When first arriving on Koh Phangan it won’t take long before you hear whispers of the surreal Bottle Beach. Located on the northern part of the island, the trip to get to this remote beach is all part of the appeal and fun. Join us as we share our adventure to Bottle Beach, why it’s the best on Koh Phangan, as well as info on the hike and viewpoint!
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Why is it the Best Beach on Koh Phangan?
Hands down Bottle Beach is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen in all of Thailand! The long sandy stretch is positioned perfectly on a remote part of the island. Palm trees fill the jungle and there is amazing snorkeling and swimming right off the shore.
It’s the type of place where you can find some shade under a palm tree and spend a lazy afternoon relaxing. This is a far cry from some of the beaches in the south of Koh Phangan that go Full Moon Party crazy. We originally thought we’d be at Bottle Beach on Koh Phangan for a couple of hours but stayed all afternoon!
Also known as Haad Khuat, Bottle Beach actually got its name from the shape it resembles when seeing it from above. We’ll talk more about the Bottle Beach Viewpoint later in this article!
→ 10 Helpful Things to Know Before Visiting Koh Phangan Thailand
How to Get to Bottle Beach Koh Phangan
One of the main draws of Bottle Beach is its secluded location. You have to really want to get here and you should give yourself a half-day for the mission. Due to it not being as accessible as the more popular beaches, you may feel like you have it all to yourself! This is especially true when visiting in the morning or late afternoon.
Motorbike Ride: There is a road that goes here but at the time of writing we wouldn’t recommend it unless you are an extremely experienced rider. The path is unpaved, very bumpy, and dangerous. If there has been a recent rainstorm, even more so! Someone compared it to us as riding a motorbike around Nusa Penida in Indonesia which is easily the worst roads we’ve ever been on.
Bottle Beach Hike: There are actually several interesting hiking paths that will get you to Bottle Beach on Koh Phangan! If you love to hike this can be a great option for you. Just know that a good degree of fitness is required and be sure not to underestimate the afternoon heat. The main hike is labeled on Google as “trek for bottle beach” and isn’t far from where the boat departs near Moon Rock Bar.
Boat to Bottle Beach: Hiring a private boat is the easiest way to get to Bottle Beach Koh Phangan and also a ton of fun! This is how we decided to go as we had limited time on the island. We’ll break down the cost and everything to know about taking the boat below.
Our Adventure to Bottle Beach
The boats to Bottle Beach on Koh Phangan leave from a small fishing village named Chalok Lam. We planned to go with a couple that we met while traveling in Koh Lanta so we all met at the pier around 11am. As soon as we arrived we even met another girl who was trying to get to the beach!
This was great because here’s the thing about the cost… The ticket is 200 baht each way per person. So unless you plan to do the Bottle Beach hike one way (2+ hours) you will need to pay 400 baht for a round trip ticket. And that’s if you have enough people!
Longtail Boat to Bottle Beach Koh Phangan
Since you’re technically paying them to wait for you at Bottle Beach, you may need a minimum amount of people to go for a long trip. The signs we saw said 4-5 people would be needed. Luckily, we met another couple at the pier which brought our total up to 7!
This was also great because it allowed us to negotiate a slightly better price. We ended up paying 300 baht each round trip with our group. The traditional longtail boats are large and comfortable and it’s a bonus if you can get one with some cover for shade. The ride from the village to Bottle Beach will only take about 20 minutes.
5 Things to Know Before You Go
Hiking Shoes: Even if you don’t hike to Bottle Beach on Koh Phangan you may still want to pack your shoes! There is another hour-long hiking trail that starts at the beach and takes you to one of the most famous viewpoints on the island.
Snorkels: The best investment you can make is buying your own snorkels and bringing them with you. It’s always cheaper renting them over and over again and Bottle Beach is a great place to use the equipment.
Cash Only: Bring enough cash for the day! This will not only be to cover the boat transfer but also if you want to go to the restaurant or bar on the beach for food and drinks.
Tides: High tide is the best time to be at Bottle Beach Koh Phangan. If you can plan your visit around them then definitely do so!
Watch the Sun: Even with multiple coatings of sunblock and trying to hide in the shade we all got sunburnt. Bring a hat, protective layers, lots of sunblock, water, and anything else you might need.
Arriving at Bottle Beach on Koh Phangan
After a quick 20-minute boat ride around the rocky cliffside, we caught our first glimpse of Bottle Beach. Honestly, we had no idea what to expect… But we didn’t think we’d see this much going on! Small rustic bungalows line the coast and there are even a couple of beach bars to grab lunch or drinks.
Even with it not being purely a “deserted beach” the small buildings weren’t overwhelming at all. In fact, if we return to Koh Phangan we would totally stay on Bottle Beach overnight. Waking up steps from the sand on one of the most remote and beautiful beaches on the island is what Thailand is all about!
Hotels at Bottle Beach Koh Phangan
As we mentioned before, there are 3 hotels right on the beach! We saw basic rooms with just a fan going for as low as $10 USD a night on our visit.
This can be is a great pick if you’re a traveler looking to disconnect for a bit and enjoy nature at the best beach on Koh Phangan! You can check out the different options for where to stay on Bottle Beach below.
Hike to the Bottle Beach Viewpoint
Now remember… Just because you didn’t do the Bottle Beach hike on the way there doesn’t mean you missed out! Once you arrive you can then hike to one of the most scenic lookouts on the island.
The trail to the Bottle Beach viewpoint is about a one hour climb through dense forest. Definitely wear shoes for this hike and be confident in your skills as the path is steep. Once you’re at the top you’ll have an epic view of Bottle Beach, the green mountains of Koh Phangan, and beyond!
If you’re planning to hike to the Bottle Beach viewpoint you also should warn your boat driver so he waits for you. The last thing you want is to climb down exhausted and not have a ride back.
Our Afternoon at the Best Beach on Koh Phangan
So back to our time at Bottle Beach! We swam in the ocean, played a friendly round of volleyball, and even had our own bottle of ice-cold beer on Bottle Beach.
It was kind of funny because it was only supposed to be a 2-hour trip. Yet, everyone from our group looked around at each other at one point and agreed to stay. Obviously, no one wanted to leave paradise!!
Eventually, in the late afternoon, we made our way back onto the longtail boat. It was then that a few people came running down from the Bottle Beach hike and caught a ride, too! All in all, it was an amazing day and we can assure you this is a must-visit beach on the island.
Have any questions on this article or want to share your own pick for the best beach on Koh Phangan? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where to Stay on Koh Phangan
Luxury Resort – The Cabin Beach Resort – Beautiful modern rooms that mix wood with an island vibe. The property is on Leela Beach in the south of the island. When staying here make sure to splurge and get an ocean view room or have the ultimate holiday and get a suite with a private pool!
Fun Vacation – Zama Resort Koh Phangan – This hotel is upscale but with a laid-back feel. The bungalows are stacked into the hillside and the sea view rooms are amazing! We spent three nights here and didn’t want to leave. The onsite restaurant is fantastic and they have a great poolside happy hour as well.
Budget-Friendly – Benjamin’s Hut – This family-run hotel is so popular it’s often sold out! Cute bungalows on the beach and in one of our favorite areas of Koh Phangan. Just down the street are fun cafes, restaurants, and beach bars.
Full Moon – Little Paradise – If you’re visiting Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party you’ll want to be on Haad Rin Beach near all the action. Some travelers book hotels an hour away not realizing this! Little Paradise is THE spot if you plan to join in on the festivities.
For more places to stay in Koh Phangan Thailand you can explore the latest prices here!
Thailand Travel Planning
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour!
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we found flights from Bangkok to Phuket for $12 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Helpful Thailand Articles
Phuket: 22 Things to Do – Old Town Food Guide – 6 Sunset Spots – Rawai – Elephant Sanctuary – Promthep Cape Sunset – Sunday Night Market – Phuket Old Town – Big Buddha – Renting a Motorbike
Phuket Beaches: 15 Best Beaches – Nai Harn & Yanui – Kata Beach – Kata Noi – Nui Beach
Koh Phi Phi: Ferry from Phuket – 25 Things to Know – Maya Bay Private Tour – 3 Viewpoint Hike – Monkey Beach – Phi Phi Don Boat Tour
Koh Lanta: 10 Things to Do – 8 Best Beaches – One Day Motorbike
Railey Beach: 12 Things to Do – 3 Epic Beaches – Krabi to Koh Phangan
Gulf of Thailand: Koh Tao 12 Things to Know – Freedom Beach Koh Tao – Koh Samui
More: Planning Thailand Trip – Koh Lipe – Chiang Mai
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