Haad Yuan on the island of Koh Phangan is just another example of how there’s much more to the island than the famous Full Moon Parties. Much quieter and with no road, Haad Yuan is a pleasant beach with excellent swimming and a mostly relaxed vibe compared to the busier pace of Haad Rin.
Haad Yuan is a small bay and beach located on the southeast side of Koh Phangan, a sizable island in the Gulf of Thailand. Haad Yuan is 15 minutes by boat just north of Haad Rin -- site of the monthly Full Moon Parties. Haad Thian, a much smaller beach and home to The Sanctuary -- a popular yoga and health resort -- is located just north of Haad Yuan. If scrambling over stairs carved into stone aren’t a problem for you, you can walk between Haad Yuan and Haad Thian in around 20 minutes.
Haad Yuan is navigated entirely on foot; there is no road. With wooden walkways perched on rocks at each end of the beach, lots of magical views and secret little spots await. The northern end of Haad Yuan is the busiest, with a system of rocks and wooden walkways that lead to popular spots on the way to Haad Thian.
Things to Know About Haad Yuan
- Prices for water, beer, and other items are slightly higher in Haad Yuan than in Haad Rin. Bring what you need with you to the beach. A couple of small minimarts in Haad Yuan stock some basic beach necessities.
- There are no ATMs in Haad Yuan or Haad Thien. Credit cards are rarely useful -- bring lots of cash!
- Reliable Wi-Fi is difficult to find in Haad Yuan. Some resorts offer paid options. AIS has better phone reception than other phone carriers.
- Although Haad Yuan is removed from much of the party scene found in Haad Rin, it isn’t entirely quiet. People flock to Eden for weekly thumping electronic-music parties.
- The longtail speedboats to Haad Yuan can be a rough ride on choppy seas. Be prepared to get a little wet! There is no pier, so you’ll be in knee-deep water when getting in and out of the boats.
Accommodation in Haad Yuan, Thailand
Haad Yuan is small and fills up quickly during Thailand’s peak season (between November and April) -- particularly in the months between December and March. Paying for a taxi boat only to drag your luggage around and find out that there are no rooms left in Haad Yuan isn’t fun at all!
Many bungalow operations in Haad Yuan are so busy that they don’t even accept reservations in advance during the busy season. You’ll simply have to turn up and see what’s available. Making a few phone calls from Haad Rin before going over is the best way to ensure that you’ll find a room. Some accommodation options to look up are Bamboo Hut, Big Blue, and Barcelona Resort. Options in Haad Thian include The Sanctuary, Love Lip Bungalows, and Spice. Prices fluctuate widely based on demand.
Eating and Drinking in Haad Yuan
Perched on the rocks between Haad Yuan and Haad Thian, you’ll find Bamboo Hut -- a popular bungalow operation with an excellent restaurant. Along with great views of the beach and generous food portions, Bamboo Hut has a slow-yet-reliable Wi-Fi hotspot -- one of the few on the beach.
Many people visiting Haad Yuan make the trek over the rocks to eat at The Sanctuary’s excellent beach restaurant. The bar Eden, located on the rocks beyond Bamboo, is the place to party with weekly electronic-music parties. When nothing is happening in Eden, you’ll find a couple reggae bars and other chilled-out watering holes in Haad Yuan.
Getting to Haad Yuan on Koh Phangan
- Get to Koh Phangan: For starters, you’ll have to get yourself to the island of Koh Phangan. Flights can be booked to Surat Thani (airport code: URT), or even better, fly to the neighboring island of Koh Samui (airport code: USM). Boats run from near the airport directly to Haad Rin beach, the beach nearest to Haad Yuan. See how to get to the island from Chiang Mai.
- By Road: There is a road across the island to both Haad Yuan and Haad Thian, although it’s a bumpy, winding affair. The road sometimes becomes too rutted and washed out during the rainy season. Ask in Tong Sala -- the port town -- about a songthaew or private taxi to Haad Yuan; they may or may not be available.
- By Boat: The most popular way to reach Haad Yuan is by speedboat from Haad Rin -- the busiest beach on Koh Phangan. Start by taking a songthaew truck from Thong Sala to Haad Rin. Prices are fixed at 100 baht one way; ask for the ‘sunrise beach’ in Haad Rin. Walk out onto the beach and you’ll probably be immediately approached by taxi boatmen. You’ll need to wade out a little to board the boat; plan to get wet. Boat prices were increased in 2015 and are fixed at 300 baht to both Haad Yuan and Haad Thian.
Tip: If you’re bound for The Sanctuary, ask for Haad Thian instead. The path between Haad Yuan and Haad Thien is tricky to navigate with luggage. For the same price, you can be dropped directly at The Sanctuary.