Haad Rin Beach is a beautiful beach located on Ko Phangan and may be more popular for hosting the monthly Full Moon Party. But seeing it in the daytime without all the fire and thousands of drunk people I did not expect it to be so beautiful.
The waters are so warm but still refreshing from the scorching sun, taking a dip every half hour to avoid heat exhaustion laying out tanning is recommended. Surrounded by natural beauty, bars and beautiful women in bikinis is a plus.
Even during the day you can buy yourself buckets of booze for a few American dollars, or head to any of the nearby bars including but not limited to Cactus bar and several others.
There are many things to do other than just swimming. You can rent a jetski and fly around with a friend having fun, or take a parasailing trip where a speed boat takes you high up to glide back toward the beach and get an amazing view.
If you plan on just staying close to the beach the water goes out about 150 feet before it gets deeper than your neck and the further you go out the cooler the water becomes. This place is awesome and I will recommend it to anyone visiting, just please cleanup after yourself and help keep this place beautiful for others.
Where to Eat, Sleep and Drink
- Chicken Corner, Delicious Chinese food and tasty fruit shakes.
- Casanostra, located near the 7-11. Real homemade Italian food.
- Monnalisa, Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant, very good pizza, not far from the beach.
- Kingfisher. Good breakfast, fresh seafood and grilled steaks and big burgers.
- Little Home, off Central St (next to Arena Gym). Great food cooked in front of you in a roofed, but open restaurant. Nothing pretentious about this place -it really does feel like someone’s home, with the owner’s kids running about after their pets and the person on the till watching Thai soaps. Always busy, even in low season and non-FMP weeks. It’s almost impossible to get a table on the night of FMP! Good food and as cheap as anywhere. A must.
- Om Ganesh, (next to the ferry pier). excellent Indian restaurant serving tasty curries
- Same Same Burger. Western-style hamburger and chips. Different burger and meal types available. Good for late night meal, open 24 hrs.
If you’re after party heaven you can’t do better than Haad Rin. It is most popular one night a month, the night of the Full Moon Party. Every bar is hopping, the beaches packed with trance, dance, buckets, and various other suspicious substances. However, if the sight of thousands of bottles and other trash repulses you, make sure you leave the beach area before the sun comes up, or grab a garbage bag and help tidy up a little.
- Cactus Bar. A busy place that tends to play R ‘n B, pop and all the other chart rubbish that you can hear in any cheesy nightclub the world over. Serves its purpose though as it separates the hardcore ravers from the annoying “spring break rules!” types.
- Coral Bungalows (Along the road into town, on Hat Rin Nai (Sunset Beach)). Pool parties to give some craziness on nights where there isn’t some lunar celebration happening. Free taxis cruise the town to take you there. Don’t arrive too early. Some people arrive at 19:00 expecting a party to find hotel residents eating dinner and swimming at sunset. Lots of sweaty, luminous dancing on tables and questionable activities in the pool. Not quite full on Full Moon madness, but certainly memorable. Decent little resort, nice pool, right on Hat Rin Nai beach. Basic but clean rooms, air-con, tiny safety deposit box. Resort also has lots of facilities like a gym, laundry, restaurant, water sports and, if you’re lucky, you can get a free taxi to your hotel if you act like you’re going to the pool party. Rooms 300-1.200 baht.
- Drop Inn Bar At the top end of Haad Rin is one the biggest bars on the beach. Cocktails are cheap, they have plenty of beach seating and great fire shows. Music is generally commercial dance mixed in with house. One of the best music selections on a regular night.
- Mellow Mountain Built into the side of a cliff. After a precarious ascent up the stairs, expect to find ‘special shakes’ (the “Happy Shake” is the house special) and a very chilled out, laid back atmosphere. Perfect if you want to escape the bustle of the beach party.
- Vinyl Club Is more for dancing to techno, but serves drinks as well. Right next door is Zoom Bar which offers more of the same.
Anywhere up to a week before a Half Moon or Full Moon Party, the hotels in Haad Rin and the immediate surrounding areas get booked out as the population around the beach swells, with the more comfortable places being taken first. If you’re planning to visit about this time, look into staying outside of Haad Rin, and taxi in and out, rooms on the other side of the island are not only cheaper but also much quieter.
- Black & White, (Sunset Beach, near the pier). Basic apartments, a little noisy with revellers, but to be expected in a party hotspot. Laid back family running the store and apartments, quite happy to let you wait while they finish dinner before you book in. Seems to cater specifically to Israelis, with Star of David flags and Hebrew script on every sign. 500-1,000 baht.
- LunaC Bar/Hostel, (behind Drop Inn Bar on the full moon beach about 10 seconds from the beach), ☎ +66 26 935 037, . Fun, cheap hostel right next to the beach. They have one dorm with air-con and give you discounts off the bar below. Great if you want to meet people or want to be right in the action for full moon party! 400 baht.
- Palita Lodge, Haad Rin Nai Beach, . Peaceful atmosphere and a beautiful beach. 1,800 baht.
- Phangan Sunrise Resort . All rooms have twin beds with light comfortable duvets, shower and bathtub, large balcony, safety box, mini-bar, Wi-Fi throughout.
- Phanganburi Resort (Best Western), Haad Rin Nai Beach, . checkin: 11:00; checkout: 12:00. One of the finest and largest hotels on Ko Pha Ngan. Walking distance to the Full Moon Party. Offers accommodation at reasonable prices. 2,375 baht.
- Sarikantang, . checkin: noon; checkout: noon. All bungalows have been tastefully furnished blending traditional Thai and modern design elements to create very comfortable open air environment. Each bungalow has a private balcony with hammock and balcony furniture. Swimming pool and beach bar. 1,400+ baht.
- Seaview Sunrise Resort, ☎ +6677375160, . checkin: 13:00; checkout: 11:30. Affordable beach front accommodation in the middle of the renowned full moon party beach. 600-1,600 baht.
- Tommys Resort, (90/13 Haad Rin East), ☎ +66 77 375 215-6. Beach front bungalows, lively bar playing music throughout the day and great for a drink at night and at the Full Moon Party. 1000 baht.
- Sojourn Villas (Sojourn Villas), 9/2 Moo 6, Baan Haad Rin, ☎ +66 086 092 4179, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00pm. All of the villas are safe, modernly furnished with comfortable beds, AC, in room fridge and a spacious design to create very comfortable atmosphere. Most of the villas surround a 2.5 meter deep swimming pool with a cascading water fall. Sojourn Villas is an excellent escape from the party when you’re ready to relax. 1,500+.