The southern regions of Thailand are home to some of the most visually stunning and exotic beaches in the world. If you are looking for quiet serenity, stroll the beaches overlooking the towering limestone monoliths and caves in the green water of Krabi Province. For a more active beach scene, you can head on over to popular Phuket Island.
The southern tip of Thailand is a beachgoer’s paradise no matter where you choose to lay out your beach blanket. Choosing the right beach for your getaway depends on how you want to spend your time, being active or relaxing, and the kind of environment that suits your mood, social or secluded. Some beaches are always crowded, and other hidden gems are tucked away on islands, requiring a bit more effort to find. Figure out what suits you with our list of the top beaches in Thailand.
- Railay Beach
The majestic Railay Beach, one of the top attractions in Thailand, is only accessible by longtail boat since it sits on a small peninsula, but it is well worth the effort to get here. The soft white sand on the beach is only one part of the experience. Railay Beach is surrounded by cliffs and caves, limestone monoliths, jungle landscapes, and lagoon-like swimming areas.
There are several smaller beaches that make up Railay Beach, and all are within close proximity. This stretch of coast is perfect for combining traditional beach time with some exploration around the island. The luxury accommodations at the
2. Maenam Beach, Koh Samui
Maenam Beach may be popular among families and backpackers, but it’s still a degree removed from Samui’s hyped-about spots, making it one of the best Thailand beaches. With more than four miles of silky white sand lapped by calm surf, and an array of high-end resorts (that ensure the beach is kept in tip top shape), finding a relatively private chunk of shore isn’t too hard. The mellow spot also affords cloud-capped views of Koh Pha Ngan to the north, all enjoyed under the shade of an umbrella or coconut tree.
3. Nai Harn Beach, Phuket
Though Nai Harn Beach can get quite crowded, it is still one of the most popular beaches in Thailand. Located on Phuket, the beach is known for crystal clear water, white sand, and waves that are not overbearing when swimming.
The beach is one of the most popular because of its consistent climate and weather conditions that make it suitable to visit year-round. Nearby restaurants and local food vendors make it convenient to stay a full day at the beach. A number of resorts like the Navatara Phuket Resort, The Nai Harn, and Sunsuri Phuket are within walking distance of the beach.
4. Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe
On the west side of Koh Lipe—Thailand’s southernmost isle—facing the Butang Islands is the bungalow-dotted Sunset Beach. Despite its status as one of Koh Lipe’s three main stretches of sand, the smallest coastline of the bunch has miraculously maintained a low-profile and laid-back vibe, popular mostly among local Thai and Malaysian visitors. Named for the incredible sunsets that light up the horizon each nightfall, dusk is arguably the prime time to hit the sand.
5. Haad Rin, Koh Phangan
Haad Rin Beach is one of the most popular of the nearly 30 beaches on the small island of Koh Phangan. The long stretch of white sand and blue water surrounded by coconut trees and cliffs makes it a picturesque beach day. The beach is generally an active scene, with spontaneous games of volleyball, people swimming, and vacationers enjoying water sports like jet skiing and kayaking.
Nearby lodging ranges from private villas at Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas to full-service resorts, like the Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa and even hostels on the beach for those who are on a tight budget. The best time to visit is outside monthly full-moon events, when the area can get quite crowded with young beach-goers.