on Koh Phangan

Some of best beaches on Koh Phangan are actually close to the busy area of Haad Rin. Take a boat Haad Yuan to or Haad Tian and from there take a pleasant walk over to Haad Wai Nam. This is our 2nd pick for the best beaches on Koh Phangan. As you come over the hill, visitors are rewarded by a wonderful view of the beach. Wai Nam is Thai for ‘swimming’ and this is the perfect place to do just that. Nestled in its own little cove, it’s a serene spot where you will find just a few lovely bungalows that book up fast.

Haad Wai Nam is arguably one of the most secluded and beautiful spots on the Koh Phangan. Not only is the beach stunning, but the surrounding jungle is amazing too. There are no shops, bars or restaurants on Haad Wai Nam, which adds to the peaceful nature of the location.

For a great dining experience, eat at Bamboo restaurant which is located in between Haad Yuan and Haad Tian, high up in the rocks. From this viewpoint there are spectacular views of the ocean. 

If you want to experience yoga in a wonderful beach location, head over to Haad Tian. Because this is the location of The Sanctuary. Not only is the yoga centre famous, but they also have an impressive vegetarian restaurant. Therfore this is a great place to feel healthy and relaxed.

Make sure you take out plenty of cash prior to travelling to any of these beaches because they have no cash machines.

Thong Nae Pan Yai and Noi

Tong Nai Pan Beach, Koh Phangan
Tong Nai Pan Beach

Thong Nae Pan is a special part of the island. And it’s our 3rd pick for the best beaches on Koh Phangan. And best of all, you get 2 beaches! You could spend your entire holiday in this one area and be completely satisfied. It’s located on the North East side of the island and is accessible by a very hilly road. You can also take the Thong Nae Pan Express boat from Haad Tian, Than Sadet and Haad Rin. 

Yai means large in Thai and Noi means small, so that tells you something about the size of these 2 beaches. Thong Nae Pan Yai is quieter and more relaxed than Thon Nae Pan Noi. We prefer Thong Nae Pan Yai for its peaceful nature.

Longtail Beach Resort is on Thong Nae Pan Yai. The rooms here are nice but the main attraction is the wonderful beachside restaurant. They serve their food on beautiful little dishes shaped like longtail boats. Try the Gai Thod Phanaeng (deep fried chicken with Penang sauce). It never disappoints.

Candle Hut is at the opposite end of the beach and has modern bungalows, a swimming pool and the comfiest beanbags to hang out in too. The restaurant at Candle Hut serves specialises in healthy food.

Thong Nae Pan Noi is a totally beautiful beach and also great for snorkelling and swimming. It’s also host to some of the best hotels on Koh Phangan, like Anantara Rasananda Villas, which is a wonderful 5 star experience. 

Koh Raham

Koh Raham, one of the best beaches on Koh Phangan

our 4th and final pick for the best beaches on Koh Phangan, is Koh Raham. This beach is located on the North West side of the island. Haad Son and Secret beach are also worth a visit, but nestled in between them is the very lovely, and very special beach called Koh Raham.

Access to this remote beach is via Secret Beach. Simply walk to the end of the right side of Secret beach and walk up the stairs and into Koh Raham Restaurant. This is arguably one of the coolest beach bars ever, by the way.  There are hammocks to relax in when you are full of Phad Thai and Massaman curry. And best of all, there’s a tiny bridge that leads to a rock platform where you can jump off and swim with the fish. From there you can access the secluded Koh Raham.

In addition to being a beautiful beach, Koh Raham is one of the best places on the Koh Phangan to catch the sunset.

So that’s it for our blog about the 4 best beaches on Koh Phangan. Did you agree with us? What are your favourite beaches on Koh Phangan?

Images courtesy of flickr.com – Featured image, Bottle Beach by Fabio Achilli, Haad Wai Naam by Zillah Dee, Tong Nai Pan by Fabio Achilli and Koh Raham courtesy of www.edtguide.com

Pin to Pinterest to read later

4 of the best beaches in Koh Phangan

30 safety tips for Thailand – at Koh Phi Phi, Full Moon Party and Koh San Road

Bottle of ice cold change Beer, Thailand

Everyone wants to have fun when they travel through Thailand and it is totally possible as long as you stay safe and use your common sense. Here are our top 30 safety tips for Thailand for the under 25’s

Top 10 tips for Khao San Road – for the under 25’s

  • There is no Skytrain in this area so play it safe and take a metered taxi until you are familiar with the area
  • Beware of scams. Buy onward travel and tours online or from a shop –  not off the street.
  • For really authentic Thai food, research the good ones in the area (Banglamphu), otherwise you are likely to end up with something substandard
  • Nightclubs sometimes ask to see your passport before they let you in so keep yours with you if you intend to go clubbing
  • Don’t ask tuk-tuks to do wheelies……really, it’s dangerous!
  • Keep your wits about you late at night if you are drunk
  • Even the police may not be a safe option as night turns into morning. This is one of our top safety tips for Thailand
  • If you buy anything super expensive on Khao San Road – it will either be overpriced or fake
  • Haggle!!!
  • Kids trying to sell you anything on Khao San Road should not be there. Kids are not tourist attractions.

Top 10 tips for The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan – for the under 25’s

  • Here are the things to do 2 weeks in advance: Book your accommodation, your flights or overnight bus or train. Book the ferry/speedboat to the island, book the ferry/speedboat off the island and finally book your transport to your next destination. Last minute organisation can take the fun out of the party….
  • If you are staying outside of Haad Rin, negotiate taxi’s early and fill it up with friends otherwise it may not leave until it is full.
  • Don’t take any valuables to the party
  • Do your best to make pickpockets jobs as hard as possible, so have a zip on your bag and keep it on you at all times
  • Have a plan if you lose your friends
  • Don’t start too early – the highlight is dancing until dawn
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Another of our top safety tips for Thailand: More than 10 people die each year at The Full Moon so don’t be reckless with any aspect of your safety including swimming in the ocean, taking drugs and getting into fights
  • Don’t be too scared of the bucket – they are fun if shared – but the bar owner won’t be tight with the alcohol content – you will get merry quickly
  • Take care when playing with fire (literally) – the ropes look fun but lots of people have a nasty scar from doing that at the Full Moon Party because even a light burn heals slowly/poorly in the tropics

Top 10 tips for Koh Phi Phi Island – for the under 25’s

  • This island is small and there is no transport other than boats, so you will be walking everywhere. Learn the footpaths as soon as you can so you don’t get lost. Top safety tip for Thailand: Remember where your room is because at 3am you might find yourself wandering around alleyways with no clue as to how to find your bed.
  • If you come just after the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan you may find that there are no rooms available because this is when everyone heads to Phi Phi, but at any time of year we recommend you book your room in advance. Booking.com or HostelWorld.com have great choices.
  • Getting some sleep – Lo Dalam Beach is where the main partying happens so sleeping in this area might be noisy. Long Beach is a great option if you want some peace and quiet and don’t mind paying 150 baht each way to come in and out for the nightlife and shopping. Ton Sai Village is where the cheapest accommodation is plus there are some newer cheap bungalows up in the hills above the village.
  • Koh Phi Offers some extreme sports like cliff jumping so make sure your insurance covers you
  • Remember you are in an Asian country so:
  • Don’t go topless as a woman
  • Don’t have sex on the beach,
  • Don’t get into a fight with locals
  • Drink spiking – Some visitors have claimed they were robbed after their bucket drinks were spiked –uhhhh, you just drank enough alcohol for a month! Taking your watch and wallet from you as you lay passed out in the sand was always going to be simple.
  • Have a meeting point if you lose friends, don’t think that all Thai’s are your best mates, there is barely any police presence on the island, so just take good care of yourself – don’t get so drunk you can’t take care of yourself if left alone.

Most of all – be confident, well planned, ready to party safely – be polite, even if it is late at night even if you feel unsafe. If in doubt, walk away. Stay in a small group… wander off during the day time.

Pin this to read later

30 safety tips for thailand - David McKelvey - PI

David McKelvey, Featured Image from Flickr.com

Helping you get familiar with the island of Koh Phangan

View looking out over The Sanctuary, Koh Phangan

The island of Koh Phangan has more than 20 beautiful white sandy beaches which are perfect for those looking to unwind and relax. Aside from the mayhem of the Full Moon Party – for the other 28 days of the year, it is a peaceful spot, full of yoga classes, more low key parties, nature, waterfalls, snorkeling and mountain trails.

Here is a blog about the 4 main areas of the island of Koh Phangan, which are all distinct in terms of landscape, types of beaches, reefs, nightlife and accommodation. We hope this little taster of the island of Koh Phangan helps you to decide where you would like to stay on this amazing island and where you may like to explore on a motorbike or with a local driver.

Koh Phangan Map
Koh Phangan Map

North West

Haad Yao Beach, Koh Phangan
Haad Yao Beach, Koh Phangan

The north west of the island of Koh Phangan is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, laid back vibe and the best snorkeling and dive spots. The area offers many lovely resorts and well run local restaurants and is a great option if you are looking for a quiet environment. Koh Phangan’s north west coast is where you will find the island’s most diverse coral reefs. It’s possible to snorkel and scuba dive off the beach at Haad Salad, Haad Yao and Mae Haad.

Many of the beaches along this stretch are less built up than the south east and south western parts.  The north west coast of Koh Phangan is one of the best places to watch the sunset on the whole island. Almost all year round you can witness the stunning evening views along the north west coast, from Haad Khom, right down to Srithanu Beach. Also in the north west of Phangan is Chaloklum which is a working fishing village where you can watch the local fisherman depart and arrive from their daily catch out at sea. Dive centres also use Chaloklum as their main port for taking customers out on diving or snorkel trips.

The north west coast is also home to the longest beach on Koh Phangan, Haad Yao. Stretching almost 1km, Haad Yao beach is big enough to attract the crowds in high season while still leaving more than enough room for everyone. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and resorts here to accommodate your needs whether you’re party goers, or an older person looking for peace and chill.

The areas surrounding Srithanu beach, are popular with the spiritual community. This part of the island has many open spaces, both at the beach and in the jungle, that it creates the ideal place to practise yoga and meditation. There’s lots of well established and well priced yoga retreats, detox centres and holistic practitioners in the north west of the island especially.

North East

Tong Nai Pan Beach, Koh Phangan
Tong Nai Pan Beach, Koh Phangan

The north east of the island Koh Phangan is surrounded by jungle and known for the relaxed atmosphere and seclusion from the crowds. The beautiful small bays are stunning and the luxury resorts of Koh Phangan canmainly be found here. The rugged mountainous coastlines are some of the most beautiful on the island. Giant boulders nestle into the clear turquoise waters, creating a striking look and feel. Bottle beach (Haad Khuad) is a popular beach for day trippers and despite being very much on the tourist trail is still very peaceful.

The Thong Nai Pan beaches also sit on the north east coast of Koh Phangan. Thong Nai Pan Yai and Thong Nai Pan Noi are beautiful bays, great for swimming with pristine white powdery beaches. The area has retained its laid back village vibe and offers a range of accommodation to suit every budget. Also in the north east area of Koh Phangain, hidden away on the eastern side of the island is Than Sadet which is a gorgeous bay where you are guaranteed peace and tranquillity. There are only a couple of places the stay here, all which are basic bungalows but it has a lovely vibe and is well worth exploring.

South West

Descending to ThongSala, Kph Phangan
Descending to ThongSala, Kph Phangan

The south west of the island of Koh Phangan is a good choice for those who want to be near the nightlife while staying in a more quiet area than Haad Rin. There are lots of transport options to take you to Haad Rin for the shopping and night life and the area also has the main port of Thong Sala which has become a very cool shopping destination in its own rignt. The south west of Koh Phangan is a central location to explore the island and there are many great beach side resorts to choose from.

Thongsala the heart of Koh Phangan The town has dozens of attractions and shops and all the amenities you could wish for on a small island for locals and tourists.  Unique boutique shops are springing up to cater for the more discerning shopper and there are plenty of handicraft shops to keep the tourists happy.  The main ferry terminal for Koh Phangan is situated in Thongsala, so beaches surrounding the town are rarely used for beach goers since many boats come and go from the pier, and the beaches are not kept clean.

Hin Kong and Wok Tum are just south of Srithanu. Here the beach is narrow and long and the shoreline runs parallel and very close to the coastal road. For uninterrupted views out across the ocean and to Angthong National marine Park, stop by Plai Laem beach which is at the base of Khao Hin Nok, a mountain that dominates the landscape, making it an area of rounded boulders and views over the national park.. This stretch of beach is certainly a beautiful setting for those who enjoy capturing those picture perfect photos of paradise.

South East

Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan
Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan

Haad Rin is located on a small peninsula at the most Southeastern tip of the island of Koh Phangan and is the epicentre of the famous Full Moon Party and the island nightlife in general. The village has a really nice vibe outside of the full moon party time and has some great shopping opportunities, international restaurants with great priced food, and has lovely hand made jewellery for sale too.  Despite one of the beaches along this coast being the venue for the world famous Full Moon Party, this area also has many small secluded bays ideal for total relaxation.

We hope this little introduction helps you to get oriented with the island of Koh Phangan. It’s a perfect island to spend a month or two exploring at your leisure especially on a little motorbike. Even the Full Moon Party can be quite a lot of fun if you take it in your stride. Enjoy!

Pin this to read later

Koh Phangan 2 PI

Image courtesy of flickr.com – Featured image Stefan Magdalinski view over The Sanctuary, Haad Yao Beach by, eric molina, looking over Thong Sala by Ian XYZ and Haad Rin beach by Fabio Achilli