Haad Yao (หาดยาว) 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 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, but cab drivers will produce a booklet that claims 150 baht is the standard fare. It is not, so bargain hard!
Walk around the beach and nearby. Rent a motorbike to head further afield. Shared taxis run to Thong Sala. Haad Rin and the Full Moon Party is twenty five minutes away.
A live reef stretches along the bay and beyond. It's a short swim out (about 400 m) and well worth snorkelling along. Book boat tours from boats based at a pier.
During high season several carelessly operated boat trips run straight from the beach (e.g., Black Coral Tours). These run their motors though the coral and have been known to cut it close with swimmers. Avoid them otherwise the beauty of the reef and beach will soon be damaged beyond repair.
- Haad Yao Lounge Fitness & Sauna, 54/15 Moo 8 (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 (behind Silver Beach Bungalows. If you come from the main road, next to Apache Bar.). The first dive centre on the beach and a pioneer diving Ko Pha Ngan. PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort, Swiss management, friendly team, great boat.
- Reefers Diving, 58/18 Moo 8, ☏ . Reefers 5 star dive centre is based at Shiralea Backpackers Resort with an additional booking office at Sandy Bay Resort on Haad Yao. 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.
- Absolute Island (Up on the cliff at the start of the beach). Good breakfast for 100 baht. The view from the restaurant is well worth the climb. Cocktails start at 100 baht. 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 room 300 baht, air-con 500 baht. Grounds are used as a drive through for the jet-ski operators.
- Crave Restaurant & Lounge (Opposite 7-Eleven on the second floor). Great burgers, crunchy salads, many vegetarian delights and great home made drinks. Free pool table and big screen TV. Free Wi-Fi.
- Haad Yao Villa (in the middle of the beach). The best Thai food on the beach but in the same price range as its neighbours. Thai dishes from 60 baht up. Friendly staff that treat repeat costumers well.
- Silver Beach View (In the middle of the beach). Has a 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. If you want a real (non-instant) coffee, head to the resort restaurant at the end of the beach.
- Baan Haad Yao Villas. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Thirty large wooden villas with shared swimming pool set in landscaped gardens. 1,500 baht.
- Benjawan Bungalows (on the hill just north of the beach, hidden behind Dream Hill and Bay View.). Simple, quite worn down, bungalows with fan and bath. 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 (next to Absolute Island). Beautifully kept grounds and bungalows. Some of the bungalows have a view of the ocean/beach. 350-700 baht.
- Haad Yao Bay View. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 10:00. Thirty beach front rooms on one of the most popular beach destinations. 1,750-2,750 baht.
- Haad Yao See Through Resort. 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 baht.
- Sandy Bay Bungalows. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Occupies the southern 1/4 of the beach. With swimming pool and restaurant. 500-3,000 baht.
- Sandy Bay Villas. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Beach front villas. One and two bedroom villas with en suite baths. 2,000-6,000 baht.
- Seaboard Bungalow, Haad Yao Beach. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 12:30. 1,600-3,000 baht.
- Shiralea Backpackers Resort, 58/18 Moo 8 (just behind Bay View Hotel), ☏ . Friendly food, tasty people. Relaxed, natural setting in coconut gardens, just 2 minutes walk from the beach. 21 stylish and authentic Thai-style bungalows, with hotel-grade mattresses and Western baths. Choice of fan or air-con, hot or cold water power shower. Bar & restaurant. Free Wi-Fi, satellite TV & movie lounge with 40" LCD. Swimming pool, Jacuzzi, baby pool, terrace, Thai massage on-site. Scuba diving and snorkelling with Reefers Diving also on-site. 500-1,500 baht.
- High Life Bungalow, 9/2 Moo 8, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 30 rooms, hotel include Wi-Fi in public areas, car park, room service, restaurant, tours. From USD 30.