Haad Chao Phao – One of Thailand’s Most Beautiful Beaches
Haad Chao Phao is a lesser visited beach on the beautiful tropical island of Koh Phangan. Haad Chao Phao has avoided being over-run with backpackers and package holiday tourists largely because the west coast of the island is mostly ignored by first time visitors.
Because of the notoriety of the Full Moon Party many newcomers to Koh Phangan head straight for Haad Rin or the nearby beach of Ban Tai. Few people make it along the west coast which has not only a well maintained but a long stretch of coral reef. One of the several great beaches on the west coast is Haad Chao Phao.
Haad Chao Phao beach is 500 meters long. It is slightly curved and has fine white sand. As it gets deep quickly the beach is good for swimming at any time. Just 100 meters off the coast is the coral reef. Once the reef is crossed there is great snorkeling and diving to be had. The fact that this is available just off the coast makes Haad Chao Phao good value for those who like spotting marine life.
There are both cheap fan bungalows as well as air-con resort rooms to stay in on the beach. Prices start at just a few dollars a night and go up to about $100. Accommodation in Haad Chao Phao (and in Koh Phangan generally) is good value compared to many other holiday destinations in Thailand such as Phuket and Koh Samui.
The beach is never crowded but it has a good selection of restaurants and pubs. For those who like a bit of nightlife the Seaflower Beach Bar on the middle of the beach and the Pirate Bar are both highly recommended. They also lay on warm-up parties for those heading off to the Full Moon Party.
Haad Chao Phao is one of those rare beaches in Thailand in that it has good accommodation, a good nightlife and a nearby coral reef and yet it remains off the beaten track.