Koh Phangan is the party mecca of Southern Thailand. No other island can compete with its full moon parties, jungle ragers, and half-moon music festivals. With that being said, visitors who need a break from the booze will be delighted to find that the island is also home to some of the most stunning stretches of sand in the Kingdom. Here, the top Koh Phangan beaches you should visit on your trip to Thailand.
*Haad means beach in Thai – some of these beaches are more well-known for their English equivalent while some are better recognized in Thai, such as Haad Rin.
Koh Phangan is the country’s second largest island — and the sheer number of amazing beaches is a clear indication of this, including Salad Beach. It is found on the west coast and is ideal for snorkeling. If you work up an appetite while swimming and exploring, there are a handful of eateries right on the sand for you to take advantage of, and regardless of their incredible locations, the food here is relatively affordable. Find Salad Beach on a map, here.
Secret Beach is an impressive one that doubles as a nude beach, so bring your swimsuit…or don’t. This beach has crisp clean sand and hardly any visitors, at least when we visited. It is also known as Haad Son and is right next to one of our favorite restaurants on the island – Golden Rock. It is on the west coast of Koh Phangan and is also a nice spot for snorkeling. Secret Beach is also known as Son Beach. Check out Secret Beach on the map.
Yao Beach is one of the most secluded ones on our list of the best beaches on Koh Phangan, so if you are looking to steer clear of the tourists, this is the beach to frequent. Otherwise known as Haad Yao, this is one of the most accessible beaches on our list. This beach is known for its incredible sunsets being that it is found on the west coast of Koh Phangan and has plenty of attractions to entertain visitors, including snorkeling, restaurants, massage parlors, and more. Discover Yao Beach on a map.
Leela Beach is almost on the very southern tip of Koh Phangan. It is also known as Haad Seekantang. It is within walking distance of Haad Rin, so be sure to include both on your sandy exploration of the island. You will find Leela Beach on the southeast coast of Koh Phangan. Palm trees line the white sand of the coastline, with attractive, tree-covered hills hugging either side of the beach. It is one of the more quiet beaches on the island, in case you are in need of some seclusion. If you look hard enough, you can even see the island of Koh Samui across the Gulf of Thailand! Check out Leela Beach on a map, here.
Haad Rin Beach
Haad Rin is a stretch of sand most famously known for being home of the epic Full Moon Party. It is found on the southern tip of Koh Phangan and welcomes some 30,000 people to partake in endless drinking and dancing once a month. Even if you miss out on the party, this beach is worth visiting regardless. The main stretch of Haad Rin is riddled with bars and restaurants that serve as perfect places to watch the sunset with a happy hour cocktail in tow. If you are looking for a serene beach to enjoy some solitude, however, Haad Rin is probably not your top choice.
Haad Rin actually consists of two beaches — Haad Rin Nok and Haad Rin Nai. The two are within walking distance of one another, so you might as well include both on your itinerary if you are headed this way. Haad Rin Nai, otherwise known as Sunset Beach, is just as its name suggests: a great spot to watch the sun go down over the Gulf. Find Haad Rin, Nok, and Nai here on a map.
Mae Haad Beach
Mae Haad Beach is also the home of Koh Ma, one of the island’s most memorable stretches of sand. It is certainly one of the busiest and popular beaches, but it is so large that it is hardly noticeable. Koh Ma is attached to Koh Phangan by a slender strip of sand, and visitors can easily walk from the beach of Mae Haad to the island. This is one of the best places to snorkel on the island, as well, and gear can be rented right along the coastline. If you want to see Mae Haad Beach and Koh Ma from spectacular heights, be sure to instead visit Three Sixty Bar. This rooftop bar and restaurants offer visitors some of the best views of the Gulf, Mae Haad Beach, and Koh Ma. Before venturing to Mae Haad Beach, be sure to find it on the map.
Chaloklum Beach was not made for swimming or snorkeling. No, we don’t love this beach because of its crystal blue waters, as it doesn’t have any. You should include Chaloklum Beach on your Koh Phangan exploration to people watch. Around sunset, locals come out during low tide to gather, and there is seriously nothing more beautiful than watching the sunset over the metallic sand, covered in a film of shallow water. This beach is lined with plenty of restaurants right along the sand, so you can enjoy the views with a happy hour cocktail or local Thai meal in tow. Find Chaloklum Beach on a map, here.
Arguably more attractive than California’s Malibu Beach is Malibu Beach on the island of Koh Phangan. The beach is home to an array of reggae bars and white sand beaches. One could spend an entire day sunbathing and relaxing here. It is engulfed in palm trees and rolling green hills on all sides, so visitors are guaranteed a stunning photo or two while visiting Malibu Beach, as well. Malibu Beach is found near the village of Chaloklum – find it on the map, here.
Bottle Beach can only be reached by boat, so this beach is certainly one for those adventurous travelers to the island. It is in the northern region of the island and is near Laem Kung Yai. To get here, you must first get a tuk-tuk or brave a motorbike to Ao Chalok Lam. Most locals will know how to direct you to get here. You can also get here by longtail boat, which is the recommended way because of the rough roads. In Thai, it is known as Haad Khuat. Find out how to get to Bottle Beach, here.
Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai
Thong Nai Pan consists of two beaches – Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. Yai means large and noi means small. Both beaches are found near Bottle Beach on the northeast coast of the island. As its name suggests, Thong Nai Pan Noi is the smaller of the two beaches and is a bit more crowded than its larger version because of its size. If you are wanting the same, stunning sand but without the crowds, then you are better off visiting Thong Nai Pan Yai. Check out both beaches on the map.
When to Visit Koh Phangan
In order to make the most of the beaches on the island, it is important to avoid visiting during the monsoon or rainy season, which lasts from June to October. The best time to visit is from the month of November to February. Koh Phangan is almost always sunny during these four months and welcomes its greatest influx of visitors because of it.
More Information About the Best Beaches on Koh Phangan
Did you love this article about the best beaches on Koh Phangan? Do you want even more information on the top things to see and do on this Thai island? Then be sure to check out this list of articles we have rounded up to help you make the most out of your trip to the island!
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- Koh Phangan Beach Guide – 10 Beaches you Need to Visit for Home is Where Your Bag Is
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