Koh Phangan is a beautiful lush island with around 60% protected nature which means that most of the centre of the island is untouched jungle. One of the must things to do on Koh Phangan is exploring the island hikes. Most of the hikes take place in the Than Sadet National Park and vary between medium to heavy hikes. So you got to make sure your fitness level allows you to do these hikes. One thing I can assure you is that you’ll be rewarded for the effort. The end points of the hikes on Koh Phangan are either a beautiful, untouched tropical beach, or an impressive viewpoint. In this complete guide you will find all the information you need for the 6 best Koh Phangan hikes. The things you need to prepare, a clear navigation and what to expect!
6 BEST KOH PHANGAN HIKES
Khao Ra hike Koh Phangan, the highest peak of the island
The Khao Ra hike is the longest and toughest hike of the island as it leads to the highest peak of Koh Phangan. The 1,5 hour hike goes through the jungle of Koh Phangan, along a stream and water reservoir, further up in the mountains until you reach the last part where a bit of climbing is involved. The viewpoint of Khao Ra is beautiful with views on the Northern part of the island and Chaloklum beach. But also on the east side is a huge boulder where you can climb up and see the view from there.
There are two trails leading to the Khao Ra summit, so you can choose to hike a loop. But there’s a bit of climbing and path finding involved when you choose the ‘not obvious’ path which is also not clearly sign posted. So I would only recommend this way back if you have maps.me on your phone so you can navigate yourself through the jungle, and if you have some more serious hiking experience.
The best time to do this hike is in the early morning when it’s not too hot and humid yet. The complete hike up and down can take up to four hours. So make sure to bring enough water with you. Wear proper hike shoes with good grip because there are parts where the ground might be slippery or with loose stones.
How to get to the Khao Ra hike
Drive to the “Khao Raa terrace” where you will see a huge poster of the Khao Ra hike. You can park your motorbike here, pay the entrance fee of 20 Baht per person and start the hike from there. Make sure you have downloaded maps.me on your phone so you will always have a good navigation if you get a bit lost.
Bottle Beach hike
Bottle beach is some of the most hidden and beautiful beaches of Koh Phangan. Located in the North East, there’s only a bumpy dirt road leading to the main beach entrance which makes Bottle Beach less visited. But, luckily there’s a hike going to the beach as well! So if you’re not feeling comfortable enough driving a motorbike down to Bottle Beach, or you’re in for a little day adventure hiking to Bottle Beach, then here’s all you need to know.
For more in depth information, read this complete guide about Bottle Beach
How to hike to Bottle Beach
There are two hike paths leading to Bottle beach, both beginning at the end of the paved road near Haad Khom. The coastline trail is the longest of about 3 kilometres, and the jungle trail is about 2 kilometres long. Both hikes are clearly sign posted, you will see that the coastline trail goes to the left with blue yellow arrow marking. While the jungle trail starts on the right with a blue sign saying “Bottle Beach Walk, Back by Taxi Boat” with a phone number. You might see some plastic bottles attached to tree branches along the way. This is not trash. Well.. actually it is, but it was given a second life to mark the way to Bottle Beach. Which is also the reason why it’s called Bottle Beach!
The biggest difference in trails is that the coastline trail is obviously closer to the sea with some nice viewpoints along the way. But it takes about an hour, to an hour and half longer than the jungle trail where you walk mostly covered in the jungle with less views along the way. Both hikes are free of charge. And don’t worry if you haven’t packed any food. There are four resorts located along the beach with each their own beachside restaurants. So after the hike you can treat yourself with a cold coconut, delicious lunch and a swim in the beautiful waters of Bottle beach.
When you arrive at Bottle Beach, this is the view you’ll see!
Bottle beach viewpoint hike
When you’re arrived at Bottle Beach and still have the energy for a hike up to Bottle Beach viewpoint, then definitely put in the effort to get there! From Bottle Beach, there’s a short hike going up the mountain with stunning views over Bottle Beach and the small bay. It’s a 30 minute moderate jungle trek, but at the end you have to climb a bit over and under boulders to get to the viewpoint. So make sure to wear proper shoes with good grip and bring enough water. This hike is also free of charge and definitely one of the best Koh Phangan viewpoints.
The rock sticking out is Bottle Beach viewpoint.
Can you spot me?
Haad Yuan viewpoint and beach hike
The hike to Haad Yuan beach is definitely some of the nicest hikes in Koh Phangan. It’s a fun goal to hike towards to a beautiful tropical beach where you can take a dip in the crystal clear waters. And along the way you will pass a breathtaking viewpoint where you can enjoy the views and take a break. The Haad Yuan viewpoint is definitely one of our favorite Koh Phangan viewpoints!
The Haad Rin to Haad Yuan trek is in the beginning definitely challenging as it goes pretty steep up the mountain for the first 15 – 20 minutes. But after that the trail remains pretty flat and only goes slightly upwards until the viewpoint. There you can take some rest before you continue to descend again towards the beach.
Haad Yuan beach is a tropical dream beach and is the perfect reward after the strenuous hike. You can dip in the crystal clear sea water, eat something at one of the many restaurants along the beach, or just sit back, relax and enjoy this tropical paradise beach.
If you don’t have the energy to hike all the way back, don’t worry! There are taxi boats going back to Haad Rin beach for around 200 – 300 Baht per person depending on how many persons you’re with.
Read everything in depth about Haad Yuan beach and the Haad Rin to Haad Yuan hike in this blog post
Haad Yuan viewpoint
Haad Yuan beach
Navigation Haad Rin to Haad Yuan trek
The start point of the hike is a bit odd and difficult to find the first time. Along the main road in Haad Rin is a wooden sign pointing towards a dirt road. Close to the big abandoned shopping mall and Nopphon Pharmacy you will see the wooden sign. Follow the dirt road until you see another wooden sign at the start of the hike pointing towards Haad Yuan.
It almost feels as if you’re walking in someones backyard this first part as you walk between some bungalows. But don’t worry because this really is the beginning of the hike! The first 15 – 20 minutes are a steep incline so you will feel your legs burning! But after that part it becomes more flat and you’ll see the viewpoint in about another 20 minutes walking. That’s the perfect spot to relax, hydrate and enjoy the amazing views. From the viewpoint its another 45 minutes hiking more down the hill to Haad Yuan beach. I promise you, it’s 100% worth it to hike further to the beach.
Dom Sila & Phaeng waterfall hike
The hike to Dom Sila viewpoint is just a short trail through the jungle where you will also pass the Phaeng waterfall. A fun hike for every age and in combination with the waterfall and viewpoint enough to see along the way.
But you can also hike a longer loop. Then you will pass more smaller waterfalls and various natural pools where you can take a dip in. Although if you’re short in time or don’t feel like hiking the whole loop, then luckily the trek up to Dom Sila viewpoint isn’t that hard and long. There is some incline, but the path is well maintained and signposted and doesn’t go as steep as other Koh Phangan hikes.
How to get to Dom Sila viewpoint and Phaeng waterfall
Set your navigation to Phaeng waterfall and you will reach the parking lot where you can park your motorbike. Here you will see a little ticket booth and the buildings of the park rangers. When we visited it was during the Corona virus lockdown, so there was nobody to collect entrance fee money.
Dom Sila viewpoint
Phaeng waterfall Koh Phangan
Haad Khom viewpoint hike
Haad Khom is a short 20 minute hike to a lovely viewpoint in the North of Koh Phangan. Facing northwest, it’s a great spot to watch the sunset with beautiful views on Chaloklum Bay.
You mainly walk through the jungle with a little incline until you reach the huge rock which is signposted as Haad Khom viewpoint. Here are several hidden spots to sit down and enjoy the sunset without the disturbance of other people. This might not be one of the most impressive Koh Phangan viewpoints. But it is a nice and quiet place, not a far walk, so ideal for a little escape in nature.
Ang Thong Marine Park hike
Okay, this is not on Koh Phangan. But if you have the time to do a day trip to the Ang Thong Marine Park, then you should definitely go! The hike up to the viewpoint of Ang Thong is just amazing! Looking out over the 42 little islands that are scattered in the sea and make up the Ang Thong Marine Park is what you’ll be rewarded for after the hike.
In about 30 minutes or even faster you can get to the top, depending on your speed. But it’s all man made stairs of rocks and concrete, so you’re constantly walking uphill which is exhausting, especially with the heat and humidity. But even if you have to crawl the last meters… keep going because it’s super worth it!
On your way up or down you might even have the luck to spot the unique dusky leaf monkey, maybe even with their little orange baby monkeys! We had the luck to visit the Ang Thong Marine Park right after the lockdown in Thailand due to the Corona virus. So nature in Ang Thong had the time to recover and animals such as monkeys, returned to spots which were before too busy because of all the tourists visiting.
The only way to get to the Ang Thong Marine Park is with a day boat tour. But you can also stay during the night on the main island of Ang Thong.
Read here everything about the Ang Thong Marine Park day tour!
General tips for hiking in Koh Phangan
Hiking in Koh Phangan is one of the best things to do on the island. The mountainous landscape of Koh Phangan offers many beautiful jungle and coastal trails with stunning viewpoints and nature along the way. Here some general hiking tips to make your Koh Phangan hikes as fun as possible!
- Use maps.me as offline navigation. The best Koh Phangan hiking map is the maps.me app which is very accurate on your GPS position and shows all the trails in Koh Phangan.
- Bring enough water. For the short hikes you will need at least 0,5 liter water. But for the longer hikes of +1 or even 2 hours, I would advice to bring at least 1 – 1,5 liter water per person. You will sweat SO MUCH during hiking in Koh Phangan. So you’ll need to hydrate yourself often enough.
- Put on your hiking shoes. Don’t be silly and think that you can hike the mountains of Koh Phangan in your flipflops… Sturdy shoes with good grip is a must when hiking in Koh Phangan with all those huge boulders you need to conquer. We also even saw a big scorpion crawling on the walking path during the trek up Khao Ra. Not a great feeling walking barefoot or on flip-flops with these venomous animals around you right..
- Bring a towel or extra shirt. This is actually for several reasons. The towel is nice to sit on at a viewpoint or beach. But it’s also a wipe for all the sweat haha! The extra shirt is nice when the other shirt is drenched in sweat so you’ll still have a dry shirt on the way back.
- Don’t forget mosquito repellent. So much mosquitos in the jungle.. And they like people with sweat! So don’t forget to spray mosquito repellent before you start the hike and bring it with you during the hike.
- Of course don’t forget your camera or at least bring your phone to capture some of the beauty you will see on your way.
More Koh Phangan travel guides
We hope you enjoyed this guide about the best Koh Phangan hikes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
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