A Beach Vacation Guide – Thailand
Thailand is the most visited country in Asia. No doubt why its beaches are so famous. You can spend months exploring the numerous beaches of Thailand. Here is a easy guide to explore the Gulf and Andaman coast best beaches.
The Top of List
- Maya Bay – The “The Beach” which made all famous.. Sadly due to over tourism there was extensive damage to the bay and government has closed this amazing beach indefinitely. Hope that it opens soon but with limited access.
- Railay – At the tip of Krabi, lies the famous and soaring limestone karsts of Railay. The beaches are like white powder with amazing torquise waters. There are no cars only people who walk or swim or arrive on boat.
- Similan Islands – World renowned dive sites with equally stunning beaches in Andaman sea. Start saving money if you want to explore in depth with the amazing live aboard. The islands has the best sand we have ever seen in the planet. They are literally fine particles of soft white powder. Sadly overtourism is a problem here and better is to stay in the huts in the islands.
- Koh Tao – The place where you are best suited to learn scuba diving. Koh Nangyuan is undoubtedly the most scenic spot in the whole Thailand. Must get a selfie from the top here.
- Koh Pha Ngan – The party capital and also famous for the amazing beaches.
- Phuket – Big island and classy upscale resort. Indulge in yourself here. Now direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore makes the amazing destinations even closer and better. Why wait?
3 weeks is a minimum we suggest to cover Gulf Coast (Koh Tao, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui) and Andaman Coast (Similan islands, Phuket, Phi Phi, Krabi, Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe)
Maya Bay – Koh Phi Phi
This has to be the best beach of Thailand. Sadly its fame has caused the damage it saw over the years and now its closed for tourism. So this iconic U shaped paradise is out of reach.
The Andaman Coast
From Phuket or Bangkok – head straight to the gorgeous Phi Phi islands in the middle of Andaman. Spend atleast 3 nights to explore the beaches and dive the beautiful reefs around. The night in the beach of Phi Phi are fun with lots of fire shows and movies and music. Phi Phi is the ultimate holiday destination.
After spending busy days and nights in Phi Phi, head to classy Railay in Krabi. Due to limited stay options, it tends to be pricy but the place is simply stunning. Huge cliffs drop directly into the ocean. The island tours form here takes you to some of the most beautiful sands in the world.
How to reach – Fly to Bangkok and then take a flight to Phuket or Krabi. From both these airports it is possible to buy ground + ferry transfer tickets to Phi Phi and Railay. There are many counters in the airport and this is fairly easy.
The small stretch of sands connecting the 3 islands is one of the most pictured and stunning. The climb to the top gives a perfect photo opportunity.
The Gulf Coast
In the gulf coast of Thailand, there are 3 beautiful islands – Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. Fly to Surat Thani in the mainland and take a boat to any of these three for beach vacation.
Koh Tao is the northermost of the trio and is the scuba dive capital of world. There are many dive sites here but Chumphon Pinnacle north of the island is the best. Sairee beach is fun and with lots of activities at night. During land time, take a scooter and go to the many view points on the islands. Do not miss the breathtaking Koh Nangyuan.
Heading south reach the big Samui island. The main beach is the Chewang beach with upscale resorts along its shores. There are many things to do here including temples, waterfalls or just relaxation.
Koh Samui has a airport, but for cheaper options fly to Surat Thani and take a ferry from there. Plan atleast a week minimum to explore some parts of the 3 islands.
Some common questions ….How do i book the hotels?
We have always used booking.com and agoda.com during our vacations. Use these two sites to book one of the many hotels. Book in advance if planning in peak travel season like new year.
How to book the ferry?
The ferry tickets are available from the airport or take a taxi to pier and book the tickets.
How much cash to carry?
We never exchange cash in airport as they are the worst in terms of exchange rate. Use your debit card for withdrawal from ATM. They provide better rates and ATM are very common everywhere.
Beach – Overview
👪 Family 🎒 Backpacker 💃 Party 🏊 Snorkeling and Diving
Koh Samui and Lower Gulf
Koh Samui – 👪 🎒 💃 🏊 international resorts for social beach lovers
Koh Phangan – 👪 🎒 💃 🏊 beautiful beach and full moon parties
Koh Tao – 👪 🎒 💃 🏊 world best dive schools
Phuket and Andaman Coast
Surin Islands – 👪 🏊 Amazing diving accessible by live-aboards.
Similan Islands – 👪 🏊 Amazing diving accessible by live-aboards and day tours
Phuket – 👪 🎒 💃 🏊 International resorts for social beach lovers
Ao Nang – 👪 🎒 💃 🏊 Touristy and cheaper than Railay
Railay – 👪 🎒 Rock climbing paradise and beautiful resorts
Koh Phi Phi – 🎒 💃 🏊 Party island and beautiful
Koh Lanta – 👪 🎒 🏊 emerging destination
Koh Lipe – 👪 🎒 💃 🏊 beautiful and near Malaysia