There are few countries more synonymous with beautiful beaches than Thailand.
The country’s coast line is bejewelled with an endless variety of islands, bays, coves and inlets. Some are world famous, some just waiting to be discovered.
Start a voyage of exploration here with some of best that this tropical paradise has to offer.
This tiny island in the Malacca Strait sits to the south of the larger Koh Lanta Island in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
It may cover no more than four square kilometres, but Koh Kradan is building a big reputation for its combination of unspoilt seclusion and beaches of pure white sand.
Between the lush tropical forest on land and the coral reefs out to sea, the crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. Indeed, this is the island that plays host to the famous underwater wedding ceremony each February 14th.
It’s hard to imagine somewhere more perfect for both tying the knot and unwinding at the same time.
Hua Hin Beach
With five miles of wonderful flat sand lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf of Siam, Hua Hin is a first-choice destination for many native Thais as well as visitors from all over the world.
It ticks so many boxes: it’s an easy train journey from Bangkok; it’s famously family friendly; it offers a huge range of sports and activities; and it features some of the best seafood restaurants in the country – many built on stilts over the water.
And Hua Hin is set against a backdrop of forested peaks with a wealth of streams, caves and waterfalls just minutes from the old fishing port.
In the 1920s, King Rama VII discovered Hua Hin and made it a retreat from the broiling bustle of Bangkok. He built a royal residence and called it the ‘Far From Worries Palace’. What more need one say?
Close to the border with Cambodia, Koh Chang is an island of rain forests, waterfalls and coral reefs. Most people head for the west side of the island, where stunning beaches are bordered by palms and coconut trees and the land gradually rises to green hills which steam gently in the morning sunshine.
There are four main beaches on this side of the island but if you really want to sojourn by empty sea and sky, head for the south.
Here you’ll find beautiful beaches where, with no accommodation, a touch of Thai wilderness is all yours.
As with many of Thailand’s island beaches, Koh Chang is remote and for this reason popular with backpackers. Although still a haunt of these backpackers, Koh Chang now offers accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets and there’s no shortage of things to do either.
From wildlife-spotting treks in the hills, to snorkelling around coral reefs and even elephant safaris, Koh Chang is about more than just wonderful and unspoilt beaches.
Start a voyage of exploration here with some of best that this tropical paradise has to offer. But before you go, don’t forget to arrange gap year travel insurance.
Article by Chris Rowlands