When I say Thailand, what do you picture?
For me, it’s the beaches. I partly blame Leonardo Di Caprio and his film, The Beach, for this. Despite the rather dark nature of that movie, the scenery still sticks with me now, and I can almost sense the chilled-out vibe on one of those blindingly beautiful beaches.
Phuket is of course the island everyone flocks to for neon-lit nightlife, shops, and of course the beach, however Thailand is huge and varied, and not just the backpacking destination it used to be. Personally I am not a backpacker, I prefer to have a base, but even now Thailand caters for both types of visitor.
Beach-wise, these are five of my favourite. Can you think of any to add to this list?
Patong Beach, Phuket
It has to be on the list, simply because it has everything you could ever want in a beach resort, from nightlife, restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. However, this is list is specifically about the beach, and Patong doesn’t disappoint. The only downside is that it can get very busy, but despite that, the wide white sands are perfect for water-sports and chilling-out. It’s not overly quiet, but for people watching, you can’t beach this spot.
Hua Hin Beach, Hua Hin
It’s as good as it sounds basically. Very popular with locals, which I always think is a good sign of an authentic place to visit, the flat and long stretches of beach are particularly good for families, because the waters are calm and safer for children. Easy to get to from Bangkok, and with a varied level of entertainment around it.
Kata Beach, Phuket
Basically known as Phuket’s ‘other’ beach, Kata is a little more laid back. In the south of the island, you’ll find the paradise beach you generally picture when you think of Thailand, with palm trees, blue sea, white sand, and a calm vibe. You won’t find the hustle and bustle, high rise atmosphere of Patong here either. The waters can be a little rough, so for families it may not be the ideal choice.
Lamai Beach, Samui
Samui is popular, and for good reason, and that makes it also very busy, but think of the positives – that always means there’s plenty to do. Lamai Beach is beautiful scenery-wise, and safe for swimming. Night-life around this area is vibrant, but during the day it’s peace and quiet.
White Sand Beach, Koh Chang
Koh Chang was a backpacker’s haven not so long ago, however it is slowly becoming more mainstream. This is one of those The Beach film, well, beaches, and you’ll find the coconut trees, swaying palms, blue waters, white sands … ahhh it’s bliss.