Top Beaches of Thailand
Maybe there is no one "best beach in Thailand". Opinions differ 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.
What makes a Beach Great?
While we don't claim to be an absolute authority, we have some opinions on the anatomy of a top beach.
- Sand - Fine "white" or pink sand. Pebbles may be interesting, but seldom easy on the feet. Softness counts. Ideally, the best dry sands will "squeak" when you walk.
Darker sands can be just as pleasant to your feet, but they don't have the same visual appeal. Black sand creates a different visual impact, but can burn bare feet on sunny days.
- Water - clear aquamarine water with no pollutants. Very fine sand can be kicked up by strong wave action in shallow waters. So this is a case where pebble beaches will have clearer waters in shallow areas.
- Surf - Surfers may like strong surf and waves that break far enough offshore to get a good ride, but gentle waves result in clearer waters. Coves and bays that reduce wave effects also contribute to clear water.
- Seascape - Straight skinny beaches tend to be less appealing. The wider the beach, the more room for beach activities. Long curved beaches have more visual appeal. Frisbee on a long skinny beach is almost impossible -- unless you are a pro.
- Safety - Beaches that are too steep put people in danger very quickly. Undertows and rips can pull even experienced swimmers too far out to sea. An ideal beach for children will be shallow for tens of meters seaward. Some of the coastal areas of Southern Thailand were dredged for tin in generations past. As a result, rip-tides can be a problem.
- Sea Creatures - If a shallow tropical reef is nearby, small colorful fish enhance the appeal of a beach. The reef will entertain curious children and adults for hours on end.
- Jellyfish are among the sea creatures to avoid. Even dead and washed ashore by the tide, jellyfish can still sting. Some jellyfish can be deadly, especially to children.