Isolated shacks on the rocks
If you thought Haad Thian was isolated, take the right spur off the dirt road and follow it until it takes a final steep drop and scratches out to nothing at the parking area for Haad Gruad Beach Bungalows – now this is isolated. With all the development rolling across Ko Pha Ngan, this cute and laid back family-run place has stuck to their guns delivering simple accommodation with a welcoming smile.
As with nearby Haad Thian, a partial seawall protects the resort, but there is enough of the grainy sand beach (for now) open to the sea that the swimming is ok here. Off the beach there are a few palms – including two that hold a colossal swing – some bamboo deck furniture, shade trees and back again still, the simple beach bungalow style restaurant which is open to the elements and great for taking in sunset from.
Rooms come in two styles – wood and bamboo fan-cooled shacks out on the rocks and far more comfortable larger and more solid air-con rooms. The fan rooms are old, bouncy and look like they'd blow away in the next storm, but their location, out of the rocky boulders, reached by a wooden bridge, will appeal to some. If you're comfortable in rustic Ko Pha Ngan beach huts, you'll be comfortable in these. They sleep four, but if there are just two of you you should be able to wangle the rates down a bit.
Also out on the rocks is a wooden sala chill out trapezoidal contraption that immediately brought the computer game Myst to mind. We're not sure what its purpose actually is, but with a few axe pillows and a strung hammock you'd need to drag us out of there.
The location here is isolated and if you plan to be rolling in to Haad Yao or Haad Salad for excursions regularly, you will really want to have your own transport as nothing is a comfortable walking distance from here. On the same beach is Haad Gruad Beach Resort, which starts at around 1,000 baht and may appeal to those looking for more modern lodgings.
The road to Haad Gruad Beach Bungalow is mostly dirt and quite sketchy in parks. Novice motorcyclists should exercise considerable care, especially on the last bit which is very easy to skid on. Overall, if you're good with the isolation, this is a good hideaway.
Address: 58 Moo 8 Haad Kruad, Ko Pha Ngan
T: (081) 621 3631;
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º57'60" E, 9º47'0.33" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
|800 baht||800 baht|
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom||1,200 baht||1,200 baht|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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