The Top 8 Thai Beaches
Thailand is blessed with long stretches of coastline along the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea, and there are many beautiful beaches with powdery sands and shimmering clear waters. There are literally hundreds of islands scattered off the coast of Thailand, with all sizes of island found. It is difficult to choose the best beaches, but the below are a few of the most popular beaches.
1 – Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley, Krabi
Maya Bay on the island of Koh Phi Phi Ley is often said to be the most stunning beach in Thailand. It was the famous beach in the popular hit movie entitled “The Beach”. Whilst it can be very busy with the vast numbers of visitors, there is a strip of sand in a pretty bay, with limestone rocks sheltering the bay in front and cliffs giving protection from behind. A cutting in the rear cliffs leads into a tame jungle area. There is no accommodation nearby so it can only be enjoyed on day trips.
2 – Railey Beach, Krabi
Railey Beach is on the mainland of Thailand, along the Andaman Coast, but you can only get to the beach by boat. There are soaring white cliffs, which are perfect for rock climbing, and karsts and islands provide the prettiest view across the ocean. It is most visited for the scenery and sporting activities and whilst there are a few places to go after dark, it is not known as a partying hotspot.
3 – Patong Beach, Phuket
Patong Beach sees droves of visitors each year, so can get very crowded. It does, however, have all the facilities and amenities tourists would want or need. If you are looking for a secluded exotic getaway, Patong Beach is not what you are looking for. If you are looking for nice beaches, shared with many others, great nightlife, spa treatments, water sports, entertainment, shopping and a wide choice of international dining option, Patong is great.
4 – Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, Surat Thani
Koh Tao island is known for being one Thailand’s top diving and snorkeling spots. Sairee Beach offers a great blend of water based activities, beautiful beaches and tourist facilities.
5 – Haad Pak Meng, Trang
If you are looking for less foreign tourists, Haad Pak Meng in Trang Province is a good bet. Whilst you will be surrounded by Thai holiday-makers, you will be able to enjoy the nice beaches, the clear water, local seafood dishes, and beautiful scenery. Trang is also the gateway to the beautiful Trang Islands, which can be explored easily on a day trip. Make sure you do not miss the Morakot Cave within Koh Muk Island; a swim through a dark cave leads into an enclosed cove with stunning emerald green waters. Although I was slightly nervous in the cave, it was well worth it when I reached the other side.
6 – Haad Rin, Koh Pha Ngan, Surat Thani
No list of Thai beaches is complete without a mention of renowned party island Koh Pha Ngan. The liveliest beach is Haad Rin, which is famous for being the home of the Full Moon Party. Every month the beach is turned into a complete hedonistic party zone, with body paint, fire shows, pumping music, whisky buckets, drinking, dancing, singing, and revelry. Throughout the rest of the month there is still a strong party atmosphere in Haad Rin.
7 – White Sand Beach, Koh Chang, Trat
White Sand Beach on the gulf island of Koh Chang is shedding its former backpacker image and is seeing more and more people drawn to the gorgeous beaches surrounding a jungle interior island. There are low key entertainment options and there is a diverse dining scene. One of my personal favourites, you can relax on lovely beaches, swim in the clear sea, hire long-tail boats to go snorkeling, take a diving trip, and, do as I and my friend did, and hire a motorbike to ride and hike in the jungle. There are several fabulous cascading waterfalls and very peaceful hiking trails.
8 – Pattaya Beach, Pattaya, Chon Buri
Whilst not my favourite by any stretch of the imagination (I actually don’t like it at all!), Pattaya is a popular holidaying spot. The narrow stretches of beach are situated near to the infamous and anything-goes Walking Street. Party the night away and see a different face to Thailand. Pattaya is trying to shake off its seedy image and is starting to attract families and groups of friends looking for a convenient holiday destination. You can escape the party crowd by taking a trip to Koh Lan Island, or moving along the front to the quieter are of Jomtien.
Other great beaches include Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan, a lively spot that was once favoured by Royalty, Petchaburi’s Cha-Am with its sleepy fishing village feel, beautiful Lamai Beach on Surat Thani’s island of Koh Samui, sexy beach babe, Koh Lanta, off the coast of Krabi, Saturn’s stunning Koh Lipe with its population of sea gypsies, and nearby Koh Adang Island, also in Saturn Province, with its glorious natural scenery and sea turtles.