Best Beaches in Thailand
Some of the best beaches are in Thailand, with its rich history and culture it is abundantly blessed with beautiful sightseeing. It is one of the most popular international tourist destinations in all of Asia.
On its south side, Thailand is geographically long and narrow and as a result is a tapering landmass with a very long coastline between the Andaman Sea on the west and the Gulf of Thailand on the east.
There are plenty of beaches in Thailand mostly on the eastern and southern part of the country. Also, both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand are dotted with numerous small islands which also have beautiful sandy beaches lined with swaying coconut trees and featuring dazzlingly clear water.
Every year, millions of tourists from all over the world visit Thailand to explore its beautiful beaches and to soak in the vibrant, relaxing atmosphere.
Some beaches are exclusively dedicated to party goers and cater to an upmarket nightlife which attracts the younger crowd, however there are some quiet little uncrowded beaches which are ideal getaways for a romantic couple on a honeymoon or a family for an annual seaside vacation.
Whatever be your need or desire or plan for an ideal beach vacation, you will find plenty of choices as well as variety in the list below.
Here are 17 of the best beaches in Thailand.
image credit: Vasco Planet
About a hundred and fifty kilometers southeast of Bangkok, Thailand’s, lies the seaside resort of Pattaya. This 4 km beach by is popular for its many attractions like speed boating and parasailing, as well as floating restaurants and under water diving experiences.
Pattaya is known the world over for its beer bars and go go girls. Sex tourism being the most important industry for its tourism economy.
In recent times, local authorities have tried to make Pattaya a family friendly spot to attract more local and international family trippers. It is one of the most popular weekend getaways for the local Thai people and it alone clocks in over five million annual visitors every year.
2. Phra Nang
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This is a small beach located at the southernmost tip of the peninsula of Rai Leh or Railay, on the Andaman Sea coast. It can be reached via long tail boats from Ao Nang and Krabi.
Stunning high limestone cliffs stand on the end of the beach which along with the beautiful white sandy beach and clear green waters makes it a beautiful and scenic spot.
3. Hat Pramong
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Koh Lipe is an island located near the Andaman coast of southern Thailand. Here, on a small bay, facing the west, lies the beautiful Hat Pramong or Sunset Beach, named colloquially for the dazzling sunsets that can be viewed from here.
It has comfortable wooden log bungalows where travellers can enjoy the peace and quiet and a serene time. It is a less crowded and less visited place and provides ample relaxation and calm of mind away from the madness of everyday life.
A few restaurants and bars on the beach ensure tourists can sit with a drink in their hands at the end of the day and soak in the gorgeous sunset.
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Patong is the largest beach resort on the island of Phuket and is a vibrant place ideal for party people. One of the most popular beaches of Thailand, this 3.5 kilometer beach is filled with tourist shops, beer bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
The key attraction here is the raging night life and many forms of adult entertainment for those looking for a fun time. Massage parlors of all types can be found here, especially in and around Bangla Road and the beach road.
5. Hat Sai Khao
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Located in southeast Thailand near Cambodia, Koh Chang is one of Thailand’s most gorgeous islands with miles and miles of long white sandy beaches. White Sand or Hat Sai Khao is the most developed and popular beach on Ko Chang.
A large variety of wildlife can be found on the island, chiefly, a great selection of birds and snakes. Jungle hiking is an option that can be undertaken by travellers to this place.
Resorts and bungalows are to be found in plenty here, just as bars, shopping and restaurants dot the place like every other Thai beach.
6. Haad Rin
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Known the world over for its famous Full Moon Party, Haad Rin beach is a part of the island of Ko Pha Ngan off the coast of Thailand. Three ferries per day travel from Koh Samui to Haad Rin.
Thousands and thousands of young travellers and backpackers come here every year to enjoy the aforementioned Full Moon Party. It becomes an exciting, carnivalesque atmosphere with the beach being lined with huge sound systems and tourists dancing all night.
Haad Rin is located on a very narrow peninsula, and this allows travelers to enjoy both sunrises and sunsets over the sea here.
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Historically a place for political prisoners once, Ko Tao, or Turtle Island, is a small island of approximately 21 kilometers square off the central Gulf coast of the southern part of Thailand and is part of the Chumphon archipelago.
Sairee Beach is about a mile long stretch of sand on the western side of the beautiful island of Ko Tao. The chief attraction of this beach is that there are almost no water currents here and so a number of dive sites and dive shops do brisk business here in peak seasons. Ko Tao offers a range of accommodations from budget to luxury.
8. Ko Nang Yuan
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Very close to the island of Ko Tao, lies the small island of Ko Nang Yuan. A long boat taxi can be ridden from Ko Tao to come to this island for a day trip.
The waters around this island are highly suitable for snorkeling and scuba diving. There is one diving resort for travelers who decide to stay on the island for a night.
The rest of the tourists, however, must pay a 100 Baht fee on entry.
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The island of Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand after Phuket and is located in the Gulf of Thailand. Chaweng Beach is the largest and the busiest beach here – divided into four sections for convenience – North, South, Central and Little.
It is the longest beach on the east coast running for a length of about 7 kilometers. The views from this beach are spectacular and there are two little islands which can only be seen and explored when the water recedes at low tide.
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A less crowded and more laid back beach to relax in is the Lamai beach, also located on the island of Koh Samui. A long and wide stretch of white sand on the Lamai beach makes it perfect for relaxing.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars on the beach and the island. Plenty of shopping both during the day and at a vibrant night market at night keeps the tourist busy and happy.
11. Hua Hin
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Hua Hin is a popular seaside resort city in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan. It is filled with fine white sand and extends for three kilometers. The sea shore here is lined with tropical sea pines, unlike coconut trees on most other Thai beaches.
It is a popular and fashionable weekend getaway spot for the Thai people and especially for the rich and famous of Bangkok city. Alongside fishing trips and boat trips which are popular here, the star attraction of Hua Hin beach is golf.
It is literally a golfer’s paradise with at least seven quality golf courses nearby.
12. Maya Bay
Image Credit: Kevin Tao
This is a gorgeous bay on the island of Ko Phi Phi Lee, hidden by towering hundred meter high cliffs on both sides, inside of which lie several small beaches.
The main beach is only about 200 metres long with sand as soft as silk and colorful underwater life which is easily visible through its crystal clear water. The whole bay in fact is one big reef.
It gained immense popularity since The Beach starring Leonardo Di Caprio was filmed here in 1999 and now attracts thousands of people daily. Snorkeling, diving and sea kayaking are popular activities here.
13. Phra ae a.k.a Long Beach
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At 4 kilometers long, this is the longest beach on the island of Koh Lanta, a part of the Krabi region on the west coast of Thailand.
The water is cool and beautiful, and going for swimming or for a nice walk on the beach especially for a couple is a recommended thing to do here.
There are budget bungalows right on the beach for staying and the sunset is beautiful here. There are pretty little beer bar shacks all over the beach for a relaxing drink and a few hours of chatting.
14. Kantiang Beach
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Another beautiful little beach on the island of Koh Lanta is the Ba KanTiang beach. The beach here is filled with pretty seashells for travellers to collect so walking barefoot is not recommended here.
A less crowded beach and also a great snorkeling spot, and as with other beaches in Koh Lanta, the sunset is ethereal from here. There are luxury resorts and hotels for comfortable accommodation on the beach.
15. Klong Dao Beach
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The island of Koh Lanta off the Andaman coast of Southern Thailand is home to many beautiful beaches. Perhaps the prettiest of them all is the Klong Dao beach.
It is home to shallow yet beautiful clear water and has a really long beach made of fine white sand at about 3 kilometers. It is an ideal getaway for really selective travellers who prefer a quiet beach yet want to be close to good restaurants, bars and shopping etc.
16. Kata Beach
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These are two adjacent beaches on the west coast of Phuket called Kata Yai and Kata Noi about ten minutes by foot from each other. At a total length of one kilometers, this is a peaceful and relaxing getaway.
There is great food on offer here and the restaurant and shops are moderately priced. Diving, Snorkeling and Surfing are the most popular water adventures available here.
17. James Bond Beach
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The James Bond island (actual name: Ko Tapu island) is located in the Phang Nga Bay, a very beautiful bay. The limestone formations that defy gravity and rise straight from the water are the key attractions here.
The Khao Ping Gan or the Leaning Rock on this beach was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun starring Roger Moore as Scaramanga’s hideout place.
Locals offer canoeing options around the area where one can come across many hidden caves and lakes and other rock formations.
So these were the seventeen most beautiful beaches in Thailand. We hope you plan a vacation to one or many of these slices of paradise very soon. Pack your bags and set off. Bon Voyage!