Koh Phangan Beach Guide


Southern Koh Phangan


Had Rin Nok and Had Rin Nai

The most well-known beach on Koh Phangan is Had Rin and it actually consists of two beaches.

Had Rin Nok (also called Sunrise Beach) is situated in the southeast of Koh Phangan and is considered as one of the best beaches on Koh Phangan as it is both wide and has white, fine sand. However, it has become very popular over the years and nowadays a large number of restaurants, bars and resort are located next to the beach.

The famous Full Moon Party is held in Had Rin once a month where about 10,000 flock to the beach for the biggest beach party ever.  The numbers increase to a staggering  30,000 for the New Year’s Eve party on Koh Phangan.

Had Rin Nai (also called Sunset Beach) is situated in the southwest of Koh Phangan, just a few hundred meters from Had Rin Nok. It is far less popular than its eastern neighbor and the beaches along this stretch are quite rocky and mostly unsuitable for swimming. The Koh Samui ferries arrive and depart from here.


Had Rin Beach - Koh Phangan

Had Rin Beach - Koh Phangan


Ao Ban Tai and Ao Ban Khai

Ao Ban Tai and Ao Ban Khai are two long beaches situated on the southwest coast of Koh Phangan. The view is often extraordinary, especially at sunset. Both these beaches are ideal for beach strolling and have a nice view overlooking Koh Samui.

These two beaches are good alternatives if you are attending the Full Moon Party and want accommodation in a more relaxed, peaceful and quiet pace than Had Rin. You’ll get there easily by a motorcycle, scooter or songtaew (pickup taxi) and if you enjoy some exercise, you can walk to Had Rin in 90 minutes. If you are not familiar with the island, our suggestion is to get a map to orientate yourself. There are free maps available at most resorts and agencies.


Western Koh Phangan

Had Yao (West Coast)

Had Yao (or Hat Yao) is one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Phangan and it is even considered as one of the best in Thailand by some people. It is about a kilometre long, rather wide and situated in northwestern Koh Phangan.

It’s ideal for beach activities such as water sports and smaller beach parties. Several good resorts and cozy restaurants are located here. The prices for accommodation and food are often very reasonable.


Had Yao Beach - Koh Phangan

Had Yao Beach - Koh Phangan



Mae Haad and Haad Salad

Mae Haad Beach and Haad Salad Beach are both located in northwestern Koh Phangan and two really nice beaches. Relaxed atmosphere, lots of fish in the sea and rather white sand is what you can expect as a visitor. You’ll also find smaller shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.


Northern Koh Phangan

Chalok Lum

Chaloklum (or Chalok Lum) is located in the middle north of Koh Phangan and originally a small fishing village. It’s still a hub for fishermen and their fishing boats and they still catch large quantities of small squid (called plamuk in Thai) and dry them on racks next to the beach pier and jetty. The eastern side of the beach is very beautiful and has a few small resorts.

Had Khuat

A short hike from Chaloklum will take you to the paradise like Had Khuat (also known as Bottle Beach). If you want to avoid the walk, small passenger boats operate between Chaloklum and Bottle Beach. The beach itself is stunning, but it is not the best choice for anyone who wants to enjoy the sunrise or sunset, due to its location in the north.


Eastern Koh Phangam

Thong Nai Pan Noi – Thong Nai Pan Yai

Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai are two very beautiful beaches situated in the northeastern part of the Koh Phangan. The road taking you there is a dirt road which can be quite treacherous, especially after heavy rain and mainly suited to 4 wheel drive vehicles.  Certainly not for the faint hearted if riding a scooter, but  definitely worth the effort if you are a competent rider.  Although tourism has increased in this area of the island, you will not find vendors at Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai.

An alternate safe, but slow way of getting to Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai is to get a boat from Had Rin.


Thong Nai Pan - Koh Phangan

Thong Nai Pan Noi - Koh Phangan



Had Yao (East Coast)

Had Yao is a relaxed and rather quiet beach in the Southeast of the island which is only accessible by walking or by a taxi boat or longtail boat.

Had Yuan

Had Yuan (or Hat Yuan) situated in the southeast of Koh Phangan, three kilometers north of Had Rin is also worthy of exploring. This beach offers a more quiet experience for the one who have already spent a week or so in Had Rin and is looking for a quiet atmosphere with much less people, bars and restaurants. A good place for reading, swimming and doing pretty much nothing.


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Updated: January 1, 2013 by admin

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