Do you like tropical beaches, palm trees, white sand and cocktails? Then we’re on the same wavelength! Plan your trip to Koh Phangan as quickly as you can. Because this Thai island is the complete package: amazingly beautiful sandy beaches, fantastic hotels and restaurants and a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. Join us, as we explore Koh Phangan’s most beautiful beaches!
Before we begin, I have confession to make.
I’ve found a new love. I was charmed and seduced by… Koh Phangan!
For one week I rode around on my motorbike, going from bay to bay, and each time I was received by a stunning beach – one more beautiful than the other.
It seemed as if Christmas had come early; what joy!
So yes, I’m in love. Madly, even. Sorry Sander, it just happened!
Wow, glad to get that off my chest. Now it’s time for the top-10. Sit down, relax and discover Koh Phangan’s many beautiful beaches!
Koh Phangan’s 10 most beautiful beaches
1. Coral Bay (Haad Khom)
My favorite beach on Koh Phangan is Coral Bay, or Haad Khom. This little dreamscape is situated in a small bay with white sand, boulders, palm trees and a great view of the green hills. What more could you ask for?! Honestly, I think Coral Bay is even more beautiful than neighboring Bottle Beach, supposedly “the most beautiful beach of Koh Phangan”.
Coral Bay has a beautiful reef and is a great snorkeling spot. But it’s pleasant above water as well. The beach features several excellent mid range bungalows and a handful of nice restaurants.
The location is great as well. Although Coral Bay can feel pretty remote and exclusive, there is a paved road that leads to it, actually making it fairly easily accessible. Moreover, Bottle Beach is literally around the corner and if you’re looking for somewhere more central, Haad Salad is a ten-minute motorbike ride away.
Hotel tip: Ocean View Beach Resort from 800 Thai Baht →
2. Leela Beach (Haad Seekantiang)
Leela Beach, or Haad Seekantiang, is a stunningly beautiful and quiet beach full of palm trees and green areas. So, a great place to do some serious relaxing!
It houses mostly small-scale resorts, but you’re free to lay down your towel anywhere on the beach. After having your daily dose of vitamin D, busy and fun Haad Rin is only a 5 or 10 minute walk away.
A small downside is that Leela Beach isn’t a great swimming beach, as from May until September it’s not possible to swim over the reef. But, who cares? Leela is a wonderful and stunningly beautiful beach. It’s no coincidence that Leela Beach has been hailed as the island’s most beautiful beach by many websites!
3. Haad Than Sadet
Haad Than Safet is a calm, small beach located in a dazzlingly beautiful bay – complete with vegetation and jungle noises. OK, so the water here isn’t crystal clear and azure blue. It is however nice and cool and deep enough, making it one of the few places where it’s possible to swim all year round.
At the right edge of the beach there’s a small river behind a restaurant where you can spot huge komodo dragons. You’ll also find a wooden bridge, which, if you cross it, leads to several Mai Pen Rai bungalows.
What many people don’t know is that it’s also possible to walk past those bungalows, after which you’ll arrive at a small but gorgeous sandy beach, where you (almost certainly) will be the only person. That is, if you’re lucky; sometimes, during the low season, the path is blocked.
Hotel tip: Plaa’s Thansadet Resort from 600 Thai Baht →
4. Bottle Beach (Haad Khuat)
“Bottle Beach, the most beautiful beach of Koh Phangan!” That’s all good and well, but is it actually true? I hired a long tail boat (± 200 baht for a one-way trip from Ao Chaloklum or Coral Bay) to investigate.
And yes, I have to admit that Bottle Beach is a heavenly place and the atmosphere is pretty darn relaxed. But is it the most beautiful beach? In my opinion it isn’t. There are just too many gorgeous beaches on Koh Phangan!
In addition the beach has a slightly unfavorable location: to get there, you’re almost obligated to take an (expensive) taxi boat; unless you feel like roaming around the jungle for 45 minutes. So you’re kind of stuck there.
But hey, if peace and quiet and not doing anything is what you’re looking for, then maybe this is good news?!
5. Secret Beach (Haad Son)
This hip beach hasn’t been a secret for a long time, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t super chilled out. To get to Haad Son, first go past the awesome Secret Beach Bar which plays really nice music that can be heard all over the bay. Also, the food is great and they really know how to make a good cocktail.
This isn’t just a beach for hip people, however. It’s also great for families with children as the seabed shelves gently into the water, making sure the water stays shallow for large portions of the time.
Hotel tip: Secret Beach Bungalows from 1000 Thai Baht →
6. Haad Mae Haad
It’s no coincidence that Haad Mae Haad is so popular among tourists.
For one, this beach shares a sand border with the small isle of Koh Mae, making it a great place for holiday snaps. It’s also great for snorkeling, especially south of the sand bank. Once you’ve crossed the shallow part, you’ll eventually encounter a large coral reef, with lots of colorful fish and underwater landscapes.
And why not stay for the sunset? Behind the beach is a hill where, from the Mae Haad Treehouse Bar, you can enjoy a spectacular view. It’s a little bit of a search, but definitely worth it!
Hotel tip: Phangan Utopia Resort. From 800 Thai Baht →
7. Haad Thian
This beautiful, small bay is the place to be for anyone who loves yoga, meditation, health food and so on. The beach happens to be where The Sanctuary is located, a place where you can go on an outstanding detox & yoga retreat (or so I hear). They even have two separate menus: one normal, healthy one and another one which only features raw food.
No further explanation necessary.
The food was seriously the best I’ve had on Koh Phangan. They don’t use table numbers, which I thought was quite strange. Instead, the waiter introduces himself and puts the check in your name. Genius.
Enough about The Sanctuary. Haad Thian is beautiful in its own right: unspoiled and peaceful, a small paradise. In addition, you can go beach hopping. You can easily walk to neighboring beaches Why Nam and Haad Yao. Awesome!
The taxi boat from Haad Rin to Haad Thian is about 400 baht for a one-way trip.
Hotel tip: The Sanctuary from 2750 Thai Baht →
8. Ao Sri Thanu
Ao Sri Thani is a small beach located on a tiny peninsula in the western part of Koh Phangan.
Ao Sri Thani is all about relaxing. Besides sun, sea and (pearly) white sand there’s nothing, except for a handful of bungalows. It’s a great place to stay if you’re not concerned about luxury, but you do want to close out your holidays in a quiet location, easily accessible from the pier.
Hotel tip: Seaflower Bungalows from 1500 Thai Baht →
9. Haad Thong Nai Pan Yai & Noi
I know, Haad Thong Nai Pan Yai and Haad Thong Nai Pan Noi are two separate beaches. But with that many great beaches, it’s hard to choose. So I’ve decided to combine these two. That way, I have space for another beach on the list. Good thinking, Maris!
Haad Thong Nai Pan Yai is a great swimming beach. The water is nice and cool and the seabed shelves gently but at a certain point it also becomes deep enough to go for a nice swim. Yay! There’s no coral reef here, so you can swim anywhere you like. On the beach itself there are lots of trees providing shade for whoever needs it. Close out the day in one of the many nice bars and have a drink or a fresh coconut.
Hotel tip: Dolphin Bungalows from 800 Thai Baht →
Haad Thong Nai Pan Noi is a small-scale resort beach with a lot of places to have a romantic dinner. The center, behind the beach, has several restaurants and bars and is a lot of fun. The only downside is that the beach (like Yai) is somewhat remote, since the road leading to it is rather hilly. I loved traveling there, but it can be challenging if you don’t have a lot experience riding a motorbike.
Hotel tip: Buri Rasa Village from 3800 Thai Baht →
10. Haad Salad
The last beach in our top 10 is Haad Salad, a beautiful beach in the southwestern part of Koh Phangan. It’s nice and quiet with a handful of bungalows at both edges. The beach has been blessed with good swimming water, especially in the northern most part. In addition, it’s a great spot for snorkeling and spotting corals and fish.
All in all it’s a wonderful beach that’s not too big, but does have excellent facilities. The road leading toward it (still) isn’t quite finished, but is enough for a motorbike.
All in all Haad Salad is a nice beach to spend the day!
Hotel tip: Salad Hut from 2000 Thai Baht →
These beaches didn’t make the top 10, but deserve an honorable mention:
- Plaay Laem Beach: Romantic beach with large boulders and a view of a small island.
- Malibu Beach: Part of Chaloklum Bay, it has funny little trees and sand soft as powdery sugar.
- Ao Hing Kong: Long, sandy beach with shallow water and a beautiful sand bank.
- Why Nam: Minuscule, remote beach with one bar and a nice, hippie atmosphere.
- Haad Yao (east): Large sandy beach with a small-scale atmosphere and good water for swimming.