The 15 Best Beaches in Koh Phangan [We Visited All of Them]

Koh Phangan is so much more than a party island – it’s full of adventure at every level. We spent 12 days here and went to countless beaches – here are our top 15 favorite beaches in Ko Phangan.

Before we went to Koh Phangan, we expected it to have just a few beaches. After all – for an island that’s only 125 square kilometers we didn’t expect it to have much coastline.

However, we found that it was quite the opposite – Koh Phangan has a TON of beaches.

And better yet, all of the island’s beaches are special in their own way. From long white sandy beaches stretching along the coastline to secluded beaches hidden in coves, every beach on Koh Phangan has its own unique vibe.

During our time on Koh Phangan, we visited nearly every beach on the island – from the secluded bays to the bustling beach bars, to the hidden stretches of coastline where most people don’t hang out.

In this guide, we go over the best beaches in Koh Phangan, including our personal experiences at every one of them.

Key Takeaways

Map with the Best Beaches in Koh Phangan

Here’s a map with all of the beaches that we cover in the article.

For some beaches, the Google Maps navigation directions don’t take you to the correct entrance/parking area, so we’ve also included map locations for the parking areas of those beaches.

Beaches on Koh Phangan’s Northeast Side

Thong Nai Pan

Thong Nai Pan is a long sandy beach located in a resort area of Koh Phangan. The area is favored by couples and families. You won’t find much of the party crowd that other parts of the island are known for.

Thong Nai Pan Beach itself is long and quiet, perfect for just finding a spot to chill and relax. The water is a little shallow, and depending on the tide you’ll be able to swim in the water or just wade in there. However, the conditions can get rough at times so take caution before entering.

📍 Navigate to this location for direct access to the quieter, northern side of Thong Nai Pan Beach.

Thong Nai Pan Yai

Thong Nai Pan Yai is the other beach in Thong Nai Pan. It’s a little further south and slightly bigger – hence the word “yai” which means “big” in Thai. Even though Thong Nai Pan Yai is physically separated from Thong Nai Pan, they are both part of the same bay and similar in many ways.

Like Thong Nai Pan, Thong Nai Pan Yai is long, sandy, and has lots of restaurants right on the beach. Because of its large size, the beach is not overly crowded and you can easily find a spot all to yourself to relax.

We found that the food quality in the Thong Nai Pan Yai area was a step above the rest of the island. Some of our favorite meals on the island were in Thong Nai Pan Yai.

Our favorite part about Thong Nai Pan Yai is that many of its beach restaurants do grilled fish dinners nightly! If you walk along the beach around dinnertime, you’ll see the cooks grilling up fresh fish and serving them to hungry diners.

On our last night in Thong Nai Pan, we ate a freshly caught red snapper at Nice Beach Restaurant. Amazing dinner at an amazing beach.

🍽️ Looking for good food? In our opinion, Thong Nai Pan Yai has some of the best-value restaurants in Koh Phangan. Every dining spot we tried in Thong Nai Pan Yai delivered an exceptional meal. We personally ate at and recommend Nice Beach Restaurant, Siam Beach Bar and Restaurant, and the beach bar at Thong Nai Pan Beach Resort.

Bottle Beach

Bottle Beach is in our opinion the best beach for swimming on Koh Phangan.

Bottle Beach is not shallow like most of the beaches on the island, so you don’t need to go far out to swim.

Bottle Beach is sandy, but the sand is a bit on the coarser side so it doesn’t blow all over the place when it gets windy. And it’s also much easier to clean off your clothes and skin when you’re ready to leave the beach. Both are good things in our book.

Our favorite part about Bottle Beach is that there are hardly any coral pieces or rocks in the sand. It is the sandiest beach that we visited in Koh Phangan.

We visited Bottle Beach on a nice day, so the water was calm and excellent for swimming. However, we could see how Bottle Beach could get pretty rough on a windy day, so observe the conditions before you get in the water.

The biggest drawback of Bottle Beach is that its tough to get to. It’s located in a remote area of the island without much development. And you can’t just drive up to the beach either. The only way to get to Bottle Beach by land is by going down a super steep, busted dirt road.

When we visited Bottle Beach, we rode a 4×4 songthaew down to it. The songthaew cost us 150 baht per person each way to take us to and from the beach.

Our understanding is that the songthaews don’t constantly drive back and forth to the beach, and only drive if someone on the beach requests a ride up. We were fortunate to catch a ride down to Bottle Beach in a songthaew after we spotted it dropping someone off at the top.

To get to Bottle Beach, walk down the dirt road from the Bottle Beach Parking area. We saw many people walking down and estimate that it would take about 20-30 minutes to do so.

When you’re ready to leave Bottle Beach, either walk back up or go to one of the resorts at the beach such as Bottle Beach 2 Resort, and pay them 150 baht per person to take you back up.

Alternatively, you can negotiate with a water taxi (boat) from nearby Chaloklum Beach to take you to Bottle Beach. We didn’t do this, but we saw a few water taxis arrive at Bottle Beach and drop people off while we were there.

Haad Sadet

Haad Sadet is one of the most out-of-the-way beaches on Koh Phangan. It’s located inside a national park, and it has an entrance fee of 100 THB per person to enter the area.

Haad Sadet is one of the best beaches in Koh Phangan for swimming. The water isn’t shallow like most of the beaches on the island, and we didn’t find the current to be too strong either. The sand was also very clean and didn’t have too many rocks in it.

We were told that Haad Sadet can get a little choppy when the wind picks up, so if you decide to swim there, take note of the conditions before you go in the water.

There are two beach bars on Haad Sadet, so you can get a drink or some lunch here and make an entire day out of your visit.

The rickety wooden bridge on the right side of the beach goes to a trail that leads to Haad Thong Reng.

Beaches on Koh Phangan’s North Side

Mae Haad / Koh Ma

Mae Haad is famous for its distinctive sandbar that connects to Koh Ma. The sandbar appears during low tide, and during that time you can walk to the island of Koh Ma right off the coast of Koh Phangan.

If you decide to go to Koh Ma, be careful when walking across the sandbar. We don’t recommend walking on the sandbar barefoot since it contains sharp coral fragments and broken shells. Also, if you happen to be on Koh Ma when the tide comes back in, you might need to swim back.

If you snorkel at Mae Haad, we recommend going during high tide. Low tide at Mae Haad is really low so it can be tough to swim around.

The ocean around Mae Haad contains a large reef. When we visited this beach, the water was crystal clear and the visibility was great. If you swim out far enough, you’ll find large schools of fish.

One thing we noticed in the water was a TON of sea cucumbers. They’re kind of interesting if you haven’t seen them before, but it’s also not exactly something that we would want to step on if we were swimming in the water.

Malibu Beach/Chaloklum

Malibu Beach gets its name from Malibu in California, and the name fits. It’s a white sandy beach that is perfect for chilling out and hanging out with friends. The beach has a few volleyball nets, which gives it that California beach vibe.

The sand at Malibu Beach is extremely fine and powdery so it’s comfortable to sit on. But the powdery sand tends to blow all over the place, so we don’t recommend visiting on a windy day.

Our favorite thing about Malibu Beach is that it has tons of shade. It’s an awesome beach to just lounge around and relax at.

The beach itself is the main attraction at Malibu Beach, not the water. The water is shallow, so it’s a bad place to swim. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend swimming here at all – parts of the bay are trashy and dirty due to the shallow depth of the water.

Beaches on Koh Phangan’s Southeast Side

Haad Rin

Haad Rin is perhaps the most infamous beach on Koh Phangan. It’s the location of the monthly full moon party.

The party atmosphere at Haad Rin carries over to every day of the year at its numerous bars that line the beach. These beach bars are all good places to kick back and have a drink with some friends – or make new friends!

Haad Rin Beach itself is so-so. It is kind of rocky and has large coral pieces in the sand. Watch your step if you go walking around barefoot.

The water at Haad Rin is also kind of rough when it gets windy, so it’s not always the best place for swimming.

The worst part about Haad Rin is that it has all sorts of trash on the beach, especially after the full moon parties.

In our opinion, there are much better beaches on Koh Phangan for doing everything, except maybe for meeting new people and having drinks, which Haad Rin is probably best for.

Haad Yuan

Haad Yuan is a very exclusive beach located just over a mountain from Haad Rin. There are two hotels with bungalows at Haad Yuan and it has a “get away from it all” vibe.

When we visited Haad Yuan, we got the vibe that the people who stay at this beach pretty much spend their entire time at this beach since it’s so hard to get in and out of.

Most people visit Haad Yuan by doing a day hike over the mountain from Haad Rin. We did this hike and it is a tough hike so we don’t recommend it unless you’re in good shape.

Here’s the link to the Haad Rin – Haad Yuan hike on AllTrails.

The other way to get to Haad Yuan is by taking a water taxi (boat) or a 4×4 vehicle.

When we visited in February 2023, the water taxi prices from Haad Yuan to Haad Rin were 500 THB per person with a minimum of 6 people. So we needed to pay 1000 THB and find 4 other people to ride the water taxi with the two of us, or pay 3000 THB to ride the water taxi by ourselves.

We decided not to ride the water taxi back to Haad Rin and just hike back instead. We were told that the water taxi prices fluctuate based on the weather and demand, so water taxi prices may be more or less than what we were quoted when you visit.

Even though it’s tough to get to, Haad Yuan has a unique party of its own. On the left side of the beach, there is a wooden boardwalk that goes over the rocks.

At the end of the boardwalk is Eden Bar, a bar built out on the rocks at Haad Yuan that throws a Saturday night party that lasts until Sunday morning. From what we’ve heard, it seems like an afterhours-type party with some adventure added in. We spent the better part of our 20s in afterhours clubs so we decided to skip it, but would consider attending if we ever visit Koh Phangan with a group of friends.

Rin Nai/Leela Beach

Rin Nai Beach is, in our opinion, the nicest beach in southeast Koh Phangan. It is a long sandy beach that many people visit for sunset since it faces west. On the south (left) side of the beach, there is a wooden boardwalk that leads to a tiny lighthouse that is worth visiting if you like to explore.

The water at Rin Nai was extremely calm, even when Haad Rin Beach on the other side of the peninsula was rough and choppy. So if you find that Haad Rin isn’t nice, then we recommend checking out Rin Nai to see what the conditions are like.

Beaches on Koh Phangan’s West Side

Haad Chao Phao

If you’re looking for a quieter beach with a neighborhood vibe to relax at then Haad Chao Phao is it.

We went to Haad Chao Phao both during the day and during sunset.

During the day, Haad Chao Phao gets a ton of sunlight since there’s not much shade on the beach. But during the evening, you can watch the sun dip below the horizon in a peaceful atmosphere which is hard to find on the other west side beaches.

The water at Haad Chao Phao is clear but shallow. The sand is fine and there are some rocks and corals in it but if you hang out in the sandier areas of the beach you can mostly avoid them.

The water near the shore is sandy but if you go a bit further out there are patches of seaweed. However, if you go even further out, the seaweed clears up and it’s quite a nice place to swim.

There is a rock island off the coast of Haad Chao Phao that you can swim or wade to – depending on the tide. I swam to the island and it was extremely rocky and full of pieces of dead coral. If you decide to do the same, I recommend wearing water shoes there since my feet got cut up walking over the coral pieces on the island.

Salad Beach

Salad Beach is an awesome beach to chill out and relax at. The beach has a bunch of trees along most of the beach so it’s not too hard to find a shady spot to set up at. The beach is sandy and doesn’t have too many rocks.

Salad Beach is extremely long with resorts and beach bars lining the shoreline so it’s also a good place to have a drink or get lunch while soaking in the views.

The water at Salad Beach is a little shallow but deep enough to swim in. The water was also extremely calm – the calmest water we encountered on Koh Phangan.

If you swim far out at Salad Beach, you’ll eventually find the salad that the beach gets its name from – seaweed growing underwater. Some of the seaweed was floating around in the water when we visited but it didn’t bother us too much.

Haad Yao

Haad Yao is a massive beach on the west side of Koh Phangan. The beach has fine sand that tends to blow all over the place when it gets windy. During high tide, Haad Yao is an awesome place to swim, but the beach is quite narrow. During low tide, the water is very shallow so not the best for swimming.

There are a ton of hotels and restaurants right on the beach at Haad Yao, so it’s a great place to have dinner and watch the sunset.

Haad Yao is best known for its Bizarre Bazaar at Seaboard Bungalows on Wednesday evenings.

So what’s this Bizarre Bazaar you might ask? It’s basically as if Burning Man had a market.

The vendors at the bazaar sell everything from handmade jewelry to eclectic clothing, to mind-altering substances.

It’s a place for the island’s free spirit community to get together and sell their goods. There’s also a DJ playing underground house and techno music.

Secret Beach (Haad Son)

This not-so-secret beach is our favorite swimming beach on the west side of Koh Phangan. The water was super calm when we visited, and it was perfect for just chilling and hanging out in the water.

Depending on the tide, there may be lots of rocks and broken coral in the water. We visited during high tide and though there were some larger coral pieces, the sand in the water was mostly fine.

The beach is a little on the smaller side, but there is still a good amount of room to spread out and relax. However, we’ve seen other reviews online that mention that this beach can get pretty busy at times.

The main drawback of Secret Beach is that depending on the currents, the current can bring in a bunch of seaweed to the beach. This seems to only happen sometimes, since when we visited the beach was clean.

There is a nice beach bar right at Secret Beach and if you get hungry we recommend going nearby Koh Raham since it’s one of the coolest restaurants on the island.

Zen Beach

From sunset yoga sessions, to DJ dance parties, to a Friday evening drum circle, Zen Beach is pretty much the gathering place for Koh Phangan’s free spirit culture.

The beach itself is rather long, but it can become quite narrow if high tide coincides with sunset, which is when most people flock to Zen Beach.

The water is quite shallow at Zen Beach, but the main draw of the beach is the beach itself, and the events that occur on it, not the water.

🪘 The most popular time to go to Zen Beach is on Friday evening for the sunset drum circle.

Hin Kong Beach

Hin Kong Beach is known for its T-shaped sandbar that appears during low tide. When the sandbar is exposed, you can walk out into the bay to explore.

The beach itself is rather narrow, and not much is there for hanging out. However, there are a few beach bars at Hin Kong that have a good vibe so it’s a good place to grab a bite to eat or relax with a drink.

Overall, we’d recommend visiting Hin Kong Beach if you’re looking for a quiet place to relax or want to explore the sandbar during low tide.

What’s Next?

We hope that our Koh Phangan beach guide helped you decide which beach to go to!

If you have a question about any of the beaches on Koh Phangan feel free to drop a comment below and we’ll be glad to answer it 🐸

Trey Lewis is an outdoor enthusiast. Whether its hiking knife-edge ridges or just fishing by the river, Trey isn't afraid to get dirty in search of the next adventure.

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