Top 5 beaches in Thailand

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Thailand has almost too many beaches to name, most of which are beautiful. However there are a few that have become the most popular and for good reason too. Here are the top 5 beaches in Thailand.


Ao Nang and Nearby Beaches

Here you can relax under the sun without saying goodbye to any of your Western creature comforts. Behind the beaches here are slew of restaurants, bars and shops that have everything you could possibly need. There are 5 star resorts and backpacker digs, street stall food and fine dining. This is the spot to just chill on the beach, or visit the nearby beautiful spots like Railay beach, Ton Sai, or some close by islands on a  day trip. The ticket office for a long tail boat is right at the corner of the road along the beach.

A boat to Railay takes only about 40 minutes and it  will bring you to another mainland beach, however it’s only accessible by boat. Here is where climbing some of the most amazing rocks you will ever see can be done. Make your way up huge karst mountains with the beautiful beach as your backdrop. There are nicer hotels and resorts here, and you can expect to pay a bit more than in Ao Nang. Visit the viewpoints, the lagoon and the caves.

Ton Sai is about 30 minutes from Ao Nang and the beaches are not as nice here due to the rocky conditions, however it provides a world of climbing for you to explore. You are more off-grid on this beach as well. There is electricity only at night, during the day there might be a few generators running at the nicer hotels. There are only walking paths here along with a few motorbikes owned by the locals.


Koh Chang

This island, literally meaning, “Elephant Island,” is a popular hot spot for travellers to either end or start their Thai adventures while going to/from Cambodia. This is one of Thailand’s largest islands and provides numerous beaches to relax at. Some are crowded like Lonely Beach (don’t let the name fool you), and then there’s Long Beach which is nearly desolate.

There are numerous good snorkelling and diving areas around the island and nearby islands, and the seafood is superb. For the island life you get, Koh Chang is reasonably priced compared to some of the other popular beach spots of the country, and again provides a range from 5 star resorts to bamboo huts. The island is mountainous and climbing through the lush rainforest and finding waterfalls are a nice activity to entertain yourself with for the day. If you are up for riding on natures gentle giant, find a reputable and nice elephant camp and ride through the forest on their backs. The beaches are perfect for doing a whole lot of nothing so after a few days of island exploring feel free to let the days pass you by on Koh Chang.


Koh Tao

This is the ultimate spot to get PADI certified in Thailand and possibly Southeast Asia. With diving shops scattered around, little cool shops, bars, restaurants, and awesome beaches, this tiny island in Thailand’s gulf is a cool hang out spot for divine diving and epic beach bumming. There are heaps of beautiful beaches on this island, many of which are nestled between a few hills and some rocks. The roads here are a bit bumpy and instead of renting a motorbike like in most places in Thailand, a four-wheeler will better suit the terrain, especially if you are too curious to go past the un-marked dirt paths that you will randomly pass.

There is an excellent spot set on two very tiny islands off the northwest coast of Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan. Here is an absolute gorgeous viewpoint to admire as well as on of the ultimate spots to go diving and snorkelling. Play in the water with the marine life and then choose from any of the appealing beaches around the island.


Koh Phi Phi Don

This is perhaps the most popular island of the country due to the amount of tourism that is experienced here, however there is a good reason. It’s absolutely beautiful. Nobody can deny that dramatic and magical karst mountains that bulge out on either side and the small and bustling sands where the town lay’s isn’t a stunning site. That’s why these beaches are a must-see while you’re in the area. A couple of days will suffice to take a look around and to visit the slightly less ravishing sister, Koh Phi Phi Leh. The reason to come here is to see the famed Maya Bay where the movie “The Beach” was filmed, and have a swim in some of the clearest blue waters around. It’s a nice day trip and takes to you to a few other spots of interest.

Other than checking out the epic viewpoint on Koh Phi Phi Leh, all there is left to do is have a party. There is a nearly never ending nightlife scene on this island and there is alcohol by the buckets, literally. There are some more chilled out beach bars if sloshing down drinks all night isn’t your thing.


Koh Lipe

If you are on the way to or from Malaysia, this might be a good stopping point for you. Located on the southwestern tip of Thailand is this little island. Koh Lipe is only an hour away from Langkawi, a popular island in Malaysia. There are nice a relaxed waters here that are clear and great for swimming. There is a selection of places to choose from for your accommodation. There are plenty of beaches to choose from including Pattaya, Sunrise, and Karma beach. People come here to checkout the great diving especially the 8 mile rock which is a unique  deep sea pinnacle. There are numerous other islands to snorkel and dive at that are close by like the popular dive spot at Koh Bu Tang. There is kayaking, sailing and even free-diving offered here.

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