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Thailand’s Best Beach Destinations
It’s probably a bit obvious to point out the fact that Thailand’s many beaches make it the perfect holiday destination, but I’m going to do it anyway. Whether you’ve seen/read The Beach or not, chances are you’re aware of just how popular the country is for sun-soaked getaways.
One thing you might be unsure of is which area for Holidays in Thailand to go for to have the best beach vacation possible. Check out my guide to where to visit on your break.
Located in southern Thailand, this island is probably the most well-known of the country’s beach destinations. That’s not to say it’s simply a tourist trap; Phuket certainly has some sections at risk of overdevelopment, but for the most part it’s safe to just state that there’s something for everyone, whatever kind of break you want.
So, if you’re not fazed by sunbather-crammed sand and equally packed bars, Kata, Patong and Karon beaches are the best options. Patong is particularly vibrant, while Karon is long enough to harbour a few quiet spots even in high season, if you know where to look. Karon is also where you’ll find some especially great Thailand retreats to stay at if you need a bit of luxury.
If you’re like me and would rather escape the crowds altogether, try the northern section of Bang Tao Beach. It’s so peaceful you won’t find that much in the way of activities here – but then again, why exert yourself when you can simply lie back and soak up the sun for a week or so?
Aside from its beaches, Thailand is also well-known for its spectacular sunsets – and Krabi is where you’ll see some of the best. Don’t just look out to sea here, though, as the province is probably the most picturesque in the entire country and is well worth exploring thoroughly.
Railay is possibly the most beautiful beach both in Krabi and the whole of Thailand. Pretty much every cliche you can imagine is a reality. Think golden beaches, soaring cliffs, amazingly vibrant blue-green waters – the works. If you’re the active type, the fantastic rock climbing opportunities here are something of a bonus.
My other favourite thing about Krabi is the nearby paradise-like islands. It’s really easy to get to them by boat, with particularly popular ones including the Ko Phi Phi cluster. The island of Phi Phi Ley is the one you’ll probably be most familiar with due to it being the setting for The Beach, although there’s much more to see around the archipelago than this – something that’s particularly impressive considering it was practically devastated by the tsunami in 2004.
3) Koh Samui
Koh Samui was little more than a village until the 1970s, which might seem rather puzzling when you arrive to find something of a tourist haven! The island is one of the biggest in Thailand and has an excellent range of beaches to choose from – Lamai is favoured for its surfing, while Chaweng is an all-round hotspot that often gets very busy and is great for shopping.
Some of the best activities (for me, anyway!) are sailing, canoeing and canopy jungle tours, offering a bit of variety so your holiday isn’t just one long sunbathing session – although I wouldn’t blame you for opting for this kind of break! If you’re also a foodie like me, you’ll want to check out Nathon’s markets, the awesome seafood at Ocean 11 on Big Buddha Beach and high-end Thai fare at Wannai in Bophut.
The other thing Koh Samui is famed for is the monthly full moon parties on nearby Koh Phangan. This is a great way to let your hair down and get to grips with the local culture at the same time, so be sure to book a trip here if you end up staying in Koh Samui.