You probably already know that the beaches in Thailand are some of the best in Indochina, and arguably the best in Asia. What you may not know is that Thailand's beaches all vary hugely, and as a country, it offers enormous diversity when it comes to exclusive escapes. Read on for the lowdown...
After a recent research trip to Thailand, I was fortunate enough to explore Phuket, Khao Lak, Koh Lanta, Koh Samui and Krabi. I presumed all of these destinations would be stunning and 'same, same, but different'. But as it turns out, there is no 'same, same' at all; only beautiful and different.
Phuket is the largest and busiest island in Thailand, and home to all the glitz and glamour of South East Asia. You want a six star hotel, infinity pool, private butler service, fine dining at its finest, world class golf and the world's top hotel chains or even a plastic surgeon/surgery? Phuket is where it's at.
With an international airport, you can access Phuket via Dubai with Emirates or fly from Bangkok. The beaches to the west of Phuket are the best and therefore the busiest. They tend to be long stretches of white sand and crystal clear blue water. The beaches to the east of Phuket are rocky and therefore considerably less populated, and as a result, this is where some of the finest boutique hotels of Thailand are, with resorts like Sri Panwa (where the Thai Princess holidays) setting up camp.
What a stunning surprise! Khao Lak is located on the mainland just north of Phuket. The beaches are quiet and small, with water a beautifully clear blue colour and soft white sand that reminded me of the Maldives, as well as excellent diving close by and one amazingly noteworthy hotel: The Sarojin. The Sarojin is the most amazing location for a honeymoon; it is very peaceful, and I was blown away by its beauty when I visited.
Krabi is an incredibly mysterious place and isn't comparable to any other beach destination in Thailand. The water here is a real emerald green colour, which is complimented by deep yellow sand. The beaches are surrounded by vast limestone formations that jut out of the water, covered in patches of greenery and orange coloured stone. The setting is enchanting, and gives a completely different feel to the other beaches of Thailand.
Also known as 'Coconut Island', Koh Samui used to be a coconut plantation, where the elder sons once inherited the coconut plantations and the younger sons inherited the beach properties. At the time, being left the beach property was a little less appealing then inheriting a coconut plantation. However, with the increase of tourism and quality hotels, the younger sons have done rather well or themselves.
Koh Samui is undoubtedly a paradise island, with really bright blue water, white, soft sand, and - unlike everywhere else in Thailand - Koh Samui really gives you that island feel. The island is incredibly homely, the people very friendly, great restaurants and really wonderful hotels.