Haad Yuan beach in Koh Phangan is one of the beautiful, hidden beaches located on Phangan’s east coast. It gives a real paradise feeling, as a ‘postcard perfect’ tropical beach with overhanging palm trees and some of the most clear and turquoise waters of the island. This pristine beach of only 150 meters long is surrounded on both ends by rocky outcrops and lush green jungle.The access to this beach is not easy which is why Haad Yuan is one of the least visited beaches of Koh Phangan. You either have to hike to it, where you’ll pass an amazing viewpoint, or get there by boat. We hiked towards the beach through the jungle, enjoyed the impressive viewpoint and returned back to our motorbikes by boat. So in this blog post you’ll find a complete guide to hike to Haad Yuan beach, what to expect, things to do at Haad Yuan beach and much more!
How to get to Haad Yuan beach
There are four options in total to get to Haad Yuan beach. You can hike to the beach which is a really fun and adventurous activity to do. You’ll pass a beautiful viewpoint on your way and hike mostly through the jungle along beautiful old trees. But, if you’re not into hiking, then you can get to Haad Yuan beach by taxi boat from Haad Rin beach.
Another option is to arrange a 4 x 4 pick up taxi which goes via the main dirt road from Ban Tai to the beach. But mostly these pick ups only go at specific times, so you’ll not be flexible in when to go and when to leave. The last option is only for the people who are really experienced in driving a motorbike. You can also get to the beach with an off road motorbike using the dirt road from Ban Tai. But make sure that you feel comfortable enough driving off road.
The hike is doable but sweaty and takes about 1,5 hour if you include the rest time at the viewpoint. The starting point of the hike is well signed posted, but it looks pretty weird and almost feels as if you’re walking in someones backyard! Nevertheless, you can see there is a path leading up the mountain, and that’s exactly where you need to go! The first part is also directly the hardest part of the hike with a pretty steep incline for the first 15 minutes.
Going by taxi boat to Haad Yuan beach costs around 300 Baht one way per person, but basically these taxi boat drivers ask whatever they want.. They know they’re the only ones going there, so they have their monopoly.
The hike to Haad Yuan beach
The complete distance of the Haad Yuan hike is 3,5 kilometre. The first part is a lot of climbing so you will feel your legs burning after 10 to 15 minutes. We even heard of people quitting the hike at this point.. I think that’s a pity and if you’re fit level is okay you should be fine doing this hike.
After the first 15 minutes climbing, you will arrive in the jungle and the trail becomes more flat. Surrounded by high trees and the sound of the jungle, you will feel more and more connected with nature.
After about 45 minutes of hiking you will arrive at the viewpoint. Overlooking Haad Yuan bay and the lush jungle, this is really a place to sit down for some time and take in the view. If you brought some snacks this is the perfect place to enjoy them.
After this break it’s time to continue the hike towards Haad Yuan beach. Another 45 minutes hiking through the jungle is left until you will reach the beach. This second part of the hike is going more downwards, passing beautiful old trees and more jungle. Eventually you will reach the dirt road leading toward the entrance of the beach. Follow the road to the right and when you’re almost there you will see some bungalows. Walk by these bungalows and you will already see the ocean peaking through the palm tree leaves.
Haad Yuan beach is the perfect tropical paradise bay. “Where the jungle meets the sea” is a perfect saying for this beautiful pristine beach. Sand so soft white, the turquoise water so calm and clear, the perfect sand bottom of the sea and the secluded feeling that this beach gives are the perfect ingredients for a day trip to Haad Yuan beach.
If you want to stay overnight in this secluded paradise environment, you can book a beach bungalow (if available) at one of the beachfront resorts. Some also have a swimming pool overlooking Haad Yuan bay.
There are a few restaurants and hotels along the beach where you can grab something to drink or eat such as Big Blue bungalow. This Thai restaurant with its prime beach location has an extensive choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Perfect to fuel your body after the hike to Haad Yuan beach! Vegetarians and Vegans will be happy with the vegetarian friendly Bamboo Hut restaurant which is on the north-east end of the beach.
Sun beds, umbrella’s, hammocks, toilets and chairs are available at some beachfront resorts, restaurants and bars where you can make use of when you order something to eat or drink. In front of Barcelona Resort you will find a beautiful sala which is the prime beach location to practice yoga, meditation, get a Thai massage or follow a workshop.
The beautiful deep emerald green, turquoise waters of Haad Yuan Beach are perfect for swimming at any time of the day. The water is very calm and the bottom of the sea is very comfortable with soft sand and no reef where you can cut your feet on. The best place to swim is at the center of the beach opposite of Pariya Resort. There are no official snorkel or dive sites at Haad Yuan beach, but if you have your own mask and fins, you can check out the tropical fiches on the rocky northern end of the bay.
What to prepare to hike to Haad Yuan beach
If you’ve decided to hike to Haad Yuan beach and eventually go back by taxi boat as we did, keep in mind to prepare the following things.
Wear proper shoes. You don’t need real hiking shoes, but hiking this trail on flip flops or sandals is a very bad idea.
Bring enough water. You’ll really need it during the hike!
Take your swim wear with you to cool off in the beautiful waters of Haad Yuan bay.
Bring enough cashmoney as there is no ATM at the beach. If you want to have lunch and go back with the taxi boat, make sure to have at least 1000 Baht cash with you. For around 200 Baht you can have a delicious meal including a drink. And for around 300 Baht per person you can arrange the taxi boat to bring you back to Haad Rin beach.
Take a towel with you if you want to enjoy some time on the beach.
With the boat back to Haad Rin beach
More Koh Phangan travel guides
There is so much more to do on this beautiful island than going to the Full Moon party! So for more travel tips about Koh Phangan Thailand, head over to these blog posts: