You’ve seen the postcard images, you’ve watched the movies. Depictions of perfectly calm waters, so clear that you can see your toes, lined with sugary white sands. A few hundred metres away from your beach towel and there stands those majestic, iconic rocky outcrops. Thailand’s exotic beaches seem so otherworldly you might wonder if it’s all a big hoax. And the only way to find the truth is to see it for yourself. So where should you begin?
Kata Beach, Phuket
If you’re a beach-goer who revels in people watching, and the option to easily access an ice-cold Singha beer, then Kata Beach in Phuket is right up your sandy alley. It’s big, beautiful, and while it’s not overly busy, it has all the amenities you need for a fun day out. After an afternoon sunning on your beach mat, have a cold one at super-casual Ska Bar, and stop at the zen, uncrowded Kata Temple on your way out.
Good for: Equal parts relaxation and action
Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi
Doesn’t this look just like the beach from the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio? It is! Maya Bay became a must-try on the bucket lists of globetrotters everywhere after its turquoise water and perfect shorelines were revealed in The Beach. But its increasing popularity hasn’t had a negative effect: while you’ll definitely find other beach-goers there, you’ll also have the convenience of basic facilities like bathrooms and a snack bar. For the adventurers, the Anemone Reef offers incredible scuba diving; and, for the nature lovers, Koh Phi Phi island has a myriad of colorful bird species.
Good for: Checking out locations from The Beach, scuba diving
Lamai Beach, Koh Samui
On the eastern coast of Koh Samui lies Lamai Beach, a quiet, long stretch of sand with calm waters. Although Lamai Beach is considered a resort area, a relentless row of hotels propped up along the sand certainly won’t be destroying your zen vibes. Instead, you have the best of both worlds. Shops and restaurants on the south end for your convenience, but not too many people. If you’re really on the market for peace and quiet, stroll to the northern end of the beach. After sunset, head over to the Night Market where you’ll find rows upon rows of stalls selling handcrafted goodies.
Good for: A quiet place to read your book
Railay Beach, Krabi
Wedged in between Krabi city and Ao Nang you’ll find Railay Beach, a protected paradise only accessible by boat. The combination of the warm Andaman sea, lush jungle surroundings and the rock formations make a trip to Railay Beach a magical experience. You can kayak and snorkel around the imposing limestone rocks, and test out the terrain beyond the sand with a jungle trek, but Railay’s tranquility definitely has a special way of making you want to simply just lay out and relax.
Good for: Stunning scenery and snorkeling
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