How to enjoy a beach tour in Thailand?
A friendly and food-obsessed country with a long and hedonistic history, Thailand is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia. Renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches, exotic capital city, and varied cultures that span the nation, Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for tourists from the west, especially from Europe and the United States. With Bangkok ranked first in the list of top cities to visit around the world, and the country as a whole ranked fourth in the best beach destinations in the world, Thailand is one of the best places to visit for both city tours and beach holidays, with more than 50 famous and popular beaches along its varied southern coastlines, not to mention the 1,400 islands that lie along the two main coasts, there are few destinations in the world that can offer as much in the way of beach holidays than the Kingdom of Thailand.
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Beaches in Thailand
Patong Beach, Phuket
Located on the largest island off the coast of Thailand, Patong Beach is the most popular beach in Thailand when it comes to tourists visiting the country for beach holidays. The wide coastline, soft white sands, warm azure waters, and plethora of hotels and restaurants within easy walking distance of the beach make this an ideal place for a beach holiday for both singles and families alike. The vibrant nightlife along the back of the beachfront attracts the party crowds to the island, while jet skis and kayaks provide daytime entertainment for the adventurous beachgoers. However, Patong Beach is not the ideal place for a little quiet relaxation, and the heavy social atmosphere of the beach and surrounding area makes it the perfect place for an action-packed beach vacation.
Railay Beach, Krabi
While it is located on the mainland, Railay Beach is only accessible by boat, and has that isolated feeling that you will not find in most of the more popular beach locations. The clear blue waters and multitude of offshore islands attracts a different kind of beachgoer, those looking for relaxation and tranquility. The beach is only packed in the peak weeks of Thai tourism, and is quieter and much less developed than many popular beaches. However, the beach is being developed more in recent years, and will soon become one of the high-season popular hotspots. The beach has a wealth of cliffs and rocky outcrops that are popular with climbers, and there are several school along the beachfront that will school you in the basics of rock climbing and abseiling. So far, apart from climbing and snorkeling, there is not much to do here except relax, and it makes for an ideal relaxing vacation and family hotspot.
>> Check for how to travel alone at Krabi’s beach.
Long Beach, Koh Lanta
The island of Koh Lanta is the location of the renowned Long Beach, which gets its name from simply being the longest beach in Thailand. It is also arguably one of the best beaches in the country, being almost completely void of sharp rocks and stony seabed, and the long gently-sloping beach, without the hazards of sea urchins, makes it a top family holiday destination. Once a haven for backpackers, due to the cheaper accommodation available, this now family-oriented location still has some excellent deals for family accommodation, especially in the northern area of the beach. Evenings can get loud, with beach parties that will go on through the night, but these are easily avoided, being mostly in the northern area of the beach, and less rowdy than in Phuket. The island can only be reached by boat ferry from nearby Phuket, and development has been slow due to the limited options of transport to the island.
Long Beach Koh Lanta
Hua Hin Beach, Hua Hin
Often named as being one of the nicest beaches in Thailand close to Bangkok, Hua Hin Beach is hugely popular for locals from the Thai capital for days out and family holidays. The long flat stretches of beach, with gently sloping sands into the azure waters, make this a great place to stop at for families with small children. The beach has plenty of activities to keep people happy, from jet skis and kayaks to banana-boat rides and snorkeling. As well as the beach and water activities, the area is renowned for its acclaimed spa and wellness centers, and has several world-class golf courses within easy reach for those with a love of golfing. And there are plenty of opportunities for nightlife along Hua Hin’s main strip, with a plethora of decent western and local restaurants as well.
Hua Hin Beach
Kata Beach, Phuket
If Phuket is your preferred choice but you want to get away from the loud party scene, then Kata Beach in the south of the island is the ideal choice for a little peace and quiet. Kata beach has everything that has made Phuket the most popular island in Thailand, without the high-rise hotel chains, shopping malls, and party nightclubs. Simple yet gorgeous resorts line the beach, with palm trees, warm waters, and exotic scenery. The north end of the beach is popular for snorkeling, with several good dive shops located along the beachfront. And the stunning view from the viewpoint between Kata Beach and its northern neighbor, Nai Harn, is one of the best in the area.
Lamai Beach, Koh Samui
While many of the beaches on Koh Samui can be packed throughout the tourism season, thanks to the closeness to Bangkok, Lamai Beach has the ideal balance for those looking for an exotic paradise, with activities both in an out of the water. Surrounded by clusters of palm trees, the southern end of the beach is usually the busiest, with the gentler slopes of the sandy beach tapering into the blue still waters. The northern end is rockier and less busy, so if you can stand a few boulders, then it is the best place for tranquility. A few wilder bars have set up along the southern beachfront, but these girlie bars are easily avoided, and are not as popular as they are in other beaches. Behind the beach is the temple of Wat Khunaram, which is an interesting visit. The temple houses the mummified body of an esteemed Buddhist monk, on display in a glass case at his own request.
Koh Samui, the best location in Thailand
There are literally hundreds of beaches around Thailand that can be visited for different activities and peacefulness, but few places in Thailand have the variation that can be found in Koh Samui. Close to Bangkok, it is easily accessed by bus or a short flight, and caters to a wide variety of tourists, from the intense partygoers that stay up all night to the more relaxed beach bums, who want to take it easy and enjoy the tranquility of the serene and peaceful beaches. The island also offers some of the most delicious world-class cuisine, and is a great place for spas and wellness centers. An island that has everything you could want in one small place, the raw and wild interior of the island is also an interesting adventure, and you can find small local traditional villages in the interior and little known spots that are far from the madding crowds.
Activities on beaches in Thailand
Snorkeling off the beaches in Thailand is one of the most popular activities in the country, and can be done on almost all of the more popular and well-developed beaches. The clear azure and blue waters of the Thai southern coastlines make it the ideal place for getting down into the water and exploring the reefs and tropical sea life that can be found along the coastline of this stunning beach destination.
Snorkeling off the beaches in Thailand
Kayaks are another popular activity, and most beaches can hire you kayaks for the day or half day, so that you can explore the coastlines in more detail. One of the best places for kayaking in the country is the Angthong National Park, which is said to have been the inspiration for Alex Gardner’s bestselling book, The Beach, which was also a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. With 42 islands to explore, as well as plenty of wonderful limestone karst formations, kayaking along the coastline is the best way to explore this area of outstanding natural beauty.
Kayaks are popular activity in Thailand
While there are a few places that you can go scuba diving, Koh Samui has some of the best diving in Thailand, which is just another reason that this small island is the top destination in the country. A tropical wonderland with clear warm blue waters, the area around the island’s shoreline is filled with innumerable marine life, making it the best destination for scuba diving. Prices are very competitive at the huge number of diving schools, and they all offer all levels of instruction, and in a multitude of different languages to suit all comers.
Scuba diving in Thailand
Taking a fishing trip on a traditional Thai trawler is an activity that is not for everyone. However, the experience allows you to understand better how Thai fishermen work. You start by catching your main bait – normally small squid with a net – and then use the bait to go for the larger fish, including mackerel, snapper, sailfish, and flathead. The best fishing is normally around the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Mudsoom, Koh Tan, and Koh Rarb. After the trip, you can enjoy a barbecue with your own catch as the main course, cooked by the local fishermen.
Fishing trip in Thailand
For the ultimate in water activities, Pattaya Bay has some of the best, with outstanding excursions into the bay to go parascending behind a boat to get the best view of Pattaya that you could imagine. Floating a few hundred feet in the air underneath a parachute on the end of a line, you can enjoy the stunning views of the bay and the city itself. Beware of the fun-loving speedboat drivers, who will cut the engines until your feet are in the water before pulling off again to give you a better thrill.
Jet skis are the ultimate in water sports in Thailand, and just about every beach with a high density of tourists in the peak season has them. Most have set areas in which you can play with these water-borne motorbikes, which have become synonymous with Thailand’s beach holidays, and are set apart from the main swimming areas to give you plenty of room to have fun.
Tips for a beach tour in Thailand
Thailand is a hot tropical country, and the southern beaches are renowned for being hot throughout most of the year. It is important to make sure that you have adequate sun protection, from wide-brimmed hats for the intense heat to high waterproof sun block to stop your skin from burning in the heat. Water makes the sun’s rays seem milder, but you will burn faster and more intensely if you are unprotected in the water.
Swimming is done on Thai beaches in pre-set areas, especially where the beach has activity sports such as scuba diving, parascending, and jet skis. If you are taking part in one of the activities, or just swimming off the shore, remain in the areas designated for your activity, to stay safe while enjoying the water and the beach.
Thailand is renowned for its erotic go-go bars, which can be found in most of the more popular tourist hotspots. While they can be tempting, they can also break the bank, as you will end up paying through the nose for drinks and the “company” that is a requirement of the bars. These can be easily avoided, however, and it is not hard to spot them among the more normal bars that line the beaches.
Thailand is renowned for having some of the beat beaches in the world, and this exotic destination in Southeast Asia is still one of the most popular places to travel to for a relaxing beach holiday or an exciting party atmosphere. Once you get out of the major cities, and onto the multitude of islands that are spread along the two southern coasts, you will find all kinds of amazing things to do, places to visit, or relaxing isolated beaches in Thailand to just relax and unwind on.