The summer months send American travelers flocking to local beaches. But if you’re in the mood for a more exotic beach getaway, where the water is a gorgeous azure, the sand is soft and powdery, and the people are incredibly friendly, why not venture to a country famed for its more than 1,800 miles of magnificent coastline—Thailand?
Thailand’s tropical landscape and warm climate make it the perfect destination for a seaside escape, but with so many jaw-dropping beaches to visit, it’s hard to select just one. If you’re dreaming of an exotic Thai vacation, here’s my list of must-visit Thai beaches.
1. Patong Beach, Phuket
Venture south to Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, to visit the famed Patong Beach. Patong’s more than two miles of white-sand coastline make it a perfect location for long days spent sun bathing and lounging by the sea. The beach is popular with partygoers, since the nearby town of Soi Bangla is famed for vibrant nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and shops. Embrace the best of both worlds. Excitement and relaxation make for the perfect vacation!
2. Kata Beach, Phuket
Phuket island isn’t all about clubbing and nightlife. You can escape the hustle and bustle of Patong Beach by venturing just a few miles south to relax among palm trees and soft sand beaches. Visitors can choose between two beaches—Kata Yai and Kata Noi—and spend the afternoon sipping cool drinks under the hot Thai sun.
3. Hua Hin Beach, Hua Hin
For a royal getaway, travel to Hua Hin Beach. The coastal city was originally founded in the 1920s as a regal spa for King Rama VII, but now it serves as a favorite escape for locals and tourists alike. Today visitors can rub elbows with the rich and famous while sprawling on the five-mile stretch of gently sloping shoreline. It’s a perfect retreat for any beach-loving traveler.
4. Railay Beach, Krabi
Railay Beach is the ultimate destination for adventurous beachgoers. Surrounded on three sides by sheer limestone cliffs, Railay Bay is secluded from the world and is considered the ultimate beach to escape the crowds and simply savor the sublime natural beauty of Thailand. Daring visitors can rock climb down the rugged cliffs to reach the shore while ferries are available for the less adventurous. Rent a beach bungalow or spend the afternoon snorkeling, swimming, and enjoying the beach’s calm, clear waters.
5. White Sand Beach, Ko Chang
Hop a quick one-hour flight from Bangkok to the sleepy island of Ko Chang and spend a few days relaxing on White Sand Beach. While the island is considered a backpacker’s paradise, it’s also home to many upscale hotels and resorts. Travelers can lounge on sugary sand framed by palm and coconut trees before dipping into warm tropical waters.
6. Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley
Famed as the filming location for Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie “The Beach,” Maya Bay is just as beautiful in person as it is on screen. The bay is cradled on three sides by jutting cliffs, keeping waters calm and making it the ideal spot for diving and snorkeling. Travelers can only reach the beach by boat, so it’s the perfect location for an exotic day trip. Maya Bay is quintessentially Thai and a must-see for all visitors.
Hoping to escape the crowds of U.S. and Caribbean beaches? Why not consider breathtaking Thailand for your next beach vacation? Any other sandy shores that you think should make the list? Let me know in a comment below.