The beaches are Thailand’s number one attraction. They are numerous and many of them easily rank amongst the most beautiful in the world. So choosing the most beautiful of all is quite tricky. After thinking about it for a long time we came up with the following list of the 25 most beautiful beaches, visited by us over the last three years. So sit back, relax and make your own list of beaches and islands you’ll be visiting!
1. Ao Mai Ngam Beach – Surin Islands
As far as we’re concerned, this is Thailand’s most beautiful beach!
And we were lucky enough to wake up on it for three whole days. Each morning the first thing we saw, after zipping open our tent, was the powdery white sand and the incredibly clear seawater. The beach is surrounded by thick jungle vegetation, large rocks suitable for climbing and an actual mangrove forest. It’s also a great place to swim and to go snorkeling.
If you get an opportunity to go to the Surin Islands, DO IT!
2. Phra Nang Beach – Krabi
Phra Nang Beach is around the corner from Railay Beach and one of our favorite beaches in Thailand.
We’ve visited it multiple times, but we’re still blown away by its beauty every time. The huge cliffs “rising up” from the surface of the water are particularly stunning. The best advice we can give you is to rent a kayak and go explore the sea caves and hidden beaches in the area!
3. Nui Bay – Koh Phi Phi
It was an intensive hike (during which we got lost), each step bringing us closer to a little piece of paradise that until now, we had only been able to dream of. Only a handful of people were present on the beach, with a few more bobbing about off the coast in small boats. We couldn’t believe our eyes, especially on an island as popular as Koh Phi Phi!
Nui Bay is a fantastic snorkeling spot with a beautiful sunset you can enjoy every evening. And in case you’re traveling with your significant other, write your names on one of the white stones and plant it between the rocks. This means you’ll stay together forever…
4. Siam Beach – Koh Kood
After three consecutive days of rain, we were finally able to take a walk on the beach in the early morning sunshine. Although the sea was still pretty rough and we had to watch out for falling coconuts, it was really nice.
Maybe September wasn’t the best month to travel to Koh Kood. On the other hand, we were able to enjoy the empty beaches and a spectacular sunset for days on end!
5. Buffalo Bay – Koh Phayam
Koh Phayam. Good times!
If we have to pick one beach on Koh Phayam, it might as well be Buffalo Bay in the south. In the late afternoon, during low tide, the most spectacular rock formations become visible. That and the dense jungle (and rare bird species) make this one of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches. We will be back!
6. Railay Beach – Krabi
Railay Beach, baby!
Unsuspecting, we got on a long tail boat at Ao Nang Beach, which took us past the kind of scenery we’d only dreamt about; we couldn’t believe our eyes! The first time we went on this boat trip, all we could do was stare open-mouthed at our surroundings. The huge limestone cliffs, for which Krabi is so famous, were especially impressive.
The beach is ideal for families as well; it’s large and has a gentle slope into the sea. Enjoy the beach life and dine on the beach, under a starry sky. An absolute must!
7. Ao Nuy Beach – Koh Lanta
Alright, so perhaps Koh Lanta doesn’t have the whitest beaches or the clearest sea. It’s still one of our favorite islands in Thailand.
The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed and the southern part of Koh Lanta is especially worth a visit, as it’s still very unspoiled. Park your motorbike (at the sign that reads Ao Nuy Beach) under the trees, walk down the small steps and enter paradise. The beach is small, but that’s what makes it so charming. We’re in love with Ao Nuy!
8. Freedom Beach – Phuket
Thailand’s largest island (Phuket) is known for its gorgeous beaches. After having stayed there for three weeks, we can only agree with that.
Freedom Beach might be the most beautiful of all of Phuket’s beaches. Although it’s located right next to the hugely popular Patong Beach, not everybody manages to find their way to this beach. In case you get a chance to visit Freedom Beach in the early morning, you’ll have it all to yourself. It’s got white powdery sand, crystal clear water and palm trees as a backdrop. Amazing!
9. Maya Bay Beach
Of course we can’t leave out Maya Bay!
Although a visit to Thailand’s best known paradise can disappoint (due to the large crowds), we’ve experienced what it’s like to have Maya Bay’s beach all to ourselves. In the early morning, we literally danced around on the beach. We could say so much more, but we prefer to show it. Check out the video below!
10. Secret Beach – Koh Lipe
Yes, Koh Lipe! The pearl of Thailand’s deep south.
For us Koh Lipe took some getting used to. It was a lot busier than we’d expected (i.e. hoped) and therefore not quite the paradise we imagined it to be.
That is, until we discovered Secret Beach, in the island’s northwestern part. A deserted dirt road led us to an indescribably beautiful beach. It was so beautiful that Mariska went straight for the water and didn’t want to come out anymore!
11. Small Sandy Beach – Khao Lak
We’ve been to Khao Lak twice, but haven’t written a blog post on it yet.
That doesn’t mean that its beaches aren’t beautiful. Quite the contrary, Khao Lak has a huge number of lovely and relaxing beaches, big and small. However, for our top 25 we’ve picked Small Sandy Beach, a hidden gem in Lamru National Park no more than three kilometers from the center of Khao Lak.
Go for a walk through the park (± 30-minute hike) or get a taxi to drop you off beside the road. It’s definitely worth it!
12. Banana Beach – Phuket
We encountered Banana Beach completely by accident. We noticed a cluster of motorbikes along the road and figured there must be something to see there. We got off and climbed our way down to the beach!
Wow! What an amazing beach, hidden in the northwestern part of Phuket. No lounge chairs, parasols or jetskis here. No, just relaxing under the shade of a palm tree all day long!
13. Leela Beach – Koh Phangan
Our friends at Reisjunk.nl are also aware that Thailand has more to offer than just the classic beaches.
They recommend Leela Beach, a small secluded beach around the corner from Haad Rin Beach, the venue for the Full Moon Party. So circumvent the large crowds, visit this private beach and take as many selfies on swings as you like!
14. Hua Lam Beach – Koh Yao Yai
K O H Y A O Y A I
This island is truly amazing! No mass tourism or pushy boat drivers charging an arm and a leg here. No, at Koh Yao Yai you’ll find local fishermen, farmers working the land and women drying sardines in the bright afternoon sun.
And the beach located on the northeastern tip is the same. Pure and unspoiled. Kilometer after kilometer of deserted beach. The seabed is a bit muddy, just like the rest of the area.
15. Emerald Cave – Koh Mook
One of the most spectacular things we’ve ever experienced was our visit to the Emerald Cave on Koh Mook!
Having made our way through a pitch-dark sea cave by kayak, we entered a small and secluded beach. Though it’s been known to get very busy, we visited it in the late afternoon and had it all to ourselves. Just amazing!
16. Ya Nui Beach – Phuket
This gorgeous little beach suddenly grabbed our attention when we were riding our motorbikes along the rolling hills of southern Phuket.
We immediately got off and laid down in the shade on the beach. We hired some snorkeling gear, went snorkeling and were surprise by the dozens of colorful fishes swimming around the rock. Pretty cool!
After you’ve visited Ya Nui Beach, head towards the Windmill Viewpoint for an amazing view of the southern part of Phuket.
17. Long Beach – Koh Chang Noi
Long Beach is located on Koh Chang Noi, an island where there’s nothing to do! There are no cars, no motorbike rentals and snorkeling trips are organized only once a week. There’s only a handful of bungalows and if you’re lucky, some restaurants might even be open.
Long Beach is the island’s undisputed highlight. Take your time and enjoy the sunset; its beauty is unparalleled. Take me back!
18. Pak Nam Beach – Koh Phi Phi
Far away from the Koh Phi Phi’s hustle and bustle is Pak Nam Beach. We didn’t expect to come across a beach as pretty as this one while walking along Koh Phi Phi.
If you’re interested in partying then this isn’t the place for you. If you’re interested in relaxing and chilling out then this – as far as we’re concerned – is the best and most affordable place on Koh Phi Phi!
→ The Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort has basic bungalows with a fantastic views ←
19. Paradise Beach – Koh Ngai
Koh Ngai (Koh Hai) is part of the relatively unknown Trang archipelago, south of Koh Lanta. Its beaches are stunning and peace and quiet reign supreme.
This island doesn’t have any roads, so no noisy traffic either. The only way to get around is by boat or by foot, via jungle trails. The sea is clear blue, the sand is white as snow and the beach is three (!) kilometers long. Keep an eye on the dense jungle behind the beach as well; you might just spot a Great Hornbill flying around!
→ Tip: The Thanya Beach Resort is one of the best places to stay on the island ←
20. Wai Chaek Beach – Koh Chang
Cherish the time you spend on Wai Chaek Beach.
99% of people visiting Koh Chang won’t find their way to this beach: it’s barely accessible, since there are no good roads that lead to it. And maybe that’s for the best.
On this beautiful beach in the southern part of Koh Chang you’ll encounter long rows of palm trees with an actual mangrove forest on the edge. Amazing!
21. Koh Kham Beach – Koh Mak
Are you visiting Thailand between November and April? Go east and discover the Koh Chang Archipelago!
Late last year, we ended up on the tropical island of Koh Mak, just south of Koh Chang. We rented a kayak and made our way to a pearly white beach on the horizon.
We eventually made it to dazzlingly beautiful Koh Kham. What a beautiful beach; and such clear water!
22. Ao Prao Bay – Koh Samet
Just three hours from Bangkok is Koh Samet, whose beaches are, rather surprisingly, remarkably beautiful!
Ao Prao Bay is especially (Paradise Bay) great for families. This bay has some amazing bungalows. It’s a really nice place to stay with your kids during the last days of your holidays and a last chance to unwind before your flight home.
23. Crystal Bay – Koh Samui
Along the main road that leads from popular Lamai Beach to even more popular Chaweng Beach, is gorgeous Crystal Bay Beach.
There are no signs indicating this beach’s location, meaning many tourists miss out on it. Good for you, since you do know this beach exists.
Although the beach isn’t quite as long and wide as some of the other ones on Koh Samui, we definitely think it’s worth an honorable mention in this article!
→ This is a great hotel on Crystal Bay Beach! ←
24. Koh Nang Yuan Beach – Koh Tao
Koh Nang Yuan! Touristy? Definitely!
We don’t know if it’s because of the viewpoints, of the snorkeling near the Japanese Garden or just because these three small islands, linked to each other by a small strip of white sand – but we love spending time here, despite the fact that it’s touristy. This is a unique part of Thailand, but you won’t be the only tourist. Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be near Koh Tao!
25. Mae Nam Beach – Koh Samui
Last but not least is Koh Samui’s most relaxing and quiet beach.
Leave your bungalow early in the morning, take a walk on the beach and feel the sand between your toes. Palm trees in the background, a calm sea… what more could you possibly want?
A nice bungalow of course!
→ A nice hotel tip for this beach is the luxurious and affordable Cocopalm Beach Resort ←