On NYE we decided to celebrate the end of 2017 relaxing on Bottle Beach. It is only accessible by boat or foot so we decided to hike one way to the beach, relax for a few hours and then boat back. The hike wasn’t strenuous but it was definitely a work out. The path is narrow and winds up and over a large mountain, and through the jungle (to Bottle Beach we go! haha).
Finding the trail: The posts that we read before heading out said that the trail was marked by plastic water bottles tied to trees. But as of December 31, 2017, that is no longer true. First, make sure the taxi takes you past the entrance to Haad Khom Beach all the way to where the pavement ends. If they don’t, it’s not that far to walk, but if you’ve gotten a ride most of the way, might as well get it all the way! About 30 feet past the end of the pavement is a sign on your right that says Bottle Beach and the number for a taxi boat. To the right of that sign is what looks like a small dried up waterfall. That is the path. Along the way it will continue to be marked by a painted blue and a painted yellow circle on rocks and tree trunks. Most of that path is in what appears to be a dried up, narrow creek bed. It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes from the trail head to the beach, but we saw reports of it taking people from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours. It just depends on you and how fast or slow you want to go. Do make sure you bring water and don’t wear sandals. It is definitely not a leisurely stroll.
Once you’ve made it, we highly suggest getting Chester’s Special hamburger from Bottle Beach 2 at the opposite end of the beach from where the path dumps you out at. It will be an especially delicious treat after the big hike you’ve just done!
We were lucky enough to have a local dog, who we named Pooch, tag along for most of the hike. He met up with us a little ways before the start of the hike and acted like it was something he does for everyone making the trek. At times it was a little tricky having him there cause he got underfoot but mostly we were glad for the company and having him there to ward off any jungle inhabitants of the snake and spider variety that we might have encountered.
Bottle Beach is a very pretty beach, but I would have to agree with a few folks that it isn’t that unlike other Ko Phangan beaches. If we had simply taken a boat there I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much as I did having worked for it on the hike. We spent a couple of hours enjoying a beer, swimming in the ocean and laying out in the sand before taking a (very choppy and slightly scary) boat ride to Choloklum Bay (the fishermen’s village) for a delicious seafood dinner at Restaurant Rimini.