Koh Phangan has some of the best beaches in Thailand. The island holds so many beautiful beaches that you won't want to stick to just one. Luckily, Phangan is also one of the best islands in the world to jump on a scooter and beach hop.
The island is also home to a community of expats and remote workers drawn to its yoga and vegan lifestyle.
Unlike neighboring, Koh Samui, much of Phangan is still undeveloped, meaning there's lots of secret beaches hidden away from the crowds. It's too hard to choose a favorite, so the list is in no particular order.
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Haad Khuad (Bottle Beach)
This quiet beach is a hidden paradise. Its hard to access location has kept it from getting too crowded. But those who venture there will not be disappointed.
There's three options for getting to Bottle Beach. The easiest is to pay a local to boat you there from Chaloklum. If you're looking for a little more adventure you can hike from nearby Piggy Beach.
The last option is to motorbike from Baan Tai towards Thong Nai Pan. Make a left turn on the hill leading down to the town and follow the dirt road until it gets too steep. There's a parking spot there and you'll need to hike the rest of the way.
For those looking for a bit more than just relaxing on the beach, you can hike up to the Bottle Beach viewpoint for amazing panoramic views of the island. Follow this guide for the best ways to get there.
Haad Khom (Piggy Beach)
If you're looking to escape crowds and chill in one of the most gorgeous aqua waters you've ever seen, this one's for you. This beach sits near to Chaloklum in the north but has far less visitors.
There are known to be monkeys in this area, so keep your belongings covered while you're swimming.
Oh, and don't forget to say hello to the humongous pig on the way in. He lives at the small restaurant and is usually found snoring nearby.
Haad Son (Secret Beach)
Not a secret, but nonetheless stunning.
This beach is another that is good for sunsets and can be a good option if you're not in the mood for the more flashy Zen Beach.
Koh Raham is right next door to Secret Beach and is one of the most interesting restaurants in Koh Phangan. Even if you don't intend to eat or drink there, it's definitely worth a walkthrough.
Zen Beach is the heartbeat of the north.
This is where the expat community comes together to dance through each sunset to the sound of drums. You'll see fire-twirling and witness one of the best sunsets on the entire island.
The beach, in Srithanu, isn't well advertised, and for good reason. This place is more than a beach, it's the soul of Phangan.
Yet another stunning beach in the north with crystal clear water, soft sand and is perfection on its day.
Like Haad Yao, Salad Beach also has a lot of high-end development on its shores, which takes away from its beauty, especially as you need to walk through a resort to enter the beach.
With all that said, Haad Salad is still one of the most beautiful beaches in Koh Phangan.
Around the corner from Secret Beach is Haad Yao. This is a popular beach for high-end resorts, which does take away from its beauty slightly.
However, the water is usually pristine and can be the most stunning beach on the island somedays.
It's also not a bad beach to do some morning yoga.
In the far north is the little town of Chaloklum. It has much more of a Thai feel here that other parts of the island have lost. There's a couple of cool cafes and vegan restaurants here to chill. The beach is usually quiet, but can get busy around full moon times.
However, the beach is long and you can always find a perfect spot to relax and chill. There's a couple of rope swings too, if you're looking for an instagram shoot.
You can't go wrong with Chaloklum. But if you're looking for somewhere even more peaceful, jump on a boat there and escape to Bottle Beach.
Koh Tae Nai
This island isn't technically a beach on Koh Phangan. But for those who are up for a little bit of adventure, this place is paradise.
Koh Tae Nai is the island you can see off the coast of Thong Sala and Hin Kong. It looks close, but too far to swim. That part of the island also gets a lot of jellyfish so I wouldn't advise swimming there.
Instead, you can rent a kayak for a reasonable hourly price from Becks Resort just outside of Thong Sala. Depending on conditions this getting to the island shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.
Once there you'll likely have the entire place to yourself. Enjoy paradise!
Haad Rin (Full Moon Beach)
If you've heard of any beach in Koh Phangan, it's probably this one. Made extremely popular with the monthly full moon parties, Haad Rin is synonymous with drinking and partying well into the night.
Even outside of full moon times, a lot of the bars are blasting music and tourists are dancing.
Whether this sounds good to you or not, there's no denying that Haad Rin is a gorgeous beach. And while it doesn't beat the northern or eastern beaches on Phangan, it's definitely one that won't disappoint when it comes to beauty.
Mae Head Beach & Ko Ma Island
In the far north is the iconic Ko Ma, which is an island connected to Mae Head Beach by a snaking sand bar. The tide determines how wide or thin this sand bar gets, but most of the time it provides a golden pathway to Ko Ma, which is a relaxing place to laze around and has some incredible snorkelling.
While an excellent beach, don't miss an opportunity to see this one from above. A steep drive up to 360 bar will give you a sweeping panoramic view of Phangan's north, including Ko Ma.
To stop people just stopping by for photos, you're required to make a purchase to enjoy the view. And while beers are (relatively) expensive here, it's still worth it for the views.
Haad Yuan Beach
This hidden beach is mostly associated with Eden's Garden parties, however, it's a secret stunner in the day too.
Practically inaccessible, you can get here two ways. Hire a local with a jeep or a boat from Haad Rin to get you here. While connected to Phangan's mainland, it has a secluded island feel to it.
While close to busy Haad Rin, this beach is a nearby escape you won't regret making.
While this long stretch of beach isn't much of a swimming beach due to the low tide and coral, but it does happen to provide absolute stunning sunsets night after night with the sky reflecting off the still water.
After a low day of exploring the island, there's really no better place to put a beach blanket down, crack open a Chang and watch the most colorful sky open up before you.
Haad Than Sadet Beach
This quiet enclave is a perfect combination of white sand, blue water and instagramable rope swings.
Walking onto the beach, you'll feel like you're stepping into a postcard.
There's a nearby viewpoint which can be accessed from the beach by walking across a sketchy bridge.
Haad Sadet is part of Than Sadet national park, which means there is a fee for entering this area.
Thong Nai Pan Beach
There's a different feel on Koh Phangan's east coast.
Thong Nai Pan is the perfect escape, but with all the necessities you'll need. The beach is gorgeous, the resorts classy and and the general vibe is slow.
The small town has a family vibe to it, unlike the young-single vibe in Haad Rin or the hippy vibe around Srithanu.
Make sure to slow down here at least once on your visit.
Koh Phangan's Nude Beaches
If you're looking for something a bit more private to tan your, uh, privates. Here's some of Koh Phangan's unofficial nude beaches.
*Note: Public nudity is illegal in Thailand.
Secret Nude Beach - Near Thong Sala
On the coastal road between Thong Sala and Hin Kong right around Bluerama is a little opening in the bushes and a short hike down to a small secret beach. This beach isn't named as far as I know, but it's stunning and is popular with some people going completely naked.
Just a stone's throw away from Haad Rin's full moon beach is Leela Beach, where it's a lot quieter and popular with nudists.
You'll find this easily by walking further down from the Zen Beach, which turns into a nudist beach.
Mae Head South
A little tucked away section up on the southern end of Mae Head (further away from Koh Ma).
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