Haad Rin

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Ko Pha Ngan from the air. Haad Rin is the peninsula seen to the lower left.

Haad Rin (Thai: หาดริ้น, RTGS: Hat Rin, Thai pronunciation: [hàːt rín]) is a peninsular beach area and town on the southern tip of Ko Pha Ngan, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Its two main beaches are Sunset Beach (Haad Rin Nai) to the south and the larger Sunrise Beach (Haad Rin Nok) to the north. The famous Full Moon Party takes place on Sunrise Beach each month.

The town and beach first became popular with backpackers escaping the tourist influx to Ko Samui in the 1980s. As the popularity of the beach and Full Moon Party have increased, the town has grown to accommodate the new visitors. The town is centred on Chicken Corner, a crossroads and popular meeting spot.


sunrise beach by day

Most of the nightlife in the town is centred on beach-front spots. The original beach bars, Drop-In Bar and Cactus Bar attract the largest crowds, with nightly drinks promotions and fire shows. Here, popular chart tunes, R&B and club classics entertain the crowds. Other beach bars include Vinyl Club, Zoom (both playing psytrance, the original Full Moon Party style of music), Orchid (playing Drum and Bass and Jungle) and Boom Boom Bar (playing deeper house and trance music).

While there are a few massage parlours, this part of Thailand is largely devoid of the prostitution prevalent in other areas such as Phuket and Pattaya.

Fire shows[edit]

Apart from the music and bars on the beaches of Haad Rin, a famous feature of the Haad Rin is the spectacular nightly fire shows put on by individuals at the Cactus and Drop-In bars. Various individuals specialize in the arts of Poi and Staff, performing mind-boggling and beautiful tricks to entertain the crowds. The firesticks are ropes twisted around sticks and soaked in diesel which, when burned, emits choking clouds of toxic stench, so don't stand downwind. Many tourists are inspired by the shows and opt to take up daytime lessons before joining the evening fire shows personally. There is a fully equipped hospital on Samui for such eventualities.


Pollution in Thai is มลพิษ Molaphit. Haad Rin is fairly polluted with litter and such. There are sewerage works and the sewerage is not pumped into the sea. The beach is kept relatively clean considering the constant parties.


Accommodation in Haad Rin is undergoing a gradual change in its nature from the style found in the 1980s and 90s. Whereas originally backpacker accommodation was available in the form of basic beach shacks with balconies and hammocks for a very low price, a rise in the number of air-conditioned rooms and apartment blocks is bringing a slightly different feel to the resort. Haad Rin is also the home of the first international hotel brand on Koh Phangan: A Best Western hotel is located on Haad Rin Nai.

Accommodation varies from 500 Baht/night rooms to resort apartments exceeding 8000 Baht/night. Approaching the time of full moon, when the infamous parties take place on Haad Rin Nok, accommodation becomes much harder to obtain and prices rise accordingly. The huge influx of tourists seeking these monthly events often arrives on the island a few days in advance to ensure securing a place to stay.

Popular Culture[edit]

Haad Rin beach has featured in many mediums such as the Danny Boyle film adaption of 'The Beach', The Backpacker by John Harris and songs by The Klaxons (Magick) and Palita by S-Kay

Coordinates: 9°40′28″N 100°3′58″E / 9.67444°N 100.06611°E / 9.67444; 100.06611