Hat Yao East, Ko Phangan

BEACH
Hat Yao East is a unique place on the east coast of Ko Phangan and has a long stretch of pearly white sand lined with coconut palms, surrounded by steep, green, lush hills. The swimming conditions are good, and the water is a beautiful turquoise blue color. Yet it is one of the least developed beaches on Ko Phangan.

Hat Yao East is the place to go for nature trails and a peaceful and quiet atmosphere: a perfect beach for nature lovers who do prioritize luxury. There is a snorkeling spot on the north side of the bay, with beautiful tropical fish and coral of moderate quality. We are told that the waterfall close by is the most beautiful on the island.

WHERE TO STAY
The bungalows at Lost Paradise Bungalows are simple, although a new building and new bungalows are currently under construction, in which more rooms will be rented. It is difficult to make reservations, so just come by, because there are usually enough availability. Lastly, stay has a restaurant.

Hat Yao East is the easiest to reach by boat from Hat Rin. When you enter the pier in Thong Sala, take a shared taxi to Hat Rin for 100 baht. From here you will find shared taxi boats that will take you to the beaches for 200 baht. A private boat will cost you 700 baht. There is an unpaved road to the beach, which is suitable for pickup truck but very difficult to pass with a scooter. The pickup truck will bring you from Thong Sala to Lost Paradise for 300 baht per person, although you also arrange a private car for 700 baht. Please note that the last part of the road is not in a good condition. An alternative connection is an 8-kilometer-long mountain trail from Hat Rin, which is a beautiful tour suitable for more experienced backpackers.

ISLAND
Ko Phangan in the Lower Gulf is a nice surprise because most of the island is very touristy (the kind of place we normally avoid). However, we did find some very nice TreasureBeaches. Ko Phangan is perhaps most famous for its Full Moon Party, a monthly beach party held on Hat Rin during the full moon. It is probably better to avoid the island during this period. Outside this period, however, it remains a fun destination to visit.

WHAT TO DO
The island offers a diverse range of activities, making it suitable for travellers with different interests, whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences. From scuba diving and snorkeling trips, to visiting a coconut plantation or feeding elephants. In addition to the opportunity to sign up for cooking or boxing classes, the island offers great hiking trails that take you to the island’s tropical rainforest. There are also kitesurfing spots located on the south coast.

Ko Phangan is known for its numerous wellness and yoga resorts that offer classes and retreats for those looking to rejuvenate their minds and bodies.

You have to visit Ko Ma! This is the most photographed beach on Ko Phangan. This island is connected to Mae Hat beach by a pure white sandbank. Bring your beach towel so you can sunbathe on the sandbank. Although the beach can be relatively crowded, Ko Ma is definitely a nice day trip.

The Thong Sala Night Market, also known to locals as Pantip Market, is home to Ko Phangan’s best street food vendors. The market is located near Thong Sala Pier.

TRANSPORT
The most common way to reach Ko Phangan is by plane, train, or (mini)bus from Bangkok to Chumphon or Surat Thani. You can take different types of ferry services to Ko Phangan from Dansok Pier near Surat Thani or from the Lompraya Pier near Chumphon.

Some people fly to Ko Samui and take the ferry from here. This is much more expensive, but faster compared to the Surat Thani and Chumphon connection – although the time savings are somewhat disappointing.

When you enter the pier in Thong Sala in Ko Phangan, take a shared taxi or private taxi to your beach. You can easily rent a scooter on the island.