The best beaches in Thailand

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By David Em
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Thailand is known for its tropical beaches, palaces, and ruins. Find out what the best and most beautiful beaches in Thailand are.

Aerial view of a beach in Thailand.

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in the world. After seeing the beaches, you’ll know why. If you’re planning your visit, go between November and March. It’ll be dry and not too hot. Now, find out what the best beaches are in Thailand.

1. Railay Beach, Krabi

Railay Beach in Thailand.
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Railay is a small peninsula between Ao Nang and Krabi. It’s only accessible by boat, which you can take from either city. Railay Beach is surrounded by magnificent limestone cliffs and caves, which provides a secluded feel.

The beach is pristine, and since there aren’t cars all around, it’s peaceful. With the white sand and clear water, it’s a great place to relax.

You can go rock climbing, kayaking, swimming, diving, or spend the day on the beach. There are also several shops, bars, and restaurants in the area.

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2. Phra Nang Beach, Krabi

Boats at Phra Nang Beach in Thailand.
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Phra Nang Beach is south of Railay Beach. You can get there by walking, boat, or kayaking your way over. If you walk, it’ll take about 15 minutes.

The beach has some of the most pristine sand that you’ll see. It’s constantly rated as one of the best beaches in Thailand. However, it’s not touristy. Since it’s only accessible by boat, it’s pretty calm.

Plus, Princess Caves and Phra Nang Caves are right off of the beach. They’re a must-see during your visit to the beach.

Find a hotel near Phra Nang Beach via Expedia.

3. Koh Kradan, Trang

Clear water at a beach on Koh Kradan Island.
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Koh Kradan is a small island off of Trang. The beaches are absolutely breathtaking, as the waters are so clear and the sand is incredibly soft. When the tides are low, you can even walk to the coral reefs. It’s amazing.

Since it’s an island, the best way to get there is by boat. Go to the Hat Yao Pier and ride to Ko Muk Island. From Ko Muk, you can take a boat to Koh Kradan. You can also take a boat from Hua Hin Pier in Krabi to Koh Lanta to Ko Ngai, and finally, to Koh Kradan.

It’s been a hidden gem in Thailand. Recently, the Seven Seas and other resorts have taken notice and moved in. Still, Koh Kradan is serene and beautiful. Be sure to visit for a peaceful and relaxing vacation.

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4. Lamai Beach, Koh Samui

Rocks and trees at Lamai Beach in Thailand.
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Lamai Beach is located on Koh Samui, an island east of Surat Thani. To get there from Surat Thani, go to Don Sak Ferry Pier and get on the boat to Samui. Once you arrive on Koh Samui, you’ll need to catch a ride to the other side of the island.

There you’ll find Lamai Beach. Compared to Chaweng Beach, which is north of Lamai Beach, it’s quieter and more laid-back. It’ll be less busy, as there won’t be as many people.

It’s a family-friendly beach with fine sand and beautiful water. There are several shops, restaurants, and resorts. You’ll have plenty to do.

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5. Maenam Beach, Koh Samui

Trees and water at Maenam Beach in Thailand.
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Maenam Beach is also on Koh Samui. It’s located in the northern part of the island and has resorts and restaurants from one end of the beach to the other.

Maenam Beach is a popular spot for families, backpackers, and long-term travelers. Although there are resorts, the beach still feels untouched. You can easily find a space to relax in the soft sand and under a palm tree.

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6. Karon Beach, Phuket

Waves at Karon Beach in Thailand.
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Karon Beach is located on the west coast of Phuket and has gorgeous views of the Andaman Sea. It’s set between Patong Beach and Kata Beach. Being just over 3 miles long, Karon Beach is also one of the longest beaches in Phuket.

It’s a popular destination for families and couples. If you want privacy and a spot to yourself, head to the northern part of the beach because the southern end is a little busier. The northern end is more peaceful, spacious, and is more serene.

Aside from the beautifully clear water and soft golden sand, there are resorts and restaurants nearby. You won’t find public restrooms on the beach, which means you may have to grab a bite to eat somewhere and use their restroom.

Find a hotel near Karon Beach via Expedia.

7. Kata Beach, Phuket

Aerial view of Kata Beach in Thailand.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Kata Beach is a few minutes south of Karon Beach, and it’s smaller, as it’s about a mile long. It’s more popular than Karon Beach. However, it’s not overcrowded.

If you’re looking for a place to relax, snorkel, swim, or surfing, Kata Beach is the place you need to be. There are plenty of activities and restaurants.

The busiest time at Kata Beach is around sunset. That’s when tourists and locals come to see the expansive views of the sunset and beach.

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8. Mai Khao Beach, Phuket

Trees and waves at Mai Khao Beach in Thailand.
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Mai Khao Beach is located on the northwestern end of Phuket Island. It’s close to the airport, which makes accessing it pretty easy. Also, the views of airplanes above the beach are quite beautiful.

The beach stretches 6.8 miles long and is a part of Sirinat National Park. It’s one of the best beaches in Thailand because it’s not filled with resorts. There are only a few resorts and restaurants. For the most part, it’s undeveloped and surrounded by lush trees.

It’s also important to note that the sand is coarse. It may be the coarsest in all of Phuket. However, it’s still a beautiful place.

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9. Ao Manao Beach, Prachuap Khiri Khan

Mountains and water at Ao Manao Beach in Thailand.
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Ao Manao is located in Prachuap Khiri Khan, which is southwest of Bangkok. The beach is managed by the Royal Thai Airforce, as it was once a battlefield between the Thai and Japanese. There’s a lot of history there.

It’s also known as Lime Bay and has stunning scenery of the Gulf of Thailand. It’s a curved bay, and the water is pretty shallow near the shore, making it great for families.

Nearby, you’ll find a golf course, several restaurants, and resorts. It’s a smaller town, which means it won’t be as busy. Overall, it’s peaceful and quiet.

Find a hotel near Ao Manao Beach via Expedia.

10. Thong Nai Pan Beach, Ko Pha Ngan

Boats in the water at Thong Nai Pan Beach.
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Thong Nai Pan Beach is located in the northeastern part of Ko Pha Ngan. It’s one of the loveliest beaches in Thailand. It’s accessible by boat from Donsak Pier Surat Thani.

When you’re visiting Thong Nai Pan Beach, you must catch a sunrise. It’s absolutely stunning and worth every bit. Being on the eastern side of the island, you’ll be the first to see the sun go up.

There are several upscale resorts, restaurants, and bars nearby. Overall, it’s a great place to visit solo, with a partner, friends, or family.

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Featured image courtesy of Canva.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Travel, the destination for travel advice and inspiration. He launched Nola & Luna Travel to share expert advice, useful tips, unbiased reviews, and inspiration about destinations across the globe.