5 Beaches in Thailand You’ll Want to Keep a Secret
As far as beach escapes go, Thailand offers some of the best. From pristine hidden getaways to adventurous coastlines, this nation is home to myriad delectable beaches perfect for every kind of traveler. While you might be content frequenting the most popular beaches alongside every other traveler, if you're looking to get off the beaten path and explore a lesser-known sandy shore, check out one of these five spots.
Ao Kwang Peeb, Ko Phayam
Ko Phayam is an island off the northern tip of Thailand’s Andaman coastline that evokes memories of Ko Samui before the influx of resorts and full moon parties. Backed by verdant jungle landscapes, Ao Kwan Peeb (aka Monkey Bay) is the island’s northernmost beach. A short sandy trail descends through the jungle to reveal an empty curve of pristine sand lapped at by crystalline waters. If all you want to do is relax, top up your tan, and take refreshing dips then you’ve come to the right place.
Ao Kwang Peeb is just a 15-minute drive from the island’s ferry pier. There’s one bar, which opens in the high season, and a hotel with wood cabins. Stay overnight and arise to the sound of toucans and monkeys.
Ao Tapao Beach, Koh Kood
Stretching along the western coast of Koh Kood, Ao Tapao Beach is the epitome of laidback island beach enjoyment. Golden sands slope gently down into shallow waters perfect for swimming and paddling. Everywhere else the scenery is emerald green, thanks to the island’s forest-clad hills and rubber plantations. The serene ambience is interrupted only by the arrival of ferries at the pier. Facing west into the Gulf of Thailand, this is a prime sunset viewing spot, too.
Koh Kood is one of Thailand’s easternmost islands and off-radar destinations. Boats depart from Laem Sok Pier, in the Trat province, and often call at Koh Chang and Koh Mak on the way.
Laoliang Beach, North Lao Liang Island
Adventure and relaxation await at Laoliang Beach, a gorgeous place all but devoid of footprints and framed by dramatic limestone cliffs. This delightfully uncrowded piece of coastline owes much of its appeal due to its setting within Mu Ko Phetra National Park. Indulge in morning yoga sessions as the sun rises behind distant Koh Sukron and paddle a kayak to the sister South Lao Liang Island. Enjoy the chance to scale limestone walls and go snorkeling in the clear azure waters.
The island, situated in the Trang archipelago, is only accessible from November to April, day trips aren’t allowed and the one campsite accommodation has a limited number of spaces — so you better plan ahead. It's worth the advance thought, however, as you'll be greeted with a relaxing way of life that includes no WiFi, plenty of hammocks and everyone walking around barefoot.
Sabai Beach, Koh Muk
When the only way into a beach is by boat or hiking trail you know it’s going to be secluded. On the western coast of Koh Muk, Sabai Beach is just that. The amber-colored sand contrasts perfectly with the palm trees, rocks and vegetation-covered cliffs. There’s little to do here but soak up the glorious natural setting, take a nap and swim in clean water. Best of all is that if you time your visit right then you’ll have the beach all to yourself.
There’s two routes to Sabai Beach. Rent a kayak at Charlie’s Beach and paddle for about 45 minutes. You can include a stop at Emerald Cave on the way; come early or late in the afternoon to avoid boat tours. Otherwise, hike the jungle trail that begins at Coco 2 Beach, on the island’s northeast coast.
Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is a small island situated within the coral-rich Tarutao National Marine Park, in the Andaman Sea. Make your way to the peaceful Sunset Beach to get away from the hotel and restaurant-heavy Pattaya Beach and Sunrise Beach. As its name suggests, this western-facing spot affords postcard-perfect sunset views. While evenings are magical, daytimes are often deserted and ideal for catching some rays and reading. The transparent water and healthy reef are also ideal for snorkeling.
The beach is about a 10-minute walk from Koh Lipe’s Walking Street and ferry port. Boats travel to the island from Phuket, the Satun and Trang provinces and several Andaman islands. A ferry service also connects with Langkawi, Malaysia.
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