Thailand is the ideal country for people who love to see islands and beaches. The nation is said to have the world’s most beautiful beaches, and more than 1,400 islands and islets. If you are planning to go on a holiday trip to Thailand and want to know about the best beaches there, you have landed to the right place.
From the beautiful palm-fringed beaches in Koh Phi Phi to the popular shores of Phuket, these are the 18 best beaches in Thailand:
1. Railay Beach – Krabi
Railay beach is one of the most photogenic and peaceful beaches of them all. With the sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea to one side and mesmerizing cliffs to the other, the Railay beach is accessible only by boat from Ao Nang or Krabi. The views there are incredible; you will feel that you have come to a little slice of white-sand paradise.
You will love the long-tail boats cruising on the waves, calls of singing birds fill the air, and naughty monkeys swinging through the greenery that clings to the rocks. Railay beach is perfect for kids as there are no vehicles in the town.
2. Maya Bay
Koh Phi Phi’s Maya Bay is acclaimed as one of Thailand’s most sublime beaches. Leonardo DiCaprio’s most famous movie, The Beach, was also filmed here – and the fans of Leo love to walk in his footsteps on this beautiful beach. While it is a touristy place, there is no denying that the beach is still spectacular. The soft white sands on the curved bay along with sparkling crystal-clear water and dense jungle background make the scene visually appealing.
3. Donald Duck Bay
Taking its name from the unique shape of rocks that look similar to Donald Duck, this beach is located in a small island chain of mesmerizing beaches – the Similan Islands. It is part of a national park, which means there is quite a lot to see there besides the sparkling blue waters. Although Donald Duck Bay isn’t known for the most exciting diving, you can have a lot of fun by scuba diving and snorkeling.
4. Mae Nam Beach, KohSamui
If you are a backpacker or traveling to Thailand with your family, then this beach should definitely be in your list. With silky white sand spread over more than a four-mile radius and an array of high-end resorts, you can easily find a relatively private chunk of shore there. You can sit back and relax under the shade of a coconut tree or an umbrella and watch cloud-capped views of KohPhaNgan to the north. The views there are to die for!
5. Morakot Cave
Also known as Emerald Cave, this stunning location is only accessible from the sea – no other way to go in and out. As the name suggests, Morakot Cave carves a small opening in the foliage-covered craggy rocks of Trang’sKohMuk. You can swim through this opening to arrive in a small but peaceful lagoon. The water there has an emerald green color. You can take your waterproof camera there and click the best shots of your life!
6. Sunset Beach, KohLipe
Situated on the west side of KohLipe, facing the Butang Islands, this beauty of nature is considered one of KohLipe’s three main stretches of sand. Miraculously, Sunset Beach has maintained a low-profile and is popular mostly among Malaysian and local Thai visitors. Wondering why this beach has “sunset” in its name? Yes, you guessed it right! Due to its incredible sunsets that light up the horizon. The prime time to hit this beach is dusk.
KohTarutao was a work camp prison back then, which is now transformed into a beautiful beach for those who are looking for adventure and deserted beaches. This island is located an hour away from KohLipe. It has almost everything for everyone. If you have a high budget, you can live in a bungalow there, or if you are a backpacker on a budget, you can opt for a camp in their National Park.
Although getting here can be quite a mission, it is worth the time and effort. To get here, you can take a bus to either Hat Yai or Trang. From either point, it is a minivan and a boat ride to reach this peaceful location.
AoManao, known as Lime Bay in English, is an amazing beach located close to PrachuapKhiri Khan town. With its spectacular karst scenery, Lime Bay has much smaller crowds – which makes it an excellent choice for people who don’t like crowded areas. This beach is crescent-shaped, and you can have a lot of fun there. You can access AoManao through an army base.
There are a number of seafood restaurants on the beach where you can taste delicious food and make new friends.
9. KohTachai, Similan Islands
This 800km pristine island is one of the latest additions to the Similan National Park. This sandy beach faces the west while it has a sprawling rainforest in its back, adding to its magical views. The waters here are best for people who love snorkeling and scuba diving. However, there is nothing fancy on this island besides a basic campsite with a small restaurant.
If you want to stay a night here, there are guided tours that you can take to explore more of the wildlife. You can book a direct tour to KohTachai from Phuket, but if you are on a budget, you can opt for a cheaper alternative, which is directly from KhaoLak. Direct tours from Phuket will take you anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, depending on the boat you take.
If you are coming from Bangkok, you can take a bus from there heading north, which will make a stop in KhaoLak – from where you can catch a 2-hour boat ride to the ever-famous Similan Islands.
10. Lamai Beach
Lamai is one of the beaches located on KohSamui Island. It is known for its good choice of bars, beachfront hotels, restaurants, and not to mention, the stunning Hin Ta and HinYai rocks that can be seen at the southern end.
11. Thong Nai Pan Noi, KohPha-ngan
If you want to view a remote and tranquil beach, then Thong Nai Pan Noi and its twin cove, Thong Nai Pan Yai, is the best option to go for. This stunning location catches the first sight of the island’s sunrise each morning. This long Thai beach is surrounded by astounding family-owned bungalows and exclusive upscale retreats.
For more fun, you can head to the small village of Noi that gives a bohemian vibe, thanks to the old-school tattoo shops, backpacking crowds, and raging full moon parties.
12. Ton Sai Beach, Krabi
Located right next to the renowned Railay beach, Ton Sai beach is quite a place to visit if you are in Thailand. The beach front is a bit rocky, which means it isn’t ideal for swimming but don’t underestimate it; the vibe of the entire island definitely makes up for it. If there is low tide, you can get to West Railay beach from Ton Sai beach by walking over the rocks.
If you love rock climbing and exploring new areas, you will love this beach. Moreover, most rock climbers find Ton Sai beach better because the value for accommodation here is better than Railay.
If you want to get here from Bangkok, you have to take a flight to Krabi, and from there, this beautiful beach is only a short long-tail boat ride away.
13. Bottle Beach, KohPha-ngan
If you want to visit a secluded beach in Thailand, then heading towards the Bottle Beach (also known as Hat Khuat) is a great option. Although the island of KohPha-ngan is known for its full moon parties and other wild events, there are sandy beaches and wildlife-filled greenery too on this island that are worth seeing. This beach is only accessible by boat, which makes it a peaceful and serene location to visit.
Located on the island of KohPhayam, AoKwangPeeb beach couldn’t be more charming if it tried. Although it is a small white-sand beach, the views and waters there make the overall vibe magical. The waters here are great for swimming. Dense greenery surrounds the beach, and to reach the sands, there is only one track, which is bumpy and rutted.
And yes, don’t forget to look out for hornbills in the trees.
15. Buffalo Bay
If you want a peaceful environment, then visiting Buffalo Bay (also known as AoKhaoKwai) in the quiet and peaceful island of KohPhayam is one of the best options. Although this beach is more tranquil, it has a lot to offer, such as a mangrove forest in the river and a sea gypsy settlement at the southern end of the beach.
16. Sairee Beach, Koh Tao
Sprawling for more than a mile along with the west coast of Koh Tao is Sairee beach – which is the island’s longest, and possibly the most adored beach in Thailand. What makes it an ideal choice for families is the narrow shore’s shallow waters. If you are a party lover, you can visit bars and restaurants there that blast techno music and put on choreographed fire shows. Not to mention, the dole out drinks by the bucket that you can have.
17. Long Beach, KohLanta
Long Beach isn’t fringed by palms, as one might expect, but by large pines. There are bars, resorts, bungalows, restaurants, and guesthouses that sit shoulder to shoulder along the stretch, a bit away from the sand, leaving the beautiful beach uncluttered. And yes, don’t forget to see the sunsets there – they are unmissable!
18. KohKradan Beach, Trang
Located just off the coast of Trang, is KohKradan Beach, which is truly a little slice of paradise on earth. The water there is so clear that you can watch fish swim about while you sip your favorite drink. When it is high tide, the white sandy beach makes an excellent choice for swimming. And when it is low tide, you can enjoy walking endlessly on the long sandbar.
If you are coming to KohKradan from Bangkok, you need to take a flight to Trang and get a minibus to Pak Meng Pier or Hat Yao Pier. Alternatively, you can also catch a bus or train to Trang from Bangkok and from there, get a minivan or boat connection directly to KohKradan.
Thailand is one of the best countries to visit if you want to have fun, and that too in a budget. You have plenty of beaches to visit, a variety of foods to eat, and opportunities to meet travelers from all over the world. We hope that you will love visiting, some of these beaches, if not all, on your next trip to Thailand. Happy Traveling!