Mihitravel invites travelers to immerse themselves in Thailand’s unparalleled beach beauty. Nestled between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, this nation boasts islands that are nothing short of visual poetry. Imagine pristine shores painted in the purest shades of white, waters that mirror the vastness of the sky, and palm trees dancing gracefully to the rhythm of the sea breezes. For those passionate about picturesque landscapes, this list of best beaches in Thailand is nothing less than a dream brought to life.
Stretching across an impressive 2,500km (1,500 miles) of sun-kissed coastline, Thailand unveils a treasure trove of over 1,430 idyllic islands. Picture surreal limestone cliffs rising majestically from the crystal-clear turquoise waters, vibrant coral gardens teeming with life waiting for explorers armed with snorkels, and inviting sandy shores lined with quaint beach shacks serving up aromatic local delicacies — think sizzling skewers and delectable noodle delights.
These captivating shores beckon a diverse group of beach enthusiasts, ranging from intrepid backpackers to families seeking a serene getaway. If you’re wondering the best time to visit Thailand for an unparalleled seaside adventure, mark your calendars for November to March.
Best-known Beach Destinations
Klong Dao, Ko Lanta
Nestled among the chain of 52 pristine and untouched islands that constitute Ko Lanta in the scenic Krabi Province, Ko Lanta Yai stands out as the most expansive and well-established of the lot. This gem boasts a majestic, crescent-shaped beach that spans an impressive 3.5km (2 miles) along its northwest coast. Here, visitors are greeted by silky-soft sand, few obstructions, and gentle shallow waters, making it a sunlit haven especially suited for young ones.
Quick Tip: If the tropical sun sparks a craving for something cool and delectable, go to Two Scoops Gelato and Dessert nearby. With many rotating ice cream flavors, this sweet spot is easily recognizable by its vibrant pink exterior.
Hat Tham Phra Nang, Krabi
Hat Tham Phra Nang is a pinnacle of beach beauty in a nation overflowing with mesmerizing coastal gems. Located in the picturesque Krabi Province, this haven epitomizes seaside perfection, boasting sun-kissed golden sands, inviting blue waters, and awe-inspiring karst peaks emerging from the depths. For the adventurous, the foliage-draped cliffs on the western end offer a challenging ascent, culminating in panoramic views of Ko Kai (often called “Chicken Island”), Ko Pada, and other rugged islands piercing the vast Andaman Sea.
Quick Tip: Docked right at the beach are longboat eateries, the ideal spot to quench your thirst with refreshing coconut water or satiate your appetite with a delicious shrimp pad thai after your exhilarating climb.
Chaweng, Ko Samui
For those contemplating an alternative to Phuket, Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand should be high on your list. This island goes toe-to-toe with Phuket for the title of Thailand’s premier tropical haven. Its east coast boasts Chaweng Beach, with its soft, rosy sands, trendy boutiques, vibrant beach bars, exquisite eateries, and nightlife rivaling the fervor of Phuket’s famed Patong Beach.
- Secure a sunny lounger or a cozy seat under the shade at the stylish Elephant Beach Club and savor their signature Bird of Paradise cocktail – a delightful blend of Aperol, rum, pineapple juice, and lime.
- Later, treat yourself to a plate of delectable stir-fried garlic pepper crab at the upscale Khaw Glong.
- End the evening on a high note with a captivating performance at Paris Follies Cabaret – the evening shows promise an edgier experience than their daytime counterparts.
Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan
A mere three-hour journey from Bangkok will transport you to Hua Hin, Thailand’s vintage coastal gem. Established in the 1920s as a seaside haven for the privileged, its allure was amplified when King Rama VII graced it with his summer palace, Klai Kangwon, translating to “Far from Worries.” Not only can you meander through the famed night bazaar, but you’re also in for a seafood feast. Establishments like Chao Lay serve a tantalizing variety straight from the ocean.
Insider’s Note: With its timeless charm, Hua Hin is an ideal pocket-friendly alternative to Thailand’s southern isles.
Sichon, Nakhon Si Thammarat
Venture to Sichon in Nakhon Si Thammarat, a secluded beach haven located an eight-hour bus journey (or a swift one-hour flight) from Bangkok if you’re in the mood for an untouched paradise. Here, instead of the usual tourist hustle and bustle, you’ll be greeted by local fishermen and their vivid boats. And if stars align, you might even spot one of the 60 delightful pink dolphins, speculated to be a subspecies of Chinese white dolphins, frolicking in the waves.
Traveler’s Note: Dive into the local culinary delights! Indulge in Khanom Krok, mouthwatering coconut pancakes sprinkled with green onions. And make sure to take advantage of the freshly netted eels, aromatic steamed clams, or the fiery pad phet mackerel, all served fresh at the beach’s quaint eateries and vibrant street food stalls.
Ko Similan, Phang Nga
Nestled within the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands are Thailand’s crown jewels for aquatic adventures. Of the nine captivating islands in this cluster, Island #8 steals the spotlight. Dive into its waters, which go as deep as 25m (82ft), and you’ll be introduced to some of the globe’s most spectacular diving and snorkeling sites. The bay on the western side of Ko Similan unveils a world of vibrant marine life, set amidst intricate coral structures, grand sea fans, imposing barrel sponges, mysterious swim-throughs, and intriguing stone formations.
Traveler’s Suggestion: If you’re more inclined to terrestrial pleasures, the island doesn’t disappoint. Wander through scenic hiking trails that lead to vantage points with breathtaking sea vistas, a serene escape for those who prefer the rhythm of solid ground beneath their feet.
More: Best time to visit Thailand – All of things you maybe need
Hat Bang Sak, Phang-Nga
In the famed Phang-Nga province, while island gems like the renowned “James Bond Island” – made famous by the 1974 movie The Man With the Golden Gun – draw hordes of tourists, the mainland cradles its trove of sun-kissed treasures, often overlooked by many.
One such gem is Hat Bang Sak. This expansive ribbon of sand brushes up against a picturesque canopy of age-old pine trees. Venture further, and you’ll discover serene mangrove swamps juxtaposed against the rhythmic tapping from rubber tree plantations. Elevate your beach experience with a visit to the nearby Be Friend Restaurant. The ambiance, with twinkling string lights and bamboo seating arrangements on the sand, perfectly complements their tantalizing island-inspired delicacies, from succulent prawn cakes to tangy squid drenched in zesty lemon sauce.
Nui Beach, Ko Phi Phi
Maya Bay, immortalized by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2000 blockbuster “The Beach,” tragically mirrored the narrative of its fictional counterpart. This secluded nook on the untouched island of Ko Phi Phi Leh saw an overwhelming influx of visitors after its cinematic debut. Sadly, the once-pristine haven was marred by the film crew’s actions and the relentless tide of tourism that followed. Recognizing the environmental catastrophe, Thai authorities intervened, shutting it down in 2018. Thankfully, after intensive restoration and a nature rehabilitation period, the bay reopened in 2022. Yet, this time, it’s equipped with strict visitor caps and a renewed commitment to sustainability.
However, Nui Beach on Ko Phi Phi Don offers a serene refuge for those craving a less-trodden path. Beyond its amenities like bars, restaurants, and spas, the bay promises a refreshing journey. Only accessible via a 4WD adventure, this secluded spot is nestled 3km (2 miles) deep amidst a lush jungle surrounded by a coconut grove beyond the Kata-Karon viewpoint. A tropical escapade awaits those willing to take the offbeat path.
Haad Rin Nai, Ko Pha-Ngan
Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, just off the coast of Surat Thani, lies Samui, rivaling Phuket in the race for Thailand’s premier tropical hotspot title. Yet, as Samui’s popularity surged, its charm waned under the weight of overdevelopment and crowds of visitors. This paved the way for its serene neighbor, Ko Pha-Ngan. With its harmonious blend of sandy enclaves and lush inland forests, Ko Pha-Ngan has become a magnet for backpackers searching for a more relaxed ambiance.
To truly dive into the island’s spirit, align your trip with the lunar calendar. The island’s iconic Full Moon Parties at the locally-famed Sunset Beach are nothing short of epic. Drawing in a sea of over 30,000, mainly Gen Z revelers adorned in vibrant body paint, these events are a sensory overload. The pulsating beats, drinks served in buckets, and daring street performers engaging in fiery limbo challenges, all under the moonlit sky, make for unforgettable nights.
Local Tip: Did you miss the Full Moon spectacle? Fear not! Ko Pha-Ngan ensures every night is a celebration, keeping the party spirit alive all month long.
Mai Khao, Phuket
Just a stone’s throw away from Phuket Airport, nestled within the confines of Sirinat National Park, lies the island’s crowning jewel – Mai Khao Beach. Stretching a staggering 10km (6 miles), it proudly claims the title of Phuket’s lengthiest shoreline. Beyond its vast expanse, the beach entices with a myriad of activities. Whether you’re keen on gliding through the water in a kayak, meandering amidst the aromatic pine forests, diving into the pristine waters to explore the vibrant plate coral and sea anemones, or capturing the adrenaline-pumping sight of jumbo jets thundering past just overhead, Mai Khao guarantees memories for a lifetime.
Hidden Beach Gems
Railay Beach, a jewel in Krabi’s crown, stands out as one of the province’s finest shores and a top-tier destination in Thailand. Its unique location on a quaint peninsula, accessible only via a longtail boat, adds charm and allure. But it’s not just the pristine white sands that captivate visitors; it’s the entire ensemble of the locale. The dramatic cliffs and caves, soaring limestone formations, verdant jungle backdrops, and serene lagoon-esque swimming zones together weave a magical tapestry.
Comprising a collection of smaller beaches, Railay’s expansive coastline invites relaxation and adventure, making it an idyllic blend for those wanting to sunbathe and explore.
To elevate the experience, consider a stay at the luxurious Rayavadee Resort or Bhu Nga Thani Resort and Spa. Nestled amidst nature’s grandeur, these resorts ensure you’re nestled in lush gardens and sophisticated pools and have the beach’s breathtaking views just a glance away from your room’s comfort.
Tha Pho Beach
Location: Koh Kood
Overview: Koh Kood, nestled in the vast expanse of Thailand’s marine world, is a serene sanctuary that remains one of the country’s best-kept secrets.
Why it’s a Must-Visit: Beyond the quintessential allure of its pristine white sands lies the charm of its secluded ambiance. Unlike the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s famous beach destinations, Koh Kood exudes a mellow, dreamlike aura thanks to its limited accommodations, ranging from cozy homestays and budget-friendly lodgings to exquisite luxury resorts. However, the tranquility of Tha Pho Beach’s shores doesn’t translate beneath its waves. Dive into its serene turquoise depths, and you’ll be greeted by a bustling marine world where sea turtles, stingrays, barracudas, and many reef dwellers harmoniously share their underwater haven.
Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach
Location: Koh Phangan
Highlight: Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach
Why You Should Visit: While Koh Phangan might ring bells for its electric full moon parties, Thong Nai Pan Noi offers a serene escape from the usual revelry. Nestled in the island’s northernmost tip, this beach is a haven for those who lean towards a more tranquil and laid-back ambiance, from New Age enthusiasts and honeymooners to bodyboarders looking for gentle waves. The pristine beach, characterized by its crystal-clear waters and velvety soft sand, stretches endlessly, merging seamlessly into deep waters at all tidal levels. It’s a dream destination for those keen on undisturbed swims and casual frolics in the water. For the adventurous, a diving school and jet-ski rentals are available nearby, ensuring there’s never a dull moment in this idyllic paradise.
Highlight: Kata Noi Beach
Reasons to Visit: Amidst the hustle and bustle of Phuket’s beaches, Kata Noi emerges as a serene escape. While neighboring Kata Beach bursts with energy, Kata Noi is your tranquil refuge, characterized by its delicate, silky sand. The hillside road skirts the beach and is dotted with quaint bars that come alive with vibrant sunsets, offering chilled Singha beers and a delightful spread of local cuisine. For the adrenaline junkies, the beach’s northern end is a surfing hotspot. On the other hand, the bay’s rocky headlands are a snorkeler’s delight, teeming with marine life. And if you’re looking to revel in the sun’s embrace, comfortably recline on a rented lounger at the beach’s center. Kata Noi promises an experience that caters to every kind of beach enthusiast.
Location: Koh Lipe
Highlight: Sunset Beach
Reasons to Visit: Nestled near the boundary between Thailand and Malaysia, Koh Lipe’s Sunset Beach stands true to its evocative name, offering enchanting vistas of the setting sun. Characterized by its massive, distinct boulders extending into the crystalline water, this serene paradise promises a secluded escape from the frenetic pace of more frequented beaches. Its sand, as soft as sifted flour, beckons those who seek tranquility and an intimate rendezvous with nature’s untouched beauty. The essentially wild landscape sporadically dotted with rustic bungalows, laid-back driftwood restaurants, and chilled drink vendors, further accentuates its bohemian ambiance. Sunset Beach is Koh Lipe’s undisturbed gem for those yearning for a moment paused in time.
White Sand Beach
Location: Koh Chang
Highlight: A Beach of Nightlife and Natural Beauty
Reasons to Visit: Koh Chang’s vibrant beach promises daytime serenity and nighttime exhilaration. By day, the soft sandy shore invites relaxation beneath swaying palm trees, with the inviting warmth of the tropical waters beckoning swimmers. But as dusk envelopes the coast, the beach transforms into a lively hub of activity. Backpackers and beach lovers find camaraderie over happy hour drinks while rasta musicians set the ambiance. Candle-lit tables shimmer along the coast, and the electric energy of fire dancers complements the beats from nearby clubs, keeping the party alive till dawn. While Koh Chang, Thailand’s third-largest island, has seen its fair share of tourists, its national park designation ensures unobstructed panoramic beauty. Here, nature’s splendor and vivacious nightlife coalesce seamlessly.
Laem Thong Beach
Location: Koh Phi Phi
Highlight: A Beach of Exclusivity and Natural Wonders
Reasons to Visit: Koh Phi Phi, renowned for its stunning landscapes, offers a gem away from the usual tourist crowd: Laem Tong. This exclusive beach is enveloped in the untouched beauty of nature round-the-clock. Its pristine, powdery sands gleam whether illuminated by dawn’s soft hues, midday’s radiant sunshine, or the moon’s silver glow. The relative inaccessibility, requiring a journey via longtail or private speedboat, ensures its seclusion. Only a few luxurious resorts dot this heavenly stretch. Moreover, the waters here promise an underwater paradise: vibrant reefs teeming with diverse marine life. Whether you’re a snorkeling newbie or a seasoned diver, Laem Tong offers an aquatic escapade that’s nothing short of magical.
Sai Kaew Beach
Location: Koh Samet
Highlight: White Sands Meets Electric Nights, A Stone’s Throw From The City
Reasons to Visit: If a blissful beach escape with a side of nightlife is on the cards, look no further than Sai Kaew Beach on Koh Samet. A stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, this destination is perfect for those who need a refreshing, quick break. By day, the powdery soft sands beckon you to revel in languor – a tranquil morning walk, a rejuvenating afternoon slumber, or a soothing beachside massage. But as the sun sets, the pulse quickens. Sai Kaew transforms into a haven for thrill-seekers. Dive into myriad water adventures or let loose at the vibrant all-night beach parties. Amidst the sunny embrace and sizzling nights, delight your senses with delectable fare and inexpensive libations. At Sai Kaew, there’s relaxation, recreation, and everything in between.
With its dazzling array of pristine beaches and idyllic islands, Thailand offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an avid diver, sun worshipper, adventurer, or simply needing a tranquil retreat, the Kingdom’s shores promise unforgettable experiences. From the well-trodden paths of Phuket and Ko Samui to the untouched beauty of Koh Kood and Sichon, there’s always a stretch of sand waiting to captivate your heart. So, as you plan your next escape, consider the mesmerizing beaches of Thailand as your next destination.
Ready to discover your piece of paradise? Don’t wait! Book your Thai beach adventure now and immerse yourself in the beauty of Southeast Asia’s coastal gem. Dive in, bask under the sun, and let the waves of Thailand enchant you!