Best places to stay in Koh Phangan
Lively Haad Rin is one of the best known places to stay in Thailand. It has the most significant convergence of leisure activities, bars, clubs and nightlife on the island. The larger north end of the beach, Haad Rin Nok (Sunrise Beach) is party central and renowned for its full moon parties, a monthly electronic music party that attracts backpackers in their droves from around the world wanting to experience the night scene that Haad Rin is so famous for. At night pumping techno music pours out of the long strip of bars and clubs where you can dance until dawn.
The beach is divided into two sections. Haad Rin Nok (Sunrise Beach) to the north is the nucleus of the party scene full of bars and nightlife, while to the south those searching for more peace and tranquillity can head to Haad Rin Nai (Sunset Beach) a more exclusive and secluded curve of sand that draws visitors who want to dip their toes in the action, but then retire to sleep and sunbathe in relative peace.
Baan Tai is one of Koh Phangan’s crowd pleasing places to stay on the south coast of Koh Phangan, boasting stunning views across to Koh Sumai and beautiful sunsets. It has all of the essentials you will need for your stay, with ATMs, travel agents, internet and supermarkets in abundance. The soft white sand of Baan Tai is ideal for sunbathing, gently lapped by shallow turquoise water and fringed by coconut trees. Enjoy leisurely strolls and fun activities such as snorkelling, fishing trips, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. When the wind picks up, Baan Tai is extremely well suited for kite surfing. There are a number of good restaurants and bars serving international and Thai food, bakeries and cafes. By day, Baan Tai is popular with sun bathers and leisure seekers, at night it turns into party mode, with a plethora of pumping beach bars and live music venues cranking up the heat up until dawn.
Baan Kai is next door to Baan Tai and is situated only 5km from the vibrant HaadRin beach. It overlooks splendid sunset views of Koh Sumai and is a very popular place to stay with visitors who wish to take advantage of its close proximity to the island’s most intense night scene and full moon parties. Despite neighbouring the island’s most energetic party scene, you can escape the crowds and enjoy a more easy-going vibe in Baan Kai.
Nestled amid lush coconut trees, the pace of life slows down on beautiful white sandy Srithanu, located in the serene north west of the island. Quiet and reflective, it provides a haven for yogis, couples and families, with fewer resorts and places to stay than the south. As it also faces west, don’t miss the magnificent sunsets, which can be gazed at from one of the laid-back beach bars as you sip on a cool drink and sink your toes into the sand. There is a good assortment of restaurants serving international and Thai food to be savoured under star-studded skies, and it is a great all rounder beach for sunbathing, swimming and relaxing. In the adjacent village, Baan Srithanu, you will find a collection of supermarkets, travel agencies, shops, bakeries and restaurants.
Thong Sala is the main port town where most visitors arrive from and it is well connected to the rest of the island. It is a useful stopping place to stayand orientate yourself and to get information about what the rest of the island has to offer. There are numerous useful services in the town including travel agencies, shops, supermarkets and ATMs. One of Thong Sala’s principle attractions is its night food market, a bustling food zoo full of cheap and delicious food stalls.
Haad Chao Phao
Located in the tranquil Srithanu area in the north west of Koh Phangan, Haad Chao Phao is an exquisite place to stay blessed with a floury white swathe of sand fringed by gently swaying coconut trees that face out towards searing sunsets. It attracts divers and snorkelers who come to explore the colourful marine life that lives amongst the reef that sits about 100 metres from the beach. Development has been slow on Haad Chao Phao, so you can still experience some of the beauty that the first island explorers witnessed when they first discovered it.
Unspoilt and pristine, Haad Salad is Koh Phangan best kept secret, a world away from full moon parties and all night revelry. Blissful white sands and crystal clear water offer unbelievable snorkelling and swimming, while the serene atmosphere makes it a perfect place to stay for anyone seeking a slow-paced beach holiday. There is a smattering of restaurants and bars in which to drink a sunset cocktail and enjoy a selection of Thai and international cuisine at a leisurely pace. It is also a good jumping off point to explore the sights of the island including the Wangsai Waterfall, LaemSom Lake, Chinese Temple and Chaloklum village. Should you wish to party, an array of transport options can take you to and from the busier resorts of the south.
Haad Yao (or Long Beach) is a picture-perfect place to stay with a long stretch of immaculatebeach located on the north west of the island. It is considered by many to be Koh Phangan most perfect beach. The area combines remarkable scenery, a coral reef and silky soft sand trimmed by balmy crystalline waters. Less developed than other parts of the island, it is also ideally located to explore interesting sights such as the Wangsai Waterfall, LaemSom Lake, Chinese Temple and Chaloklum village.