Had Rin Nok and Had Rin Nai
The most well-known beach on Koh Phangan is Had Rin and it actually consists of two beaches.
Had Rin Nok is situated in the southeast of the island and is considered as one of the best beaches on Koh Phangan as it is both wide and has white, fine sand. However, it has become very popular over the years and nowadays a large number of restaurants, bars and resort are located next to the beach.
The famous Full Moon Party is held here every month and about 10.000 people arrives here then (and up to 30.000 during the New Year’s party).
Had Rin Nai is situated in the southwest of the island and is also called “The Sunset Beach”. Boats and ferries from Koh Samui, Koh Tao and the mainland arrive here.
Ao Ban Tai and Ao Ban Khai
Ao Ban Tai and Ao Ban Khai are two long beaches situated on the southwest coast of Koh Phangan. The view is often extraordinary, especially at sunset. These both beaches are ideal for beach strolling, including a free view overlooking Koh Samui.
These beaches are also a good alternative to stay at if you are attending the Full Moon Party and want to accommodate in a more relaxed, peaceful and quiet place than Had Rin. You’ll get there easily by a motorcycle, scooter or songtaew (pickup taxi) and if you enjoy exercising, you can walk to Had Rin in an hour or two. If you are not familiar with the island, our suggestion is to use a map to orientate yourself.
In the West
Had Yao (West Coast)
Had Yao (or Hat Yao) is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and it is even considered as one of the best in Thailand by some people. It is about a kilometer long, rather wide and situated in the northwestern Koh Phangan.
It’s ideal for beach activities, water sports and smaller beach parties. Several good resorts and cozy restaurants are located here. The price ranges from budget to medium.
Mae Haad and Haad Salad
Mae Had and Had Salad beaches are located in northwestern Koh Phangan and both are really nice beaches. Relaxed atmosphere, lots of fish in the sea and white sand is what you can expect as a visitor. You’ll also find smaller shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.
In the North
Chaloklum is located in the middle north of the island and it was originally a small fishing village and it’s still a hub for fishermen and their fishing boats. They still catch small squid (called plamuk in Thai language) and dry them on racks next to the beach pier and jetty.
A short walk from Chaloklum brings you to the paradise like Had Khuat (or Bottle Beach in English). If you want to avoid this short jungle trek, small passenger boats are also operating between these beaches. The beach itself is stunning, but it is not the best choice for anyone who wants to enjoy the sunrise or sunset due to the location.
In the East
Thong Nai Pan Noi – Thong Nai Pan Yai
These are two very beautiful beaches situated in the northeastern part of the island. The road taking you there is partly a roller coaster alike dirt road, but it can definitely be worth the “hassle”. Although tourism has increased even in this area of the island, you will not find that many beach chairs and beach vendors here.
A rather slow but safe alternative is to get here by boat from Had Rin.
Had Yao (East Coast)
A relaxed beach in the South-East of the island and only accessible by walk or by a taxi boat or / longtail boat.
We would also like to recommend Had Yuan (or: Hat Yuan) in the southeast of Koh Phangan, three kilometers north of Had Rin. This beach is a nice and much more quiet experience for the one who already spent a week or so in Had Rin and is looking for a more peaceful atmosphere.