A guide to the beaches on Koh Phangan, Thailand

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Beaches on Koh Phangan: Haad Khom
Haad Khom, Koh Phangan

When it comes to beaches, Thailand doesn’t have to envy other countries. Thai coast and islands are full of breathtaking spots with white sand, crystal clear water and green vegetation all around.

Koh Phangan is one of the three magical islands in the Siam Gulf. It took us a long time to decide which of them to choose. However, it was a love at first sight and we even extended our stay. Why? Because the beaches on Koh Phangan are incredibly beautiful. This is our mini guide of the beaches in the north which might help you decide which one is the best for you.

Why Koh Phangan?

We all like different things. Some people want a calm, silent and people-free holiday to forget about work and stress. Others want to have fun, socialize and party all night long. Here are a few reasons why Koh Phangan is great for everyone:

1. It is easily accessible. There are regular trains and buses coming from Bangkok and a ferry almost every hour. Many agencies will get you to the island from basically any part of Thailand. There are also two flight options:

– Surat Thani Airport, from where you can take a bus to the port and then a ferry to Koh Phangan (the biggest company is Lomprayah)

– Koh Samui Airport, from where you take a ferry and in around 30 minutes you arrive to Koh Phangan

2. It is perfect for the monsoon period. While other parts of Thailand are rainy, you can enjoy the sunny beaches on Koh Phangan. The best months to visit are probably from December to May. Even after May you don’t have to worry much about the weather. We visited at the end of June and in 9 days it rained maybe 2 times for a few hours. Here, the monsoon arrive later!

Photo-shooting in the beaches of Koh Phangan
Photo-shooting in the beaches of Koh Phangan

3. If you’re a party animal, then this is the place to be. Twice a month crowds of backpackers gather for the full moon/ half moon party. These parties take place in the south of the island and can get pretty wild.

4. If you hate parties, then this is the place to be as well. Just visit Koh Phangan in between the parties or find accommodation in the north of the island. Some resorts are keen on maintaining their guests’ privacy and make their stay as peaceful as possible.

5. Some beaches on Koh Phangan look like a paradise. Seriously. When we visited the island in June 2017, most of them were completely empty.

There are many more reasons fresh seafood, wonderful sceneries or great snorkeling options, but let’s get to the beaches on Koh Phangan.

Get high by the beach

We spent nine days on Koh Phangan and the best way to move around and explore the beaches is definitely by scooter. You can go whenever and wherever you want without worrying about gasoline. You will come across roadside stalls selling bottles of gasoline for 30-40 baht each.

The roads are well kept and not busy at all. However, there are several steep roads which lead to beaches so you’d better drive slowly and always wear a helmet. This is the guide to all the beaches on Koh Phangan we have visited. We added pros and cons (if there are any). They may help you decide which suits you best.

1. Koh Ma

Haad Mae Haad / Koh Ma Koh Phangan
Haad Mae Haad / Koh Ma

This panoramic beach not far from the village Chaloklum will win your heart with the colours of the water and a tiny island in the vicinity.

+ good for snorkeling

+ you can walk to the tiny island and explore it

+ few bars and restaurants

– not much shadow unless you lie down in front of someone’s bungalow

2. Malibu Beach

Malibu beach koh phangan
Malibu beach – The sand is so white!

This beach can be found right in the heart of the village Chaloklum. You will find it by the strange tiny round trees planted in the white sand.

+ very scenic with the trees, boats and a small harbor

+ a good starting point for boat or kayaking trips

– not so great for swimming

– we saw quite a few sea urchins here so make sure you wear shoes

3. Haad Yao

Haad Yao Koh Phangan Beaches
Haad Yao

If you continue up the hill from Chaloklum, you will arrive to another beautiful beach with azure waters.

+ a perfect sunset spot

+ a few nice bars, restaurants and massage parlors

+ it is quite big so you will be able to find a great spot all for yourself

– the entrance to the beach is full of garbage

4. Haad Son – Secret Beach

Secret Beach in Koh Phangan
Secret Beach in Koh Phangan

This tiny but picturesque beach is actually not secret at all. There were quite a few people when we got there and one of the two bars was closed.

+ the beach is really nice and romantic

– to get there you will sweat a little

– apart from the two bars there is basically no shadow

5. Haad Khom

Haad Khom koh phangan
Haad Khom

Probably one of our favorite beaches on Koh Phangan. There are a few bungalows hidden among the tall palm trees and one or two restaurants.

+ a great spot for snorkeling

+ a truly beautiful beach with a lot of shadows where you can hide

+ almost no people

– not really a con but there was only one restaurant open at the time and it was a bit expensive

6. Ao Hin Kong

Ao Yin Khong beaches on koh phangan thailand
Ao Yin Khong

In the west of the island lies a beach a little bit different from the ones listed above. It is almost on every postcard of Koh Phangan but we were not that much impressed. We came when the tide was low and found a place far from the paradise on the postcard.

+ it is nice for long meditative walks from all the humanity

+ quite a few restaurants and bars around

– when the tide is low you will have to walk much to get to the water and you probably won’t be able to swim

– very dirty at a few spots

7. Haad Salad

Haad Salad koh phangan
Haad Salad

Last but not least, one of the best beaches on the entire island. It’s a real paradise, with high palms projecting their shadows on the white sand. There are a few visitors per day and water has many different shades of blue and green.

+ not many people on the beach

+ there are a couple of good and cheap restaurants directly on the sand

– well… Nothing! We can’t complain about this beach.

There are many more beaches on Koh Phangan, but we have listed only those that we visited personally.

Are there any other beaches you could recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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