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Let’s zoom in to Koh Phangan, and discover this big island. To make it easy and to see the different vibes in this beautiful island, for our beginners guides we will split it into easy chunks and areas, starting with Haad Rin.
Haad Rin is located in the southwest of the island and it is internationally famous with the Full Moon party. It is a small place and you can walk around to see some great beaches on the south coast and the hills of the east coast. But the hills are not always very friendly so you will need a motorbike to overcome them if you are an experienced bike driver, of course.
There are two beautiful beaches in Haad Rin; ‘on the West coast, Haad Rin Noi has one of the most enchanting sunset views, long stretches of white sand with the odd mangrove here and there on the coastline. When the tide is in there isn’t much of a beach left, and at low tide season (April to September) swimming on the side of the reef is not always possible. Moreover, with the proximity of Haad Rin Pier, the water there isn’t always so clean. On the East coast, Haad Rin Nok is one of the most beautiful and idyllic beaches on Koh Phangan. It stretches over one kilometre and was one of the first spots on the island to be visited by travellers in the early 80's.
The Full Moon Party takes place there so there’re many nightclubs, bars, restaurants and bungalows to welcome you. Whatever the tide, it's always a good place to go for a swim and during the day the beach is crammed with sun-worshippers. At night the place transforms into a busy spot with people eating, drinking and dancing on the beach.’
In the Haad Rin nature, you can enjoy many activities like boat trips to waterfalls, and to beaches around the island, fishing and diving trips, hiking, trekking and watersports like sailing, diving, paragliding, jet skiing, kayak, and beach football and beach volleyball.
Additionally, you can also take a glance at Muay Thai. ‘It is Thai kickboxing, the national sport and very popular on Koh Phangan. There are several schools in Haad Rin where anyone can go for Muay Thai lessons. Most of the schools have former champions to head up the coaching.’
Then, what about shopping? You will need some stuff or may want to get a memory from this heaven.
You can find many shops in Haad Rin for jewellry, clothes, artwork and traditional Thai items such as leather stuff. They offer a very reasonable price when compared to Bangkok and Koh Samui. You can still bargain when you want to buy something because sellers are open to this so expect them to tell you a high price to open a space for bargaining.
Let’s think of our stomach a little bit. Many visitors end up eating local food after having tried out Thai versions of western food. This especially applies to Haad Rin where the word ‘speciality’ is bandied about with little real meaning and more often than not the cook is Thai. Western restaurants abound whereas Thai food stalls are not only a lot cheaper but more dependable, food wise.
If you like you can encounter many ethnic restaurants as well such as Italian, Indian, Mexican, Greek, Moroccan, Israeli, English, Scandinavian, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese.
As the conclusion, if you like electronic music and bars then you will find a lot of various nice places in Haad Rin to enjoy in addition to diverse ethnic foods and interesting shops, of course with heavenly nature. Enjoy Haad Rin!