There is one thing that gets few arguments when it comes to Thailand – the country is home to some of the most spectacular beaches on the planet, framed by waters so clear you can see right down to the bottom. Visitors come from across the globe for its pristine beaches, with more than 2,000 miles of coastline and some 8,000 islands, many offering seductive, soft white sands.

For the best of the best in Thailand, you’ll want to head to these destinations.

Phuket, Thailand
Krabi, Thailand

Krabi Island

Krabi’s coast is renowned for its limestone karsts that rise out of the sea, providing natural protection for its lagoons and bays, resulting in calm, clear waters ideal for swimming. Often compared to Halong Bay, the white sandy beaches enjoy a backdrop of lush, tropical forest. It’s an ideal island for lazy days at the beach, soaking up the sun and the sand, perhaps taking a trip by a longtail boat to visit one of the limestone islands for a picnic lunch.

One of our favorite beaches here is Phra Nang Beach with its velvety sands accessed by longtail boat, about a 20-minute ride from Ao Nang. Between May and December, you can rent a kayak, paddling around the limestone caves and karsts, or snorkel among coral reefs in the shallow water. While you’re here, look for the unusual phallus shrine embedded in the cliffs.

Explore Thailand with our unique suggested itineraries, packed with Unforgettable experiences. Discover Luxury Private Tours to Thailand >>

Phuket

Thailand’s largest island sits off the west coast just across from more tranquil Krabi. It has its own international airport that makes it easy for holidaymakers to enjoy a beach escape when they’re short on time. Despite the development, it still offers some fabulous unspoiled beaches to discover, including Pansea Beach, with just two hotels along the entire bay, built in a way to prevent further development. It spans more than 1,300 feet along the island’s west coast, just north of idyllic Surin Beach, separated by a small rocky cape. Pansea is lined with coconut palms, exotic trees, and vegetation, with both ends providing outstanding snorkeling.

Freedom Beach boasts some of the finest white sands in Phuket – as it’s a little more difficult to reach, accessed via a steep footpath down a hill or by longtail boat, it keeps the big crowds away. There are no wandering vendors, jet skis or parasailers, making it wonderfully tranquil, providing the feel of an isolated desert island. No matter which beaches you visit, Phuket is generally best experienced from around mid-October through April when the sea is at its calmest of the year.

Khao Lak, Thailand
Ko Samui, Thailand

Khao Lak

Khao Lak is a traditional fishing village located about an hour’s drive north of Phuket along the Andaman seaboard. One of the most tranquil resort destinations in Thailand, it provides a rare oasis for relaxation with a fabulous combination of tropical forest, expansive white sandy beaches and three national parks nestled in the hills that sweep down to the coast. Its gorgeous stretches of beach are scattered with seashells and framed by intense blue waters. From here, you can also hop aboard the Lady Sarojin yacht and sail around the Similan Islands. If you’re a diver, these islands are consistently named among the world’s top dive sites for their vibrant coral and marine life.

Khao Lak, or South Beach, is an approximately 1.25-mile-long stretch nestled between the mountains and a national park, providing a perfect spot to toss down a towel and enjoy quiet contemplation. While you’re here you won’t want to miss Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand’s largest swath of tropical forest, home to lots of orchids, karst scenery, birds and mammals, including deer and elephants. Visitors can hike scenic trails, mountain bike well-maintained tracks and kayak through mangroves.

The best time to visit Khao Lak is between November and February, a period that experiences little rain and more comfortable temperatures.

Koh Samui

Along the east coast and the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui offers that quintessential tropical island getaway with its nearly untouched palm-lined beaches, coconut groves and mountainous rain forests. To reach it, you’ll hop on a propeller plane from Phuket or Bangkok, with the airport basically a simple wooden hut. From above, it looks like it’s completely covered with trees, with encircled by gorgeous white sands. The busiest stretches are on the east side, with lots of international food and hotel chains. The north coast offers more secluded stretches, like Choeng Mon on the northeastern tip of the island with a wide sandy beach and a rock formation on one side providing great snorkeling.

From Koh Samui, you can take a day trip to Angthong National Marine Park, home to dolphins, green turtles and macaques. The best time to visit this island is between February and September, ideally outside of Easter and summer breaks when you’ll be able to enjoy a more tranquil stay and lower prices.

Ko Samet, Thailand
Koh kood, Thailand

Koh Samet

Located southeast of Bangkok, Koh Samet is a five-mile-long island that’s easy to reach from the capital. Covered in lush jungle and coconut trees, visitors enjoy beautiful beaches and a wide range of watersports like snorkeling and windsurfing, along with delicious cheap eats, including high-quality seafood and tropical fruit. As the driest island in Thailand, you’re more likely to enjoy sunny skies too. When it does rain, it’s short-lived, and torrential rains are virtually unheard of, meaning it’s an ideal destination year-round.

Hat Sai Kaew Beach, or White Sand beach, is the largest and most popular stretch here, with powdery white sands just a 10-minute walk from the ferry pier. As it’s easily accessible, it tends to get busy, but as it stretches for nearly 3,000 feet, if you continue walking south, you’re sure to find a quieter spot.

Koh Kood

The jungle-covered island of Koh Kood is an hour’s flight by seaplane from Bangkok, near the Cambodian border, and an ideal destination year-round. It boasts multiple stunning beaches, but Bang Bao Bay is a postcard-worthy paradise with fine white sands fringed with coconut palms, clear blue water and a smooth sea bottom.

Our team of Thailand travel experts will be pleased to help you plan an Unforgettable Private Tour of Thailand. Take a look at our exciting suggested itineraries to start planning your bespoke luxury tour of Thailand. Get in touch here >>

You may be interested in

You may be interested in