There are so many beaches to choose from in Thailand. From the serene beaches of Tarutao National Marine Park to the attractive beaches of Trat province, there is a stretch of sand to appeal to everyone. To help you decide which beach is best for you, take a look at our suggestions here for choosing a beach holiday in Thailand. And check out the photos of these Thai islands for more travel inspiration. In this round-up of favourite Thai beaches, some of our travel friends share images and memories of their go-to beaches when they visit Thailand.
Ao Nang Beach, Krabi – chosen by Wanderlust Chloe
I absolutely love Ao Nang Beach in Krabi. We visited last year on an amazing three-week trip around Thailand. I couldn’t believe the scenery with its enormous limestone rocks, rugged forests and bright turquoise waters. It really is spectacular, and somewhere I’d love to return to for a longer trip.
Ao Nang is a great jumping off point for visiting nearby islands and famous spots in Krabi like Railay Beach. I loved relaxing at one end of Ao Nang Beach, enjoying the views as little boats came and went, taking a dip in the water and sipping on a refreshing cocktail as the sun turned the water a golden shade as it set on another day in paradise.
Website: Wanderlust Chloe
Freedom Beach, Phuket – chosen by Joey Santini
I have lived in Phuket for nine years and I’ve counted more than 40 official beaches. Honestly, I can’t say I have visited them all but I’d say most of them – all of which are beautiful! However, for me, the most beautiful is Freedom Beach. This beach is considered a Phuket hidden gem, located on the west coast in an untouched bay surrounded by many tall coconut trees. The silent and spectacular cove has unbelievable crystal clear water and very soft white sand.
There are two ways to reach Freedom Beach; by sea and by land. By sea is the most tiring, but most beautiful option. Most beautiful because you have the opportunity to observe the other beaches from different angles before reaching the destination. Moreover, taking a small boat trip is always pleasant and relaxing. Reaching the beach by land involves following a dirt path which is a more interesting option for me as I am a landscape photographer, and it means I can capture the breathtaking views of the beach. Looking at the pristine bay from above, you can see various shades of the crystal clear blue water especially during the high season because the sea is very calm and clear. Furthermore, the contrast of the beach and the tropical nature behind it is unique to see and to photograph. And the sunsets seen from Freedom Beach are truly beautiful. If you go to Freedom Beach, please tidy up after yourself. Safeguard nature because one day you will want to come back!
Website: Joey Santini
Ko Kham – chosen by Josh and Nanu
There are so many incredible beaches in Thailand, and it was hard to narrow it down to just one favourite. However if we had to pick one to go back to right now, it would be the beach on the private island of Ko Kham (Trat province).
From the west side of Ko Mak you hop on a small boat paying around 100 baht to get to the tiny private island of Ko Kham. It is then around 200 baht to get on the island. This includes a drink from the beach bar and keeping the island in pristine condition. This beach is like something from the Maldives, it has beautiful white sand, incredibly clear sea, and compared to many other popular beaches in Thailand it does not have many people visiting there at all.
Website: Josh and Nanu
Khao Lak and the Similan Islands – chosen by Uwern Jong from Out There Travel
There are so many beaches that I love in Thailand, for different reasons. Some are not the most beautiful or secluded, but have special memories for me. Be it a romantic and serene trip with my partner in Surin Beach, Phuket right after they moved the beach clubs. Or where I spent a recent milestone birthday with 10 of my closest friends at lesser known Khuk Khak Beach in Phang Nga. Or a fantasy island style getaway beach on Ko Racha Yai or also Ko Hey, that you can have to yourself once all the day trippers disappear. Or breathtaking Railay Beach in Krabi with its dramatic karst formations. As you can see, this was not an easy choice.
However, the beaches on pretty much any of the nine Similan Islands, part of a protected national park, are truly special. They can be crowded, but the colour of the water and sand here is somewhat magical and I like the fact that you can only visit for a short time on a day trip, which means after the boats have gone nature can take a break from tourism. With Khao Lak being the Similan’s jumping-on point, you can also enjoy the quiet, local beaches there where there are very few tourists and you can hang out with locals and gentle beach dogs all day long.
Instagram: @uwern and @outtheremag
Website: Out There Travel
Ko Lao Lading – chosen by Brock and Betty
Our favourite beach in Thailand is on the island of Ko Lao Lading (Krabi province), or better known as ‘Paradise Island’ to tourists. Once on the island it’s easy to see why it’s been given that name! The island is only accessible by boat so when you’re there you feel like you have your own little beach and a small piece of Thailand tucked away.
Take a seat on the picturesque tree swing and absorb the captivating view of the limestone cliffs, white sandy bay and the long-tail boats bobbing along the surface. This bay is also a great spot for some snorkelling because of the calm and clear waters so bring your goggles.
Website: Brock & Betty
Khuk Khak Beach – chosen by The Luxury Editor
There are so many beautiful beaches in Thailand to choose from! One of our favourites is Khuk Khak Beach in Khao Lak. The Khao Lak area is a fairly new discovery for me, having been there for the first time in February this year.
The beach is a long stretch of 5km white powdery sand and it’s relatively undeveloped with only a couple of resort hotels tucked away between the endless lengths of pine trees and palm groves. When we visited the beach we stayed at the beautiful Devasom Hotel which is quite a new hotel and built on an old grove and perfectly positioned on the beach with a connecting lagoon. Simply perfect!
Website: The Luxury Editor
Your favourite beaches
On the Fan Club Thailand Facebook page, we asked readers for your picks for favourite beaches in Thailand. And you didn’t let us down! This is a selection of the Thai beach locations you love the most.
On the East Coast, Sophie Reeson and Andrew Kennedy plumped for the wonderful beaches of Ko Chang. The nearby island of Ko Kood was the choice of Harry White who described the island as “an unspoilt paradise”. Wanwisa Sungsri also went for Ko Kood as her favourite while Fiona Yeo chose Ko Mak.
On Thailand’s Southern Andaman Coast there was a lot of love for Khao Lak. Ste Watson has been there four times with especially happy memories of his first visit and his Khao Lak beach wedding. Sally Ingram was another who voted for Khao Lak with a special shout out to Apsara Beachfront Resort. Paula Perkins agreed with Sally’s choice of Khao Lak and said, “We were there the last two weeks of March. Loved it!”
Ko Lanta was selected by Martyn Isaacs who also recommended the nearby island of Ko Jum too. Bamboo Beach on Ko Lanta was the choice of Dawn Phipps Duffy Harper.
Krabi’s Railay Beach was selected by both Michelle Cook and Rob Spencer with Rob describing Railay as an “awesome place”. And over on Phuket, Paula Perkins recommends Cape Panwa while Peter Nell also chose Phuket for a special birthday celebration.
The lovely beaches of the Similan Islands and Surin Islands were chosen by Sarah Hanquinioux and Hayley Kirkby, with Hayley calling the Similan Islands, “one of the most gorgeous beaches we went to while in Thailand and the place I did my first ever try dive. Great memories xxx”
On the Gulf Coast, the quiet beaches of Chumphon were recommended by Chris Rowley and the tropical beaches of Ko Pha Ngan were the choice of Rachel Leach who commented, “I’ve visited Thailand 4 times, can’t wait to go back again!”
Ko Samui is a wonderful location for a wedding or romantic holiday which Pam Wickens will confirm. Pam said, “We went to Lamai Beach on Ko Samui for our golden wedding anniversary 3 years ago and loved it so much we spend every January there, we have so many friends that live there, best holidays ever.” Tara Marshall also favourited Ko Samui and we hope you get your Songkran wish too, Tara.
Thank you to all of you for sharing so many happy memories and amazing images of Thailand. Sorry it wasn’t possible to namecheck all of you! We love to hear about your stories and memories of Thailand so please keep sharing them with us.
You may also enjoy:
Fan Club Thailand
Tourism Thailand (UK & Ireland)
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