Eight Thai beaches were recently named on the Trip Advisor® “Top 25 Beaches in Asia” list. Proof positive that when it comes to the finest stretches of sand, Thailand still offers visitors a superlative seaside destination.
Thailand’s superb beaches have continued been attracting lovers of sand and sea form around the world ever since the first backpackers began wandering in the Kingdom during the 1970s to explore the its fabulous coastline and visit offshore islands by long tail boat. Forty plus years later, the Kingdom still leads the way in Asia when it comes to tropical beachside beauty and its most splendid stretches of sand are regularly mentioned in travel “Best of…” lists online, in print and on TV.
A fact that may be surprising to those who have not explored Thailand’s beaches is that according to the latest Tripadvisor® “Top 25 Beaches in Asia” list, half of Thailand’s most sublime beaches can be found on its most visited island, Phuket.
Such accolades show that even after 30 years of popularity, the island continues to deserve its reputation as “The Pearl of the Andaman”, and also explain why Phuket manages to attract an increasing number of visitors, year in, year out – a combination of faithful beach lovers and newcomers in search of that perfect oceanside break.
Below are all Thailand’s top beaches, as chosen by travellers on Tripadvisor®…
Phuket Leads the Way
Ranking sixth on Trip Advisor’s list, Phuket’s Nai Harn Beach is a tranquil spot popular with the local community. As well as being a great swimming destination from November to April, Nai Harn is also home to The Royal Phuket Yacht Club. Phuket’s Kata Noi Beach scored 14th
place in the Trip Advisor rankings and although there’s little to do there aside from marvel at gleaming white sand and crystal clear waters, that’s what makes Kata Noi the perfect place to relax. In at 16 was Patong’s Freedom Beach, which is most easily accessible by boat and makes it an ideal location for coastal explorers who want to get away from the bustle of Phuket’s favourite tourist beach. Finally, Karon Beach came in at Number 18 in Asia, undoubtedly due to its lively atmosphere, extensive shopping bazaars and long stretch of pristine soft white sand.
A short hop from Phuket to the Thai mainland takes visitors to Krabi province. Many visitors that make their way to Krabi go in search of glowing snow-white beaches and tranquil turquoise waters. Railay Beach, ranked at seventh on Trip Advisor’s list, is no disappointment. It is only accessible by boat, and boasts Thailand’s signature soft white sand and swaying coconut palms. The beach is also home to an array of restaurants and bars that keeps visitors well refreshed throughout a day of sunbathing.
Luscious Long Beach
Many travellers exploring the delights of Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast also make a trip to the island of Koh Lanta. Officially part of Krabi province, Koh Lanta’s Long Beach came in at 15th
on the “Top 25 in Asia” list. A 5km stretch of shining golden sand awaits visitors, along with tall palm trees to provide a shady reprieve from the afternoon sun. A selection of guesthouses, bars and restaurants are sprinkled along Long Beach, which remains open enough to offer visitors the liberating feel of warm, open space.
Sensational Salad Beach
While Koh Samui’s sister island Koh Phangan is most famous for its full moon parties, it is also one of Thailand’s most pristine island gems. Nestled in the glorious waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan is home to Haad Salad Beach – “Pirate Beach” in Thai – which ranked 19 on Trip Advisor’s list. Home to vibrant coral reefs and a distinctly shallow bay, this idyllic stretch of sand earned its name because it was inaccessible to the Thai navy, which made it a superb hiding place for smugglers.
Perfect Phra Nang
A mere 10-minute boat ride from Krabi’s Ao Nang beach, Phra Nang beach came in 10th on Trip Advisor’s Best Beaches in Asia list. Visitors to the area can indulge in an invigorating Thai massage right on the beach, gorge themselves on sumptuous seafood or just relax and take in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them. More adventurous visitors can explore the balmy waters, or even make a daring plunge from the tall cliffs into the Andaman Sea.
by Wayne Hue