A basic backpacker haven
While it is a bit cheeky calling this place a resort, Mae Haad Beach View presents solid backpacker bungalows on a better stretch of Mae Haad's main beach.
The brown (they looked freshly painted to us) rattan, wood and bamboo bungalows have deep blue edgings that are carried through to very clean and well designed (and blue) smoothly finished concrete hot water bathrooms that are a step above the standard of bathrooms you typically see at this pricepoint on Ko Pha Ngan. The bungalows are in a well shady row, running along to the north of the restaurant, just behind a small depression that fills with water after heavy rain (there is a wobbly little bridge for these times) but it was bone dry when we visited.
The restaurant is a bit of a threadbare, low atmosphere affair compared to some bungalows operations that put more (well, any) effort into it, and it is only here that the supplied WiFi works. The beach out front though is very good – fine white sand that is far enough from the sandbar out to Ko Ma that it never gets too busy and at high tide you can snorkel straight out to the reef. At low tide however, it is rocky and not at all appealing – you'll need to walk up towards Ko Ma to get wet.
When we asked after a business card or telephone number, staff told us to refer to their listing on Booking.com – as we were given no other contact details, we suggest you do the same. If they're full, Mae Haad Cove is just a little further south, nestled against the headland and offers similar backpacker fare. A further backpacker option is over on the other side of the beach, where, while there is unfortunately no decent beach at all, Royal Orchid Resort offers simple fan bungalows from just 300 baht.
Families, and those looking for more creature comforts, should angle for nearby Wangsai Resort which is set by the parking area or the upmarket Mae Haad Bay Resort which is a fully fledged resort with a swimming pool. The popular Island View Cabana was being completely rebuilt, also into something more upmarket when we passed through in mid 2016.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 24th October, 2016.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.