Plaay Laem

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    Sunset at Plaay Laem

    Amstardam Bar

    Kupu Explorer 1

Plaay Laem

About Plaay Laem

Plaay Laem is a unique beach in Koh Phangan. The beach is located at the foot of a mountain called Khao Hin Nok. The result is a scattering of giant granite boulders in the area. Many of which are in the water at Plaay Laem Beach. It is possible to swim out to many of these rocks. Other people choose to kayak around the boulders.

Plaay Laem is one of the best beaches on the West Coast. It is also a beach that has avoided over-development. There are only a handful resorts on this beach catering for nearly all budgets.

Those looking to be near Thongsala and its facilities, and near Srithanu and its detox centres, but want a better beach than Srithanu, Hin Kong and Wok Tum Plaay Laem might be the solution.

Plaay Laem Beach

As you can see from the video in the right hand column, Plaay Laem is a beautiful sandy beach. The coral reef is 80 meters from the shoreline. This means the water stays shallow until you cross the reef line. Once you do you can find a good selection of marine life to enjoy when snorkelling.

The sea has several large granite boulders near the shore. These can be explored. When the tide is out several can be reached on foot.

As with the other beaches in the south west of Koh Phangan, Plaay Laem is best for swimming during the higher tidal months from November to April. However, even at high tide Plaay Laem is a wider beach than other beaches nearby such as Nai Wok and Hin Kong.

Considering the stunning scenery with the mountain backdrop, the better swimming and the fine sand, Plaay Laem feels less discovered than other Koh Phangan beaches. It remains something of a backpacker secret as the crowds still tend to head for Haad Yao, Baan Tai and Haad Rin.

Plaay Laem Accommodation

Plaay Laem is a small beach and the accommodation options are limited so best t book well in advance.. There are currently five accommodation providers you can book online. The cheapest bungalows are at Sea Sunset Resort. These are basic wooden bungalows with fan and cold water shower attached. Pimmada Hut also has fan bungalows on the beach for budget prices

At the other end of the accommodation specturm is the 5 star Kupu Kupu Beach Villas and Spa. This resort has beachfront villas with private plunge pools. Stone Hill Resort is the name given to the accommodation side of the Amsterdam Bar business. They provide reasonably priced air-con bungalows with seaviews. For a similar price Sea Scene Resort has air-con bungalows on the beach. Read more about Plaay Laem accommodation.

Bars and Restaurants

The most famous bar in Plaay Laem is undoubtedly Amstardam Bar on a hill overlooking the beach. Every evening people gather at the bar and at the pool below the bar to witness the sunset, listen to reggae music and chill out. The owner is very friendly and the bar has a great range of drinks. The bar promises an Amsterdam experience and it delivers.

For fine dining there is La Plage Restaurant with beach front tables at Kupu Kupu offering fresh seafood. There is also the restaurants attached to Sea Scene Resort and Sea Sunset Resort. The best independent restaurant is Blue Chilli Koh Phangan.

Other places of note include Chocolate Bar (at Sea Sunset Resort). This is a small beachfront bar ideal for a few drinks before bed. Read more about bars and restaurants in Plaay Laem.

Things to Do

Plaay Laem is a good beach fro snorkelling as the corals are only 80 meters off the coast. You can easily find a kayak to rent on the beach. Kayaking is fun as there are boulders to negotiate.

Cookies Bungalows used to have (and maybe still do have) Hobie sailing boats for hire. They might also have windsurfing equipment. You can find the backpacker resort near the centre of the beach.

Perhaps the most famous activity in Plaay Laem is to make the hike up to Amstardam Bar and catch the sunset; blaze as the sun goes down.

For those with the money there is the possbility to take one of the 4 boat cruises that Kupu Kupu offer or alternatively, arrange that special meal on the beach with 300 candles also at Kupu Kupu - read more here. You can see the promo video for the Kupu Explorer 1 in the right hand column.

Although there is no detox centre or yoga place in Plaay Laem you can get an impressive range of massages and treatments at L'Occitane Spa at Kupu Kupu. Those of a more mainstream persuasion might be interested in Koh Phangan International Church. it is about 1km up the road from Blue Chilli Koh Phangan. They have English services on Sundays and do a worship on the beach regularly. To get in contact email: VANWYKDEIRDRE@YAHOO.COM. It should be noted that their blog hasn't been updated since 2014.



More Koh Phangan Beach Guides

Thong Nai Pan
Haad Yao
Haad Salad
Mae Haad
guide to Thong Nai Pan area
guide to Haad Yao
guide to Haad Salad
guide to Mae Haad and Koh Ma
Thong Nai Pan is famous for its stunning white sand beaches and luxury hotels.
Haad Yao is considered to have a 'perfect beach' as well as several great places to stay.
Haad Salad is an old pirate hangout that now caters for discerning beach lovers.
Mae Haad is a hidden gem that offers 3 beaches, snorkelling and stunning natural scenery.


Haad Rin
Bottle Beach
Baan Tai
guide to Haad Rin area
guide to Bottle Beach
guide to Baan Tai
Haad Rin is a sleepy village with 2 beaches that once a month become the scene of the legendary Full Moon Party
Bottle Beach is one of Thailand's best beaches. Its remote location inspired the novel and movie 'The Beach'.
Sea, sand, sun and lots and lots of parties. Baan Tai is the home to many of the best parties on the island.
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