Best Beaches in Thailand

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Romantic Beaches

Best Beaches in Thailand
Romantic Beaches Relax to the sound of the waves on tranquil shores. Couples can spend quality time
together in truly romantic surroundings. Thailand’s beaches offer unforgettable experiences.

Koh Chang Island and surrounding Islands Trat
Koh Chang is the second largest island in Thailand covering 429 square kilometers. It is mainly mountainous and its highest peak is Kao Saluk Pet rising 744 meters. It is covered with tropical rain forest and has many waterfalls. It is one of the most popular islands on Thailand’s east coast.

Tourists will be transported to the east side of the island as it faces the mainland. Because of the mountains, the area is untroubled by the monsoon and can be easily reached all year round.

Most of the eastern beaches are muddy or stony and are not suitable for swimming. The island’s villages, government offices and facilities are situated here. There are many tourist attractions in the east including waterfalls and fishing villages.

The west side of the island features white sand beaches and it is here where you will find the hotels. Sai Kao Beach (White Beach) is the main tourist center. There are many other beautiful beaches and outlying islands including:

Ao Klong Son is in the north of the island, 4 kilometers from Dan Kao Pier and Ao Sapparod Bay. The entrance is 1 kilometer from Baan Klong Son. It is a perfect bay, not too big or too small. It offers a tranquil atmosphere and privacy.

Sai Kao Beach(White Sand Beach) is world famous for its long white beach. It is very popular among tourists and has many economical hotels. There are asphalt roads along the seafront connecting to the other beaches. At night, it is very lively with neon lights from restaurants and small pubs. Tourists can enjoy swimming all along the beach, or they can rent bicycles or motorbikes. Sai Kao beach is one of the most fantastic sunset watching spots on Chang Island.

Klong Prao beach is next to Sai Kao beach and is very long. It adjoins Kai Bear Beach. As it is wide and clean, it is great for sports and lively activities. It is another terrific place to watch the sunset.

Kai Bear Beach connects to Klong Prao beach, one of the most popular beaches for foreign tourists. The accommodation ranges from very economical rooms to superior houses. It is a safe place to enjoy swimming and you can cycle to other beaches such as Klong Prao and Sai Kao beaches. It is a perfect place to enjoy the sunset.

Ao Bang Bao is at the bottom of the island. As it is sheltered from the storms, this area has many fishing villages. Their very unique houses are perched on stilts over the sea and have connecting walkways around them. It is not good for swimming because it is too close to the mangrove forests and the water is not clear. However, the atmosphere is lively with many colorful fishing boats traversing the waters and unloading their catches.

Ta Reu Dan Kao (Dan Kao Pier) is situated above Ta Reu Dan Mai. Although the soil beach is not good for swimming, it is suitable for fishing. Behind the village, there is a fresh water reservoir. Dan Kao is always used as a gateway to the other beaches.

Chai Ya Chet Peninsula is another fabulous place to watch the sunset. It is an amazing stony knoll offering panoramic vistas. There is a legend that there was a rock in the shape of a Thai dancer at the edge of the prominent peninsula so it was named after the literature titled Chai Chet written by His Majesty King Rama II.

There are abundant fishing opportunities. Tourists should be careful of sharp stones. The area around the peninsula is not suitable for swimming. Sunset watchers should bring a torch along in case they have to climb down the mountain to their hotels at night.

Klong Plu Waterfall is the only waterfall on the west of the island. It is situated 1.5 kilometers from Klong Prao beach. Underneath there is a pond surrounded by high rocks in which people can play. The waterfall is most beautiful during the rainy season because it is in full flow.

Tan Mayom Waterfall is middle sized but a giant in terms of reputation because Kings Rama IV, Rama V and Rama VI all visited it. There are 4 distinct levels, each of which is very beautiful. But most visitors never get beyond the first level as it is hard to climb.

Baan Salak Kog is a small fishing village and coconut plantation 20 kilometers from Daan Kao Pei. The landscape is flooded bog forest and villagers use small boats to travel. Cheap seafood can be bought here. The Wat Salak Kong Temple was built by King Rama V.

Baan Salak Pet is a community in the south of the island near a bay of the same name. There is a legend that the Bodhisattva had his men catch a male elephant named Plai Petch and so the area was named after it. The bay is large, and sheltered. It has a number of fishing villages. The beaches are a little muddy.

Baan Rong Tan is at the south of the island. It is small, peaceful and calm, sheltered from the elements. It is a fantastic place to enjoy the beauty of the island and its surroundings. The nearby mountains are impressive and to the east you will see Koh Prao. Kere Pet and Klong Nung waterfalls are close by.

Ao Bailan Haad Ta Num has recently become popular as backpackers try to escape the commercialization of Haad Kai Bear. The area still retains its natural beauty and the beach is peaceful but stony.

Koh Ngam is the nearest of the outlying islands, just 200 meters from Koh Chang and connected by a sand bar. It has 2 bays, Dream Lagoon and Sweet Lagoon, which are shallow and safe for swimming. The bay facing Koh Chang has a coral reef and provides excellent diving opportunities.

Koh Wai is to the south of Koh Chang and has 2 beaches. It is called ‘Red Rock of the Sea’ due to its coloring. It is famous for its coral reef that is excellent for diving and can also be viewed from the pier.

Koh Prao are 2 islands situated in Salak Pet Bay. They are covered in coconut trees and take their name from them. The inner island has a small beach and a few houses. The residents earn their livings oyster farming. The outer island has beautiful white sand beaches.

Koh Lao Ya is an island group to the south of Koh Chang. It comprise 3 islands: Inner Lao Ya, Middle Lao Ya and Outer Lao Ya. They have gorgeous powder-like white sand beaches and ample coral reefs. A bridge connects Inner Lao Ya to Middle Lao Ya.

Koh Man Nok, Koh Yourk and Koh Rom are good places to dive to see beautiful coral and interesting colorful fish.

Koh Kood and Soey Beach Trat
Situated far from the mainland, the water around Koh Kood is emerald green and clear. It is still relatively unknown to tourists and so it is peaceful and pristine. It is a good place to relax and get away from it all.

There is only 1 main road on the island and it cuts straight down the middle connecting all the important places. There are minor roads

Koh Mak surrounding islands TratKoh Mak is the third biggest island in Trat province after Koh Chang and Kho Kood. It is located between these 2 islands and is surrounded by a veritable archipelago and a magnificent coral reef.

Koh Mak is shaped somewhat like a 4-pronged star and this forms a number of interesting bays including Ao Suan Yai and Ao Tuk Ta. There are some interesting small islands that are worth visiting such as Koh Kham and Koh Nok.

Ao Suan Yai possesses one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. There are a number of resorts including the Koh Mak Resort. Nearby Koh Kham can be easily reached from here. There is a beautiful wooden bridge that contrasts stunningly with the sea. It is a good place for relaxing, sunset watching and cycling.
Ao Tukta (Ao Kaao) has a gently curving white sand beach. The aquamarine sea is calm and fringed with palms. It is a truly tranquil spot.

Koh Kham is a small island located south of Koh Chang and south west of Koh Mak. Its natural beauty is stunning with white sand dunes stretching for hundreds of meters, pristine coral reefs and volcanic rocks. At low tide, the sight of the dunes reaching out into the sea is a startling contrast. The black rock formations are another unique treasure.

Koh Kham provides visitors with their dream vision of a tropical island all year round. The surrounding islands can be seen from the peak which is also a superb place to watch the sunset. The reef is rich in sea life and a treat for any diver.

Koh Nok (Koh Lone) is a diving paradise teeming with fish and underwater plants.

Koh Kradat is located to the north east of Koh Mak and covers approximately 1,200 square rai. Travel time from Lam Ngob is 2-3 hours. Its name means the island of paper because papyrus used to be grown here and was an important writing material. There are long white sand beaches and coral reefs. Various types of accommodation are available.

Mu Koh Lanta Krabi
The Lanta Islands comprise 50 islands 2 hours south of Phuket. The archipelago stretches for 26 kilometers and is mainly wild and uninhabited. The main island is divided in 2: Koh Lanta Yai and Koh Lanta Noi.

Koh Lanta Yai is a long thin island stretching from north to south. It is mainly mountainous covered with lush tropical forest. On the west side of the island are many bays with beautiful beaches including Klong Dao Beach, Kor Kwang Beach, Loah Bara Beach, Ao Pra Aah, Klong Kong Beach, Ao Nui, Ao Klong Jak, Klong Noen Beach and Bagun Tieng Beach. There are some excellent 5-star hotels such Pimalai Resort and Spa, Rawiwarin Resort, and Layana Resort and Spa. Some of them have their own speedboats for the exclusive use of guests.

The main town and business district are on the east side of the island where facilities like tourist information, tour guides, restaurants and shops can be found.

Koh Ngai is part of the Mu Koh Lanta National Park. The east of the island features a white sand beach 2-3 kilometers in length. The coral reef is particularly splendid.

Koh Lanta Noi is where the main community can be found including government offices and tour operators. Package tours to the surrounding islands can be arranged here including Koh Boo Boo, Koh Ka, Koh Por and Koh Talengbeng.

Koh Rok Nok has white sandy beaches and coral reefs. There is a beautiful mixture of mangrove and rain forest. It is uninhabited but camping is allowed with the consent of the rangers.

Koh Rok Nai features high rocky cliffs, beautiful beaches and coral reefs. The island is an undiscovered gem teeming with marine wildlife

Racha Island
The Racha (or Raya) islands are best known as excellent diving and snorkeling daytrip destinations. Racha Yai, however, is quickly developing into a place to stay on for a while with a number of bungalow and resort operations springing up in recent years.
Racha Yai reveals itself in splendid fashion, with most arrivals landing onto a strip of fine white sand tucked deep into the long, U-shaped main bay, called Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow. The water here is clear and perfect for snorkeling, though the bay gets quite busy with visiting boats in the afternoons. The other large bay, Ao Siam, is a pretty place where lonely strolls in solitude are possible.
Racha Noi is uninhabited and has no services or accommodation, but there's some great diving in the area.
Best Beaches in Thailand

Family Beaches

Family Beaches Thailand is rich in beaches that provide a wide range of facilities for every member of the
family including activities like horse riding, picnics and more.

Hua Hin
Hua Hin is the oldest beach resort of the country and is still very popular. Clean white sand, crystal clear water and a tranquil atmosphere has continued to attract tourists in search of peaceful and relaxing holidays.
The town was originally known as Ban Samoe Rieng, or Ban Laem Hin (Stony Point Village). The construction of a railway station in the city as part of the Southern Railroad in the reign of King Rama VI resulted in making Hua Hin stand out from many quite fishing villages. In addition, the construction of a Summer Palace of King Rama VII totally transformed the village into a high-society resort town for royalty. Even today, the Royal Family continues to reside at the Palace for part of the year.

Hua Hin's consequence came with the opening of the Railway Hotel (known today as the Sofitel Central Hotel), an elegant Victorian-style resort hotel, and also the countrys first standard golf course. A cluster of royal and high-society residences gradually became more visible resulting in the transformation of the whole village into the first seaside resort of the country, where visitors could enjoy swimming, fishing, and golfing in the country's first standard golf course.

Today, Hua Hin is a well-established beach destination with word-class facilities coupled with a true sense of Thai hospitality. Despite its expansive growth and development as a luxurious destination, the splendor of Hua Hin remains intact. Remaining content in itself, Thailand's oldest seaside resort has never sought international recognition. It has continued to provide a peaceful and relaxed sanctuary in a picturesque environment that comes with a true sense of historical identity.

Cha-am Beach Phetchaburi
The premier beach resort of Phetchaburi, Cha-am is just as beautiful as the neighboring Hua Hin Beach. The beach is famous for being long and clean. In addition, it serves excellent fresh seafood. Originally a fishing village, Cha-am received much attention after the royal palace, Mrigadayavan, was built near Hua Hin in the reign of King Rama VI. At that time, the Royal Family and the elite occupied the land in Hua Hin and its vicinity as a holiday seaside resort. When people started looking around for twin seaside resort town for Hua Hin, Cha-am’s beauty was discovered and quickly developed.
Today, Cha-am is a popular lively resort town offering a large variety of accommodations and challenging activities. Boredom is rare in Cha-am as there are a variety of water sports that can be enjoyed, while a possible alternative to water sports is bicycle riding along a 6-kilometer sandy white beach. During the weekdays the beach is virtually deserted and there are beach umbrellas and sling chairs are available for hire.

Chaweng Beach Surat ThaniChaweng Beach is one of the most beautiful and most popular beaches in Samui. It has a huge selection of accommodations suitable for every budget. Please note that room rates increase during the high season, from December to July, when Samui sparkles. The nightlife at Chaweng Beach is better for couples, women and families. These resorts, as well as Na Thon (Samui's main town), have communications, exchange and car/motorcycle hire facilities.

Kata Beach PhuketKata Noi (Small Kata) and Kata Yai (Big Kata) Beaches are renowned for snorkeling to see the coral, tropical fishes and the seas eco-system. Also worth visiting is Ko Pu, a small uninhabited island located off Laem Sai. Most visitors find snorkeling along the islands rich coral reef enjoyable. Diverse beach activities are available on both beaches.

Karon Beach PhuketThis Beach is the most developed, most vibrant, most visited beach of Phuket that never fails to impress visitors. The beach has a wide range of accommodations and shopping arcades, and provides magnificent leisure activities and energetic night-time entertainment. It is a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach that is perfect for swimming, lazing, and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing, windsurfing snorkeling, sailing, and parasailing.
Best Beaches in Thailand

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Activity Beaches

Activity Beaches There are many beaches in Thailand that offer sports like beach volleyball, as well as
water skiing and jet skiing. And when the sun goes down, there’s plenty of nightlife to keep things exciting.

The half-moon-shaped Pattaya Beach is 4 kilometers long with a road running parallel to the beach. From the mid-section to the southern end of the area, there is a vast array of restaurants, bars, department stores, souvenir stores, as well as other places of entertainment. To the north of the beach are various mini-resorts and hotels in a quieter atmosphere.

It's actually free to stroll along the beaches, but operators will charge you for the services they provide, i.e. the beach chair. A price is roughly $0.5 per chair, though bargaining.

Pattaya at night
The variety of nighttime activities continuing until dawn is so diverse that every person would easily find diversions appealing to individual tastes and moods. Most likely any fantasy can be fulfilled, especially after sunset. After dark, the extension of Beach road in South Pattaya turns into a promenade (disallowed only for public transport), transformed into one of the hottest nightspot. A hunting ground beaming with neon lights and music find an endless array of dining, shopping or entertainment establishments.

Worthy of notice is the disco in Pattaya. A disco is not just a dance palace, but more of a hi-tech extravaganza filled with flashing lights, trendy music, and fun loving crowds. Pattaya is famous for its incredible nightlife activities, and South Pattaya is the jewel in its crown outshining the rest with an incredible array of things to see and do. One can enjoy Thai-boxing or some glaring erotic shows, a wide variety of fascinating shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, discos and other pleasurable establishments, side-by-side with all kinds of shopping. The only required skill is that of time management, so one can experience all the wonders and be on time for what is next.

Koh LanLying about 7.5 kilometers off of Pattaya by a 45-minute ferry or 15 minutes by speed boat ride, the island measures 2 kilometers by 5 kilometers and offers several white sandy beaches, notably Beach Ta Waen, Laem Thian Beach and Thong Long Beach, the latter facing coral reefs. Visitors can choose either snorkeling or viewing the coral from glass bottom boats. Ferries to the island leave South Pattaya pier daily from 10.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Cruises by sailing junks, with lunch provided are also available.

Ko SametA favorite get-away island for Bangkokians, Ko Samet offers extensive pristine beaches with clean white sand and strangely shaped rocks. A haven for relaxation, this T-shaped island is a perfect retreat for those looking for sun, sand and sea. The climate is always pleasantly cool with an abundance of rain in August and windy monsoons in May.

There are a wide range of accommodations on the island with prices at the low-end starting from 200 baht for a bungalow with basic amenities, while bungalows with furniture and air-conditioning may start at the rate of 600 baht.

Patong BeachThis is Phuket's central tourist and night time entertainment district. Over the year, Patong has turned from a fishing village into one of the island's two cities. The famous bay and 4 km. beach remain as they were, with development limited to the area back of the beach road. There, however, virtually every kind of entertainment imaginable awaits visitors, with bars catering to every nationality. Live music can be found in many places, and there are also discotheques. Accommodations range from budget to five-star. Shopping opportunities appear to be endless. Whatever one's culinary disposition, a restaurant catering to it will be found. In addition, there are many tour companies waiting to help visitors plan their vacations.

Kamala Beach
Located approximately 26 kilometers from Phuket City, Kamala Beach is a relatively secluded 2-kilometer beach that is suitable for total relaxation. There is an entertainment show know as Phuket Fantasea : the ultimate nighttime cultural theme park of Phuket.

Koh Samui
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand, Known as the Coconut Island, Koh Samui is one of the most famous and popular attractions of Thailand. With an area of 247 square kilometers, Koh Samui is the third largest island of Thailand after Phuket and Koh Chang (of Trat). The topography of the island is that of a plain with a mountain range in the middle and 7 important streams. In addition, there is a 50-kilometer paved road that encircles the island. Moreover, the area of the island stretches to a group of 48 surrounding islets.

Despite the fast pace of development, Koh Samui has been able to maintain its charm its classical image of a tropical beach resort fringed by coconut trees. Travelers to the island can enjoy a mixed blessing of vibrant day and nightlife along side with tranquility which can easily be found across different parts of Koh Samui as the archipelago is a peaceful home for fishermen and a natural den for seagulls and other rare birds.

Apart from its many lovely beaches and tranquil bays, Koh Samui is also noted for its high quality coconuts that grow densely everywhere. The best time to visit Koh Samui is from February to April when the sea is calm. The Southern dialect and the standard Thai language are spoken while English is widely understood in tourist areas.
Best Beaches in Thailand

Natural Beaches

Natural Beaches Explore nature in all her pristine glory. There are many places suitable for tourists
who want to leave the modern world behind.

Phi Phi Islands Krabi
Regarded by travelers from all walks of life as being among the most beautiful tropical islands of the world, Phi Phi Islands have become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. The islands, together with the nearby Noppharat Thara Beach, a total area of 390 square kilometers, were recently established as a national park.

The islands and the coastal hills are composed mainly of limestone and are an extension of the limestone mountain range in Phang Nga. The main characteristics of these mountains and islands are their steep cliffs, large caves and dwarf trees growing out of the rock crevices, like those in Phang Nga Bay.

The island group is composed of two rocky, tree-covered islets Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. Phi Phi Don, the larger islet to the north, is well known for its fine beaches and coral formations. Above average tourist facilities and accommodations are available along two beautiful curved bays, namely Ton Sai Bay and Lodalam Bay. Several shops at Ton Sai can arrange diving and snorkeling trips around the island or the nearby islands - Ko Phi Phi Le, Ko Yung and Ko Mai Phai.

About 2 kilometers to the south is Phi Phi Le. Contrary to Phi Phi Don, this islet is uninhabited as there is no beach area as the island descends abruptly into the sea on all sides and it is prohibited by the administrative body. The main attraction is a large cave about 3.2 square kilometers in size known as Viking Cave derived from one of the numerous drawings on the wall which resembles a Viking ship. The cave has a 10 to 15-metre high ceiling which contains many ledges inhabited by thousands of swallows, thus a bird's nest collection demonstration is a regular feature of guided tours.

Ao Maya and Ao Lo Sama - Phi Phi Islands scenic coves are favorite snorkeling places while the sea around the islands, especially the southern part, which are deep and full of coral formations are popular diving spots. With its emerald crystal sea, secluded beaches, mountain cliffs, colorful coral reefs and undersea life, Phi Phi is a paradise in the Andaman Sea. The best time to visit Phi Phi Islands is from November to April, when the sea is calm.

Koh Yung, an island to the north of Koh Phi Phi Don, has a stone beach on the east and small sandy beaches amid valleys. In addition, the island is teeming with diverse colorful coral reefs. Koh Phai, another island to the north of Koh Phi Phi Don and not far from Koh Yung, has spectacular beaches in the north and east of the island. The bank of coral reefs comprised mainly of antler corals stretches from the north to the south of the island.

Noppharat Thara Beach
It is white sandy beach lined with dense casuarinas and coconut groves. The beach, paved with tiny seashells, was formerly called "Khlong Haeng" Beach, which means dried canal beach by locals, because the canal dries up during low tide and the area turns into a long beach. Situated 18 kilometers north-west of Krabi, Noppharat Thara beach is in fact part of National Park and is the location of the Park headquarters. This Park covers a large area both onshore and offshore.

For more information
Forestry Department in Bangkok Tel. +66 (2) 5797223, +66 (2) 5795734,
Noppharat Thara National Park, P.O. Box 23, Amphoe Mueang, Krabi 81000,
Tel. +66 7563 7200.

Ao Nang
Ao Nang is a large bay with scenic beaches and 83 small islands, Ao Nang has several famous beaches which include East Rai Le, West Rai Le and Phra Nang Cave which stretches to the foot of a prominent limestone range. A boat from Ao Nang Village can be hired for sightseeing excursions around Ao Nang, Phra Nang Cave beach and Nam Mao Beach, all of which are only accessible by foot. Other offshore isles such as Koh Poda, Ko Kai, Koh Mo and Koh Thap, are popular destinations that can be reached by a rented boat from Ao Nang. An abundance of colorful coral reefs and lovely cartoon fishes make these islands ideal for diving and snorkeling.
Popular activities include sightseeing by canoe along the beachfront and paddling tours by inflatable canoes or kayaks of the coast and its mangrove forests, islands and semi-submerged caves.
Best Beaches in Thailand

7 Wonders of Amazing Thailand