The Best Thailand Beach Guide
Thailand’s beaches drape over the Gulf of the Siam and are world-renowned for their mesmerising turquoise lagoons.
The pristine waters, white and yellow sands, and the lively culture make them the ultimate sightseer destination, thereby attracting thousands of tourists annually.
This guide gives you a list of the vibrant and off-beat beaches that offer the best Thai experience. Lounge freely, relax with your friends, and indulge in delicious seafood – these beaches will never let you down.
Here are our Top 5 beaches in Thailand:
- Ko Phi Phi’s Maya Bay
Famous for the Leonardo Dicaprio movie ‘The Beach’, Maya Bay offers a sight to behold. Surrounded by a dense canopy of jungle and ringed with soft white sand, Maya bay has visual magic accentuated by the 100ft cliffs it is enclosed with. Choose from a wide variety of beaches but make sure to reach before time if you don’t want heavy crowds to block the scene.
Visiting the beach requires some planning as there is an entry fee of 400 Baht. Once you reach the island bay, there is a shack selling drinks and snacks to re-energise yourself after a dip in the calm waters. Snorkel or dive down to the sea beds to see the colourful flocks of coral and vibrant fish swimming around. If something more laidback is to your taste, we would suggest opting for sea kayaking; what better than exploring the paradise at your own pace!
Visiting in November till April is advisable as the beaches are calm and you can safely swim for quite a distance. You can access Maya Bay by speedboat, longboat, or by one of the many ferries that it is frequently visited by.
- Phuket’s Patong Beach
Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island, and its Patong beach is the largest and most popular beach in all of the country. It is perfect for what Thailand is known for – the lively party culture. The jet skis, the cheerful partygoers and the bustling roadside stalls will require you to take out as much time as you can, to tour this beach.
The beach is well-equipped with amenities like public toilets and sun loungers, with even a parking facility for your rented scooters. The restaurants and bars lining the beach will keep you full with drool-worthy foods and drinks. There are tour guides every 100 feet organising parasailing, waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking and much more!
However, the hidden gem is in the northern part of Patong beach which has a small creek tucked away with soft sands and shallow water during the high seasons. We would recommend visiting between November and April to avoid the heavy rains from May to October. There are hundreds of things to do in Phuket, and visiting Patong Beach is one of the best of them.
- Krabi’s Railay Beach
Majestic limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and specks of islands on the horizon, Railay’s beaches have a lot to offer. The biggest bonus is that access is only by boat even though it is on the mainland, which gives it an exclusive feel. The waters of the Andaman sea on one side and the jagged cliffs on the other create quite the contrast, making it one of the most photogenic beaches in Thailand.
The perks of these beaches is the nature that surrounds you. Everything, from the birds’ calls to the monkeys swinging nearby, transports you to an ideal tropical getaway. Snorkelling and diving are among the favourite activities here. Not to forget that Railay is known for its rock climbing, and there are many schools and tour packages for beginners as well. If you feel adventurous, try deep water-soloing and climb as high as you want and drop off into the waters with a splash. Now that is a story worth posting on Instagram!
Aside from this, admiring the gorgeous views with a drink in one hand and a book in the other would be divine for any backpacker visiting Thailand!
- Ao Manao
Escape the mainland’s hustle-bustle on this tiny slice of crescent-shaped heaven near Prachuap Khiri Khan’s town. Translated in English to mean “the lime bay”, Ao Manao has a vivid karst scenery and white sand beaches that rival the most popular beaches in Thailand. Due to its distance from the mainland, the crowds it attracts are much smaller, making it a serene, family-friendly experience.
Ao Manao is under the Royal Thai Army’s care, and its access is through an army base. Seafood stalls and accommodations line this beach. Thus, you do not need to worry about the stay and how far to look around to satisfy your post-swim hunger pangs. Tranquillity untouched by commercialism – this is what Ao Manao gives you!
- Bangkok’s Hua Hin Beach
While many beaches in Bangkok are noteworthy, Hua Hin stands out from the rest. So much so that it used to be frequented by the royal family too. Earlier called as the ‘sleepy village’, it has retained most of its calm atmosphere that is rare to find on Thailand’s most popular beaches.
There is much to do at Bangkok’s favourite beach. The usual water sports and social life aside, Hua Hin is also in the proximity of a whopping eight golf courses. And, due to its 4km long beach, it is seldom overcrowded and has plenty of spots for you to find some personal space. This beach is a must-visit destination, even if you’re visiting Thailand for just about four days!
The sandy seabed makes it ideal for frolicking around with little ones and the perfect beach for a family vacation. Vendors nearby are loaded with snacks and drinks to keep you refreshed. There are plenty of accommodations available even though the beach is located on the outskirts.
Thailand’s beaches are best visited from November till April. And all you need to enjoy here is a sunblock, some refreshments, and a comfortable pair of flip flops to explore your heart out!