South Koh Phangan, from Ban Tai to Haad Rin, the beach is lined with laid-back reggae beat bars and chilled yoga cafes. They all serve healthy Thai classics, smoothies, great coffee and local alcohol.
One of our favourite finds was Two Rocks. A tree house-style bar built around a massive oak trunk that extends out over the water. I loved it because you could jump in and out the water as you pleased and the staff are super friendly. You can do whatever you like here, everyone is content in their own slice of paradise.
Why stay on Ban Tai beach?
It’s not as touristy as Haad Rin and has a no strings, straight up chilled yoga vibe. The beaches are clean with white sand and it’s really peaceful, you feel cleansed as soon as you arrive. There are hotels, hostels, beach bars and cafes the length of the beach and the beach is easily accessible from the road.
Lots of the hotels offer yoga classes in the morning. It’s pretty surreal in the morning actually, I’d recommend getting up earlyish one morning and walking along the beach when the tide has been freshly washed out. It’s 100% untouched and you find the most amazing giant seashells.
We went to a Thai boxing match which was ace. The fighters were incredible athletes and had the utmost respect for each other. You could bet on fights and the atmosphere was intense. The ring was really close to our air b and b and our host, Charlie, helped us get ringside tickets.
Amazing Air B and B’s
There are some stunning hotels and Air B n B‘s in Ban Tai. Ours was right on the beach. If you’re nervous about using Air B and B abroad then don’t be. I’ve used it all over the place and never had a bad experience. Just be smart and stick to the listings that already have great reviews.
I can’t recommend Guylou and Charlie’s place enough. They have a small collection of bungalows around their own and the shared pool and bar area is stunning. As hosts, they really couldn’t do enough for you, but at the same time, giving you space to do your own thing. You can find their listing here by searching ‘La Maison Guest House Koh Phangan’. If you do ever stay with Guylou and Charlie – make sure you ask Guylou for a ‘Guylou special’ (she and Charlie used to own a bar in Paris and this was one of the best drinks I’ve ever had).
Going to Thailand at New Year? We found an amazing alternative to the Full Moon Party that played house all night long in the middle of the jungle, read about it here.
Paradise on Earth