North Coast Beaches

The north of Koh Phangan has numerous rocky outcrops and some coral reefs great for snorkeling. There are two main beaches in the north of Koh Phangan. They are Chaloklum and Bottle Beach. To the west of Chaloklum there are the small beaches of Haad Thong Lang and Mae Haad. The later is famous because it is the access point for Koh Phangan’s only marine park, Koh Ma

Chaloklum


Chaloklum is the biggest bay in the north. It is also the principal village in the area and the centre for the squid fishing industry on the island. It makes for a pleasant 30 minutes walking around Chaloklum Village checking out the bars, restaurants, shops and traditional wooden fisherman’s houses. These houses are built in a Chinese style and are similar to those found in Bophut on the neighbouring island of Koh Samui. The village of Chaloklum provides an intriguing blend of working fishing village and tourist centre. These two elements marry excellently on the beachfront where there is the appropriately called Seafood Village. This consists of 4 restaurants on stilts. They serve freshly caught seafood cooked either simply or to Thai recipes.

The beach at Chaloklum is 2.5 km long. In the centre is the fishing boat pier. Here you will find a colorful array of longtail boats as well as dive boats. For those looking for swimming spots, either side of the pier there is clean white sand and ideal swimming conditions. The water gets deep fairly quickly and there isn’t any coral off shore to worry about.

The most spectacular part of Chaloklum beach is to the east of the pier. A river debouches into the sea and has created a sand bank where the beach is cut in two. This is commonly known as Malibu beach. It is a beautiful spot with perfect white sand and stunning views over the ocean.

Just prior to the rainy season in September the wind picks up in Chaloklum. At this time the long bay has ideal conditions for the popular sport of kite boarding.

There are plenty of backpacker places to stay in Chaloklum both on the beach and set back in the village and the surrounding area. We recommend Chaloklum Bay Resort, the boutique Mandalai Hotel and Malibu Bungalows.

Haad Khom


On the headland to the east of Chaloklum beach is a small beach called Haad Khom. It is accessed via a path through a forest starting from the main road in Chaloklum. This path is rough and only suitable for 4 wheel drives and off-road bikes.

Haad Khom is one of the hidden gems in Koh Phangan. It is a beautiful beach that time seems to have forgotten. It has a few low key bungalow resorts with basic accommodation. These are set up for backpackers looking for the old Koh Phangan. Rents can be as little as 400 Thai Baht a day. It is possible to strike up monthly deals for bungalows in Haad Khom.

The beach is off the electricity grid and so the resorts use generators. This makes Haad Khom ideal for those seeking perfect peace and quiet. There are no all-night parties here; and nightlife consists mostly of star gazing.

There is a stretch of coral reef just off Haad Khom that you can swim out to and enjoy snorkeling. Because of the reef Haad Khom is better for swimming during the higher tidal months from December to April.

Haad Khom is one of the few remaining ‘hippy’ beaches left in Koh Phangan, an unashamed throw back to the past and an excellent option for those who just want a cheap bungalow on the beach.

Haad Thong Lang


To the west of Chaloklum beach on the other side of the headland is a small beach called Haad Thong Lang. The name of the beach translates as “Golden Deserted Beach”. This is an apt name as Haad Thong Lang has no accommodation for rent on the beach. A few people live there on and off, but otherwise this small, white sand beach is deserted. You won’t find any shops here so bring your own supplies.

Haad Thong Lang is a picturesque beach with a coral reef just off the coast. It is a shallow reef and good for snorkeling. Swimming is best during the higher tidal months.

This beach is accessed via the main road going between Chaloklum and Mae Haad. The road gets gradually worse and the last part you have to do on foot.

For those looking for a Robinson Crusoe experience, truly cut off from ‘civilization’, Haad Thong Lang is a good option. However, remember that although beaches are technically common land in Thailand, the land adjacent to the beach is not. Ask around before you set up camp and don’t create litter.

Alternatively you can stay at Dee Dee Villa Retreat at the top of the hill. It consists of 2 villas that you can rent either separately or together. There is a communal pool and kitchen.

Mae Haad


Mae Haad is the just west of Haad Thong Lang. It is reached by a road that will take all types of vehicle although caution should be taken on the sharp bends. Mae Haad is noteworthy as it is the beach next to Koh Phangan’s only protected Marine Park called Koh Ma.

Koh Ma is a small island just off the coast that is joined to the mainland by a sandbank. During low tide the sandbank is exposed creating a double beach similar to Nag Yuan in Koh Tao.

Mae Haad is a stunning spot and well worth a visit. You can rent out snorkeling equipment cheaply from Island View Cabana Resort that has a restaurant on the beach. Once you have your equipment walk down the beach until you see a spot where the rocks have been cleared. This is the spot to swim out to the coral reefs.

You can spot all manner of marine life including damselfish, parrot fish and if you are lucky turtles. The reef is about 25 meters off-shore.

Despite being the best snorkeling spot on the island, Mae Haad and Koh Ma are normally quiet places with few visitors. Tour boats arrive in the afternoon, but soon head off. If you want to enjoy a spectacular beach setting and see the local marine fauna Mae Haad is recommended.

If you want to stay in Mae Haad we suggest Koh Ma Beach Resort or Mae Haad Bay Resort

READ MORE: MAE HAAD GUIDE

Bottle Beach


Bottle Beach, or as it is called in Thai ‘Haad Khuad’, gets its name because it is shaped like a bottle. This beach is the stuff of travelers’ legends. In the 80s and early 90s backpackers flocked here to enjoy the gorgeous remote beach and smoke away. It’s a place that is hard to leave, and as a consequence people used to stay here for months at a time.

Until 2004 Bottle Beach was only accessible by longtail boat from Thong Nai Pan or Chaloklum. The alternative was a 30-minute trek through the jungle to the main road. Now there is a rough road heading south from the beach over the headland to Thong Nai Pan Noi. Over the next few years the plan is to improve the road and make Bottle Beach part of an island circular road.

Many of the original basic wooden bungalows on Bottle Beach have been replaced by concrete huts with air-con and hot water showers. Bottle Beach 1, Bottle Beach 2, Haad Khuad Resort and Smile Bungalow all have bungalows on the beach. We recommend Haad Khuat Resort and Bottle Beach 1. Both have comfortable and spacious huts on the beach. For those looking for a bit of luxury, Bottle Beach 1 has a swimming pool.

Bottle Beach still has a relaxed vibe. It attracts families, backpackers and flashpackers. There are a few restaurants and bars on the beach but it remains an idyllic spot without a nightlife scene.

The sand is particularly fine at Bottle Beach. The beach is flanked by rocks and the sea gets deep fairly quickly making it good for swimming. There isn’t a coral reef off the coast and so Bottle Beach is ideal for year round swimming. You can spot a few small fish in the sea. For those who love beaches set in a pristine natural environment Bottle Beach is hard to beat.

READ MORE: BOTTLE BEACH GUIDE

Hotels in North of Koh Phangan

Bottle Beach

Budget

Haad Khuat Resort
Haad Khuad Resort 1 star from 400 THB
Traditional beach bungalows and hotel style rooms. Popular resort

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Bottle Beach Resort 1
Bottle Beach 1 Resort 2 star from 700 THB
Family friendly resort with bungalows and pool

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Smile Bungalows
Smile Bungalows 1 star from 380 THB
Basic bungalows on the beach. Friendly staff

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Chaloklum

Budget


Wattana Resort from 2 stars 400 THB
Comfortable beachfront bungalows with restaurant

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Mid Range

Viva on the Beach
Viva on the Beach Hotel from 2 stars 500 THB
Italian owned hotel in the village. Has a guest gym.

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Malibu Beach Bungalows
Malibu Beach Bungalows from 2 stars 1000 THB
Traditional bungalows and best beachfront location

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Buri Tara
Buri Tara Resort and Spa from 3 stars 1,400 THB
Family friendly resort with pool and restaurant

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Mandalai Hotel 3 stars from 2250 THB
Modern boutique hotel with pool in open courtyard

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Chaloklum Bay Resort
Chaloklum Bay Resort 3 stars from 1,800 THB
Well run resort with 30 villas in a garden next to the beach

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Haad Khom

Budget

Coconut Beach Bungalows
Coconut Beach and Garden Bungalows from 300 1 star THB
Newly built spacious bungalows. Resort has restaurant

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Ocean View Resort
Ocean View Resort 1 star from 550 THB
Good range of stylish bungalows with beachfront restaurant

NO ONLINE BOOKING

Haad Thong Lang

Mid Range

Phangan Utopia Resort
Phangan Utopia Resort 3 stars from 990 THB
Friendly hill top resort with good quality bungalows, pool and restaurant

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Mae Haad

Mid Range

Mae Haad Bay Resort
Mae Haad Bay Resort 4 star from 2,300 THB
Big resort with rooms and villas and plenty of facilities

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Island View Cabana
Koh Ma Beach Resort 2 star from 300 THB
Great value beachfront bungalows. Recommended budget option

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