Located on the northwest coast of Koh Phangan, Haad Salad Beach is a hidden paradise set between a palm-fringed jungle and the warm Pacific Ocean.
Though it’s one of the most popular beaches in Koh Phangan, it’s still a quiet beach that is often overlooked by tourists in favor of the more famous beaches like Haad Rin and Thong Nai Pan.
However, those who venture to Haad Salad are rewarded with crystal-clear waters, powdery white sands, and a laid-back atmosphere that is the perfect antidote to the island’s busy party scene.
In this guide, we’ll explore what makes Haad Salad Beach worth a visit and how to make the most of your time there. But first…
How To Get To Haad Salad Beach, Koh Phangan
Haad Salad Beach is located about 12 kilometers from Thong Sala, the main port of Koh Phangan. If you are staying in Koh Samui, you will need to get the ferry to Koh Phangan first.
The easiest way to get there is by flagging down a taxi or hiring a scooter. A taxi ride from Thong Sala will take about 20 minutes and cost around 200-300 baht.
However, if you’re comfortable riding a scooter, this is a much better option as it’s not always easy to get a taxi back.
Taxis tend to leave from the piers, drop people off at the resorts, and then go back to the pier – so it’s really a matter of luck to see if someone is staying near Haad Salad Beach to determine whether you’ll get a taxi back.
Flagging taxis in Koh Phangan takes some patience. If you are not coming from the pier, you can ask your resort to call one for you. Alternatively, you can stand on the main road and wait for one to pass.
Scooter rentals are available pretty much everywhere in Koh Phangan and they are much more affordable than a taxi. You can rent a scooter for about 200-250 baht per day, sometimes lower if you visit during the off-season.
When driving to Haad Salad Beach, you will want to park your scooter or car by Crystal Day restaurant.
If you are staying around Chalok Lam Beach, you can get a water taxi to Haad Salad Beach, which is roughly 400 baht each way.
You can see directions to get to Haad Salad Beach here…
Read more: How to Get to From Bangkok to Koh Phangan
Things to Do on Haad Salad Beach
Haad Salad Beach is relatively small, but it’s clear waters and soft sands make it a fantastic place to relax and soak up the sun.
Aside from sunbathing, here are some other things you can do there.
1. Go Snorkelling
The beach is a great spot for snorkeling, with plenty of marine life to discover just a few meters from the shore.
While the water is shallow, there is a reef just meters from the shore. The bay is also protected from the wind and waves because it’s in a crescent shape, meaning the water is always still and calm.
You can find sea cucumbers, many tiny fish, and sea urchins in the coral here. There is a rocky section to the north of the beach, this is where sea urchins like to live between the rocks so be careful when stepping on the sand.
The best time to go snorkeling is between October and April when the water is at its highest.
2. Kayak or SUP
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hire a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard and explore the coastline from the water.
You can usually find someone offering kayak rentals from the beach near the massage parlor, but if for some reason they are not there, you can enquire in one of the dive shops that line the main road to the beach.
You can rent snorkel gear from the dive shops, such as France Plongée on the main road.
3. Get a Thai Massage at My Way Beach Massage
One of the top things to do when visiting Thailand is to get a Thai massage. You will find a massage parlor at most beaches in Koh Phangan, and at Haad Salad, it’s no different.
The My Way Beach Massage parlor is located right on the beach on the northern side of the beach.
You can get a 1-hour long Thai Massage for around 300 baht. It’s the perfect way to unwind whilst taking in the beach setting.
4. Get a Photo of a 90° Palm Tree
Perhaps one of the more unknown attractions at Haad Salad Beach is a palm tree, which seems to grow at a nearly 90° angle over the water.
You can find this palm tree on the northern side of the beach between the My Way Beach Massage and Spicy Salad Bar and Restaurant.
While it may be tempting to sit on it or walk along it, please refrain from doing so as you can damage the roots and cause the tree to fall.
5. Take a Boat Tour to Koh Tao
If you’re ready to move on from Haad Salad, then you can book boat tours from Haad Salad Tour, which is located just behind Coral Beach restaurant.
They offer tours to Koh Tao, or you can get a taxi boat to some of the other beaches on Koh Phangan.
Facilities at Haad Salad Beach
Haad Salad Beach has everything you need for a day at the beach, including resorts, beach bars, and restaurants.
There are no public showers or toilets, but you can use the bathrooms at the restaurants
There are also several resorts in the area if you’re looking for more upscale accommodations, such as beachside bungalows or seaview hotel rooms with a balcony.
Restaurants at Haad Salad Beach
There are many restaurants at Haad Salad Beach, so you’ll always find somewhere to grab a bite to eat or get refreshments.
Most restaurants are set up on the beach, with some offering seating options directly on the sand.
Coral Beach Bar is a relaxing environment that has a family-friendly vibe. They have good-value Thai food such as pad thai and curries, as well as a Happy Hour with discounted cocktails.
To the north of the beach is Crystal Day, which is a family-friendly restaurant with seating on the sand. In the evening, they play live music and you may even see some fire performers out on the beach.
It’s one of the first restaurants you will see. In fact, the road near it is a great place to park your scooter as the alleyway next to it offers some shade (trust me, you’ll want to park your scooter in the shade!).
To the very north of the beach under the cliffs is the Spicy Salad Bar & Restaurant, which has a relaxing environment with bamboo-themed decor.
If you enjoy live music and cocktails, head to Reggae House, which is a short distance behind the beach just off the main road. They play live music every Monday evening (not just reggae).
Tips for Visiting Haad Salad Beach
Before visiting, I have a few words of advice for you…
- Go for sunset. Haad Salad Beach is rarely crowded, until the sunsets, when more people come to the beach to see the sky glow in orange hues. And for good reason, the beach faces directly west so you get incredible sunsets.
- Bring sun protection. There is very little shade at Haad Salad, only a few trees at the back of the beach. If you plan to visit for a day or half a day, make sure to bring sun protection and plenty of water.
- Watch out for rocks. The beach is mostly sandy, but there are some rocks scattered throughout the water, so be careful when swimming or snorkeling. The rocks are also where sea urchins like to hide, so be careful.
- Bring cash. While there is an ATM to the south of the beach, it’s not always working. If it’s not working, the nearest ATMs are in the nearby town of Chaloklum. It’s a good idea to bring cash with you to the beach as not all shops and restaurants accept credit cards or charge 3% for the use of a card machine.
- Respect the environment. Koh Phangan is a beautiful island, and it’s important to keep it that way. Make sure to dispose of your trash properly and refrain from taking any souvenirs like shells or coral from the beach.
- Park at the top of the hill. If you hire a car, you will need to park at the top of the hill and walk down, as you won’t find parking near the beach. If you have a scooter, only attempt the hill if you are confident with your skills.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Haad Salad Beach
Haad Salad Beach may not be as famous as some of its neighbors on Koh Phangan, but it’s a beautiful spot that is well worth a visit.
The beach’s calm waters, soft sands, and tranquil vibe offer a relaxing escape from the island’s busy party scene.
Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, explore marine life, or just enjoy a cold drink on the beach, Haad Salad has something for everyone.