Can I Drive to Bottle Beach?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. In 2002 the rough trail between Thong Nai Pan and Bottle Beach was expanded to make car access possible. However, the road between Thong Nai Pan and Bottle Beach remains one of the worst on the island.

The road is not paved and includes a steep hill. The road also goes through a stretch of jungle that can get waterlogged after heavy rain. You will definitely need a four wheel drive vehicle to successfully drive to Bottle Beach. It is possible to rent an Isuzu 4 x 4 in Thongsala for about 1,700 Thai Baht a day that can handle the road.

As mentioned, the road is very rough and probably should not be attempted by someone not used to driving on dirt tracks in Thailand. Moreover, damaging a rental vehicle in Koh Phangan can be very costly as a passport is held by the vendor and not returned until the vendor gets the asked for damage payment.

The same is true of motorbike rental in Koh Phangan. On a fine day with dry roads you can manage the road on a moped with gears. It is not an easy ride and I have encountered people on rented bikes ‘stuck’ as they cannot get up or down a steep part. The road can bring you out in sweats.

So yes, you can drive to Bottle Beach, but why bother? Better to use a taxi. The Thais that drive the Bottle Beach Road are familiar with every pothole on the road and will get you there safely. The taxi only costs a few hundred Thai Baht per person. It might be more than bike rental but why give yourself the stress?

Video

The excellent video below shows someone driving from Bottle Beach to the point where the road comes out on the main Baan Tai to Thong Nai Pan Road. You can clearly see the large cracks in the road, the puddles and the steep twisting road. Nikolai’s message is: “With Good 4WD Car you can do it!”

Resources

For more about the road check out http://www.thongnaipan-magazine.com/roadtobottlebeach.html