Best Beaches in Thailand, best resorts and islands, inc Phuket, Koh Samui

Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand, The Beach, Leonardo De Caprio, Phuket, Samui, best beach
Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand, home of the beach location for filming of "The Beach" film, which inspired many travellers to visit Thailand including the author of this blog!

Best Beaches & Resorts in Thailand

I've been lucky enough to have been able to travel around Thailand, and see some of its amazing beaches first hand. Like many I was inspired to visit Thailand by the film 'The Beach' (set in Koh Phi Phi Leh - not to be confused with the Koh Phi Phi Don - which is the larger of the 2 islands with many hotels on it). Thailand is a really popular tourist/backpacker destination now, and looking at some of the beaches on this blog post it's easy to see why.

Below are some of the best beaches I have come across in Thailand and well-worth checking out further. The list is not exhaustive (I may well have missed some beauties - let me know if so) and I'd recommend doing plenty of web research when planning a trip around Thailand - but hopefully they provide a decent starting point to plan your travels!

Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand, The Beach
Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand, The Beach
I'll start with perhaps the most famous beach, the small island where much of the scenes from the film, 'The Beach' were filmed (although it was in fact filmed in many locations giving the impression it was all on & around this small island). It is now very popular, and perhaps too touristy these days but if your in the area, it's worth a boat trip!

The Beach, Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
The Beach, Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand

The Beach, Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
Looking back to Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi Don is the larger of the 2 Phi Phi islands, and is the more developed of the two - having quite a few hotels etc on it and being a haven for backpackers. Phi Phi Leh has no development on it whatsoever - but can be readily accessed via a short boat ride from Phi Phi Don. Below is a photo of Phi Phi Don which was took in the 80's I think - before it became commercialised & touristy. As you can see there are no hotels on the strip of land between the 2 higher pieces of land. I can imagine this island was a real gem of a find on the backpacker tourist trail in the early days.

Phi Phi Don before tourism took hold
Phi Phi Don in the early 1980's before tourism took hold. The thin strip of land is now covered in hotels.

Krabi, Ao Nang area, Thailand

Krabi is on the Thai mainland, and the Ao Nang/Railay area is a short boat ride from the Phi Phi Islands - so is definitely worth a visit if you are also visiting Phi Phi. On my trip round Thailand, we paid someone who had a boat to take us from Phi Phi Don directly to Krabi. You can of course fly directly into Krabi.

For me this area of Krabi, in terms of scenery, had the best beaches I seen in Thailand, certainly the most suprisingly beautiful beaches - as I hadn't really seen much of the beaches around here before I went.

This aerial shot gives a good view of the 3 main Beaches on the Railay Peninsula, in Krabi, Thailand.
Phra Nang Beach is to the bottom of the picture (my best beach),

This photo clearly shows the names of the various beaches on the Railay Peninsula

Phra Nang Beach, Krabi
Phra Nang Beach, Krabi
Phra Nang beach at sunset, Railay, Krabi, Thailand, worlds best beach
This is the best photo I think I took on my Thailand Trip - Phra Nang beach at sunset, Railay, Krabi, Thailand.

From the cave at Phra Nang Beach, Railay, Krabi
From the cave at Phra Nang Beach, Railay, Krabi

Railay Beach, Krabi
Railay Beach, Krabi

Railay Beach West, with Ton Sai Beach in the distance, Krabi
Railay Beach West, with Ton Sai Beach in the distance, Krabi

Phuket Best Beaches, Thailand

Phuket is where a lot of tourists head in Thailand, and there are some fantastic beaches here.

Laem Sing best-beach-thailand-world
Laem Sing Beach, Phuket

Kamala beach, Phuket

Kata-Noi Beach-phuket-best-beach-thailand-world
Kata Noi Beach, Phuket

Paradise Beach, Patong, Phuket

Koh Samui, Thailand

On my travels round thailand, I flew from Krabi, which is on the western mainland of thailand over to the island of Koh Samui, which is on the eastern side of Thailand - and the climate can be a little different at the same time in different areas of Thailand. I guess the island is quite a popular destination, and relatively more expensive than other parts of Thailand due to the tourist development. It's still worth visiting though, and once again the area has some stunning beaches.

Silverbeach Beach, Koh Samui

Bophut Beach, Koh samui

Chaweng Beach, Koh-samui. The most popular and touristy beach on the island.





Angthong Marine Park, near Koh Samui, Thailand

Anthong Marine Park is off the coast of Koh Samui and is still untouched be large scale development (due to being a protected reserve) - although lots of tourist excursions visit the place daily. Apparently Anthong actually provided the inspiration for the original book which 'The Beach' film was based on.

Angthong Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand
Angthong Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand
Angthong Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand
Angthong Marine Park, Thailand

Koh Tao, near Koh Samui, Thailand

Last but not least, Koh Tao, has some spectacular beaches surrounded by granite rock which is reminds me of the some of the best beaches on the Seychelles. It's also well-known for it's crystal clear waters and scuba diving - so worth adding to your list!

koh tao, thailands best beaches
Koh Tao, Thailand


Well that's about it for the beaches I recommend. Thailand is a stunning place blessed with many beautiful beaches, and I guess there are a lot more beautiful beaches that are off the tourist trail - you just have to find them. (If you think some beaches that are well worth a shout are missing from this blog post - then by all means let me know about them in the comments section below).

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and it inspires you to visit Thailand and helps in planning your trip. Remember life is short - so enjoy it and fill it with lots of memories and experiences, Happy adventures... 

Stuart Hodgson

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