Renowned for its beaches, Thailand boasts some of the best shorelines in South East Asia, but with the rapid influx of tourism its hard to know what islands are in and which are out. If you are looking for beach getaways that are less college party and more, everything else, then here are – in my opinion Thailand’s best islands/ beaches!
*Disclaimer: I have not been to every one of these beaches, although I have been to many. Overall these options are carefully crafted due to my own experiences along with discussions and gathered opinions with travelling friends who have frequented these paradises!
Often known as the Maldives of South East Asia, Koh Lipe is in the deep south of Thailand. This super romantic island is relatively small and is rather difficult to get to, but the water is crystal clear, blue and sparkling. What more could you want right?! All you need to do now is book that five star resort and find someone to go with! Check out this great guide to Koh Lipe here!
Krabi along with Koh Lanta are the prefect Ying and Yang of beaches, and often times these are my number one suggestion if you are coming to Thailand and want a mix of majestic postcard worthy spots along with an authentic chilled out vibe. Krabi is on the coast, and is a tourist hot spot, with beaches surrounded by gorgeous towering limestone cliffs covered in lush greenery how could it not be? Pair this with long tail boats lining the coastline and its hard to get a more picturesque place. While Koh Lanta just down the shoreline is rather untouched and offers a much more scenic and relaxed atmosphere! Best of both worlds?
Down the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand lies Koh Chang, flirting with the boarder of Cambodia this massive utopia is often forgotten about. Thailand’s largest island is also quite a trek to get to but it is so worth the travel. With loads of hippy shops and reggae vibes the nightlife here is unlike any other of the Thai islands. Think of it as Koh Phi Phi’s older, cooler brother, who is also in a band.
For Thailand being as wacky as it is they did get this right – Koh Samet, the island where ‘Thai’s go to vacation’ is located just three hours from Bangkok making it the closest and cheapest island to travel to if you are anywhere in central Thailand. Why people don’t know about this place is beyond me, but the beaches are gorgeous, the fire shows unparalleled and sunsets top notch!
Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao:
Rounding out the top five are these three sister islands nestled relatively close to the shoreline midway down the western edge of the Gulf of Thailand. I know, it is kind of cheating including three different islands as one but this trifecta is the perfect getaway! All three of the islands offer different specialties, Koh Samui perfect balance of authentic and luxury, is home to upscale resorts think many, many $$$, but Koh Pangang and Koh Tao are much more backpacker friendly – Phangan notorious for it’s parties and Tao for it’s stunning views. All of these are close to Ang Thong National Marine Park, which is a must and definitely the main attraction.
Its hard to go wrong when visiting Thailand, all its beaches are stunning, and regardless where you go there will be something to satisfy every type of traveler – but in my humble opinion definitely go to one of these!!
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