5 of the top-rated beaches in Thailand

One thing about Thailand that’s simply indisputable? The Southeast Asian country is lined with some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches. From the palm-fringed stretches in lush and exotic Koh Phi Phi to the popular shores of Phuket, these are the best beaches in Thailand.

 

Railay Beach

The majestic Railay Beach, one of the top attractions in Thailand, is only accessible by longtail boat, since it sits on a small peninsula, but it is well worth the effort to get here.

The soft white sand on the beach is only one part of the experience. Railay Beach is surrounded by cliffs and caves, limestone monoliths, jungle landscapes, and lagoon-like swimming areas.

There are several smaller beaches that make up Railay Beach, and all are within close proximity. This stretch of coast is perfect for combining traditional beach time with some exploration around the island.

 

Long Beach, Koh Lanta

Long Beach’s 2.5-miles of gently-sloping sand are fringed not by palms, as one might expect, but by large pines. Any aerial shot of the coast will show that though plenty of guesthouses, bungalows, resorts, bars, and restaurants sit shoulder to shoulder along the stretch, they’re all set back from the sand, leaving the beach uncluttered.
Much of Long Beach is also undeveloped, so if a serene spot is what you’re after, a little searching will surely uncover it. While Long Beach sunsets are unmissable, if you want to see what else is around, Klong Dao Beach meets Long Beach to the north, while Relax Beach unfolds to the south.

Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe

On the west side of Koh Lipe—Thailand’s southernmost isle—facing the Butang Islands is the bungalow-dotted Sunset Beach.

Despite its status as one of Koh Lipe’s three main stretches of sand, the smallest coastline of the bunch has miraculously maintained a low-profile and laid-back vibe, popular mostly among local Thai and Malaysian visitors. Named for the incredible sunsets that light up the horizon each nightfall, dusk is arguably the prime time to hit the sand.

 

Nai Harn Beach, Phuket

Though Nai Harn Beach can get quite crowded, it is still one of the most popular beaches in Thailand. Located on Phuket, the beach is known for crystal clear water, white sand, and waves that are not overbearing when swimming.

The beach is one of the most popular because of its consistent climate and weather conditions that make it suitable to visit year-round. Nearby restaurants and local food vendors make it convenient to stay a full day at the beach.

 

Phra Nang Cave Beach, Krabi Province

For a beach surrounded by a stunning landscape and outdoor adventure that few others can match, visit the Phra Nang Cave Beach in Krabi Province in southern Thailand.

Characterized by outcroppings of cliffs that are popular for rock climbing, the shallow water of this beach makes it a popular stop for tourists. It can be overcrowded at times, but it is one of the most unique beaches in Thailand.

Short trails near the beach take you through caves and showcase the area’s landscape. Try some fresh fruit from a floating vendor to cool off in the heat. The best times to visit for decent weather and fewer crowds are May and October. High season is November through April.

 

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