Thailand is world-renowned for its beaches, and for good reason! The silky soft sand and (nearly) all-year-round sunshine make it one of the best places in the world to relax and catch some rays. Here are the best beach destinations in Thailand.
We love Phuket here at JetRadar – it’s where our offices are based! Each day at work we overlook the beautiful beach and watch the sun go down, which often turns the sky an overwhelmingly gorgeous shade of dusty pink.
Phuket has so many beaches that you’ll have your pick in terms of style. The more lively hotspots of Kata and Karon are lined with shops, and here you can wander right from the sands into a bar for a beer before the ocean’s even dried from your skin. For quieter coastal areas, head to Nai Harn or Ao Sane in the south, which is where many of the locals choose to relax in the sun.
2. Koh Lanta
With whiter-than-white sands and bluer-than-blue waters, Koh Lanta is a paradise for beach lovers. The island has seen its fair share of tourism (although perhaps not quite as much as nearby Phi Phi) so you may have to deal with some other sun-dwellers on the beaches, but you’ll soon forget they’re even there once you lie down in the sand.
Koh Lanta’s northern beaches are where you’ll find the most tourists, whereas the southern beaches are a little more rugged. Beaches like Ba-Kantiang Bay or Klong Jak are a little more isolated – here you can cut yourself off from the resorts by staying in a little bungalow.
3. Koh Samui
One of Thailand’s most popular beach destinations, Koh Samui’s beaches wow visitors time and time again. When doing research about which hotel to pick on Samui, it’s actually a good idea to base it around the beaches, so that you place yourself steps away from your personal version of paradise.
Koh Samui beaches range from busy, like Chaweng, which is often as lively at night as it is in the day, to relaxing, like Maenam, which draws in a more peaceful crowd to the luxury resorts that surround it. Bophut Beach on Koh Samui is a nice middle ground – lots of shops and bars to keep you entertained, but not as much partying.
4. Ko Lipe
If you’re after a little more seclusion, there are few better places than Ko Lipe. This tiny blip in the ocean is home to Hat Pattaya, a curved crystal-white sand beach that’s interrupted by only a handful of small bars and restaurants.
Tourism is far less rampant on Ko Lipe as it is on other Thai islands, so this is a prime spot if you’re sick of all the backpackers. Be warned that this means Ko Lipe is a little less developed (there are no ATMs on the island) but if you come prepared that shouldn’t be a problem. If anything, it’s a way of experiencing real Thai life without the invasion of the western world.
5. Ko Pha-Ngan
Three little word most commonly used alongside Ko Pha-Ngan: Full Moon Party. This beautiful island is invaded for one week a year as these wilds parties are underway, and if that’s your thing, there are few better places to experience Thai partying then here at this time of year.
That’s not all Ko Pha-Ngan is good for, of course. When the final straggling of backpackers have left, the island is relatively quiet, ironically making it one of the best places to avoid the crowds. The beaches around the island’s parameters are comparatively empty outside of party season, and this calm atmosphere makes it one of the best places for families.
Which would be your top pick of these beach destination in Thailand?