Best 25+ Thailand Beaches

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Beaches do not come more idyllic than Thailand, Southeast Asia's most popular holiday destination. From alluring Koh Phi Phi to bustling Phuket, this tropical destination has 2,000 miles of fragmented coastline and some of the best sandy beaches in the world. 

The crowded beaches serving Bangkok and Pattaya overlook the Gulf of Thailand, while further south Thai beaches around Phuket and Krabi are lapped by the Andaman Sea. Meanwhile, over 8,000 islands offer exotic beaches of white powder sand, warm, crystaline water and breathtaking scenery. Some of Thailand's most exclusive and beautiful beaches can be found on islands such as Koh Samui, Koh Yao, Nang Yuan and Koh Phangan - famous for its overnight Full Moon Parties. 

When it comes to snorkelling and scuba diving, Thailand is outstanding. The clear warm waters coupled with tour availability, low-cost tours and affordable tuition make it a top choice. Night diving, wreck diving and shark diving are available around Phuket, Khao Lak and the Phi Phi Islands. Watersports, swimming, snorkelling, boat trips, kayaking and paddleboarding are popular at most resorts but perhaps the most iconic thing to do on a Thailand beach is relax beneath a shady palm tree and enjoy a massage.

The Best Thai Beaches...

  • 1. Railay Beach // Krabi

    Railay Beach
    © PancakeTom

    Railay is a narrow peninsula that is cut off from the surrounding area by high limestone cliffs. Whilst these cliffs are very popular with climbers it means that Railay is only accessible only by a short boat ride from Ao Nang or Krabi. This should be seen as a blessing as it has protected the resort from the tourist frenzy in nearby locations such as Ao Nang. The other benefit… read more »

  • 2. Koh Kradan // Andaman Sea

    Koh Kradan

    Thailand is well known for its beautiful beaches and to some extent this has meant that many of the most amazing beaches are now over-crowded and heavily commercialised. However, you don't have to go to far off the beaten track to still find a pristine gem and the island of Koh Kradan is home to just such a beach.This stunning stretch of powdery white sand remain a relative haven despite… read more »

  • 3. Freedom Beach // Phuket

    Freedom Beach
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Freedom Beach is one of the most beautiful with a 300m crescent of soft white sand and clear blue water backed by lush green mountains. Located on the west coast of Phuket, you can reach this private beach by longtail boat from Patong which lies just to the south. You can also take a strenuous hike down the cliffs path from the beach parking lot at the top of Patong… read more »

  • 4. Laem Had Beach // Ko Yao Yai

    Laem Had Beach
    © pierricklemaret
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Koh Yao Yai Island sits in the sparkling blue waters of the Andaman Sea. The name translates as "big long island" - but this is only comparison to the other islands of the Phang Nga Bay archipelago. Largely undeveloped, i.e. not blighted by mass tourism, this island has a number of idyllic beaches that could be straight out of Robinson Crusoe.

    Few would argue that the best beach on the island… read more »

  • 5. Ao Tanote Bay // Koh Tao

    Ao Tanote Bay
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    While just a couple of hundred metres in length, the beach at Ao Tanote Bay on the Thai island of Koh Tao still manages to make for an exquisite escape. Combining sun, soft sand and warm shallows, coconut palms edge the plant-covered hills providing a quintessential tropical backdrop.

    The fact it is a short walk from the nearest roads makes the biscuit-coloured sands all the more tranquil. It also has the… read more »

  • 6. Maya Bay // Koh Phi Phi

    Maya Bay
    © Iakov Kalinin / 123RF
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Virtually enclosed within towering limestone cliffs Maya Bay is one of Thailand's most spectacular and iconic beaches. The beach is situated on the island of Ko Phi Phi Ley in the Andaman Sea some 30km off the Thai coast and only accessible by boat.

    However, the 2000 Leonardo diCaprio movie, "The Beach", which put Maya Bay on the map ensuring its popularity for years to come. It is said that… read more »

  • 7. Phra Nang // Krabi

    Phra Nang
    © efired / 123RF

    Phra Nang is without doubt one of Thailand's most spectacular beaches. Indeed, the claim is that it is one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. On first arriving here, you might think you had stumbled over Conan Doyle's Lost World. Framed by the imposing ThaiWand Wall rising vertically from the ocean at its northern end, this surreal stretch of beach has spectacular overhanging cliffs announcing its southern… read more »

  • 8. Tonsai Beach, Ao Nanag // Krabi

    Tonsai Beach, Ao Nanag
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Located on the mainland next to the little Tonsai resort, beautiful Tonsai Beach is a small sandy bay at the foot of steep tree-covered cliffs.

    The best way to access it is by longtail boat from Ao Nang Pier costing 100 baht (about US$3). At low tide it is possible to walk to Tonsai Beach from neighbouring Railay Beach in about 10 minutes. However, the rocky path is treacherous… read more »

  • 9. Nopparat Thara Beach // Krabi

    Nopparat Thara Beach

    Located about 18 km north of the ever-popular Krabi Town and next to the much busier Ao Nang, Nopparat Thara Beach is within the 387 km² Hat Nopparat Thara – Koh Phi Phi National Park.

    This relatively serene, unspoilt beach has almost 4 km of soft white sand lined by local casuarina trees. You can easily find a shady place for laying your beach mat and enjoying the peace.… read more »

  • 10. Bang Tao Beach // Phuket

    Bang Tao Beach
    © khellon
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Bang Tao (Bangtao) Beach is in a contrasting area of modern resorts and villas at the south end and a quieter area at the north end near the rustic Cherngtalay village.

    Once a settlement of Chinese immigrants, there is an interesting historic shrine here. It has 8 statues of Chinese mythology on the rooftop guarded by dragons. Inside the hall is decorated with artwork and has a main altar and… read more »

  • 11. Haad Rin Beach // Koh Pha-Ngan

    Haad Rin Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Sitting on a thin peninsula of land in the far south of Ko Pha Ngan Island, Haad Rin Beach stretches along the Gulf of Thailand for around 800 metres. Facing east, it's sometimes also called Sunrise Beach (Haad Rin Nok), although it's much better known for its monthly full moon parties. They attract up to 20,000 revellers, so you'll want to book a place to stay well in advance… read more »

  • 12. Nai Harn Beach // Phuket

    Nai Harn Beach
    © Chonnatun Sirikunkrittaphuk

    Located as much off the beaten track as anywhere can be in Phuket is one of the island's best beaches. The largely rocky coastline of the southernmost tip of Phuket gives way to this pristine strip of soft white sand with its backdrop of lushly vegetated hillsides. As you would expect the waters of this small sheltered bay are warm and crystal clear.

    Whilst this may sound like practically every… read more »

  • 13. Kata Noi // Phuket

    Kata Noi

    Set just to the south of Kata beach, Kata Noi is like a smaller, undeveloped version of its bigger, brasher neighbour. It has the same golden-white sands that gently slope down to the clear blue waters of the Andaman Sea, and as you would expect from a tropical island, the beach is lined with palm trees.

    Kata Noi beach is a great spot to relax, as frankly there isn't a… read more »

  • 14. Bamboo Island // Koh Phi Phi

    Bamboo Island
    Mark Fischer
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Bamboo Islands is a quintessential tropical island in the Phi Phi Archipelago of Thailand. Known locally as Koh Phai or Koh Mai Phai, it is the most northeasterly of the islands, about 5 km offshore from Koh Phi Phi Don in the gorgeous blue Andaman Sea. Its remote location ensures that the beach is never crowded providing an unusually peaceful Thai beach experience.

    Bamboo Island is one of the 80… read more »

  • 15. Ao Nang Beach // Krabi

    Ao Nang Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    One of the main beaches on the coast of Krabi, Ao Nang is a popular beach town with one of the most visited beaches in southwest Thailand.

    The sandy beach stretches for about a kilometre and is easy to reach from the steps leading down from the promenade. Popular for swimming and sunbathing in the day, despite it being very hot and lacking shade, the beach is equally well frequented… read more »