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Sunrise is a magical time on Koh Phangan or any natural environment for that matter. Whether you want to wake up super early to catch the sunrise or you’ve been stomping on the Dancefloor all night long and looking for a chill spot to hang out - we’ve got you covered.
Sunrise on Koh Phangan peaks off the horizon at approximately 6 am although it can vary throughout the year. You will have to be facing towards the East side of Koh Phangan.
The sun is a glorious source of light, look up and behold the splendour. Especially apparent on this tropical island. The energy of the sun at sunrise is that of harmony. Know it with your heart open. Allow it to infiltrate the whole being. By watching sunrise you can be grateful, it's a blessing to be able to get up. Every day is a wonderful present. Be thankful. Thank the sun for shining brightly on this beautiful day.
The sun has the ability to re-energize you. It contains ultraviolet radiation, which the body needs for good health. The sun stimulates the development of melanin, as well as metabolism (especially mineral metabolism), which is beneficial to glands that deal with internal secretion. It is also a way to get Vitamin D from a natural source, Vitamin D in humans converts to calcium in the body, promoting the release of the hormone endorphin. Endorphins make you feel healthy, which leads to pleasure and fulfilment, and helps to alleviate depression. Would we see fewer people on antidepressants if more people got up early in the morning?
Haad Rin’s buttery soft sand and turquoise waters make it the ideal spot to watch the sunrise especially if you’re already staying in the area. Also, you’re not able to drive from the South (Haadrin) along the East Coast as there are no roads. You will find plenty of long-tail boats at Haadrin Beach to happily take you to any of the beaches along the East Coast (Highly recommend).
If you want the real East Coast / Sunrise experience, we’d recommend hiking from Haad Rin to Haad Yuan Beach. The hike takes about 2 hours and has a spectacular viewpoint on the edge of the mountain on a huge boulder, overlooking the ocean and mountains. Also, if you find yourself and a group of friends hiking on the weekends, you’ll hear the echoing techno beats from the various weekend-long parties.
Remember to give yourself at least 3 hours of sunlight when hiking back (Or you can take a long-tail boat back to Haad Rin), fruits, nuts and plenty of water.
Most people watching the sunrise from Haad Yuan have been here from the previous night or day and sometimes even weeks (haha) and haven’t slept in at least 24 hours.
There are three ways to get here - Longtail boat from Haad Rin, Taxi Truck from 711 (Baankai & Baantai 711) or Hike from Haad Rin (As explained above)
Coming here on weekends is quite special and guaranteed a good time.
Whynam Beach is the next beach over from Haad Yuan and is another great spot to watch the sunrise from. Usually, very quiet and peaceful too with delicious breakfast spots all over. The experience is very similar to Haad Yuan, except quieter or busier depending on the day.
Than Sadat is another great beach to watch the sunrise from. You can also drive here as there are fully paved roads which make it convenient and fast. The drive there is truly spectacular and maybe even better than watching the sunrise at the destination.
Taking the same roads you’d take to Than Sadet Beach, instead of turning right at the roundabout you keep going straight. After about 15 minutes you’ll reach a charming village called Thong Nai Pan. Home to some of the islands 5-star hotels and amazing beaches. There are also some mountain top viewpoints to check out while you’re here.
One of the most incredible views on the island is the Bottle Beach viewpoint.
You’ll have to hike up here and be careful of the slim pathways when you’re at the top.
Coming up here will give you a full 360 view and definitely feels like the highest point on Koh Phangan. You also have one of the best swimming beaches awaiting you when you come down.
To conclude, waking up at 5 am solely to watch the sunrise means you’re an adventure-seeking person and for the average person you probably have been partying all night and have stumbled into the AMs and will watch the sunrise from wherever you are at the moment. Either way, we’d recommend doing both to get the full Koh Phangan experience!