Haad Salad Koh Phangan
Haad Salad Koh Phangan is located on the north west coast of the island, between Mae Haad to its north, and Haad Thian to its south. It takes about 20 minutes by taxi or motorbike to reach Haad Salad from the main ferry port of Thongsala. Haad Salad Koh Phangan in Thai basically means ‘pirate beach’. This is because years ago the sheltered cove with its shallow coral reefs was inaccessible by the Thai Navy, making an excellent hide away for smugglers. Nowadays the beautiful bay of Haad Salad is no longer used by pirates of course, just many visitors looking for a slice of paradise.
Today, bungalows and resorts line the full length of the beach and the surrounding hills, but it is still one of the most peaceful parts of Koh Phangan. Some resorts here still cater to backpackers, with basic rooms equipped with hammocks and mosquito nets, but there are also a few resorts offering a more luxurious stay. The breathtaking Salad Buri Resort on the southern end of Haad Salad Beach has luxurious bungalows that have a contemporary style with a traditional Thai twist. The spacious rooms are the ultimate in opulence, with balconies overlooking lush tropical gardens and some of the best panoramic views of Haad Salad. Waiters at the restaurant will bring you your cocktail poolside. The poolside loungers are some of the most popular on the beach, so get there early to stake your claim. The restaurant within Salad Buri resort serves good quality Western and Thai food, with a barbecue every evening right on the beach.
Food & Drink
There are a good selection of bars and restaurants in Haad Salad village and on the beach itself. Both Thai and Western cuisine is available here and the prices are good value. Expect to pay a minimum of 100 THB for a Thai dish, and around 350 THB for a BBQ at any of the beach front restaurants. Most of the resorts restaurants also offer buffet style seafood BBQ’s during the evening time. If you’re looking for really low cost Thai cuisine though, then walk just outside the village and to the main road where you will find a couple of small Thai restaurants. Dishes here are much cheaper, around 50 THB to 100 THB per dish.
Haad Salad is home is a few small reggae bars, which all offer live music on specific nights of the week. There are no parties in Haad Salad, it’s more of a laid back beach resort area, than a party beach. The resort and beach bars here are all about relaxing, watching the amazing sunsets with a colourful cocktail or cool beer in hand.
Amenities & Activities
Within the village area there are small convenience stores selling a range of products, from fresh fruit, alcohol, snacks, clothing and beach accessories. Although these shops can be a little pricier compared to the ones in Thongsala. The nearest 7-Eleven is in Haad Yao, about 5 minutes away by motorbike. Travel agencies, a doctors surgery, dive shops and plenty of motorbike hire shops can also be found here. Haad Salad Koh Phangan is one of the most famous resort areas on the island. The soft white sandy beach and turquoise clear waters really do make for a relaxing paradise location. If lying on the beach isn’t quite relaxing enough for you, head to one of the many massage parlours that line the beach. They all offer a good range of massage services and treatments, with great value prices. A Thai or oil massage will only cost you 300 THB.
Haad Salad Koh Phangan offers some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities on the island. The coral reef is just off the beach and is full of colourful fish and marine life. There’s a mixture of hard and soft corals here with huge shoals of fish, including groupers, butterfly and damsel fish. Snorkelling equipment can be rented from some of the resorts and dive shops for around 150 THB per day. For those looking to learn scuba diving or to do a few easy fun dives, then Haad Salad is ideal. As with all the dive shops on Koh Phangan, courses and dive packages are excellent value. Swimming is good here during high tide and ideal for small children to paddle during low tide. The sea is normally flat most of the year, with the exception of monsoon season. kayaking is a popular activity here and a great way to explore the bay and see Haad Salad from a different perspective. Kayaks can be rented by the hour or day from a few resorts along the beach. Prices are around 150 THB per hour.