Haad Salad and Koh Phangan
Haad Salad is the name of a beautiful beach that is located in the north west of the tropical island of Koh Phangan. It is a less well known beach than other destinations on Koh Phangan such as Haad Rin, Haad Yao and Thong Nai Pan Noi, and this is to its advantage, as the beach is one of the most unspoiled and peaceful of all the beaches on the island.
Koh Phangan is blessed with over 20 beaches. Most of them have fine white sand, clear blue waters and tropical foliage. It is typical of human nature that most first time visitors to the island head for the most commercial beaches. It seems that people want to have the same experiences wherever they go.
It is only those who re-visit the paradise island of Koh Phangan who realize that there is so much more to the place than simply the Full Moon Party. These are the people you will encounter if you stay at Haad Salad.
Haad Salad - pirate hangout
In Thai ‘haad’ means ‘beach’ and in southern dialect ‘salad’ means ‘pirate’. This small beach was so named because it was a favorite smugglers’ hangout many years ago. The bay allows only shallow bottom boats because there is a coral reef 150 meters out from the coast. This provided protection to those seeking to hide from the Thai navy.
Nowadays the pirates have gone. Until recently Haad Salad was a place catering exclusively to backpackers and those wishing to stay long term and cheaply. Now Haad Salad has a good range of accommodation. There are both cheap bungalows on the beach and air-con rooms. Prices range from $10 to $120 a night for accommodation.
Accommodation and Bars on Haad Salad
There’s a good selection of restaurants, bars, shops and cafés on Haad Salad. It is a beach with good facilities but it remains quiet. It is not a party beach.
To enter the beach you first pass a number of businesses including Reggae Village and the ever popular Haad Salad Reggae Bar. Reggae is far more the flavor of Haad Salad than the psy-trance of Haad Rin.
The swimming in Haad Salad is best during the high tidal months of November to April. The coral reefs just out in the bay offer great snorkeling and diving opportunities. Nearby is Koh Ma, Koh Phangan’s only Marine Park. Other places of interest nearby include Wangsai Waterfall and Laem Son lake.
After staying on Haad Salad for a while you begin to wonder why anybody would prefer bigger and noisier beaches; you also start to envy those earlier pirates.