With 1,400 tropical islands and islets, Thailand is never short of spectacular shorelines, crystal clear and serene waters, and of course, stellar, soft, white-sand beaches that make it one of the world’s best beach destinations. From popular, crowded, and lively coastlines to less-known, quieter, hidden gems, the “Land of Smiles” will entice any type of beachgoer. Here, discover some of the top must-see beaches in the country that you can add to your travel bucket list.
Railay Beach, Krabi
Nestled between majestic cliffs and the Andaman Sea’s glistening waters, Railay Beach ranks as one of Thailand’s top beach attractions. It is only reachable by boat, but all efforts to visit this white-sand paradise are worth it. Check out the nearby caves, witness the limestone monoliths, hear birds and monkeys as they call, or just relax with its laid-back ambiance – this coast stretch provides a one-of-a-kind experience.
Donald Duck Bay, Similan Islands
A beach whose name was derived from its rocks that resemble the famous Disney character, Donald Duck Bay, is only one of the Similan Islands’ stunning beach spots. Its beauty draws from the sparkling white sands, blue waters, and abundant and wide selection of flora and fauna, making it a perfect snorkeling hotspot.
Lamai Beach, Koh Samui
With its excellent offerings of beachfront accommodations, bars, and restaurants, plus the impressive rock formations on its southern tip, Lamai Beach is a top beach location in Koh Samui that provides a slightly quieter feel than its teeming sister, Chaweng Beach. Just be wary during the wet season as a box jellyfish population lurks in the area from October to December. But, you can still enjoy this fantastic beach during the said period if you’re keen enough.
Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi
The place where Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie “The Beach” was filmed, Maya Bay’s charm comes from its soft, silky, white sands, azure waters, verdant jungle backdrop, and amazing coral reefs. Though it’s closed indefinitely as part of conservation efforts and help its ecology rejuvenate, Maya Bay is a jewel that you shouldn’t miss once it reopens.
Sairee Beach, Ko Tao
Situated on Ko Tao’s west side, the spectacular Sairee Beach is a haven for scuba divers, snorkelers, and water sports enthusiasts. It is also an excellent choice for families as it stretches over a mile, which is ideal for long strolls while relishing the beauty of the sunrise and sunset. Adding the abundance of accommodations, bars, and restaurants, it’s no surprise that it is one of the country’s most adored beaches.
Kata Beach, Phuket
While Kata Beach is extremely popular, its vastness allows it to accommodate tons of tourists without making it feel overcrowded. It boasts every tourist needs, such as warm waters, breathtaking scenery, lovely palm tree shades, great restaurant, and elegant hotels. So, if you’re visiting the world-renowned Phuket, you know where to start your itinerary.
White Sand Beach, Koh Chang
As its name suggests, White Sand Beach has soft, powdery, white sand, accentuated by calm crystal waves and palm and coconut trees. Though it is located in the budget-friendly Koh Chang island five to six hours from Bangkok, it is now evolving into a resort scene that offers a great variety of accommodations, blended with its still eminent tropical feel.
Phra Nang Beach
Phra Nang Beach ranks not only as one of Thailand’s top beaches but in the entire world. Its magic comes from its awe-inspiring landscape, characterized by limestone rocks and towering cliffs overlooking the clear waters. Add the forested surroundings, short trails, and the nearby majestic caves that provide a different outdoor experience, it’s an unforgettable getaway for every beachgoer.
Freedom Beach, Phuket
You need to take a long-tail boat or hike a steep path before you can reach Freedom Beach. But, once you’re there, be amazed by the scenic, unspoiled nature that it offers, something you expect to see in the country’s remote islands. Its vibe is unique and tranquil, a great reward to those who’ll make an effort to spend a day in the area.
Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe
Just an hour away from Bangkok, Pattaya Beach serves as the perfect beach spot if you want to take a break from the bustling capital city. A former fishing village, it transformed into a famous tourist hotspot, brimming with great shopping and resort options. It is the ideal beach if you’re into water activities, such as jet skiing or parasailing, things you won’t likely find in the smaller, more remote beaches.
Bottle Beach, Koh Pangan
Another beach only reachable by boat, Bottle Beach deviates from the parties and boisterous events Koh Pangan is known for. This beach nestles in seclusion, very primitive and serene, perfect for those looking for a peaceful getaway.
Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe may be beginning to entice a bigger number of tourists, but Sunrise Beach still keeps its chilled-out and unscathed ambiance. It is a tropical haven that features a great stretch of white sands adjacent to clear, turquoise waters that makes visits a fantastic experience.
Ao Manao, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Also called the Lime Bay, Prachuap Khiri Khan town’s Ao Manao boasts a glorious karst scenery, sparkling waters, and dazzling white sand that can march those in the more popular Thai beaches. It’s reachable through an army base, which gives a different feel, but what awaits is a calm, tree-lined, crescent-shaped beach – a real beach haven.
There’s no doubt that Thailand has some of the globe’s most beautiful beaches. That means choosing which beach to visit can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, that’s a good problem to have. Just evaluate your needs, the sight you want to see, and the activities you want to do – there’s a perfect beach for you in the Land of Smiles.