The beaches of Thailand are world-famous for their tropical beauty. The coastline presents the visitor with a grand horizon, a scintillating blue sea, pure white sand, some dramatic and miraculously impressive rock formations and a backdrop of lush palm trees. In selecting a perfect beach, the visitor is somewhat spoilt for choice in Thailand. Perhaps the best question to ask is:
“What kind of beach holiday do I want?”
Thailand can provide active and relaxing beach holidays, and of course, a mixture of the two.
Thailand can also provide beaches that are next to a big resort, or beaches that are in more remote areas.
Here we look at the beaches of four of Thailand’s major coastline destinations.
Phuket has around 30 beaches to choose from. Some of the most well-known beaches include:
- Freedom Beach– Laidback and peaceful, Freedom beach tends to be less crowded than some other beaches. Surrounded by green hills, it offers excellent snorkeling opportunities. One of the nicest ways to visit the beach is via long-tail boats.
- Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Noi Beach– These are three pristine beaches, in close proximity, where white sands abound. One the first beach areas to be developed in Phuket, naturally, there are many entertainment possibilities located nearby.
- Patong Beach– The beach of the most famous resort on Phuket has, not surprisingly, many activities and entertainments available. The beach itself is pretty sensational.
- Phang Nga Bay– Instantly recognizable, Phang Nga Bay presents the visitor with a view that is the most famous beach scene of Thailand. It is a simply stunning beach with an incredible rock formation which featured prominently in a James Bond movie.
- Nai Harn Beach– Not the largest of beaches, but certainly a charming, peaceful one. Lined with some pleasant beach restaurants, the waters here sometimes attract surfers and kite surfers, depending on the season.
The island of Sumai has some wonderful beaches:
- Chaweng Beach– is Koh Samui’s most popular beach and it isn’t hard to understand why: it offers a long stretch of pure white sand, a lusciously blue sea, and impressive views. Nearby, there is an offshore reef and also the island of Koh Matlam.
- Lamai Beach– A gorgeous beach with memorable boulder rocks, Lamai beach is a gem. Although not the busiest of beaches in Thailand, there is still plenty to do here including water sports.
- Maenam Beach– A golden beach of tranquillity with some more hidden-away places to stay, Maenam Beach is a great place to escape the crowds and relax.
- Bangrak Beach and Choeng Mon Beach– Bangrak Beach is a peaceful beach that seems to be popular with everyone who visits it. Although it is laidback, there are also water sport activities here. The beach itself is cupped within a small bay, and not only is it beautiful, but it offers interesting kayaking opportunities to nearby islands.
- Lipa Noi– A perfect beach for children, it slopes so gently that it remains shallow for around 100 meters from the shore. Lipa Noi is a peaceful beach, not too far from the island’s main ferry destination.
- Taling Ngam Beach– Probably the beach that matches expectations of a peaceful, tropical paradise, Taling Ngam has a jungle backdrop, outstanding views, and wonderful sunsets and is the perfect place to get away from it all.
- Silver Beach, Samrong Beach and Thongson Bay– Perhaps not as well-known as other beaches, these three are stunning, beautiful. Silver Beach has some memorable rock formations, whereas Samrong and Thongson have a marvelous feeling of seclusion.
Hua Hin is a Royal resort town, renowned for its cosmopolitan and up-market atmosphere. Here you can play golf, or kite surf, and not surprisingly, you can also find some world-class beaches:
- Hua Hin Beach– Elegant, sweeping white across the coast, Hua Hin Beach is stunning and is popular with Thais and foreign tourists.
- Suan Son Pradipat Beach and Pranburi Beach– Located further south from Hua Hin, these two beaches may be less crowded than their more famous neighbor, but they offer the same quality of the beach and some breathtaking views.
Pattaya is a coastline city. Not surprisingly then, although the beaches may be fringed with palm trees, a visitor is usually within walking distance of the city itself.
- Jomtien Beach and Pattaya Beach– Both beaches offer all the relaxation of sun and sand, (and water sports if you seek them), but also there is the bustling backdrop of busy shops, cafes, and restaurants.
- Wong Amat Beach– Wong Amat, located next to Pattaya Beach, is well-known for its cleanliness, its popularity with families and the luxury hotels that line the beach here.
- Dongtan Beach– Dongtan is one of Pattaya’s more peaceful beaches, although it is also quite renowned for the water sports that it has on offer, and for establishing an area for gay beachgoers. So which beach is best for you? With so many options, it may be difficult to make a decision, although it is possible to generalize a little. Phuket and Koh Sumai, as locations, offer many alternatives for the traveler: active or peaceful; luxurious or the less expensive. Hua Hin may appeal more to those who enjoy the comforts of more up-market locales, whereas Pattaya may appeal more to those that want to enjoy the beach, but to also have the comfort of being in close proximity to a city.