The first thing that strikes newcomers who know that ‘Haad Yao’ means ‘Long Beach’ is that in fact it isn’t really that long! This white-sand strand is one of Koh Phangan’s most beautiful beaches and is wide enough to get an informal game of soccer going, with lots of shallow water and swaying palms. Facing west, it also enjoys wonderful sunsets.
Flanked at either end by huge granite rocks, it is home to several resorts and at Haad Yao View Resort at its northern end you’ll find a supermarket and massage facilities as well as a secondhand bookstore.
Haad Salad is Haad Yao’s younger sister – in places the beach is a mere metre wide. It is quieter with less swimming possibilities but nevertheless beautiful.