Haad Yuan on the east coast of Koh Phangan is just 5 km north of the main party beaches of Haad Rin Nok and Haad Rin Nai and yet this small and isolated beach feels like a million miles away from the brash and hedonistic atmosphere of Haad Rin.
Haad Yuan - Window on the pastHaad Yuan is like a window onto the past. The small beach has avoided development partly because it is only accessible by jungle footpath or by longtail boat and partly because most of the bungalow owners are opposed to big development such as has occurred on Thong Nai Pan Noi that prices most people out of the market.
The beach still has simple bungalows made from natural and local materials such as coconut wood. They offer a fan, a bathroom (optional) a mosquito net and a small veranda. Bamboo Resort, Horizon Resort and Haad Yuan Resort all offer such basic bungalows. These are some of the cheapest places to stay on the entire island.
And the great thing about Haad Yuan is that it is one of the most picturesque beaches on the island. It has fine white sand and the sea has only a small tidal difference. Unlike many of the beaches on the west coast, Haad Yuan offers year round swimming.
There are also some good trails to follow in the area. It is a short walk to the equally beautiful beach of Haad Thian (East) where people study tai chi, yoga etc.
Concession to the 21st CenturyThere is no one resort with air-con rooms and a communal swimming pool. This is the only concession that Haad Yuan seems to be making to the 21st Century. The place is Centara Pariya Haad Yuan. It has 39 beach villas built from concrete in a round style. The rooms are well appointed and the villas fit unobtrusively into the jungle fringe of the beach.
For people looking for a beach near Haad Rin but without noise, Haad Yuan is a good option. For those people looking for privacy and the ultimate in relaxing atmospheres Haad Yuan is a good option. And for those people wondering what Koh Phangan used to be like Haad Yuan is a good choice.