How to Choose the Best Beach for a Thailand Tour?
To most travelers, Thailand is a synonym for something exotic. It could be food, culture, or almost anything you can think of. However, Thai beaches are at the top of the list of exotic things, and for a good reason.
The coastline of Thailand is approximately 2,800 km/1,740 mi long, featuring heavenly beaches. These are suitable for relaxing, engaging in water sports, and awaiting the sunset, among many other things.
You can find extraordinary sandy beaches wherever you go - on and off the mainland. And you could spend years exploring and enjoying Thai beaches.
However, few people are lucky enough to afford that much time for such a purpose. Plus, the number of tourists eager to enjoy the nation's coastline grows by the year. Nevertheless, you can find secluded beaches among bustling ones if you prefer tranquility.
So, read on to learn what the best beaches for a Thailand tour are.
How to decide which is the perfect beach for your Thailand tour?
Incredible beaches line the entire Thai coastline. But, if you wish to invest your time in nothing but the "crème de la crème," you should head southwest of Bangkok, to the Malay Peninsula. So yes, you should put some distance between yourself and Pattaya.
Railay Beach, Krabi
Railay Beach, easily accessible from Krabi by boat, is among the shortlisted candidates for the top beach of Thailand. Fringed by verdant greenery and imposing cliffs at its sides, it features white sand and transparent waters.
There are a few eateries nearby, as well as a few resorts if you decide to spend the entire vacation enjoying this piece of paradise.
Railay is best for relaxing, swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling. If you are fond of extreme sports, you should enjoy rock climbing.
The best time to come here in terms of weather is from December to April. Note that most vacationers visit the beach during this period. For a fair chance of good weather and low crowds, pack your bags in May or October.
Phra Nang, the Krabi region
Phra Nang shares the peninsula with Railay, so make sure to check it out if you are in this part of Thailand. This photogenic beach is ideal for relaxing and doing some exercise. If you are an active person, enormous rocks, one of which rises from the sea, allow you to do some rock climbing and cave exploring.
You can get to Phra Nang Beach, which boasts soft and light-colored sand, by kayak. When you wish to take a break from swimming or snorkeling, find shade in dense vegetation flanking the beach. Make sure to search for pyramid-like rocks and take a path that climbs from there. Once you get to a viewpoint, you will see three beaches of the peninsula.
Before going to Phra Nang, eat well since you won't find shops or restaurants there. The most favorable weather conditions for visiting Phra Nang Beach are from December to April, which many travelers exploit. If you don't like to brush shoulders with others, come in May or October, when the weather is decent, although it is a rainy season then.
Kata, Phuket Island
Kata on Phuket is an ideal beach for families, night owls, gourmands, and water sports enthusiasts. Boasting white sand, palms, and calm, clear waters, it is among the best all-round stretches of sand in Thailand.
The waters are shallow enough for kids but still deep enough for snorkelers. Bring your surfing board from May to October (the rainy season) to ride waves. For the rest of the year, you are good to swim, splash around, and wade.
Located in the southwestern corner of Phuket Island, Kata Beach is accessible by car. You can dine well at nearby restaurants and shop in stores. Rest well during the day at the beach to enjoy the nightlife in its southern part.
For the typical seaside activities, visit Kata (and Phuket, in general) from November to April. To benefit from low prices, high waves, and fewer travelers, come any other time.
Chaweng, Koh Samui
Consisting of Noi and Yai beaches, four-kilometer long Chaweng boasts white sand, palms, and crystal-clear waters. You will find this beach, located in the homonymous town, the most popular on Koh Samui Island. Accommodation options vary from budget to high-end.
Shallow waters are perfect for families with little kids, while party enthusiasts can browse among a number of clubs. Due to many bars and pubs, Chaweng Beach mostly attracts young holidaymakers. Still, middle-aged and elderly people have various alternatives at disposal to enjoy, including shopping and massage.
The rainiest months in Koh Samui are October and November. The ideal weather for seaside activities on this Thai island lasts from December to April. Still, Koh Samui receives far less rainfall than Phuket during the summer.
Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe Island
If you travel with your romantic partner, you would wish to visit Sunset Beach. You will find this beach on Koh Lipe, the southernmost Thai island, which accesses the Malacca Strait. Low-profile and popular among the local population, the tiny beach rarely gets crowded. Note that you won't find water sports here, but extraordinary sunsets. So, go to the beach only for relaxation, sunset, and romance.
Tropical and deciduous vegetation lines the narrow stretch of sand, while green hills flank the beach at the sides. Park your car near the beach, from where you'll have to take a short walk.
Koh Lipe Island
The high season, with the most favorable weather, takes place from November to April in Koh Lipe. During the rest of the year, temperatures are comfortable for beach activities, while rain falls now and then.
Nui, Koh Phi Phi Don
Given that your partner and you are adventurous honeymooners or romantics, visit Nui Beach on Koh Phi Phi Don Island. Located to the west of Lana Bay, abundant jungle vegetation and a few imposing karst rocks frame the tiny stretch of sand.
To get to this little slice of paradise, hire a boat in Loh Dalum. But if adventurers in you take command, take a steep path that leads through the jungle from Lana Bay.
Nui Beach is excellent for swimming and snorkeling in pure turquoise waters. If you wish to dive instead, head to the offshore rock facing Nui. Also, you can do rock climbing on the rocks framing the entrance to the cove.
Visiting Koh Phi Phi Don from November to April grants favorable weather and high prices. The rest of the year, the island features abundant rainfall and low deals.
Tips for Thailand beach tour
While preparing for a Thai beach tour, you should pack several essential things. Also, practice caution when visiting secluded beaches.
The sun burns intensely in Thailand, so use sunscreen regularly. Also bring a hat with a wide rim, long sleeves and something to cover yourself when you come out of water.
When doing your beach hopping during the wet season, you are likely to need a raincoat or umbrella. Note that it tends to rain more at night than during the day. When it rains, waves tend to swell, and the sea gets rough, so don’t get far from the coastline if it is likely to rain.
When you have shortlisted your destinations in Thailand, make sure to learn the local dress code for travelers. On the islands and at beaches, you can assume laid-back dress code, in general. So, you will be fine in shorts, flipflops, and, naturally, bikinis. To do some rock climbing and walking on rough surfaces, make sure to bring hiking or all-terrain shoes.
Traveling in Thailand is generally safe. Physical attacks on tourists seldom occur, while the possibility of theft is much higher.
Note that Thai beaches typically don't have lifeguards on duty, so don't swim alone. Furthermore, you should avoid being topless, which is something most locals don't like.
So, heavenly beaches are the reason enough for you to pack your bags and book the next plane to Thailand. Whether you like to socialize at busy beaches, enjoy water sports, simply relax, or something else, you will find many Thai beaches catering to your wishes and needs. At the time of writing this article, Maya Bay (Koh Phi Phi) is closed to the public. However, there are indications that it will reopen for visitors in the foreseeable future. When it does, don't miss this incredible beach that is almost completely encircled by enormous cliffs.