Had Yao or Haad Salad, Koh Phangan
It is the recommendation of most guide books (and us too!) that for a stay on Koh Phangan visitors stay to the northwest of the island were the beaches are the best and is a good base to explore. The beaches to the south are less stunning and are starting to get over developed with the expansion of mass tourism. The beaches to the north of Koh Phangan are equally stunning as the north-western coast but are connected to the south by badly rutted dirt roads which climb through the interior of the island.
Why Had Yao or Haad Salad
The north western beaches are stunning and are connected by good tarmac roads. These roads are suitable for all levels of scooter drivers and have regular taxi bus services connecting to the port and main town of Thong Sala. All of the beach resorts to the north west of Koh Phangan still maintain the remote backpack vibe which is being rapidly lost throughout Thailand, with palm fringed beaches and relaxed beach bars to hang out during the night.
There are two main beach resorts to the north western side of Koh Phangan Had Yao or Haad Salad both fantastic destinations but aimed (ever so slightly) at different style of travellers so let us here guide you to the best beach for your stay at Koh Phangan. There are two main beach resorts to the north western side of Koh Phangan Hat Yao or Haad Salad both fantastic destinations but aimed (ever so slightly) at different style of travellers so let us here guide you to the best beach for your stay at Koh Phangan.
Had Yao or Haad Salad?
Haad Salad (Pirate Beach) is further to the north, slightly smaller and is less developed. Hat Yao is a much larger beach with better facilities and a slightly higher standard of accommodation. Both of these beaches are very close to each other and can be easily walked by following the main road which climbs a couple of steep hills. Hat Yao is 11km north from Thong Sala while Haad Salad is 12km.
The main draw of Haad Salad beach is that the beach is close to the islands main coral reef which encircles the northern and eastern sides of Koh Phangan. This combined with the reduced infrastructure and relaxed atmosphere makes the beach idea for those who want to discover a remote paradise but who are willing to sacrifice amenities.
Had Yao is the opposite to Haad Salad; if you need a swimming pool near the sea, slight better accommodation or travelling as a family this is the resort for you. Had Yao still has the paradise appeal but just is a touch softer for those with less travel experience or high expectations. The hotels along the beach provide 4 star luxury without the price tag of many larger and popular resorts. There is no coral reef at Had Yao and marine life is less than at Haad Salad.