Koh Phangan island offers plenty of beaches all around. It is difficult to just pick THE most beautiful beach because they are so many choices. We counted up to 35 beaches and have divided them by area in Koh Phangan along with our favorite beaches to give you some insight… You can also read our tips within each beach to find YOUR perfect beach.
Some beaches are most busy than others but most are easy to access if you rent a scooter or grab a taxi.
Let us be your guide to explore the best beaches in Koh Phangan with our selection of our 10 Favorite beaches in Koh Phangan!
Our favorite beaches:
1. Thong Nai Pan Yai
So let’s start at the East of Koh Phangan, where you can find the village of Thong Nai Pan along with its two beaches. Our favorite beach in the East of the island is Thong Nai Pan Yai. Although its sister Thong Nai Pan Noi is smaller, there are many luxury resorts there and tends to get quite busy. On the other hand, Thong Nai Pan Yai is usually very empty and you’ll be able to have the whole beach nearly for yourself. The sand is white and very thin and smooth and the water is very shallow and calm. If you’re looking for a beach to take a quiet bath and cool off, this is the perfect spot to relax. Swimming is also possible if you go out a few meters.
2. Haad Thong Reng
We couldn’t resist to pick a second favorite on this side of the island, as Haad Thong Reng is such a beautiful beach too that it deserved its place as our top choice. Haad Thong Reng is hidden in a small secluded bay which will require a little exploration to access. This is one of the reasons we love this beach as it is a secret so well kept, the beach is almost always empty and there are almost no visitors at all. To find it you will need to walk cross the bridge at the end of Haad Than Sadet before climbing between the bungalows onto the rocks to find the beach on the other side.
The other reason why we like Haad Thong Reng is because of its picturesque tropical look made of white sand and beautiful granite rock and crystal clear water. There used to be drinks and food available there, but the bungalows shut down and you’ll need to bring your own if you want anything to eat or drink there.
All beaches in the East of Koh Phangan:
Our favorite beaches:
6. Haad Son
The West also has a lot of gorgeous beaches and makes it really hard to pick one.
Without a doubt, Haad Son is part of the favorites, which you may have heard under the name of the mysterious Secret Beach. There are many resorts why Secret Beach is one of the best beaches in Koh Phangan. The beach is very small and intimate, with transparent water and white, soft and extremely thin sand. If you go out a few meters you can swim and explore one of the best spots to snorkel in Koh Phangan.
Indeed, around the Koh Raham bar, part of the stunning Haad Son Resort, you’ll find all kinds of fish at all times as they are usually fed by the staff at the Koh Raham bar and therefore, swim around it.
Don’t expect this beach to be one of the quietest, despite its name, as the secret has been spread out and attracts many visitors during high season.
7. Zen Beach
Zen Beach is one of its kind in Koh Phangan and also one of the most crowded at sunset, for the same reason. But this doesn’t matter, as you don’t go to Zen beach to be by yourself but, on the contrary, to immerse yourself in the special atmosphere brought by the local yogi community.
Soft drum beats, dancers, families, children playing, people doing yoga and meditating all together celebrating the sun going down is what you will find at Chao Phao Beach – Zen Beach. Koh Phangan is known for being a yoga and self development center in Thailand, so Zen beach is a great place for meeting like-minded people if you are interested to join this community.
All beaches in the West of Koh Phangan:
Our favorite beach:
8. Ao Plaaylaem
South of the island, you will find Thong Sala, the “capital” of Koh Phangan.
Here you will find long sandy beaches stretching along the coast like Ao Bang Charu which is ideal for families as the water is extremely shallow all around. Water sports lovers will also enjoy the very good conditions here to do some Kite flip, kayak, jet ski or paddle-board.
Our favorite around the Southwest area of Koh Phangan is Ao Plaaylaem at the base of Khao Hin Nok. It is granite mountain that dominates and shapes the landscape and makes this beach just picturesque. The view from this beach is therefore dreamlike with a privileged view over Angthong National Marine Park.
All beaches in the South West of Koh Phangan:
Our favorite beaches:
9. Leela Beach
Finally, if you are exploring the South East of Koh Phangan, here also the choice is large. We selected two favorites there.
Our first choice goes to Haad Seekantang, better know as Leela Beach, located in the village of Haad Rin. It is named after the Leela Beach Resort as it is exactly where you’ll find it.
The beach is pretty empty and has one of the finest and whitest sands you can find on the island. It is not too big and has a few resorts and bungalows, but it is still one of the secret spots to hang around. The water is very shallow but very clear and still and is perfect is you want to sit and relax while enjoying a beautiful view of Koh Samui.
10. Haad Rin Nok
Our second favorite beach is Haad Rin Nok. There are two Haad Rin beaches, the Sunset Beach (also called Hat Rin Nai) to the south and the larger Sunrise Beach (Hat Rin Nok) to the north. Spelling can vary but you will recognize Haad Rin Nok as the Full Moon Beach since it is the beach where more than 10,000 tourists come to dance one a month during the Full Moon.
Because of this, Haad Rin beach is often referred to as being really dirty and full of rubbish. It is a pity as outside of those 24 hours once a month, this beach is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Indeed, the cleaning of the beach starts as soon as the party is over, early in the morning, and is back to normal in a few hours.
The sand is probably the whitest and finest sand you can actually find on Koh Phangan and the beach attracts some of the best beach volleyball players around the world for training and tournaments!
So don’t listen to everything you hear as this beach is undeniably worth a visit.