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 why Haad Salad is the best place to stay on Koh Phangan!

Haad Salad is The best place to stay on Koh Phangan! est

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

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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

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My Pick of the Hotels best place to stay koh phangan

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!

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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!

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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.

if you are heading to Koh Phangan just for the FMP – check out these awesome full moon party survival tips!

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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

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Haad Salad - The Best Kept Secret On Koh Phangan

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

  1. Mariaabroad says:

    I’m not sure that Full Moon Party would be my thing, but I love you pictures of the stunning beaches and the beautiful resort. Looks like a great place to to relax for a few days.

  2. 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.

    • Vicki says:

      It really is beautiful Holly – and it will still be when you get there. It has this timeless quality that is just amazing!

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Trevor – everywhere in SE Asia is on my list! I just keep having to go back and do it in stages! If I researched everything at once I’d never get there!

  3. 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.

    • Vicki says:

      I know what you mean Paula – the FMP was something I felt like I should do – but I loved being at the other end of the Island – it felt like a different world!

  4. Hung Thai says:

    You won me over with that beach tree swing. Last time I was in Thailand, I never made it out to any of the beaches. We stayed mostly in the cities to get the full experience – next time, it’ll be beaches galore. I’ll add this to the list.

  5. 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!

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Deb! Thailand is an amazing place and there are so many Islands to discover – i’ll just have to keep going back to explore more!

  6. 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!

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Claire – this visit was only a couple of years ago – so you can still find the white sand beach perfection! If you look hard enough 😉

  7. Nancy says:

    Salad Beach looks like such a romantic place to stay. My husband would lose me on that tree swing and I would definitely lose him to the seafood buffet! Great find!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Samantha! I’ve heard a lot about Haad Yao and have put it on the list for if I ever go back to Koh Phangan!

  10. Alana Gidycz says:

    Looks absolutely gorgeous! (and I’m with you on staying a little off the beat track for avoiding drunk backpackers)

  11. 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 😀

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Carla 🙂 and it’s a shame you missed it – but like you say – you’ll just have to go back again!

  12. 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!

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Jackie – I hope you make it back to Thailand soon! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for 2017 for you!

  13. 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!

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Vish! Awesome that you got to experience this amazing part of KP too! I just I hope I haven’t let the secret out of the bag so to speak!

  14. anna says:

    Ahh Thailand! People think that its overun by tourism but there are still those awesome areas where you can still find peace and solace!!

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