Beaches in Thailand and the Best Beach for a Family Tour
Posted on 18/01/2019 6:09:05
Known around the world as the “Land of Smiles”, Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia for both individual travelers and families alike. A friendly, fun-loving, and ancient culture, formerly known as Siam, Thailand is one of the few remaining countries in Southeast Asia that still retains its royal family as the head of the national government. This unique Buddhist nation is one of glittering temples, stunning forests and jungles, and the ever-present tropical beaches, many of which have made the nation a favorite of beach-loving holidaymakers from around the world.
Made even more famous by the 2000 film, “The Beach”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Thailand has more beaches than almost any other country in Southeast Asia, from its most famous beaches at Phuket to the stunning island beaches of the Phi Phi Islands and the ultimate beauty of Koh Samui. While the mainland beaches are the more popular for most of the families that visit Thailand for beach holidays, the small islands that lie along both coasts of the Thai Peninsula have become stunning resorts that cater to all comers, from the rich and famous to the family with kids.
Introductions to beaches in Thailand
Thailand has so many beaches that to list every beach would take forever, much like visiting every beach would take. However, while there are hundreds of stunning beaches across the country, from the mainland beaches of the northern shores of the Gulf of Thailand to the many islands of the peninsula, there are some that stand out as better for families than others, which often cater to the infamous “party-people” that flock to the islands during the western summer season.
White Sands Beach, Koh Chang
A four-hour bus ride from Bangkok, Koh Chang is often referred to as the “Honeymoon Island”, and has long been a popular family destination, with plenty of child-friendly amenities. The water along the beach is fairly shallow, reaching only a couple of feet deep for several dozen meters from the shoreline and the waves are rarely more than a couple of inches, which is great when you have small kids. More importantly, this is rated as one of the cleanest beaches in Thailand, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and the sand is clean and golden colored. Swings hang from the palm trees that line the beach and there are a host of pizzerias and cafes along the shore line to cater to family lunches.
Serenity Resort, East Coast, Koh Chang
Backed by the lush forests that cover the slopes of the mountain that run right down to the beach, the Serenity Resort is one of the most popular child-friendly resorts in Thailand. The resort has ample amenities for families, and includes free buckets and spades for the kids to build sand castles with. The infinity pool in the resort, just behind the beach itself, has a step along one side that makes for a safe and supervised playing area for small kids, and their pond full of fish is a great place for kids to enjoy feeding the koi and other tropical fish that live inside. The beach has a gentle slope and the waters are calm, protected by a reef out in the bay. And for those that love to canoe, the use of the many kayaks along the beachhead is free.
Sairee Beach, Koh Tao
Stretching for two kilometers along the western edge of this beautiful island in the Chumphon Archipelago of the eastern side of the Thai Peninsula, Sairee Beach is the most popular family beach on the island, and has something for everyone. From the casual restaurants and the beachfront bars to the long tail-boats that bounce on the water and the calm and peaceful waters, this family-friendly beach has plenty of child-oriented attractions. Lined with hundreds or even thousands of beautiful palm trees, the stunning white sand beach has an abundance of clean and family-friendly hotels and hostels just a short walk from the sand.
Lying far out in the Andaman Sea, to the west of Langkawi Island and the Tarutao National Park island of Koh Tarutao, Koh Lipe is famous for having family-friendly beaches all the way around its stunning coastline. While it does lie far out to sea, the waters are calm and the beaches slope gently, making it ideal for families with small kids. The warm waters also make it popular for swimming, and the beaches are clean, quiet, and sandy, albeit with a few rocks along some parts of the shoreline. More than two dozen resorts can be found on the island, from the height of luxury to the cheaper resorts for those families traveling on a budget. There are also plenty of child-friendly restaurants and cafes around the island that cater to the tastes of the youngsters.
Haad Chao Pao/Haad Yao, Koh Pha Ngan
While Koh Pha Ngan is well known for the world famous monthly Full Moon Parties and bucket concoctions of cocktails and drinks, the northwest corner of this stunning island is renowned for its family-friendly beaches and resorts, far away from the party people and the alcoholic Full Moon parties. At Haad Chao Pao and Haad Yao, the beaches are perfect for families with small kids, with clean sand, calm waters, and shallow slopes. The beaches are both backed by family beach bungalows for those relaxing days at the beach, and there are plenty of chilled out bars and family-friendly restaurants nearby that serve a mix of local and western foods. The interior of the island also has plenty of stunning sights, if your kids get fed up of the beaches, including pristine jungles and stunning waterfalls, while the local night food markets are great for strolling around and trying the local snacks.
Koh Yao Noi
Lying in the Phang Nga Bay, to the east of Phuket, lies the tranquil island of Koh Yao Noi. One of the country’s smaller and less visited islands, you can spend your days playing with the hermit crabs or relaxing in the many hammocks that line the beaches. While the beaches are not big, the calm and quiet waters mean it is great for small kids, and you are often likely to have the entire beach to yourself, especially in he low seasons. The only major activity is the boat trips around the bay, which area a great way to explore the area, and if peace and quiet for your family holiday is what you are after, there is no better place in Thailand.
Phuket may be popular as the party capital of Thailand’s many beaches, but a few miles to the north are a host of quieter beaches that, while not far from the infamous party beach of Patong, seem like a whole world away in terms of atmosphere. Yanui consists of two horseshoe-shaped bays that are separated by a rocky outcrop, which is perfect for the older kids to scramble around on. The beach slopes gently into the water, making it ideal and safe or smaller kids and the waters are calm and warm. While there are not many tourist amenities, the few local cafes serve a variety of Thai and western foods, and you can get fresh coconut juice to cool away the heat.
Railay Beach, Ao Nang
Among all the beaches in Thailand, the one that deserves the biggest recommendation is the famous Railay Beach, in Krabi, across the Phang Nga Bay from Phuket. Located to the southwest of Krabi City, poking out into the Andaman Sea from the mainland, Railay Beach tops the list of stunning family-friendly beaches, and for good reason. Beautiful, simple, and plain, the beach has a very low gradient into the water, and is hemmed in by craggy limestone cliffs covered with dense rainforest. A small peninsula of its own, Railay is a complete area of resorts and hotels on both sides of the small peninsula. To the west, the beach is long and sweeping, and perfect for kids and families, while to the east, the beach also has a long floating pier for those stunning boat trips. Ao Phra Nang Beach lies at the tip of the peninsula, with its karst rocks poking out from the sea. Explore the many coves and caves, snorkel in the clear waters, or jump from the low water’s-edge cliffs for the older kids and adults. The site has good accommodation, ranging from luxury to basic bungalows, and a plethora of eateries that will not break the bank. And since it is only accessible by longtail boat, it makes for the perfect safe destination for your family beach holiday.
While there are some good beaches listed here for you to check out, Thailand does have hundreds of family-friendly beaches to choose from. One of the most popular family destinations in Southeast Asia for more than 50 years, Thailand has a wealth of experience when it comes to knowing what families want from their beach vacation, and caters to it spectacularly. With almost all of the beaches that have child-friendly status with the Tourism Authority of Thailand being clean and well kept, and free from the dangers of alcoholic partygoers, you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to child-friendly beach vacations in Thailand.