Haad Yao is sometimes referred to as the perfect beach. This is because it is aesthetically very pleasing: golden sand, warm clear water, tall coconut trees and distant mountains covered with virgin tropical forest make for a perfect scene.

Haad Yao is located in the north west of the Thai island of Koh Phangan. It is Thailand’s fifth biggest island. There are over 20 beaches on Koh Phangan but few can compare with Haad Yao. It used to be a place where hippies and backpackers congregated to sunbathe and splash in the sea. The hippy vibe of the beach remains but it is now combined with a more up-market feel.

There are now a few good resorts to stay at on Haad Yao beach that offer air-con rooms, cable TV and hot water bathrooms. Many of the resorts also have a communal pool overlooking the beach. Whether you prefer a simple fan bungalow on the beach or you like to lounge around a swimming pool sipping cold drinks Haad Yao has what you are looking for. Prices for accommodation in Haad Yao range from $15 a night to $50. Even the high end of the accommodation spectrum in Haad Yao remains good value when compared to beaches in Koh Samui or Phuket.

Haad Yao beach is about 1 km long. It is wide enough to play sports such as beach volleyball. Just off the coast there is a series of live corals. These corals are ideal for snorkeling. Also nearby is Koh Phangan’s only marine park, Koh Ma. Here a profusion of fish can be seen including sea turtles.

Also nearby is the beautiful waterfall of Wang Sai and the big inland lake Laem Son. Both places make good excursions for those keen to see something other than a beach.

There are plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, internet places and travel agents in Haad Yao. At the same time the area still feels in touch with nature. It is not a place of mass tourism like Chaweng in Koh Samui. Rather Haad Yao is a relaxing and comfortable place with an outstanding beach.