The best Thailand tours will take you to both the east and west coasts of Siam (Thailand’s previous name) for your beach bum trip to Asia. Yes, Thailand has some of the best food that you’ll ever try when you tour Asia, but it’s the miles of white-sand beaches, fresh coconuts, and azure water that set Thailand apart from its neighbors.
With about 1,900 miles of coastline, there are a dumbfounding number of tropical, sandy stretches in Thailand. So, unless you have a life time to test all the waters, you can cut the chase short by hitting up this list of our favorite Thailand beaches on your Thailand tours.
But first, you need to ask yourself what you want from a beach holiday. Do you want isolation? A beach so quiet you can’t hear anything but the sound of the waves pulling on soft sand? A beach party that will carry you late into the night? A little of everything?
Nai Harn Beach, Phuket
Located at the southern tip of “The Pearl of the Andaman,” Phuket island, Nai Harn Beach is a favorite of expats and locals. With a couple hotels in the area, the wide strip of beach is no secret. However, large grassy hills above rocky bluffs offer a stunning backdrop for the westward facing sands. If you’re wanting to sneak in a little snorkeling, it’s also possible to follow a narrow, paved road at the northern end of the beach a few hundred meters around to the small pebble beach of Ao Sane.
During low season, there is even a shore break that members of the small surfing community are usually more than happy to share.
Kata Noi Beach, Phuket
Kata Noi is also located on Phuket, which does have an international airport in case you want to start your Thailand tours there. Slightly more out of the way than its larger namesake – Kata Beach – Kata Noi comprises a wide strand of white sand with startlingly blue waters during the high season.
Railay Beach, Krabi
Railay Beach is a rock climber’s paradise and not such a bad deal for beach bums either. Though part of the Krabi mainland in southern Thailand, Railay is only accessible by longtail boat. These iconic Thai boats are part of a regular ferry system connecting Railay to the rest of civilization.
Tucked into thick jungle and awe-inspiring karst limestone cliffs that melt into Phang Nga Bay, Railay Beach is more than just a stretch of beautiful sand. Despite easy access to the beach, it rarely feels crowded by tourists, who are more often than not staring off into the island dotted blue waters with a Chang beer in hand.
Koh Lao Liang Beach, Trang
The beach furthest south that makes our list is on a little, isolated pair of islands offshore from Trang province. Most international tourists don’t make it past Krabi (think Railay Beach), which is probably why Thai people consider the pair islands as one of Siam’s best-kept secrets.
Karst cliffs, blooming with colors ranging from deep red to snow white, loom over a breathtaking sliver of white-sand beach on Koh Lao Liang Nong, where high-end, seaside tents are set up to accommodate guests. From the beach, it’s possible to rent kayaks and arrange boat and snorkeling tours to explore the hard coral reefs just off the coast. There are also some rock climbing opportunities, though not as many as can be found in Railay.
Haad Rin Beach, Koh Pha Ngan
Haad Rin is Thailand’s number one party beach, due to most Thailand tours for younger backpackers trying to sync up with the famous full moon parties. If you haven’t heard, once a lunar month, the beach is a chaotic mess of dancing, drinking and music. Even when the full moon isn’t causing everyone to act like lunatics, the beach remains a party spot at the night. However, during the day, soft sand and a gentle slope make it a worthwhile beach to visit – assuming the trash from last night’s party has been picked up.
Khlong Chao Beach, Koh Kood
This drop-dead gorgeous island not far from Cambodia should be included in your next trip to Asia even if you aren’t a beach person. With less development than many other tourist destinations, Koh Kood is home to white-sand beaches with a Maldivian appearance. However, the beauty of the island and its beaches come with a higher price tag than some budget travelers are used to paying in Southeast Asia. If you do decide it’s worth the money – and we promise that it is – you’ll also be able to track down inland waterfalls in the lush jungles of the mountainous island.
Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
It wouldn’t be right to have a list of our favorite beaches for your Thailand tours without including at least one from Koh Samui. The internationally-renowned island is no hidden gem – and neither are its beaches – as the tourism industry has been steadily growing her for decades. However, kilometers of soft white sand, easy access and plenty of amenities make island’s busiest beach hopping for a reason.
Like Haad Rin Beach, this one is not a beach destination for those wanting some peace and quiet. However, the lively social scene and touts selling all sorts of items keep things interesting.
Thailand Tours Bring You Siam’s Best Beaches
Thailand’s beaches continue to rank among the very best in Asia, making them essential stopovers for those who like the kiss of the tropical sun and lazy days next to the azure waters that bring millions to the country each year. By carefully booking your Thailand tours it’s possible to squeeze in a number of our favorites, giving you a taste of all the beach styles the kingdom has to offer.
Do you have a favorite Thailand beach that wasn’t mentioned on this list? Give your favorite spot some love in the comments below.