Ko Pha Ngan is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Pha Ngan as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Pha Ngan’s different areas.
Ko Ma and Mae Haad Snorkelling is a big draw at here with the lovely corals and abundant sea life to the west of Ko Ma, and swimming is another popular choice, especially during high tide.
The long beach is good for sunbathing and just hanging out as well. For a break from the standard beach activities, Wang Sai Waterfall offers a short hike and escape into nature. Located about 300 metres off the road as you enter town, the waterfall is very easily accessed by foot and doesn't require much of in the way of climbing, though rock hopping is optional. The waterfall mostly slows to a trickle in drier months but the short journey amidst good tree cover is a nice escape from the sun.
The snorkelling here is among the best on Ko Pha Ngan. Equipment is lent for free at some setups and rented out at others for 50-100B/day. Sunbathing and swimming, especially during higher tides, are popular as well on this long beach with its soft sand and gradually descending sea floor. Fishing trips can be arranged at Hope Bungalow for 150B/hour and day trips can be arranged as well departing at 10:00 and returning at 16:00 for 500B/person. For a change of pace, The Yoga Retreat (http://www.yogaretreat-kohphangan.com) offers daily classes or five- and ten-day retreats. The Retreat is located on the main road just north of the Haad Salad turnoff. Practices include Hatha Yoga, chakra healing, Pilates and the Alexander Technique. Courses are offered multiple times daily for 250B per session (special rates apply for retreat participants) to relax, develop flexibility and strength and improve general health and well-being.
Considered by many to be the perfect beach, it follows that Haad Yao is a great place for most beach activities. The beach offers over a kilometre of soft white sand to lay out, so there's room for everyone to improve their tan -- or worsen their burn. The sea floor is mostly soft and sandy and descends very gradually making it a fine swimming spot for the whole family, though the water retreats nearly to the reef during most of the day from May to July. The coral reef not too far out is popular and easily reached for snorkelling. Haad Yao Divers (http://www.haadyaodivers.com) is based on the beach and provides PADI certified scuba training and recreational diving.
Most time here is spent sunbathing and swimming in the clear, relatively deep water. Snorkelling opportunities abound as well with the reef just 100 metres or so off the beach providing a plethora of fish and many varieties of coral. Swinging in a hammock with a book is another great way to unwind amidst the tranquility of this lovely location.
The wide sandy beach lends itself to sunbathing and beach volleyball, and the sea to the north is clear and good for swimming. The southern end gets rocky and shallow, and the central fishing boat anchorage makes the water murky and nasty toward the middle. The beach juts out into the sea more than most, bringing it closer to the nearby coral reef for fine snorkelling.
Lounging in the sun or swinging in a hammock seem to be the most popular activities in these parts. The beach is a little rocky in areas, but the water is deep enough for decent swimming at high tide. The reef is too far offshore to make this a good snorkelling spot, so head up to Ao Seethanu or anywhere north for much better conditions. Cookies Bungalow rents out windsurfing gear and small sailboats for about 300B/hour, a fun and exciting way to get out on the water if you get tired of taking it easy.
Ao Wok Tum
Wok Tum and Hinkhong do not offer the best swimming or snorkelling conditions with shallow water and the reef a good distance offshore. Long stretches of mostly soft sand are best suited to sunbathing and leisurely strolls and lots of hanging out. You'll have to head to nearby Thong Sala to see much action or up north to any number of good snorkelling beaches. This place is good for unwinding and taking it easy.
Last updated on 2nd July, 2007.