Nov 15 2013
If you’re traveling on a tight budget, pool villas don’t tend to make the cut. But on Ko Pha Ngan, plenty of pools are available for outside guest use, so long as you buy a drink or meal in between dips. After all, sometimes the sun gets too much and the tepid sea water doesn’t cool you down enough, right? We’ve rounded up the best free (or almost free) pools on the island so that you can get your swim on, hassle-free.
The Coast Resort, Haad Rin
This lovely high-end Haad Rin resort has a stunning rectangle pool fringed with modern, plush pool loungers lined up on the deck beside it. Non-hotel guests can use the pool free of charge — even without buying a drink or food (though of course, it’s encouraged) and may even use the loungers if it’s not around Full Moon period. During Full Moon, loungers are restricted to hotel guests’ use only, but non-hotel guests may still use the bean bags.
The Beach Village
This large, fun, free-form pool is an ideal place to have some pool fun, frolicking with friends, or making new ones. Non-hotel guests may use it if they purchase a drink, and be warned that there are some great happy hour deals at Tiki Bar. The pool stays open until midnight or even later if there’s a party going on, so you can come early and stay late.
Sea Garden II, Haad Chao Pao
Located beside one of Ko Pha Ngan’s best viewpoints, Sea Garden II has a no-nonsense deal when it comes to using their pool. The deal is simple and displayed on a large sign leaning against the poolside bar: either pay 200 baht or purchase food and/or drink worth 150 baht to enjoy a relaxing swim (kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?). The poolside area has many comfortable loungers, and you’ll never be kicked out so long as you abide by their rules. Plus, it’s got a great view.
Salad Buri, Haad Salad
This one is a bit of an insider secret, so we’re kind of letting the cat out the bag here, and we hope we don’t regret it! At the far south end of Haad Salad beach, Salad Buri’s three-level pool is surrounded by sun loungers, with a restaurant to the left. Pick a lounger and order a drink or some food, don’t ask questions, and jump in the pool. There is technically a 200 baht pool usage fee, but we’ve found that so long as you order drinks and don’t cause problems, they’ll look the other way.
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