Thailand’s islands & beaches guide for first-time travelers

From a tourism standpoint, Thailand is probably best known as a country that’s home to numerous historical and religious sites, particularly those that are linked to Buddhism. Thai cuisine has also been embraced the world over, and understandably, many who have fallen in love with that style of cooking’s specific flavors have sought to go to the country that has served as the point of origin for so many delicious dishes.

What not as many people may know is that Thailand is similarly home to numerous gorgeous islands and beaches. This article will aim to serve as your go-to Thailand’s islands & beaches travel guide. We’ll start in Southern Thailand, a part of the country you can visit if you want to spend most of your time there relaxing on beautiful beaches and island-hopping.

Khao Lak

khaolak, thailand

The town of Khao Lak is home to a wide array of beaches, and some are more crowded than others. Khao Lak is easy to reach by taking a bus from Phuket about an hour. If you have the time and a desire to enjoy nature in peace, you can drop by the quieter beaches in the area, including Bang Niang, Bang Sak, Khuk Khak, and Laem Pakarang.

You should also make sure not to miss out on seeing the Similan Islands while you’re in Khao Lak. Carve out some time in your schedule to take part in the speedboat tour of the islands, and you can even go snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands if you desire. Trust us, that boat trip to Thailand’s islands will be well worth your time.

Koh Lipe

Lipe, thailand

Traveling to the different beaches of Khao Lak will likely necessitate the use of a motorcycle, but if you’re in Koh Lipe, you can go to the beach of your choosing by walking there. When you are at Koh Lipe, you can move between two beaches in Koh Lipe by simply taking a 15-minute walk, and there are even some islands nearby you can visit.

Don’t forget though, the main attractions of Koh Lipe are the marvelous coral reefs. Spend as much time as you can see them in person because these wonders of nature aren’t found everywhere.

Koh Samui

samui, thailand

Koh Samui has turned into one of the more popular tourist destinations in all of Thailand, and well, it’s hard to fault anyone for wanting to go to this absolutely stunning island. The question of what kind of activities to do in Koh Samui can be best answered with one word – beaches.

The beaches in Koh Samui can be found just about everywhere. They all feature their own unique traits that make them worth paying a visit to. Chaweng beach is the most popular beach in Koh Samui. It features many types of accommodation; hotels, condominiums as well as guesthouses. If you’re traveling to Koh Samui together with your family, You may want to visit Lamai Beach, as the establishments are more than capable of keeping everyone comfortable. Plus, you’re guaranteed many great chances to take beautiful photos while in Lamai Beach.

Phi Phi Island

phi phi island thailand

Maybe you want your vacation in Thailand to feature more than just beaches. That’s certainly understandable. In that case, a visit to Phi Phi Island maybe what you’re looking for. To be clear, there are still beaches to see and visit in Phi Phi Island, but if you don’t to spend too much time just lounging around, you can walk around and take a gander at the elaborate and naturally-occurring rock formations that can be found all over the place.

Also, even opting to just relax for a while means that there’s still a chance you will be able to see some of the incredible animals that call the island home.


phuket island

Phuket features some of the best beaches to go in Thailand, which should come as no surprise considering that there are more than 30 of them to be found here. You’re almost certain to find a beach that perfectly suits your preferences while in Phuket.

Fancy a quiet afternoon along the water uninterrupted by noises of machines and other familiar hallmarks of modern life? Then, you can spend time in the isolated yet immaculate Freedom Beach. Now, if you’re someone who feels more comfortable in a hub for activity, Patong Beach will be more your speed. Also, if you’re interested in taking a trip to a place that features sand famous for making a “funny sound,” drop by Karon Beach and hear what all the fuss is about.

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at the beaches and islands of Eastern and Western Thailand, beginning with…

Hua Hin

hua hin, thailand island

The beaches of Hua Hin are known for being on the milder side for most of the year, which is a good thing if you’re visiting together with your family. It takes only 2.50 hours drive from Bangkok. You can count on the beaches in this area being well-maintained because Hua Hin is known as the oldest resort town in the whole country. The people here know what they are doing when it comes to beaches, and you and your family will be the beneficiaries of that.

Koh Chang

Thailand is home to a wide variety of marine life, and if you desire a closer look at them, make sure that you head to Koh Chang. A trip underneath the waves of Koh Chang will grant you a closer look at the many tropical fishes that have called this place home. Plus, there are also coral reefs for you to marvel at.

If you can, the aforementioned site suggests scheduling a trip to Koh Chang for sometime between October and May because that’s the time when the water is easier to work with.

Pattaya Beach

pattaya, thailand

Pattaya Beach is the place to be for the adrenaline junkies in Thailand. One of the most enjoyable activities to take part in while in Pattaya Beach is parasailing. You won’t have to look far to find vendors offering parasailing experiences in Pattaya Beach, and while the trip will be short, it is also guaranteed to be memorable.

After you’ve had your fill of parasailing, you can go to one of the floating restaurants located nearby and have your appetites satisfied too.

Samet Island

Our last stop in this Thailand’s islands & beaches travel guide is Samet Island. By now, you know what to expect – beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and incredible underwater locations – and while in Samet Island we suggest enlisting the help of a motorboat driver to get you around faster and closer to the best sites in the area.

There is no question that Thailand is filled with some truly spectacular locations. You probably won’t be able to see everything the country has to offer in a single trip, but you can certainly make the most of your time there with the help of this guide.

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Riya is an inspired writer writing in several areas of expertise. With spending her years working marketing communication, Riya is delighted to work with aspiring small business owners. Apart from her marketing expertise, Riya always enjoys reading pocketbook, cooking, and traveling. Connect with Riya on twitter, @sanderriya.
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