With its crystal-blue waters, delicate white sand and tall, shadow-casting palm trees, the beaches of Thailand are world-famous and considered a paradise by those who were lucky enough to see them. Not only are they stunning, but there’s variety in them as well. Secluded coves where you can hide and forget that there’s anything but the patch of sand you’re standing on and the turquoise water in front of you. Tropical beaches full of happy tourists, sunbathing during the days and partying at night, with the stars above their heads brighter than any disco lights. Cozy stretches of sand favored by families, with children running around and joyfully splashing the water. Scenic areas dominated by the energetic vibe of surfers, scuba divers and other sport enthusiasts. When it comes to beaches, Thailand has it all. It’s hard to choose the best beach in Thailand, since there are hundreds and all nothing less than picturesque, but these few are often considered to be the best beaches in Thailand.
Phra Nang Beach
At the southern tip of Railay (a small peninsula between two resort towns, Krabi and Ao Nang) you can find the spectacular Phra Nang beach. Why is it spectacular? Mostly because of the magnificent limestone cliffs and the fact they stand right next to delightfully clear water. You can swim, sunbathe, enjoy the views or spend a wonderfully lazy day. And in case that doesn’t sound adventurous enough, the rocks can be climbed as well. Throughout the year the massive limestone rocks get many visits by climbers and bouldering groups that take on the challenge.
The only “downside” is that Phra Nang can only be reached by boat from Ao Nang. But because it’s less accessible, your chance of spending some alone time is higher. There are still enough tourists to make it colorful and lively, but not so many to make it over-crowded. Definitely worthy of the title “best beach in Thailand”, don’t you think?
Nai Harn Beach
On the island of Phuket, the Nai Harn beach is a secluded and tranquil place. The beach is known mostly among the locals and expats, not too many western tourists reach it. You can find several guest-houses and hotels that are geared towards the Thai tourists. There are also food stalls with some delicious Thai snacks and restaurants where you can have a nice dinner. Breath-taking views, warm water and fabulous swimming included!
Because the water is so calm and clear, this is an amazing place to go kayaking or stand-up paddling. Depending on the season you go, you might get some excellent surf as well!
Have you seen Danny Boyle’s “The Beach” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton? If you have, then you surely wondered where this amazing place is to be found. Is it even real? The answer is yes and it’s in Thailand, on the island of Koh Phi Phi Le. Maya Bay is “The Beach” indeed. Its charming bay, framed on three sides by 100-meter high cliffs, offers great diving and snorkeling. Because of the scenery, the movie and all the amazing activities, this beach has become the representation for Thai beaches. It belongs to a national park – which 20th Century Fox painfully found out in a lawsuit after filming there. This also means visitors must pay a fee, but it’s more than worth it and it also keeps the masses at bay.
Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong)
There’s a reason this little bay is called the Sunset Beach. After a day of swimming, relaxing and walking on the soft white sand it turns into a magical painting of purple and red. Hat Pramong is a mellow spot and, despite being picturesque, not very touristy. There are no resorts or fancy hotels, just lovely huts and bungalows. For all those who want to escape the hustle of the touristic areas, Hat Pramong is the best beach in Thailand. The rest of the island of Koh Lipe is also nice and quiet and can be reached by speedboat from close-by Koh Lanta.
Ko Nang Yuan
A small island near Ko Tao, Ko Nang Yuan is a popular destination for day-trips from the islands of Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui. The island is also quite easily reachable from Surat Thani and Chumphon on the Thai mainland. Its distance from the places mentioned above – or lack thereof – is practical, but makes Ko Nang Yuan a popular destination, as some websites have declared it the best beach in Thailand a few times. It can get a little crowded here and there. Ko Nang Yuan is enchanting despite the tourists, though. The beautiful beaches are famous for excellent diving and snorkeling spots. Visitors must pay a fee, unless they stay overnight. There’s a dive resort for those who want to enjoy the bright blue waters for several days and get a look at the unique marine life.
If sunbathing, swimming and romantic strolls along the beach are not enough because you want some partying as well, then Patong is your spot. Famous for its sizzling night-life, Patong is the party capital of Phuket. A variety of clubs, discos and bars ensure lots of fun for all party-animals. Patong Beach is very popular and when it comes to nightlife, it definitely wins the title of “the best beach in Thailand”.
Sam Phraya Beach
There is a special bliss to camping at the beach instead of just spending the day. Waking up to the sound of waves and the ocean is one of the most relaxing things in the world. And because this beach is in a National Park, it’s kept clean. You could also hang your hammock and enjoy your time away from the masses of tourists while reading and napping in the sun. Maybe not the most famous beach, but for me definitely the best beach in Thailand!
Which one of these beaches appeals to you the most? Is there one we should add to the list? Definitely let us know in the comments, and maybe we’ll go check it out some time 🙂