Whether you're drawn to the sandy shores of Samui or the picture perfect coastline of Phuket, there is no shortage of blissful beaches to enjoy on Thailand's most famous islands. Each one has its own special character and benefits, but some stand out from the tourist crowds.
With over 3,000 kms of palm-fringed coastline, two shimmering oceans, and a year-round kind climate; it is little wonder that the beaches are still one of the top reasons people visit, and re-visit Thailand.
The Kingdom’s beaches have been awarded a significant number of global accolades over the years – everyone from Conde Naste to Trip Advisor has voted Thailand top of the beach charts – largely thanks to their accessibility, stunning scenery and laid back atmosphere.
Thailand’s islands are obviously the most popular choice for beach lovers. In addition to soft sand and dystopian views they also offer visitors a choice of chic beach bars and seaview restaurants to delight in for some time in the shade of once the sun goes down.
Below are some fabulous beaches on Koh Samui and Phuket that should definitely be placed on your must-visit list.
Thanks to its upscale vibe and laid-back, village atmosphere, Surin Beach is just as popular with foreign residents as it is with visitors on Phuket. This sandy piece of paradise recently enjoyed a government clean-up, so the scenery is more picture-perfect than you would imagine for an area that has been popular for 20 years. There are less bars and beach clubs since the clean-up, but you dont have to walk far from the shore to get your hands on a cocktail or a delicious meal.
Blissful Bang Tao
Thanks to its long, wide bay, Bang Tao Beach never gets too crowded, which is great news if you are searching for an indulgent afternoon of sunbathing, listening to nothing but the waves lapping on the shore. Although a number of resorts are scattered along the beach, most of the development is clustered towards the southern end of the bay, so you’re never too far from a quiet spot where you can relax. Fr those that prefer a few facilities, Bliss Beach Club and Xana Beach Club are two favourite beachside spots for lunch, dinner and beach parties on Phuket.
Phang Nga province, Phuket’s mainland neighbour, is actually closer to the island's international airport than Phuket Town or Patong. The area is also home to some of Thailand’s most peaceful and unspoilt coastal locations. Natai Beach, an alluring stretch of sand ideal for a family day out, is just one of them. A mere 20-minute drive from the airport, Natai Beach also boasts some of Thailand’s best private holiday villas. If you are staying in the area, a trip to the Aleenta Resort & Spa for lunch or an afternoon of pampering should definitely be at the top of your itinerary. Visitors to the area can also look forward to the launch of the Baba Beach Club, which is sure to become one of Thailand's most stylish destinations for a sunset cocktail.
On Koh Samui, there's certainly no shortage of breathtaking beaches to relish in and each one has a distinctive set of attractions. Bophut Beach and the surrounding area offers visitors a true taste of Old Samui, thanks to the well-preserved Chinese shop-houses in Fisherman’s Village, which sits in the centre. The village is now home to a pleasant congregation of restaurants and shops, as well as its own weekly walking street market. In addition to the village, an array of stunning rental villas are located in and around Bophut, including the award-winning beachfront holiday homes at Dhevatara Residence Estate. If you are in search of tranquillity, the northern and southern edges of Bophut Beach are your best bet, with regular trips to Fisherman's Village for some local colour and taste.
Lush Lipa Noi
Situated on a headland on the West coast of Samui, Lipa Noi offers beach lovers two stretches of tranquil, unspoilt sand. The absence of any rocks or coral in the water make Lipa Noi a fabulous destination for families with kids that want to splash around in the water before a family lunch at one of the nearby seafood restaurants. For those staying in one of Lipa Noi’s outstanding beachfront villas; Nikki Beach Club is great if you’re in the mood to lounge on a plush day bed with DJ beats and a glass of chilled champagne in hand.