Haad Salad – The Best Kept Secret on Koh Phangan

 Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

Everyone has heard of Koh Phangan. It is just one of the many tropical islands off the coast of Thailand that has made a name for itself as the home of the famous Full Moon Party – a ‘Bucket List’ experience for so many people. Our own visit was no exception, but at the same time I had no desire to stay in Haad Rin (where the party is held) and where you could guarantee boozed up backpackers falling about in the street at all hours of each day/night – whether it was the party night or not! (You might remember my aversion to drunk backpackers from my post about Vang Vieng).

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not lumping every backpacker into this category, and a big blow out every once in a while can be healthy (and fun!) but I just don’t like to be/stay in that kind of environment. So where else should you stay? Read on to find out more about my favorite place: Haad Salad.

Haad Salad, of course! The best kept secret on Koh Phangan! best

Located in the North West of Koh Phangan – and the complete opposite to Haad Rin (in both location and style!) I would go back there in a heartbeat.

The beach is to die for: a white sandy bay flanked either side by green cliffs where the sun sets over the horizon. Bliss! Boasting a shallow bay with beautiful coral, you have to walk quite far out for a swim but it makes for perfect snorkeling and most people (including us!) were happy to sit in the water closer to shore, which in some places was deep enough to cover your shoulders.

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

As with many other Thai destinations, you are never far away from a great value massage – and although you pay an island premium compared to prices on the mainland – who can complain with hour long massage for around $10?!

If massages and lounging on the beach is a little too low key for you, there are sea kayaks and snorkeling equipment available to rent from the shore side hotels – but you’re not going to find any noisy jet skis or high Adrenalin water sports here. It’s a place of pure, unadulterated relaxation.

If you are looking for something a little more exciting, I highly recommend you seek out Sail Rock Divers Resort (there is usually someone based at a tour desk on the beach outside the hotel) and let them take you scuba diving at one of the best sites in the Gulf of Thailand. If you’re lucky you’ll get to swim with bull sharks, and if that peaks your interest you can read all about it here.

But, back to Haad Salad – did I mention there is a beach tree swing?! Ah-maz-ing!

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

There are only a handful of hotels and backpackers along the shore – ranging from dirt-cheap to high end resorts, and a tiny township (one street!) with a mini-mart, ATM, a couple of shops and a few restaurants. Haad Salad really is the perfect place to escape without having to go to the end of the world. Oh, and, did I mention the sunsets… spectacular!

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

.

My Pick of the Hotels

We stayed at Salad Beach Resort, a beautiful hotel that we splurged on after 2 months of traveling through South East Asia.

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

This is the view from our balcony in our Superior Seaview (Hotel) Room. If you really want to push to boat out you can also stay in a beachside bungalow – but our budget didn’t stretch to that!

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

Breakfast was included in our nightly rate and consisted of juices, tea, coffee, omelette station, pancake station, large toaster, sausages, bacon, stir fry veg, cereals, fruit with plenty of seating to accommodate everyone. The restaurant also served really good value meals and was cheaper than the other couple of restaurants in the village. Wifi was also easily accessible in and around the dining area so you could still check in – if you wanted to let anyone know where you are that is!

One of the highlights of our stay was the various drinking and dining options provided by Salad Beach Resort. From the restaurant deck overlooking the ocean, to the tables lit by fire torches at the waters edge to the sun-loungers providing the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail as you watch the sun sink into the ocean. And if you’re a seafood fan (like me!) you’ll love their weekly Seafood Buffet where they offer up some of the best local catch and cook it to your liking in front of you.

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

Fancy eating your breakfast here?

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

Or dining by torchlight on the beach?

I’ve never really been one for luxury travel (budgetary problem rather than a lack of desire!) but this resort was certainly one of the highlights of my trip through South East Asia. I mean, come on – who wouldn’t want to swim on a secluded beach at sunset?! Not me.. said no one ever!

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

This one of my favorite shots.. it even won me a travel contest!

.

Getting to the Full Moon Party

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

The hotel offered a return taxi service to the Full Moon Party at 400 baht per person and had drop offs at 7pm, 9.30pm and 11pm. Return taxis were available any time after 2am. The taxis took us down to Haad Rin and dropped us at the place where we would be picked up. We were given a laminated card to show we had paid and where we wanted to go back to. The whole process was relatively painless (apart from hurtling through the jungle at high speeds in the back of a pick up truck) and when we wanted to go back we only had to wait 5 minutes for the taxi to fill up before we set off.

related: like a bit of luxury? Read: Sundara, Bali Day Pass: Luxury Travel on a Backpacker Budget!

The Verdict haad salad

We had a lovely, relaxing stay at Salad Beach. It has the added benefit of not having a minimum night stay – unusual for hotels on Koh Phangan around FMP time. And I can guarantee if you only stay a couple of days you will wish you had stayed for longer! Knowing we were going to have to pay a premium to stay on the island at their busiest time of the month, Salad Beach Resort and Haad Salad did not disappoint and offers an unbelievably cheap luxury resort in your own slice of paradise.

And the best part… it’s the best kept secret on Koh Phanagan.

Or it was… until now 😉 Haad Salad

If you liked this article, please pin, tweet and share – I’d really appreciate it!

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad   Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad    Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad   Best place to Stay Koh Phangan Haad Salad

_____________________________________________________________________________

  MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld

_____________________________________________________________________________

Weekly Postcardbadge

Haad Salad - The Best Kept Secret On Koh Phangan

Save

Save

46 thoughts on “Haad Salad – The Best Kept Secret on Koh Phangan

  1. Anda says:

    Ah, your pictures are so inviting, Vicki! I’ve never been in Thailand, but I’ve heard about its beautiful beaches. The water seems so calm and the sand so soft… I’d love to spend a few days there, relaxing in the sun. Haad Salad is indeed to die for.

    View Comment
  2. Paula says:

    I love how the sunsets over the beach in that part of the world. We never get that in Sydney. I am certainly not a full moon party sorta girl but Haad Salad sounds like somewhere I would really enjoy. Thanks for sharing this secret spot. I have saved it for my next trip to Thailand.

    View Comment
  3. Deb Che says:

    Hi Vicki, great post! Though I’ve been to Thailand, I haven’t been to any of the beaches or islands – there are so many I don’t know where to start besides the popular ones (Phuket, etc.). A full moon party IS on my bucket list and I will definitely look into Koh Phangan!

    View Comment
  4. Jenny says:

    Ahhh I love Koh Phangan, but I stayed up at the NorthEastern side on Ao Thong Nai Pan. It’s been a long time now and I’d love to go chill on a Thai beach for a while…maybe next time I’ll try Haad Salad! Your resort sounds lovely, too!

    View Comment
  5. Kerri McConnel says:

    Must say I have no interest in attending the Full moon Party but the Haad Salad looks amazing. I really love parts of Thailand, more so the unknown and less visited than the popular places so this sounds awesome. The tree swing….what fun.

    View Comment
  6. Samantha says:

    I love Haad Salad!! I stayed on Haad Yao when I was on the island and it, too, was opposite from the craziness of Haad Rin. I just loveedddd the chill and mellow feel of Salad and Yao. Absolute bliss! I stayed at Seaboard Bungalows…and would definitely return! When we were coming back from Haad Salad (we went for the day), we ended up taking a water taxi back 🙂

    Great post!

    View Comment
  7. Packing my Suitcase says:

    What a wonderful place! I can imagine how crazy it might be at the full moon party. I heard about before, though never really wanted to go, not my kind of thing. But Haad Salad seems to be my thing… secluded beach and diving 😀 I’d love to go diving in Thailand someday!

    Thank you for joining #MondayEscapes 😀

    View Comment
  8. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie says:

    Haad Salad definitely looks perfect to get away from the Full Moon craziness, but close enough to take part, too! The beachside breakfast looks divine and anytime I’m in Thailand I devote the majority of my budget to food and massage. Thanks for sharing. Looking to make it back in 2017!

    View Comment
  9. Vish says:

    I loved this beach too! My friend and I discovered it last year when we visited Koh Phangan in the off-peak season, trekked all the way to it, and spent most of a day just relaxing in the shallows and enjoying the warm water, still as glass. It did seem like a bit of a secret then too!

    View Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge