When it comes to beaches, Koh Phangan has some of the best in Thailand. One of my personal favorites is Secret Beach, or Haad Son as it’s known in Thai, located on the West Coast of the island.
Although named Secret Beach, the truth is it’s no longer a secret. Though the secret has been exposed, it still remains one of the quietest and most relaxing beaches on the island.
If you’re thinking of visiting Secret Beach, Koh Phangan, here is how to get there, what there is to see and do there, and some tips for visiting.
Where is Secret Beach?
Secret Beach is located on the West Coast of Koh Phangan between Zen Beach and Haad Yao. It’s a 10.4km drive from Thongsala, which takes roughly 20 minutes on a scooter.
It’s very easy to find Secret Beach since its location is saved on Google Maps, however, you could easily drive past the entrance if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
You can also take a taxi to Secret Beach, but be warned that the taxis are not always there waiting to drive you back. You can order a taxi with your resort to take you there or pick one up from Thongsala Pier.
If you are confident in riding a scooter, it will be much cheaper for you to rent one and drive yourself.
The entrance to Secret Beach is a short walk down the road off the main road (see photo below), which is connected to the main road on Koh Phangan.
Look for the scooters parked at the top of the road under the trees, and maybe even a taxi cab on the side of the road. This is where you will find the entrance.
Top tip: If you’re not confident riding a scooter, park at the top of the hill and walk down. The road to the scooter parking is quite steep and narrow, which can be dangerous to drive down if you’re not confident.
Read more: How to Get to Koh Phangan from Bangkok
What to Do at Secret Beach
Secret Beach is a quiet and almost secluded beach in Koh Phangan that is usually always quiet. It has a small, crescent-shaped beach with soft white sand and a shallow shoreline.
On the North side of the beach, there is a resort with beach access, in the middle you will find a beach bar playing feel-good, reggae or acoustic music, and on the South side, there is a rocky area with some smaller bays you can lounge on for more privacy.
Here is what you can do at Secret Beach…
1. Sit (not swim) in the water
While most people go to the beach to swim and sunbathe on the sand, those visiting Secret Beach should know it’s not a great beach for swimming.
The water is not very deep for a good 100 feet and there is a possibility of hitting your knees on the sand when trying to swim.
However, you can still sit in the warm water and enjoy the peace and serenity of the beach.
The waves are always gentle and calm, which adds to the tranquility of the beach.
You’ll find plenty of people just sitting in the water, cooling off from the heat, and letting the power of the waves soothe their stresses away.
2. Go snorkeling
If you have a snorkel mask, or you’ve rented one from Thongsala, then you will want to bring your mask and fins to Secret Beach with you.
You can also rent a snorkel mask and fins from the Koh Raham Bar on the Northern side of the beach.
Like most beaches on Koh Phangan, there is a reef just 10 meters or so off the shore where tiny fish and colorful coral are known to thrive.
You may also see sea cucumbers, crabs, and if you’re really lucky, a turtle.
3. Get a massage
As you walk down towards Secret Beach from the road, you pass through a tiny garden where a massage hut sits on the right-hand side.
If you’re looking to zen out and soothe any aches and pains, head over for a traditional Thai massage, or a relaxing hot oil massage.
If you’re visiting on a hot day, fair warning, though the massage hut is shaded, it’s outdoors and has no air conditioning. There is a fan, but it’s still pretty hot.
4. Sit in a hammock
Secret Beach is one of the few beaches that has a hammock that the public can use. It’s located right at the entrance to Secret Beach, so you won’t miss it.
There’s only one hammock, so you will have to wait if it’s in use. However, if it’s free, go for it! It’s a comfortable spot to sit and watch the waves whilst listening to the ambient music from the beach bars.
5. Grab a beer from the Lost N’ Found Beach Bar
There is a lovely beach bar directly on Secret Beach by the parking lot named Lost N’ Found.
They both have direct access to the beach and play ambient music, sometimes even live DJs in the late afternoon and evening.
The prices are quite reasonable given the location, and the chairs are comfortable. If you need refreshments, this is where I recommend you go.
6. Visit Koh Raham Beach Bar
Another beach bar that you can visit is Koh Raham, which is part of the Haad Son Resort.
While technically not on Secret Beach, on a peninsula between Secret Beach and Haad Yao, it’s a beautiful spot.
It sits right on the rocky headland and has 360 views of the ocean. There’s also a hammock where you can sit and watch the waves crash against the rocks, as well as seat swings and fairy lights, which really add to the ambiance, especially in the evening.
If you’re looking for Instagram-worthy photos, this is where to find them.
7. Catch a sunset
The most famous beach on the island for sunset is Zen Beach, but if you are not into crowds or hippies playing bongos, then Secret Beach is arguably a better place to watch the sunset.
Since it faces directly west, you can sit on the beach and watch the sun go down directly in front of you.
8. Stay in a Beach Bungalow
One of the best things to do in Koh Phangan is to stay in a beach bungalow. Imagine waking up and being just meters from the ocean, or listening to the sounds of the waves lull you to sleep?
Sounds bliss, right?
There are two beachside places to stay on Secret Beach. The Haad Son Resort on the North side has hotel room accommodation, or you can stay at the aptly named Secret Beach Bungalows.
The Secret Beach Bungalows are simple bungalows with either a fan or air conditioning, a terrace, and a private bathroom.
If you’re on a budget, you can choose the fan rooms which are cheaper than A/C rooms and also don’t come with hot water – don’t worry, you don’t usually need hot water in Thailand when the weather is hot!
FAQs About Visiting Secret Beach
Here’s what people usually ask me about visiting Secret Beach…
Is there parking at Secret Beach?
There is free on-street parking for scooters at Secret Beach. If you are driving by car, you will need to park at the top of the hill. There is a little lay-by here where the taxi parks. You should find a space to park your car there.
Is Secret Beach good for families?
The water is shallow at Secret Beach which makes for a great place for small children to swim and play. That being said, it’s not a popular beach for families as there’s no entertainment for children. There are no kayak rentals or play areas, and it’s likely you’ll be the only family there so no other kids for the children to play with. This beach is more popular with young adults and couples.
Are there toilets at Secret Beach?
Yes, there are toilets at the Secret Beach Bar that guests can use. There are no showers or changing rooms though.
Is there shade at Secret Beach?
Yes, there is a tree-lined area at the back of the beach where you can find some shade on the South side of Lost N’ Found Beach Bar. There is a small shady spot on the north side of Lost N’ Found Beach Bar as well.
Before You Go
Before you go, I have just a few words of advice for you when visiting Secret Beach in Koh Phangan.
The first is to make sure you keep an eye on your belongings when swimming in the water. While muggings are rare on Secret Beach, they are known to happen from time to time, so be sure to leave your bag with someone to look after it when going in the sea – or make sure you have your eye on it.
Make sure you wear suncream and carry plenty of water. There is often a small breeze at Secret Beach, but depending on the time of year, you can expect the weather to be quite hot here. Be prepared for strong sunshine and warm temperatures year-round.