"People always visited a beach
or two when they came to Thailand. But after Leonardo DiCaprio
starred in the abysmal movie, The Beach, in the year 2000,
coming to Thailand without visiting a beach virtually became illegal."
The beaches of Thailand. Everyone dreams of lounging on one,
eating pad thai on one, drinking a Singha on one, and perhaps sleeping
with an illicit companion on one. Leonardo DiCaprio's character in
The Beach did all of the above.
Thailand has some splendid beachside locales and islands, from elite and
secluded to public and overdeveloped. There's no way we can list
every Thai beach that's worth a visit, and if we did, you'd have no time
to visit them all, even if you lived in Thailand.
place to look cool?
(Some Of) Thailand's Best Beaches
What makes a great beach?
In Thailand, it's not the texture of the sand, but the
'scene' that comes along with it. One thing is for
sure. Even on Thailand's relatively developed beaches,
the development is nowhere near what you'd see in Florida or
California or Spain's Costa del Sol.
Thailand has two different coasts. The western
is the beautiful Andaman Coast, full of exotic rockscapes
and some of Thailand's most prized island getaways.
The eastern is the Gulf of Thailand coast. The resort
island of Koh Samui and the dive island of Koh Tau are
located on this side. In general, the Andaman
Coast is more expensive.
There are no shortage of sites willing to tell you of
Thailand's finest beaches.
Bugbog has their list. About has
Beach Thailand has a comprehensive map and pictures of
some Thailand's more famous beaches.
As Doug's Republic is all about Doug's point of view first,
we mention those other sites out of courtesy. It's
what Doug says that matters in these parts. Below,
Doug sets out some of the beaches he's personally visited and the unique aspect of each,
acknowledging that this nothing close to a fully
He doesn't care one iota if you agree or disagree with him.
Surfing. If you're coming
to Thailand for other reasons and just happen to want to
surf while here, no problem. There are lame
opportunities for surfing in Phuket, Khao Lak, Koh Chang,
Rayong. Generally, you would not want to fly all
the way to Thailand from wherever you are from just for
surfing. Thailand is not a world-class surfing
destination by any means. You can view tide charts of
Thailand's potential surfing destinations by visiting
than it's ever been, but still relatively
undeveloped by Western standards, Hua Hin remains
mostly a Thai beach resort, full of spas and chic
beachside cafes. Dpending on how you
classify city limits, the beach stretches over 5 km
from the southern Takiap area fringed by Casuarana
and palm trees all the way up to the King's summer
palace's private beach. Beautiful
beachline continues dozens of kilometers beyond.
The beach destination around
Krabi which sees the most traffic. To be sure,
parts of Ao Nang are overbuilt and gaudy but its
easy access to tasty restaurants and beautiful boat
trips to islands in the Andaman scores it winning
The beach itself isn't anything
amazing, but the scene which thrives here is.
The establishment of the
Sanctuary here attracts a number of travelers
who return year after year to this remote beach
accessible only boat.
Andaman Coastal gem with small
undeveloped town. The beach was hit badly in
the 2004 tsunami which claimed over 4,000 lives,
including the King's autistic grandson.
Khao Tao (Hua
Nicknamed by Doug and company
"The Magic Beach." Sai Noi is a
20-minute motorbike ride from Hua Hin.
Set in a small cove, surrounded by beautiful rocks
and a large Buddha on one end, the beach is not
often crowded and offers a relaxing weekend getaway.
Adjacent to Hat
Tien via a narrow pathway, this beach offers
affordable accommodation and a very relaxed beach
scene. A 5 km mountain path takes one to Haad
Rin, Koh Phangan's unofficial capital and site of
the Full Moon debaucheries held each month.
features a wonderfully picturesque beach, swings,
and trees. The island is so small it's
impossible for beach hordes to amass on it.
Island tours from Ao Nang usually stop here.
14 km north of Chumphon on the
Gulf of Thailand, this beach doesn't get a lot of
visitors outside the November-December kitesurfing
Well traveled tourist beach area
in well touristed Phuket, on the island's southwest
coast off the AndamanSea, but not as built up as
neighboring Patong. Nice sunsets, decent
restaurants, and ample accommodation possibilities.
Once a backpacker haven but now
going upmarket, Railay's unspoiled charm can be
attributed to boat access only. Doug and his
loved ones kayaked here from Ao Nang for Greek
salads and snorkeling.