Thong Nai Pan Beach in Koh Phangan
Two Gorgeous Beaches
Thong Nai Pan is a double bay in the north-east corner of Koh Phangan. There are two main beaches: the smaller Thong Nai Pan Noi and the larger Thong Nai Pan Yai. They have fine white sand, are palm fringed and are set in stunning natural scenery. Both beaches are excellent for swimming. Thong Nai Pan Yai has a larger tidal variation than Thong Nai Pan Noi. Of the two beaches, Thong Nai Pan Noi is usually considered the most beautiful. Indeed it is a beach that has made several lists for best beaches in the world.
Thong Nai Pan Noi vs. Thong Nai Pan Yai
Thong Nai Pan Noi now has a big reputation. It has moved from a 'traveler secret' to the most upmarket beach on Koh Phangan. Here you will find the best hotels on the island - Anantara Rasananda, Santhiya, Buri Rasa and Panviman. If you want 5 star accommodation then Thong Nai Pan Noi is the place to go. The bohemian vibe of the beach is not entirely lost, however: Thong Nai Pan Noi village contains a good collection of bars, restaurants and massage places. For those on a budget the best bets are Thong Tapan Resort, Phuwadee Resort and Sandee Bungalow.
Thong Nai Pan Yai is fast picking up the backpacker trade that used to head for Thong Nai Pan Noi. On Yai there are many reasonably priced bungalows provided by Baan Panburi. Nice Beach Resort, Central Cottage, Pen's Bungalows, Dophin Bungalows and Longtail Resort. Mid-range options include Havana Resort, Candlehut Bungalows, Starlight Resort and Dreamland Resort.
Thong Nai Pan Yai is the administrative center for the region. It has a bigger village than Noi with a post office, medical center, school and small temple. It also has a wider selection of bars, restaurants, shops and night spots. The 7-11 in Yai is more expensive than other 7-11s around the island but is still a useful place to shop.
Many used to be put off going to Thong Nai Pan because the road from Bantai was notoriously bad. This has now changed: the road is now entirely paved and one of the best on the island. Moreover, Koh Phangan airport is being built near by. Also the hotels in the area run speed boat transfers to Koh Samui airport.
Other transport links include longtail boats to Chaloklum and Bottle Beach on the north coast and the Thong Nai Pan Express that goes at 9 am from both beaches and arrives at Maenam in Koh Samui at noon. It goes via the hard-to-get-to beaches of Haad Than Sadet and Haad Thian as well as Haad Rin.
Finally, there is a rough road joining Thong Nai Pan Noi to Bottle Beach. There is a footpath joining Thong Nai Pan Yai to Than Sadet.
Private Villa Hire
For those looking for self-catering and accommodation for family groups, there are a few private villas for hire in Thong Nai Pan. The best value is Sunrise Villa in Thong Nai Pan Noi. It is located on a hill behind Phuwadee Resort. It has 3 en-suite air-con double rooms. The villa also has a kitchen, living area with flatscreen TV with satellite channels and DVD player, wifi internet and large balcony with an impressive view of the bay. It is the only place that can accommodate 6 people. Sunrise Villa costs from 4,900 Thai Baht a night.
To find out more about each resort click on the links below.
(Updated February 2016)
Thong Nai Pan Noi Accommodation
Sunrise Villa 4,900 thb (low season); 6,900 thb - 9,200 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED
Anantara Rasananda Resort 7,762 thb - 18,944 thb (low season); 20,875 thb - 32,009 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED
Santhiya Resort and Spa 6,300 thb - 17,471 thb (low season); 8,100 thb - 21,2140 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED
Panviman Resort 4,230 thb - 14,400 thb (low season); 7,680 thb - 22,000 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED
Buri Rasa 4,675 thb - 7,565 thb (low season); 9,000 thb - 13,920 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED
Phuwadee Resort 750 thb - 2,200 thb (low season); 900 thb - 2,400 thb (high season) - Breakfast included
Thong Tapan 490 thb - 2,500 thb (low season); 1,200 thb - 4,000 thb (high season)
Thong Nai Pan Yai Accommodation
Candlehut Resort 2,450 thb - 2,900 thb (low season); 2,900 thb - 3,600 thb (high season) - Breakfast included
Havana Beach Resort 2,650 thb - 4,500 thb (low season); 3,000 thb - 4,710 (high season) - Breakfast Included
Starlight Resort 700 thb - 2,800 thb (low season); 850 thb - 3,200 thb (high season)
Dreamland Resort 600 thb - 3,500 thb (low season); 800 thb - 4,000 thb (high season)
The Four Resort 450 thb - 3,200 thb (low season); 600 thb - 3,500 thb (high season)
Nice Beach Bungalow 500 thb - 2,500 thb (low season); 700 thb - 3,500 thb (high season)
Baan Panburi Village 500 thb - 1,200 thb (high season); 600 thb - 1,500 thb (high season)