While further edited for publishing on our site, this was originally submitted by Macrae?and published in Southeast Asia Backpacker Magazine, Issue 34: pg 14-15, under the title “Top 5 Places For Sunset Drinks”

More Than The Full Moon Party To Discover

Sitting, watching the sunset while having a drink; as the sky starts to dim, the sun seems to be more saturated in colour, or it may be that now all your focus is on this gigantic body of fire, creating a glow through the clouds, turning them purple and pink.

You look above it all and notice something you?ve never seen before: a rainbow mimicking an oil spill in a crystal clear glacier lake upon a mountain. You realize nothing really matters, not your job, not your grades, not what is happening on social media? only what is in the here and now. The present. The moment.

The Full Moon Party is world-renowned for its neon body paint, glow sticks and bucket drinks. But when the crowds slowly dissipate and the tranquility is once again restored to the island, there are some astonishing things to be seen that may have been overlooked during full moon. The perfect spot to have a drink and catch one of the best sunsets, painting a picture in the sky beyond imagination is one such thing.

Here Are My Top 5 Places for a Sunset On Koh Phangan

  1. Haad Sarikantang (Leela Beach): Leela beach, with its soft sand, relaxing rope hammocks and mystical mangrove trees, is easily the best beach in Thailand to enjoy an unforgettable sunset. At one end of the beach, you can find a floating pier that, from land, seems to go on forever reaching into the ocean?s endless abyss. Sitting at the end of the pier with your favorite drink is the only way to end a day with perfection.hammocks-on-leela-beach

TIP: Go to the 7-eleven, pick up a couple bottles of your favorite beer, stick a lime in, head to Leela Beach to spend an inexpensive afternoon.leela-beach-floating-pier


  1. Haad Son (Secret beach): Secret Beach Bar is a little hidden paradise nestled in a cove, easily missed by the usual tourist trying to find the next party. With its pearl-white sand and stunning views of the sunset, it?s a place where you can grab a drink and easily let time drift away.secret-beach-koh-phangan

TIP: Don?t miss the strawberry daiquiris ? simply amazing and, at just 120 Baht (like all the other cocktails on the menu), they?re a steal.


  1. Haad Rin Nai: The sister beach of Haad Rin Nok (where the full moon party is held) is a place that can satisfy any budget, with its new resorts and old rustic pubs. At Seaside Bar, you?ll find a couple triangle pillows upon a mat in the middle of the beach. Pick a spot, order a drink and treat yourself to a unique sunset that will never be forgotten.haad-rin-nai-sunset

TIP: Stay until dark when the sky becomes illuminated with a blanket of stars. You might be lucky enough to decipher the mysteries of the gods and watch the story of the universe unravel above you.


  1. Haad Yao: Another stunning beach, with pristine water, sprinkled with contrasting bars and restaurants; one place that stands out is Seaboard Bungalows. This is a perfect place to get your party on after watching the sunset, when its rays no longer dominate the sky and the beach is lit by the moon and tiki torches until the early morning.sunset-haad-yao-beach

Tip: On Wednesday nights, the local expat community gathers here for some great music (usually deep house) and some fantastic specialty drinks.


  1. Ao Playlearn: When you speak to anyone who has spent some substantial time on Koh Phangan, they?ll ask if you have been to Amsterdam Bar. If you haven?t, it?s a must go. While not located on a world class beach, it is strategically placed mountainside for the ultimate sunset experience.? With a sea of triangle pillows, mats and even a pool (with a view), this is a must-stop location for anyone visiting the island.amstardam-bar-koh-phangan

TIP: To insure an unobstructed view, make sure to get here early and grab ?the perfect seat? especially in peak season as this spot gets very busy.


These top five sunset drink spots in Koh Phangan are amongst many, where a good cocktail and a sensational sunset can be found. There is more depth to Koh Phangan than its full moon celebrations; it?s a unique place that is truly magical.



7 replies
  1. Ryan Biddulph
    Ryan Biddulph says:

    Awesome images guys! I love a good Thai sunset, having spent months in places like Koh Lanta, Phuket and Pak Nam Pran, all beach side communities. I often wait until a bit after sundown to see the stunning scene of color play, with pinks and purples and yellows and fire red shades. My fave time to take pictures is about 5 minutes or so after the sun disappears. This is when everything starts to really fire up in a major league way. Guys, thanks much!


    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      You must have seen some amazing sunsets where you were! We were continually in awe of the sunsets on Koh Phangan. It seemed as though day after day, a beautiful and unique image filled the sky.

  2. Sand In My Suitcase
    Sand In My Suitcase says:

    We’re sorry we didn’t make it to Koh Phangan when in Thailand recently. We were close though! Koh Tao and Koh Samui. Quiet, non-touristy Secret Beach looks like the kind of place we’d like to sip a sunset cocktail :-).

    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      Definitely our favourite!! You probably got some pretty nice sunsets yourself! When we were there, Koh Samui had some nice sunsets but Koh Tao how some INCREDIBLE sunsets – comparable to Koh Phangan, we thought.

  3. sakdaa theppong
    sakdaa theppong says:

    I have friends in Thailand and they keep telling me to visit. I just haven?t made it yet. Between their posts and this article, it is quickly working its way to the top of my travel list! Thanks for sharing the amazing post!!


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