Travel Guides & Information
Beaches in Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is an island that’s world-famous for its full-moon and half-moon beach parties. Nicknamed ‘Samui’s Little Sister’, it only has about 10,000 residents but attracts around 30,000 travellers looking to enjoy the island’s hedonistic events. Koh Phangan may be most famous for its full-moon parties, but it has a lot more to offer visitors than all-night dancing.
There is plenty of things to do in Koh Phangan that will keep you busy during your holiday on this charming, barely developed island that lies some 12 km north of Koh Samui. The 125-sq-km island has all the assets of a tropical paradise: white powdery sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters and fringed by coconut tree groves, hilly hinterland covered with lush vegetation, and small villages which have adapted to the growth of visitors.
Haad Rin Beach is often known as Full Moon Beach since it’s host to the famous monthly full moon parties. The beach is on the southeast coast of Koh Phangan, and when it’s not alive with partygoers, its beautiful white sands lure you in for a day by the sea.
To keep those crowds entertained, Haad Rin offers a good choice of activities such as beach football, beach volleyball, and bikini contests, as well as a good list of water sports like jet-skiing and sea kayaking.
There are 2 sections of Haad Rin Beach: the sunrise beach (Haad Rin Nok) and the sunset beach (Haad Rin Nai). Haad Rin Nok is the most popular due to the parties and nearby clubs and bars, but it is also surprisingly clean and family-friendly during the day. Haad Rin Nai is generally much quieter.
Haad Khom on the north of Koh Phangan offers soft sands and clear waters without the clamour of the crowds. Here you’ll find a peaceful beach offering natural shade from the boulders and trees, as well as several restaurants and bungalows nearby.
If you’re looking for a more active beach visit, Haad Khom is a great place for kayaking and snorkelling trips out to the coral reef. The waves are fairly gentle here too, making for an easy swim in the gorgeous blue waters.
Haad Son, also known as “Secret Beach”, is by no means a secret as it is one of the most sought-out beaches of Koh Phangan. The beautiful trees, blue sea, and fine sand make this small beach very picturesque. Fins and snorkelling masks can be rented on the beach, and there’s even a resort with a cosy restaurant.
During low tide, you’ll have to go out a bit further to be able to swim, and you’ll also need to be careful of the surf and waves. Make sure to bring ample sun protection too, as the beach provides little to no shade.
Mae Haad is one of the most spacious beaches of Koh Phangan, with golden sands and shallow clear waters attracting visitors from far and wide. But the main draw of the beach is the fact that you can walk across the sand at low tide to the uninhabited island of Koh Ma.
The luscious green island is surrounded by coral reefs, so it’s a popular spot for snorkelling. You can also hike to the peak for great views of the beach and the island. Of course, you can just stay on the beach itself or go diving in the sea..
Haad Yao on Koh Phangan’s west coast is also often called “Long Beach” due to its enormous size. Stretching 1 km, the beach has clear waters and a nearby coral reef that make it popular among divers and snorkelers. There are also a few dive schools offering lessons and experiences nearby.
The beach is also known for its spectacular sunsets, and a late afternoon walk will provide you with ample shade from the trees lining the coast. If you work up an appetite in the sun, you’ll be glad to know there are several restaurants and bars nearby as well.
Thong Nai Pan Noi
Thong Nai Pan Noi is a spacious beach on Koh Phangan covered in soft, white sand. The beach is popular with a variety of luxury resorts nearby that allow you to make the most of your time by the sea. Although you won’t find coral reefs here, there is plenty of marine life if you fancy a bit of snorkelling. The cool water makes for a welcome break from the hot sun. The surrounding greenery and mountains will make you feel like you’re in paradise.
Haad Salad, sometimes known as Pirate Beach, has sparkling white sands and crystal-clear water, great for swimming and snorkelling. Despite being a favourite go-to for holidaymakers, the beach rarely feels overcrowded.
Haad Salad feels welcoming and friendly, and due to the number of resorts nearby, it is quite a popular spot for families. You can take a picture on the beach swing and palm trees, or visit one of the beach bars or restaurants for a bite to eat – and perhaps a beach cocktail or 2.
Leela Beach, also known as Haad Seekantang, is a beach on the southwestern coast of Koh Phangan with soft white sands and clear waters. Its waves make for a relaxing swim. You have to enter the beach through a resort, and one of the more popular options is Cocohut Beach Resort, as it is famous for its giant beach swing that serves as a great photo spot.
The lack of public access makes Leela Beach a very serene holiday spot. There is also an Insta-worthy walkway that goes out into the sea, making for a serene walk with deep aquamarine colours all around.
Zen Beach, part of Sri Thanu Beach, is a lesser-known area of Koh Phangan, but it’s a good spot for something a little different. Here you’ll find lively and eclectic groups of people singing songs and playing music, or practising yoga as the sun sets. The atmosphere is just as you’d expect: Zen. However, the beach has another nickname: “Naked Beach”. Although nudism is not allowed in Thailand, you might sometimes find nude bathers and swimmers on the right side of the beach (looking seaward). If this isn’t your cup of tea, beware.
Malibu Beach is a part of the resort of the same name – Malibu Beach Resort, on the northwestern end of Koh Phangan. The small beach, with its white sands and lines of palm trees, is mostly calm and quiet.
During low tide, the water becomes too shallow to swim in – it is nice for a gentle swim otherwise. The beach is close to Chaloklum village, where you can find plenty of restaurants and cafés, as well as a few diving schools offering diving courses around the island.
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Koh Samui Guided Tours will give you the chance to experience a wide range of exciting activities. Koh Samui is the ideal destination for families or singles; for young and old alike. You can discover anything from mummified monks to the famous 'Grandfather and Grandmother' rocks. For those interested in religious imagery, Big Buddha will impress. Nature lovers can visit Ang Thong National Marine Park on a day trip or discover the fascinating coral reefs of Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan.