Koh Phangan is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning natural scenery.
Among its many beautiful beaches, Mae Haad Beach stands out as a must-visit spot for any traveler.
Located on the northwest coast of Koh Phangan, Mae Haad Beach is a long stretch of white sand that leads to Ko Ma Island, a small island located just off the shore and connected to Mae Haad Beach by a thin sand bar.
In this guide, I’ll be revealing how to get to Mae Haad Beach in Koh Phangan, as well as what to do there and what you should know before you go.
How to Get to Mae Haad Beach
Getting to Mae Haad Beach and Ko Ma Island is fairly easy. First, you need to reach Koh Phangan, which is only possible to get to by ferry from nearby islands such as Koh Samui or Koh Tao, or from mainland Thailand.
Once you arrive at Thong Sala Pier, the main port on Koh Phangan, you can take a taxi or rent a scooter/motorbike and drive to Mae Haad Beach. It’s about a 20-25-minute drive from the pier.
If you are confident driving a scooter, this will work out cheaper and easier for you. The average scooter rental price is between 150-25 baht, depending on the time of year and how long you rent for.
Whereas a taxi is about 200-300 baht per journey.
The good news is there are no steep hills leading down to Mae Haad Beach, so you don’t need to be an avid scooter driver to get to this beach.
When searching for directions on Google Maps, I recommend you direct yourself to Koh Ma Beach Resort, where you will find ample parking for scooters and cars. From here it’s a short walk to the beach on the northern side.
Visitors should note that the South of Mae Haad Beach is a nudist beach, so you will want to stay on the northern side if this isn’t your thing.
To get to the South (nudist beach) you will need to drive to Mae Haad Cove Bar-Restaurant and hike a little way.
Once you arrive at Mae Haad Beach, you will be greeted by crystal clear waters and spectacular views of Ko Ma Island.
Things to Do at Mae Haad Beach
The beach itself is quite spacious and offers plenty of room to relax and soak up the sun. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas from the resorts that line the beach, or just lay down your towel and enjoy the sand.
Note that there is no natural shade on this beach so you will want to bring an umbrella if you don’t plan on renting one.
1. Check out Ko Ma Island
One of the main attractions of Mae Haad Beach is Ko Ma Island, which is connected to the beach by a narrow sandbar that is only visible during low tide.
This makes it easy to cross over to the island on foot, where you can explore its rocky terrain and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding ocean.
While at Ko Ma Island, you can also go snorkeling and discover the colorful underwater world that lies beneath the surface.
2. Go snorkeling
The island’s coral reefs are home to a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, sea cucumbers, and even octopuses.
You can rent snorkel gear and fins from the dive shops, such as the nearby Chaloklum Diving. The reef is not far from the shore, only a few meters or so.
The water is shallow though, so be mindful not to step on the coral.
3. Build sandcastles or play football
If you’re looking for a family-friendly beach on Koh Phangan, this is one of the best.
You can buy buckets and spades, footballs, and beach games from Phangan’s Mini-market Ma Beach which is located on the northern side of the beach.
The sand is soft and has few stones, so it’s the perfect ground for playing some beach sports.
If you have small kids, there is a tiny playground near Wang Sai Resort with rope swings, but don’t expect too much.
4. Get a Thai Massage
As with most beaches in Koh Phangan, you can get a massage on the beach at Mae Haad Beach. Micky Massage is located in the center of the beach next to Wang Sai Resort.
5. Drive up to a viewpoint
One of the best views of Mae Haad Beach and Ko Ma Island isn’t from the beach itself, but from the viewpoints nearby.
There are two viewpoints that I recommend. The first is from the 420 Club Phangan, which has a beautiful view of Ko Ma Island. It has bean bag chairs and several areas with picnic benches and tables.
It looks like an abandoned construction site that they’ve jazzed up and turned into a bar!
Although it’s a 420 bar, you do not need to purchase 420 products. You can also find delicious cocktails, soft drinks, and iced tea, or coffee on the menu. They also serve simple meals and snacks.
The bar is free to visit but you will need to order from the bar to enjoy the relaxing ambiance. Be mindful that it’s up a steep road.
Another bar worth visiting is the Mae Haad Tree House Bar and Restaurant. Here you will find a small bar with bean bag chairs, a tiny pool (which you can use for a small fee), hammocks, and lounge chairs overlooking Mae Haad Beach.
It doesn’t have a view of Ko Ma Island, but the view is still nice, and their drinks are reasonably priced. You should note the road is very steep and narrow up to the bar. If you’re not confident on the scooter, you can park at the bottom of the hill and walk up.
Facilities at Mae Haad Beach
When it comes to facilities, Mae Haad Beach has plenty to offer since there is a small village right next to it with markets, stores, boutique shops, and diving schools.
There are a few restaurants and bars along the beach where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a cold drink while taking in the views.
Phangan’s Mini-market Ma Beach is a great place to buy beachwear, souvenirs, and other items to make your visit more enjoyable.
There are no public toilets or showers, so you will need to use the restaurants.
Restaurants at Mae Haad Beach
There are a couple of restaurants along Mae Haad Beach. At the northernmost point is Meahaad Island Restaurant, which serves Western and Thai food, as well as drinks and cocktails.
The food is mediocre, but the position of the restaurant is unbeatable as it overlooks Ko Ma Island. It’s a great spot to have a drink and watch the sunset.
Wang Sai Beach Bar is located just south of Meahaad Island Restaurant and is part of the Wang Sai Resort. It serves food designed for a more Western taste. It’s a little pricey, but the food isn’t bad.
Mae Haad Cove Bar-Restaurant is located on the far south of the island (before the nudist beach) and has a nice, chilled ambiance and seating on the beach.
It serves simple Thai and Western dishes and cocktails. The fruit shakes here are pretty good.
Tips for Visiting Mae Haad Beach
If you’re planning on visiting Mae Haad Beach and Ko Ma Island, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Be sure to bring sunscreen and a hat as the sun can be quite strong.
- It’s a good idea to bring cash with you as some of the restaurants and shops may not accept credit cards.
- Check the tide schedule before heading over to Ko Ma Island so you can time your visit accordingly.
- Be careful of coral and stones when swimming.
- Bring plenty of water.
- Bring an umbrella or prepare to rent one as there is no shade on the beach.
Final Thoughts on Visit Mae Haad Beach
Overall, a visit to Mae Haad Beach and Ko Ma Island is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Koh Phangan.
With its stunning scenery, crystal clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere, this spot is sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveler.
I hope this guide helped you plan your visit and gave you some idea of what to expect at Mae Haad Beach Koh Phangan.