Nov 02 2013
Sometimes when you’re travelling, you just want a meal on your own — you want the freedom of choosing your own ingredients, putting it all together and savouring it in the lovely setting of your choice. The key to a good picnic can be finding just the right spot (well, good food and company help too, but that’s up to you). So we’ve put together a list of Ko Pha Ngan’s best spots for a picnic, from waterfalls, to beaches, and, well, more beaches.
Also known as Leela Beach, Haad Saikantang is ultra-popular with travellers in the know — it’s just right for those who wish to be close to the fun of Haad Rin, but who don’t want to stay on the overcrowded beach. Haad Saikantang is a beautiful, serene beach just 10 minutes’ walk from Haad Rin. Walk to the far end of the beach, and you’ll see a wooden walkway along the rocks. Follow it along until you find a wooden pavilion that must have been made with picnics in mind. The view is of the entire beach, and miles upon miles of ocean. This is our pick for the best picnic spot on all of Ko Pha Ngan.
Haad Son is home to a rocky cliff area that’s flat on top, which a nearby hotel has cleverly done up with huge hammocks and a thatched roof, giving it a perfect holiday allure. If the tide is high enough (please double check!), it’s possible to jump off the cliff into the crystal waters below. On dry land, this is another idyllic picnic spot. Be sure to order drinks from the bar across the bridge to keep them happy with you enjoying yourself on what is probably (though it’s not clear) their property.
This beach is located in Ao Chaloklum, in the northern part of the island. It’s a wide stretch of private beach with its own bay that looks out onto Chaloklum’s harbour. Rumour has it that the soft white sand is imported; possibly they also brought with them the sand flies, which can be hardly noticeable, but can also leave nasty bites that last for a week. Spray yourself well with repellent first! Here, it’s not necessary to bring your own food — there is a Thai restaurant on-site where you can buy dishes and eat them anywhere on the beach, and drinks are available in abundance. This is a great place to spend an afternoon.
If you’d like to try something different, head to one of Ko Pha Ngan’s many waterfalls with your picnic basket. Phaeng waterfall in the island’s centre is one of the most popular off-beach hangout spots. It’s a bit of a hike to get to, but a fantastic venue for enjoying a meal, in between dips in the cool, fresh water.
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