Posted by on 05 Oct 2023
When it comes to crystal-clear, turquoise waters along white, sandy coastlines, no place comes close to Thailand. With 1,430 islands smack in the middle of the Andaman Sea on the west and the Gulf of Thailand on the east, the country is abundant in some of the world's most breathtaking, picturesque beaches.
Whether it’s just a few hours away from the capital city of Bangkok or in the country's southern region, there are plenty of majestic beaches that you should see at least once on your holiday in Thailand.
Not sure which beach to visit first? Here are ten of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand to visit on your trip.
10 Stunning Beaches in Thailand to Visit
Patong Beach, Phuket
Patong Beach is easily one of Thailand's most popular and beautiful beaches. Its powdery sand, clear waters and access to some of the most luxurious resorts in Phuket make it a go-to for travellers. It even rivals the iconic shores of Boracay in the Philippines or even the many beaches of the majestic Maldives.
Patong Beach has a vibrant nightlife and an abundance of shopping markets and restaurants. You can also do plenty of thrilling water activities here, such as parasailing, jet skiing and paddleboarding. It’s an excellent choice for tourists who want to do as much as they can when they visit Phuket.
Nai Harn Beach, Phuket
Not a fan of the party scene? Check out the quieter, more serene Nai Harn Beach in the southern part of Phuket instead. It’s less crowded than Patong Beach and a gem that locals hold close to their hearts for its more relaxed, peaceful seaside atmosphere.
This beach is nestled in the middle of lush hills and rocky cliffs, making it a great way to admire the beauty of Phuket’s land and sea. It’s close enough to spots like the Promthep Cape Elephant Shrine and the Nai Harn Buddhist Monastery, so you can visit those when you’re not lounging on the beach sunbathing.
Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands
There’s no bad spot in the Phi Phi Islands, but many would argue that Maya Bay is one of the best beaches in Thailand to visit. The iconic film “The Beach” was filmed in this bay in the 90s, a fact that continues to draw curious travellers to Maya Bay to this day.
The bay is riddled with tall limestone boulders and cliffs. It’s also known for its abundant and colourful marine wildlife, from fish to coral reefs, making it perfect for snorkelling.
This beach became so popular among visitors that over-tourism destroyed its beauty and environment by the mid-2010s. Luckily, locals were able to bring the bay back to life by putting restrictions on travel in the bay starting in 2018.
Ao Nang Beach, Krabi
Ao Nang Beach is known to many as a gateway beach that takes you to the Phi Phi Islands or Railay Beach on a boat. However, it’s also one of the most captivating, beautiful beaches in Thailand.
The beach stretches along a long, curved coast, which is flanked by lush hills and a tall, marvellous limestone range. If you want to see spectacular, crystal-clear waters as you commence your journey to the more popular islands in the Krabi area, Ao Nang Beach should be your jump-off point.
Railay Beach, Krabi
From Ao Nang Beach, you can head to Railay Beach, another of the most popular, most beautiful beaches of Thailand.
This beach is divided into three areas. There’s East Railay, which is where most speedboats dock. This area has a quieter and more peaceful vibe thanks to its calm waters and sleepy mangroves.
On the other side of the beach is West Railay, where there are loads of limestone cliffs. It’s the perfect spot for rock climbers that want to scale the heights and see spectacular views from above.
Lastly, there is Phra Nang Cave Beach, an area with a nearby cave where you can trek. The beach has fine, white sand and cerulean waters, perfect for sunbathing and swimming.
Long Beach, Koh Lanta
If you’re hitting the beach to relax and unwind and don’t mind the lack of a vibrant shopping scene and nightlife, Long Beach in Koh Lanta is excellent for you. This quiet, uncrowded beach has pristine sand and stunning waters that are perfect for those who simply want to wade in the ocean or sit in the sand to read a good book.
While the beach is quiet, the island of Koh Lanta is rich in bars and restaurants. It’s also a terrific place to watch fire shows after the sun sets.
Sai Kaew Beach, Koh Samet
If your goal is to travel to Bangkok and see all the famous Thailand beaches, Sai Kaew Beach should be on your checklist.
This beach has the glorious white sand and turquoise waters the southern region is known for, and it’s just a few hours away from the city. It’s a great weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, where you can do water activities like banana boat rides and snorkelling.
Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe
As its name suggests, Sunset Beach in Koh Lipe is perfect for viewing the purple and orange hues in the sky once the sun sets.
This small, peaceful beach has a laid-back, bohemian vibe. You’ll only see a couple of restaurants and houses in town. If you’re looking for a more intimate experience connecting with the best beaches in Thailand, this gem needs to be on your bucket list.
Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui is known as a party beach along the Gulf of Thailand. While its beautiful sandy beach is an amazing place to kick back and relax in the daytime, the beach comes alive at night thanks to its abundance of boutique bars and clubs with live music. It’s one of the best beaches in Thailand for groups of friends with an adventurous side.
Haad Rin, Koh Phangan
Haad Rin Beach in Koh Phangan has some of the finest, whitest sand you’ll see in Thailand. There are plenty of restaurants and water activities to do here, which makes it perfect for families and big groups.
The island is most famous for its Full Moon Party—a celebration held every night there is a full moon. Thousands of people visit this beach on those nights when it becomes a party zone with live music, fire shows and lots of food.
Journey Through These Beautiful Beaches in Thailand
If you’re visiting Thailand on holiday, you can’t miss out on the beaches we listed above. Pick your favourite ones and add them to your travel bucket list when you visit this gem of a country in Southeast Asia.
Whichever beach you end up visiting, you’ll surely be rewarded with idyllic oceanfront views with pristine shores and bright blue waters crashing at your feet.
Want to see other things you can do in Thailand? Check out our Thailand Travel and Holiday Packages and see what other unique spots you can visit during your stay!