I spent 2 months exploring the corners of Koh Phangan. The sweetest gem was Haad Salad, a peaceful area on the northwestern side of the island. Here’s your complete guide to living there!
Most of these locations are in the heart of Haad Salad, with a few located just a few minutes away. The neighborhood is perfect for a peaceful retreat with enough good food and activities to keep you busy. Keep reading, and you’ll quickly learn why this became my home away from home.
Haad Salad is located on the northwestern side of the island. 20 minutes by scooter to Thong Sala, and close to Haad Yao, Mae Haad and Chaloklum, some of the coolest areas on the island. You’re also a short drive to Srithanu, Koh Phangan’s yoga destination (and hippie oasis).
Haad Salad is more of a residential area, only a couple blocks long with a chill, more laid back vibe. As a bonus, you’re far enough from Haad Rin that you won’t notice when the Full Moon parties roll in.
It also offers one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Though resorts line the coastline, it’s almost empty early in the morning/late at night. The water is clean, beaches are white. And there’s a small “walking path” along the northern point where you can catch some stellar sunsets (approximate: 9°47’21.7″N 99°58’19.6″E).
I’d argue that some of the best food is in Haad Salad. It’s a small neighborhood, so many chefs are there simply because they want to be. Beach prices will run about 80 THB for small beer, 120 THB for curries. Inland runs about 60 THB for small beer, 80 THB for curries. Here are some of my favorites:
- Traditional – Curry Salad Restaurant: My favorite place in the area, Chef A dishes beautifully authentic cuisine with specials every night (you can also get your sushi fix!). There’s more of a family feel here, with regulars every night and guitar playing in the background.
- Traditional – Alex’s Restaurant: You can’t go wrong at Alex’s where the chef offers some of the best food I’ve had. Tip: Order the crispy garlic red snapper the day before, or, the (huge!) Thai BBQ pictured below. Grab some grilled chicken as well (before ~8pm when it’s usually sold out).
- Traditional – Ying Ying’s Kitchen: Ying Ying’s came highly recommended from locals and was my go-to lunch spot. You can get curries for $2-3 and some of the best shakes around.
- Beachside – My Way: This place is kind of renowned for it’s good food and bad service, hah! But the chicken tom ka is delicious; smooth and aromatic.
- Beachside – Salad Hut: Though more pricey, Salad Hut has a great atmosphere. It’s situated right on the beach with pool table and 2nd floor great for sunset. I was a little blown away by their Cabonara as well (which may have been my cravings talking).
- Fine Dining – Peppercorn’s: This place is talked up all over town. Personally, I think it’s a bit overrated. But it’s the only place you can get a big slab-o-meat, and the service/location is pleasant.
Bars & Events
Live Music Lineup
- Sunday: Jungle Roots, Bermuda
- Monday: Reggae Bar
- Tuesday: Jungle House
- Wednesday: Take a break and hydrate!
- Thursday: Jack’s Bar
- Friday: Rasta Home
More Worth Visiting
- Sabai Bar: Worth the small drive to get there, Sabai offers a stunning viewpoint and occasional live music.
- Spicy Salad: Positioned on the furthermost point on the beach, Spicy Salad is clear of crowds and has front row seats to the sunset.
- Sea Salad Resort: Cheapest beer-in-restaurant you’ll find! 50/80 THB for small/large beer with an extensive menu of good food.
- Massage – Tuk: This place comes highly recommended by tourists (ask for Nim!).
- Yoga – Pyramid Yoga: Well-known for their yoga courses, Pyramid is a destination for many. They also host events; I recommend Full Power Kirtan, an acoustic dome filled with healing music and good energy.
- Waterfall – Wang Sai: A cute resort undergoing development (you’ve got to climb for the main attraction). Paradise Waterfall is also beautiful, but further away.
- Snorkeling – Ko Ma: Haad Salad doesn’t have great snorkeling, but a short drive north takes you to Ko Ma, some of the best snorkeling on the island. Alternatively, you can drive south to Secret Beach. Walk to Koh Raham bar, and jump in for some guaranteed fishies.
- Grocery store: Located on the main street corner, you’ll find the largest grocer in the area (and less expensive than small corner stores).
- Convenience store: There’s a Haad Salad Express up the street with more boutique/western products. Good starting point when looking for something particular. (There’s a 7/11 a few minutes more with an even larger selection.)
- Pharmacy: This woman saved my life on more than one occasion. She has everything from ointments to antibiotics!
- Bike rental: Friends and myself rented from multiple vendors in the area; Mr. Jacks was best. “Best”, in this case, means understanding and didn’t rip us off (which the island is known for, “scooter scams”). Before you ride: snap some photos and test the breaks and fuel.
- Fuel: Anywhere on the island, you’ll pay 40 THB per bottle. Prices are cheaper in Thong Sala where you can fuel up at the gas station.
- Taxi: Starting taxi costs are 200 THB anywhere, and that’s with multiple people. If you’re trying to get to Thong Sala alone, you’ll be quoted double the price!
- ATM: There are numerous ATMs in Haad Salad. Like everywhere, they’ll charge 200-250 THB per withdrawal (so take what you need).
- Laundry: Wash prices are standard; 40 THB/kg almost anywhere on the island.
Listings are accurate at the time of this post.