Hikers Guide: Getting to Bottle Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand

Most newcomers visit Bottle Beach by ferry, which costs 100-200 THB each way (plus costs to the meet up points). Their departure times are also limited, giving you less control over your visit. Take the road less traveled, and hike your way through beautiful jungle vistas instead!

Bottle Beach is located on the northern side of the island and is only accessible by foot or boat. It’s busier than I thought, with resorts stretched across the coastline. And yet, it’s still one of the more peaceful beaches on the island.

When you arrive, you’ll find a couple restaurants to quench your post-hike appetite. The waves are larger, so you can jump and play unlike anywhere else. I also hear monkeys frequent the jungle behind the bungalows. But the real gem is the hike to get there. You’ll get a new perspective of the island, and an adventure no ferry could offer!

What to Expect

  • Moderate trek: The hike is steep with exposed rock and trees to hold onto. These are the hikes I love; they’re fun and keep your mind busy.
  • Marked trail: Painted rocks mark the trail. We lost them once, but luckily, were able to back track.
  • Controlled temperatures: Trees cover most of the trail, lowering the temperature and keeping the sun off your back. The trees open occasionally to offer some beautiful viewpoints.

Duration

1 hour up, 45 minutes down one-way

When to Go

  • Morning: If you want to beat the heat and crowds on the beach.
  • Afternoon: If you want to catch the sunset on the way back. The canopy blocks most of the mid-day heat anyway.

The only rule is to get back before sunset; this is not the trail you want to be caught on in the dark! It’s steep and vaguely marked.

What to Bring

  • Good mosquito repellent: Even if you’re “less tasty” to the beasts. I’m the same, but got devoured!
  • Water: Camel-backs are best; something to keep your hands free. But a bottle in a backpack works fine.
  • Sunscreen: Direct sun is sparse on the hike itself. But you’ll get bombarded on the beach and drive there.
  • Good shoes: The hike is steep and covered in rocks. Not to be done in flip-flops or sandals.
  • Camera: There are some beautiful viewpoints; don’t miss capturing them!
  • Bathing suite/towel: Treat yourself to a dip in the sea. But bring a towel/change of clothes so you don’t chaff on the way back.

Getting There

The furthermost point to the trail is around 9°47’55.6″N 100°01’09.7″E. You can get there by taxi or motorbike, but I recommend the latter since there’s no one to hail on return.

Follow the road until it ends (pavement turns into dirt at the time of this post) and walk until the path turns to landslide. On your right, you’ll find a hole in the brush that makes you question what a “trail” is. That’s the one!

Ahead, you’ve got 1 hour up and 45 minutes down. In some areas, the trail is questionable and small. In others, it’s wide open and clear. The diversity of the landscape offers plenty of photo ops, so keep your camera handy.

Eventually, the trail will flatten. You’ll hear water and find bottles submerged upside down in the dirt. You’ve made it! Enjoy the afternoon and leave 2 hours before you want to get back. As a bonus, arrive at your parking spot around sunset. The view is spectacular.

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