A few things you can do

Watersports

  • Diving and snorkeling - plenty of coral to explore
  • Fishing - deep sea fishing trips
  • Kayaking - explore the bay by kayak

Land sports

  • Beach volleyball - a game most afternoons
  • Hiking - plenty of places to walk to
  • Mountain bike - on road and off-road trails

Explore

  • Beaches - Haad Thian, Haad Gruad & Haad Son
  • Waterfall - check out Wangsai waterfall
  • Chaloklum - fishing village
  • Chinese Temple - temple with a great view
  • Laem Son Lake - biggest lake in Koh Phangan
  • Thongsala - great for shopping and cheap eats

 

Mountain Biking

Funbike shop - www.funbikeshop.sitew.com
Telephone: +66 (0) 870 498 314

Dive Shops

Haad Yao Divers
Reefers Dive Resort

Yoga

Haad Yao Lounge Fitness and Sauna
Agama Yoga

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding Asia in Bantai

    Mae Haad

    Mae Haad

    Khao Ra

    Long Bay Resort

    Kiteboarding

    seafood BBQ

    Mountain Biking

Watersports

Diving and Snorkeling

Haad Yao is blessed with a long coral reef just 400 meters off the coast. There is a good variety of corals to see including table corals, brain corals and barrel sponges. Divers and snorkelers can expect to see porcupine fish, parrot fish, blue spotted rays and fusiliers.

There are several dive shops in Haad Yao. They include Haad Yao Divers, Sail Rock Divers and Reefers Diving. Haad Yao is a great place to learn how to scuba dive or to sign up for a few fun dives. All the schools are certified and pay attention to both safety and the health of the marine environment.

Just north of Haad Yao is Koh Phangan's only marine park. It is called Koh Ma. It is a great spot for snorkeling. The sand bank leading to a small island makes it a beautiful place.

Serious divers will want to visit Sail Rock. It is the only 5 star PADI rated dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. Other notable places to dive and snorkel include Ang Thong National Park and Chumphon Pinnacle. For most people spotting a manta ray or a whale shark is the highlight of a dive trip.

Fishing

Koh Phanganers love fishing. They will be happy to show you the best fishing spots. You can find fishing trips advertised in Haad Yao as well as in the main town of Thongsala. If you go deep sea fishing you might catch a big fish such as a barracuda. This is serious fishing.

Kayaking

Lots of places in Haad Yao hire out kayaks for a few hundred Baht an hour. Haad Yao Bay View Resort have kayaks. Kayaks are fun to explore the bay. Make sure to go at high tide or you will be caught inside the coral reef.

Sailing

Cookies Resort on Ao Plaay Laem near Thongsala has Lazer sailing boats and small catamaran for hire. It is a good chance for sailing enthusiasts to sail around the island. They also have beginners courses in sailing.

Kiteboarding

This exciting new sport that combines flying a kite with surfing can be enjoyed at Kite Boarding Asia center at Bantai. They are a professional set-up with shops over Asia. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the center by taxi from Haad Yao beach. At certain times of the year all the dedicated kiteboarders move to Malibu beach in Chaloklum where the conditions are excellent for the extreme sport.

Landsports

Beach Volleyball

There's no need to leave the beach to enjoy a bit of sport. Haad Yao beach is 1 kilometer long. You can usually find a game of beach volleyball going on in the afternoon. Anyone can join. No equipment required other than sunblock.

Other beach sports

The shops in Haad Yao and nearby Thongsala sell a variety of games for the beach including paddle ball and frisbee. There is sometimes a football game to join too.

Hiking

Before hiking remember to follow these simple rules:

  • Tell somebody where you are going
  • Don't set off late in the afternoon
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Use sun block

The best hiking is to be found 10 minutes away. On the road running from Thongsala to Chaloklum is the start of the trail up Khao Ra, Koh Phangan's highest mountain. Near the start of the trail is the impressive Phaeng Waterfall. You can find guides in Srithanu and Thongsala. Ask at your resort for other walking options. Other hikes include the trails from Haad Khom to Bottle Beach, Haad Rin to Haad Yuan and Thong Nai Pan Yai to Than Sadet.

Mountain Biking

You can rent bikes at Haad Yao bungalows. It is an enjoyable way to explore the neighboring area. You can easily get to Haad Thian and Haad Gruat north of Haad Yao and also Haad Son and Haad Chao Phao south of Haad Yao by mountain bike. The roads are concrete but watch out for the potholes!

For those looking for off-road adventure Koh Phangan now has its own mountain bike club based in Thongsala. Find details in the column on the left.

Explore

Haad Yao makes a good base from which to explore the island. The west coast has lots of sandy beaches to visit. These include Haad Thian West, Haad Gruad, Haad Salad and Haad Mae Haad to the north and Haad Son, Haad Chao Phao, Ao Srithanu and Ao Hing Kong to the south. On the north coast, just 15 minutes away is the fascinating bay of Chaloklum which combines traditional Thai fishing village with backpacker resorts and boutique hotels and bars. Inland you can find waterfalls near the trail head for Khao Ra (Phaeng Waterfall), near Chaloklum (Paradise Waterfall) and inland from Mae Haad (Wang Sai Waterfall).

You can discover more about Koh Phangan culture and history by visiting the Chinese Temple on the Thongsala - Chaloklum road. Wat Phu Khao Noi is 600 years old and is located on the Thongsala - Bantai Road. Wat Pho in Bantai is a beautiful temple that also has a traditional herbal sauna.

The main town on the island is Thongsala. It is about 15 minutes away by taxi or motorbike. Here you will find an interesting night market, a small China town with great hole-in-the-wall eateries and plenty of shops selling souvenirs and useful everyday items.

Just 5 minutes-drive from Haad Yao along the coastal road is Laem Son Lake. It is the largest lake on the island. It is a quiet spot for a picnic and swimming. Many years ago it was the site of a tin mine. The lake is now used by anoutfit with inflatables. There is an inflatable obstacle course and also set-up where by one person jumps on a float and another is launched through the air. The company doing this is called 'wipe-out'.

Big Parties

The biggest draw for Koh Phangan is the monthly Full Moon Party in Haad Rin. Lots of people choose to stay in Haad Yao because it is a better beach than Haad Rin Nai or Nok, and more relaxed. It takes about 30 minutes by taxi to get to Haad Rin from Haad Yao and costs about 200 Thai Baht per person in a shared taxi. The Full Moon Party is the largest regular outdoor party in Asia and a must-do for many people visiting Thailand or South-East Asia.

If you miss the Full Moon Party or just can't wait for the next one there is also the Half Moon Party, the Black Moon Party, the Jungle Experience and the Shiva Moon Party. For a full list of parties in Koh Phangan along with descriptions click here. A word of caution - bad things do ocassionally happen at the parties (at the 2012 Count down party a Brit was shot). Do your best to stay safe - avoid drugs, drink sensibly, don't drink-drive, don't pick fights with locals and avoid dark quiet areas if you are alone.

Wellness

At the opposite end of the spectrum from doing the parties on Koh Phangan is attending a wellness session. Haad Yao has a number of places offering Thai massage. The Haad Yao Lounge has a sauna. For those who want to work out Haad Yao Lounge also has plenty of exercise machines including the island's only treadmill. They also run yoga sessions. For those really serious about yoga there is Agama Yoga just down the road at Srithanu and Thongsala.

 

More about Koh Phangan

 
Thong Nai Pan
 
Phangan Accommodation
 
Full Moon Party
 
Sunrise Villa
guide to Thong Nai Pan area
guide to choosing the right room in Koh Phangan
guide to the Full Moon Party
villa for rent in Thong Nai Pan
The beautiful beaches of Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai are rapidly becoming Koh Phangan's most popular holiday destination.
A comprehensive guide to all things to do with Koh Phangan including accommodation, nightlife and travel. Also has a useful blog
The Full Moon Party in Haad Rin is the biggest monthly outdoor party in South-East Asia. It is an experience you will never forget. Read all about the FMP.
Sunrise Villa is a stylish 3 bedroom villa for rent with spectacular seaviews of Thong Nai Pan bay. The villa has air-con, TV, kitchen and internet
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