Haad Yao, Koh Phangan
Haad Yao is a beautiful wide bay of white sands leading into a calm turquoise sea on the north western side of Koh Phangan. Hat Yao beach is considered as one of the main resort towns on this side of the island but this is very hard to believe while sat on the palm tree fringed beach with almost the entire beach to yourself. Hat Yao beach is a good choice of location to be based in while staying on Koh Phangan. The bay perfectly blends good low-key facilities with a stunning location and is far enough away from all the nonsense and hedonistic attitudes of Haad Rin.
Haad Yao, Koh Phangan Overview
Haad Yao translated into English means Long Beach and this is a very good description of Haad Yao bay. The white coral sands stretch for 1km, making it one of the longest beaches on Koh Phangan and even in the height of season the beach never feels crowded. Much of the town is situated along the main road that is approximately 500m behind the beach. Along this road are many of Haad Yao’s shops (scooter hire, internet, food markets) and facilities but do not be expecting supermarkets as everything here is very low key.
Hotel development has been slow and in keeping with the bays natural beauty, along the beach no resort or hut complex is higher than one story and even the larger developments at the north end are hidden by palm trees. This lack of development may change over the next few years as good tarmac roads now connect the region to Thong Sala, Koh Phangan principle town.
Haad Yao Tourist Guide
The only disappointment with Haad Yao is that the seawater’s contain minimal marine life and there are no coral ecosystems within safe swimming distance. The tides, waves and currents are very calm during the tourist season and the sea is suitable for all ability of swimmers. To experience the fantastic marine life contained within the Gulf of Thailand either join an organised diving tour to Sail Rock or snorkeling tour to Koh Tao, each of which can be booked from tour agents in the bay area.
Where Haad Yao does excel at is in the variety and ambience of the beach bars and restaurants which are dotted along the sea front. Many of these restaurants are associated with the hotel complexes and produce some of the best food found on the island. As Haad Yao is increasing aiming for the more upmarket travellers two of the hotels have good swimming pools which can be used by visitors who are purchasing food/drinks. The best pool is at the northern edge of the beach at the Bay View Resort (which is also a great hotel complex).