After China, Craig and decided that we’ll take it easier in Thailand and try to relax by finding the perfect beach. It’s been difficult!
Our criteria is pretty simple, white/gold sand, warm clear water, a place to stay nearby and somewhere close by to eat. Sounds easy…far from it in Thailand!
The tourism industry has played a big part in our struggle to find our ‘haven’ – if we find perfect waters and sand, you’ll be sure that you’ll pay at least £25 for the night. Some places range from £30-250 a night – a bit out of our budget…
Saying all that, we’ve found some amazing places, unforgettable and something everyone should experience once in their lives.
So in no particular order, our favourite places so far:
Ao Nang Beach – Krabi
Lot’s of tourists (mainly because this is the hub to most islands in the Andaman sea), not a particularly nice beach, but a nice calming swim with small swells and virtually no waves, and at the end of the day you can watch the monkeys playing in the trees at the end of the beach.
Tonsai Beach – Krabi
The almost perfect backpacker getaway – if you can stand the mossies – accommodation can be basic. Closed off from anywhere else and only accessible by walking through the jungle via Railay Beach – or hiring a Longtail boat, Tonsai can be a great place to relax and get away from the flashpacker tourists and spend the evenings partying alongside the beach – ‘The Beach’ style.
Railay Beach East – Krabi
Only accessible by boat. Huge white sands but unfortunately not many accommodation options for the budget backpacker. Places to eat are limited and there’s a wealth of and I quote Lonely Planet ‘speedo clad tourists’ roaming the beaches. A nice day trip.
Railay Beach West – Krabi
The views of the limestone islands, soft deep golden sand and amazingly clear blue waters, it’s a great places to swim. Unfortunately this is the posh side of Railay. Bungalows to rent go up to 18,000 baht. About £400.
Phra Nang Beach – Krabi
By far one of my favourite beaches for sand! It’s amazingly smooth, deep and goes all in the way into the sea, so no stubbing your toes on rocks you can’t see! At one end is an amazing cliff/cave, no DSLR could capture its sheer size as you swim beneath it. While the other ends leads to inaccessible jungle and mangroves. Unfortunately it’s owned by one company who have a monopoly over the accommodation.
Bamboo Island – Ko Phi Phi Leh
We were dropped off here by speedboat (it’s a long story) and swam for a while. It’s packed with tourists but the waters are clear and would be great if the current wasn’t so strong. The only lodgings here that we could see were tents.
Ao Maya – ‘The Beach’ Beach – Ko Phi Phi Leh
The famous beach, and it definitely lives up to the shots you see in the film. The sands are whiter that white, soft and the water is amazingly clear, allowing you to watch the small fish as they swim passed your legs. Again it’s packed with tourists but if you can stand them it’s a worthwhile place to visit. It took a hit in 2004’s tsunami but is still the top beach out there.
Ao Lo Dalam – Ko Phi Phi Don
Located on the east side of party island Ko Phi Phi, Ao Lo Dalam is a nice place to sit and read a book under the trees that line the beach. Swimming can be a bit dirty during low tide (rubbish and oil) but during the morning the views in the distance are beautiful. When you get a bit hungry head just down the street behind the beach to one of the dozens of restaurants.
Hat Farang Beach – Ko Muk Island
Huge swells and amazingly awesome waves, Craig and I really enjoyed the surf. The beach is nice and sandy and there are dozens of trees to read a book under when the sun is out. Just off the beach is a restaurant selling reasonably priced food, and if you can afford it there are basic huts that can be rented as well. The sunset here is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in Thailand.
The search for the perfect beach continues. We’re off to the Gulf!