Thailand is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in Asia, and possibly even the world - it’s no coincidence that the hugely popular book and film ‘The Beach’ was set here (more on that later). Whatever kind of holiday you’re planning, we can recommend the perfect stretch of coastline, whether you’re after a secluded island paradise or a bit of adventure. Check out our list of the best beaches in Thailand and start dreaming…
The Party One
Patong Beach on Phuket is one of Thailand’s most popular beaches (and for good reason). Its palm trees and white sand make it a tourist paradise, and there’s no shortage of hotels, restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. By night, it’s one of Thailand’s hotspots for nightlife with countless bars and clubs, so if you’re keen to get your dancing shoes on, this is where to head. This is definitely one of the busier beaches on our list, so if you’re looking for more peace and quiet, read on.
The Laidback One
For a more laidback experience, head to Railay Beach, located on a small peninsula near Krabi and surrounded by emerald-green waters and towering limestone cliffs. The peninsula is only accessible by boat, making it an extra special and secluded slice of heaven. If you’re looking to do more than simply admire the limestone formations, enjoy a spot of adventure with countless rock-climbing opportunities.
The One for Sunsets
Hat Pramong on Ko Lipe isn’t nicknamed Sunset Beach for nothing: this west-facing strip of sand is easily one of the best beaches in Thailand to watch the sun set. Clearly a well-kept secret, Hat Pramong is home to only huts and bungalows without a noisy resort in sight. There are a few restaurants and bars nearby, though, so you can grab yourself a cold beer or cocktail to enjoy while you take in the views. For a peaceful and picturesque evening, this is pretty hard to beat.
The Secluded One
For another private paradise, we recommend Bamboo Island in the Phi Phi Islands area, an uninhabited island that’s just under half a mile long. As a protected island, there are no big resorts or hotels to disturb your tranquillity, so you can spend a day relaxing on the white sand beach and swimming or snorkelling in the perfectly clear waters. The island is covered in a lush grove of bamboo trees, under which you’ll find a small bar that serves drinks and snacks.
The Famous One
Made famous by its appearance in the film ‘The Beach’, Maya Bay is an idyllic cove found on the island of Phi Phi Leh, which had become so popular with tourists that it was temporarily closed in 2018 to allow the ecosystem to recover from the damage caused by huge numbers of visitors. Since then, new coral has begun to grow in the water around the bay and blacktip reef sharks have been spotted. Excitingly, thanks to this environmental recovery, the beach is set to reopen on the 1st January 2022, although with strict regulations on visitor numbers to prevent further damage. Despite these restrictions, we couldn’t miss this iconic beach off our roundup of the best beaches in Thailand.