Beaches and Islands of Thailand
Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is a prime beach destination. This is not so surprising when you consider that the country has more than 3000 km of tropical coastline. You will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world in Thailand, beaches that you will never want to leave once you are there. In particular, the beaches of the islands of Phuket and Samui, on the west and east coast of Thailand respectively, are now world famous. You can get a relaxing Thai massage, manicure or pedicure on most beaches and beach vendors will drop by with cold drinks, fresh fruits and fresh fish. Thailand's beach life is so special and laid-back that once you've tasted it, you'll never want to miss it!
Eastern Gulf Coast
Southeast from Bangkok to the border with Cambodia, an approximately 600 kilometers long coastline stretches along the Gulf of Thailand. Top destinations include the popular seaside resorts of Pattaya and Jomtien, popular centers for water sports and great nightlife, and the bounty islands of Koh Samet and Koh Chang.
This east coast of the Gulf of Thailand is a land of contrasts. Picturesque and unspoilt islands lie close to bustling beach resorts, and inland are home to spectacular national parks. Despite the arrival of tourism, many places have managed to keep their charm. There is an extensive tourist infrastructure with good connections to the main islands.
Western Gulf Coast
Southwest of Bangkok to the border with Malaysia stretches an approximately 1,400 km long headland. Top destinations here are the popular Thai resorts of Cha-Am and Hua Hin, with their popular beaches with casuarina trees.
Further south, off the coasts of Chumphon and Surratthani, sunbathers and divers can head to Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui Islands. For truly unspoilt scenery, visit AngThong National Marine Park.
The Andaman Sea
The more than 800 km long Andaman coast has some of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia, beautiful long sandy beaches with swaying palms, and is renowned for its natural beauty. The hinterland is largely covered with rainforest and there are many rubber, coffee, fruit, sugar palm and oil palm plantations.
The northern half of this coast and Phuket in particular has a lot to offer – whether you want to dive the spectacular reefs, explore the imposing limestone cliffs and mangrove channels in Phang Nga Bay by canoe or simply relax on the beach. North of Phuket, rainforests provide the backdrop to the quiet beaches of Khao Lak and Ranong. Divers and snorkelers can visit the remote archipelagos of Similan and Surin from here. Further inland are the spectacular cliffs and rainforests of Khao Sok National Park.
Halfway between Phuket and Krabi are the spectacular archipelagos of Koh Yao and Koh Phi Phi, which form a world unto itself with idyllic sandy beaches and beautiful coral gardens in the azure blue sea.
South of Phuket and Phang Nga Bay you will find the quieter and beautiful Krabi with its beaches surrounded by spectacular cliffs. Krabi has grown in popularity in recent years. The beaches are truly heavenly and many longtail boats sail from Krabi to the archipelago of offshore islands. South-east of Krabi is Koh Lanta, very suitable for peace seekers, divers and snorkelers.