Haad Yao is one of the most beautiful beaches on Ko Pha Ngan. The sandy beach stretches over one kilometre from Haad Son through to the headland that shelters the bay.
The beach is also very wide, allowing a wide variety of sports and activities.
From Thong Sala and the ferry terminal the taxi ride is just ten minutes. The fare per person should be 100 baht. The cab drivers will produce a booklet that claims 150 baht is the standard fare. It is not. BARGAIN!
Walking, renting motorbikes or sharing taxis to Thong Sala, the main port. Twenty five minutes to Haad Rin and the full moon party.
Sunbathing, swimming, diving, snorkelling, and eating.
There is a live reef that stretches, a short swim (about 400 m), along the bay and beyond. Well worth snorkelling along.
During high-season there are several boat trips offered starting from the beach by Black Coral Tours. These tours start from the beach and the boats anchor on the shore. They drive their out-board motors through the shallow water damaging the coral and have been known to cut it close with swimmers, not to mention the noise and the film of diesel on the water that they leave behind. Sign up for tours that are based at a pier, otherwise the beauty of the reef and beach will soon be damaged beyond repair.
- Haad Yao Lounge Fitness & Sauna, 54/15 Moo 8 Haad Yao (on the main road, opposite J.B. Hut and Easy Life). Includes herbal sauna. Thai with Dutch management. Beautiful sunsets in the lounge/bar/restaurant. Open 6 days a week. Thai and Western breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Haad Yao Divers, the first Dive Centre on the beach and a pioneer diving Ko Pha Ngan. Located behind Silver Beach Bungalows. If you come from the main road, next to Apache Bar. PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort, Swiss management, friendly team, great boat.
- Reefers Diving, 58/18 Moo 8 Haad Yao, ☎ +66 87 894 06 37, . Reefers’ 5 STAR dive centre is based at Shiralea Backpackers Resort with an additional booking office at Sandy Bay Resort on Haad Yao beach. The Shiralea site offers a friendly relaxed diving environment; the largest 3 m deep training pool on the island, airy classrooms, and equipment retail & rental. All PADI courses from beginner to pro, daily dive, and snorkel trips to all the best sites in the area.
Shopping is available at Thong Sala, some ten minutes away by taxi. Locally there are shops, mini malls and restaurants.
Absolute Island, up on the cliff at the beginning of the beach, does a very good package breakfast for 100 baht. The view from the restaurant is well worth the climb. Cocktails start at 100 baht. Also has a limited number of bungalows on the cliff at the beginning of Haad Yao. Clean, but a bit of a climb. No view. Fan 300 baht, Air-con 500 baht.
Crave Restaurant & Lounge, located opposite 7-11 on the second floor, this restaurant offers some great burgers, crunchy salads, many vegetarian delights and great home made drinks. Free pool table and big screen TV. Wi-Fi available.
Haad Yao Villa, located in the middle of the beach, has the best Thai food on the beach while being in the same price range as most of the other restaurants. Thai dishes from 60 baht up. Staff is very friendly and has been known to give free stuff to repeat costumers.
Silver Beach View in the middle of the beach has a rather beautiful balcony overlooking the sea. The prices are average but the food is mediocre at best. Get a drink and enjoy the view.
There are many bars on the beach set within the hotels and bungalows that are located here. If you want real (non-instant) coffee, head to the resort restaurant at the end of the beach.
- Baan Haad Yao Villas, Haad Yao Beach, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Some thirty large wooden villas with shared swimming pool set in landscaped gardens. 1,500 baht.
- Benjamin's Hut, Haad Chao Phao Beach, ☎ +66 89 529 3828. checkout: 11:00. Old Great Bay Resort with new owner; simple huts with hammocks; Dive centre next door. 200+ baht.
- Benjawan Bungalows, Haad Yao (Located on the hill just north of the beach, hidden behind Dream Hill and Bay View.). checkin: when you come; checkout: when you go. Simple, quite worn down, bungalows with fan and bathroom. Laid back feeling that makes it easy to forget about the development on the beach. Restaurant only open during high-season. 200 baht.
- Bounty Island is a resort next to Absolute Island with beautifully kept grounds and bungalows. Some of the bungalows have a beautiful view of the ocean/beach. Fan from 350 baht to air-con from 700 baht.
- Haad Yao Bay View, Haad Yao Beach, . checkin: 11:00; checkout: 10:00. Thirty beach front rooms on one of the most popular beach destinations on Ko Pha Ngan. 1,750-2,750 baht.
- Haad Yao See Through Resort, Haad Yao Beach, . New hotel on the beach front at Haad Yao. The pool stretches the entire length of the hotel and guests can enter the water from their balconies. There are fire juggling shows at night on the sea front. 1,750-1,750 baht.
- Loy Fa, . checkout: 12:30. 600-4,000 baht.
- Sandy Bay Bungalows, Haad Yao Beach, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. On the beach front and hillside. It occupies the southern 1/4 of the beach. With swimming pool, restaurant it offers an excellent choice with accommodation for all budgets. 700-3,000 baht.
- Sandy Bay Villas, Haad Yao Bay, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Beach front villas. There are one and two bedroom villas with en suite baths from 2,000-6,000 baht.
- Seaboard bungalow, Haad Yao Beach, . checkin: 11:00; checkout: 12:30. 350-3,000 baht.
- Shiralea Backpackers Resort, 58/18 Moo 8 Haad Yao (Haad Yao, just behind Bay View Hotel), ☎ +66 80 719 9256, . Friendly food, tasty people. Relaxed, natural setting in coconut gardens, just 2 minutes walk from the beautiful Haad Yao Beach. 21 stylish and authentic Thai-Style bungalows, with hotel-grade mattresses and Western bathrooms. Choice of fan or air-con, Hot or cold water showers. Bar and restaurant, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and movie lounge with 40" LCD, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, baby pool, sun terrace, Thai massage on-site. Scuba diving and snorkelling with Reefers Diving also on-site. 500-1,500 baht.