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Which Beach to Thai?

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Which Beach to Thai?

story by: Anna Sarjeant

What kind of beach-goer are you? Because we’ve sussed out a Thai beach to suit every kind of sand lover. Check out our four beach personalities below - and our recommended beach for each. 


Beach mantra 1: “Shhhh, do not disturb me”
Definition: The beach needs to be postcard-perfect and plucked straight from the centre-fold of a glossy travel magazine. The sand should be platinum, the ocean a startling shade of blue and the hammocks an exact representation of serenity.

Go to: Railay Beach, Krabi

Why: Because when it comes to Champagne sand and tranquil sea, Railay Beach is check, check and then some. If you’re really seeking paradise, you’ll also want jutting limestone karsts and colourful longtail boats. And Railay has them both, because Railay has it all! 

A small peninsula just south of a town called Ao Nang, there’s an east and west Railay Beach but it’s West Railay Beach where you’ll stumble across Utopia. Accessible only by foot, the sand’s so fine it’s lighter than sugar and the water so calm it glistens like a sheet of just-polished glass.

When you bore of its beauty (unlikely but let’s consider every eventuality) Railay is also famed for its stellar rock climbing. With over 700 routes bolted into its sheer cliff facades, you may even spot free-climbers navigating the craggy walls with neither rope nor belay. Worry not, if they lose grip, they simply free fall into the deep chasm of water below.     


Beach mantra 2: “It’s been five minutes. Booooooored.”
Definition: For every beach lover who can drop and stop, there’s the polar opposite who cannot – or will not – sit still. Never content with simple beach pleasures such as idle daydreaming, they crave more than the do-nothing approach. With a near non-existent attention span, this ‘beach goer’ (used loosely) can be adult or child. 

Go to: Hua Hin Beach

Why: Hua Hin boasts a deep crescent of platinum sand lapped by temperate waters. But there’s more than just beach to this mountain framed head-turner. 

With seas that are warm throughout the year, frequent dips and shoreline swims are a daily occurrence at Hua Hin. The seabed curves softly and safely so it’s ideal for pint-sized toe-dippers as well as less confident swimmers. Those who bore easily are treated to jet skis and banana boats, nearby mountain hiking and if you like your transport to be of the hooved-variety, horse trekking is both great value and well supervised. Or can be, if you’re already of jockey-level standards, simply hire a horse and take to the beach for a gallop.

If you’re still thirsty for an activity, kayak the local wetlands or travel 10km out of Hua Hin and tee off at Black Mountain Golf Course. Eighteen holes hide amidst Thai jungle and an old pineapple plantation. Because not all beach-goers are beach-goers, they’re golf-goers instead.


Beach mantra 3: “The beach? By day? Please, I’m a night owl”
Definition: The beach is your dance floor. Your motto - wake me when it’s dark again.

Go to: Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan 

Why: If history is to be believed, the full moon has always brought out the deviants and the lunatics. Add to that cheap liquor, neon clothes and a non-stop barrage of trance music and hey presto, the beat’s about to drop, you have Thailand’s most infamous full moon party. 

But don’t go there.  

Seek out Koh Phangan’s Eden Garden Party and experience what a traditional Thai party used to be like - many moons ago, before 40,000 body painted party-heads discovered a bucket full of vodka.  Located on a cliff and built along the rocks of Haad Yuan, the Eden Bar can only be accessed by a single boat departing from Haad Rin beach. Sneaking away from all the other fun-loving hoards is what makes this venue all the more exciting. Run by a small communion of ex-pat hippies, it’s the twice weekly event you’ll even find the Koh Phangan locals attending, every Saturday and Tuesday on a rocky turret overlooking the bay. Nothing shy of hedonistic, it sits on the more placid side of wild, but don’t expect an early night and a glass of hot milk before bed, this is a non-stop 9-12 event. And we’re talking midday the following day. Stay up for a glorious sunrise and a few extra hours spent on beautiful Haad Yua beach.      


Beach mantra 4: “I’d rather be below water than above. Fetch me my snorkel!”
Definition: The beach is nothing but a walkway to where you’d rather be – the ocean. Your beach-going attire comprises of a snorkel, oxygen tanks, plenty of neoprene and a couple of flippers. 

Go to: Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand

Why: Last year Koh Tao sent home approximately 50,000 certified open water divers. New ones! Second only to Cairns, the number of annual dive certifications increases with every season. Boasting a location that’s easily accessible and one that offers a diverse terrain of diving directly off shore, it’s not hard to see Koh Tao’s major draw card. First timers can embark on both PADI or SSI courses, usually spanning three days and incorporating all the necessary practical and theoretical tests, while veteran divers can pursue one of Koh Tao’s 24 spectacular dive sites. From former US navy shipwrecks to teeming coral, the opportunities to spot clown fish and stingrays, barracuda and giant groupers, butterfly fish and angelfish are endless. And when you finally resurface. Koh Tao will greet you with a stunning white-sand beach flanked by restaurants and bars. Perfect for a 5pm beverage, with the horizon – and the underworld you’ve just discovered – sitting serenely as your backdrop.  

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