Top Beaches of Thailand

Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Ley

Maybe there is no one "best beach in Thailand". Opinions differ considerably about what makes a great beach. For children it's the freedom to frolic in the sand, sun, and surf without strong breakers knocking them under.

Adolescent teenagers are probably more interested in the opportunity to show off a bit while preparing themselves to attract the opposite sex. Complete separation from adult supervision is another appeal.

Young adults, especially of the unmarried persuasion, may be drawn to nearby social activities, often around a thatched kiosk serving tropical concoctions.

Athletically inclined beach goers look to start or participate in pick-up games. Volleyball and soccer are among favorites.

Older folks probably want a place in the shade where they can catch a gentle breeze and watch the theatre of the beach while sipping an umbrella drink. If an occasional hard-body strolls past, all the better.

Candidates for Thailand's Top Beach

“The Beach” at Maya Bay

Koh Phi Phi Ley's Maya Bay beach has to be among Thailand's top candidates. Besides being famous, commercial development has been avoided. The white sand is soft and inviting as is the water of Maya Bay. Spectacular backdrops of limestone cliffs on one site and lush green jungle on the other completes one of nature's most magnificent works of art.

The fact that a boat ride from Koh Phi Phi Don is required to reach Maya Bay adds to the mystique. Let's hope that greed doesn't ruin this masterpiece.

Phulay Bay

Lush jungles and dramatic limestone karsts frame this bay on the Andaman Sea. A great place to kick-back and simply enjoy. One of the best, and priciest, places to enjoy the location is the Ritz-Carlton. The resort enjoys a prime position on the water. If you need a bit of to-do, try the nearby elephant reserve.

Railay Bay

A narrow peninsula near Krabi town that has beaches on both the east and west sides. The area is cut off by steep limestone cliffs, so your only approaches will be by footpath or long-tailed boat. Rock climbers from around the world come to Railay to test their climbing skills on a number of bolted paths to superb views. You can also get accommodations at a number of bungalows near the beach.

Patong Beach

Patong beach is about nightlife and visibility. This is the original main beach of Phuket and the place to “be seen”, This 3.5-kilometre stretch of sand can offers pretty much anything a party-person might want. Pubs, discos and go go bars are shoulder-to-shoulder..

James Bond Beach

Ko Tapu aka James Bond Island co-starred in the 1974 James Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Although the island itself is just just a limestone karst in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, it doesn't stop a seemingly steady stream of tourists taking boat trips to the location.

 Kata Beach

Another of Phuket’s most popular spots is a little more relaxed than Patong -- but it's changing fast. Kata actually has two beaches, Kata Yai and Kata Noi. You can walk from one to the other in about about ten minutes. Both have cool drinks, masseuses and plenty of sun.

 Ko Phi Phi Don

A popular spot for party goers who want to chill on a great beach. Hindus, Buddhists and Mogen (Sea Gypsy's) live side by side in harmony. Travelers reach the island via speedboat from Phuket and Krabi. The ideal trip seems to be three-days -- it's just too long a ride to do a one-day visit.

Ko Yao Noi

Another “ last unspoiled island” that has been recently “discovered” by travelers. Located on Pangnga Bay between Phuket and Krabi. There is a real working community on the island