Hey there, fellow travel enthusiasts! Today, I want to invite you on a journey to explore Thailand's best-hidden beach gems. As a Thai local, I have been fortunate enough to travel to many beautiful beaches in my country. However, some of the most stunning and serene beaches are often unknown to many tourists. In this blog post, we will dive into some of Thailand's hidden beach gems and talk about their cultural significance.
Thailand is known for its beautiful resorts and stunning beaches, many of which receive a lot of attention from tourists. While these beaches are definitely worth visiting, there are also many hidden gems that offer a different experience than the more crowded ones. These hidden beaches are often less busy and provide a unique and authentic experience of Thai culture.
In this post, we will take a closer look at some of these hidden beaches and their cultural significance. We will explore lesser-known destinations like Koh Phra Thong, Koh Yao Noi, Ao Nang, and Laem Son National Park. We will uncover their fascinating history, local customs, and vibrant cultures that make these beach locations unique. Get ready to discover the best-hidden beach gems that Thailand has to offer.
Beach Gems in the Andaman Sea
As a Thai local, there are many hidden beach gems I have come across in my travels. In this article, I will share with you my top recommendations for beaches in the Andaman Sea.
Koh Yao Noi
If you’re looking for a quiet escape surrounded by stunning scenery, then Koh Yao Noi is a perfect beach for you. This is the smaller of the two Koh Yao islands and is only accessible by boat. It’s located in Phang Nga Bay between Krabi and Phuket.
What makes Koh Yao Noi special is the fact that it hasn’t been overrun by tourists like some other popular beach destinations in Thailand. You’ll find a kilometre-wide stretch of white sand beach with calm, clear water that’s perfect for swimming or snorkeling.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you can also rent a kayak and explore the island's cliffs and coves. There are a few resorts on the island that offer accommodation but remember this isn’t a party town. So, if you’re looking for nightclubs and partying, this isn’t for you.
Koh Racha Yai
Koh Racha Yai is a tiny island located just off Phuket’s coast. This island is blessed with crystal clear waters, abundant coral reefs, and white sandy beaches ideal for sunbathing.
The two main beaches on Koh Racha Yai are Siam Bay and Patok Bay. Siam Bay is a small bay that’s perfect for swimming and snorkeling. It's also perfect for those seeking peace and quiet in a beautiful setting. Patok Bay has a much wider beach and is more popular for sunbathing while still offering safe swimming areas.
If you’re looking for a luxury retreat, you can stay in the island's only resort, The Racha. This resort offers elegant villas and is known for its world-class spa.
Koh Lanta is a beautiful island that’s located off the west coast of Krabi. It’s a popular destination for backpackers, but it’s still relatively unknown to many tourists. The long stretches of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and laid back vibes make it an ideal spot for relaxing and unwinding.
There are a lot of beaches to choose from on Koh Lanta, but my personal favorite is Klong Dao Beach which is a 3-kilometre-long beach that’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and taking long walks.
If you’re looking for an adventure, you can book a snorkelling or diving trip to explore the beautiful underwater world that surrounds the island. Whatever your plans, Koh Lanta is an excellent destination for unwinding and experiencing Thai island life.
Off the Beaten Path in the Gulf
The Gulf of Thailand is on the east coast of Thailand and is home to some beautiful beaches that are less crowded than some of the more prominent destinations such as Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui.
Koh Kood is a small island located off the coast of Trat province, close to the Cambodia border. It’s a beautiful island that’s covered in lush tropical forest, has some of the clearest waters off the east coast of Thailand, and is home to amazing marine life.
One of the best beaches on Koh Kood is Klong Chao Beach. It’s about 2.5 kilometres long and is arguably one of the best beaches in Thailand, let alone the Gulf. The beach is wide and lined with coconut trees, perfect for a long walk. The waters are crystal clear, perfect for swimming or snorkelling.
Koh Tao is a small island located north of Koh Samui and is a popular destination for divers and backpackers. The beaches on Koh Tao are beautiful, but the island is known for its diving sites that are famous around the world.
The most popular beach on Koh Tao is Sairee Beach. It’s about 4 kilometres long and is perfect for sunbathing or taking a long walk while the water is perfect for swimming or snorkelling.
If you’re looking for a more private beach experience, you can hop on one of the many boats that offer day trips around the island. It will take you to less crowded places like Tanote Bay or Shark Bay.
Discovering Thailand's Seafood Culture
Thailand is known for its delicious food, and particularly for its seafood. There’s never a shortage of seafood restaurants in Thailand, and one of the best things you can do when you’re here is to try some of the delicious seafood that's available across the country.
If you’re looking for the best seafood in Thailand, then Hua Hin should be at the top of your list. This seaside resort town is known for its fresh seafood, and there’s no shortage of seafood restaurants here.
One of the best places to try seafood in Hua Hin is at the night market. The seafood is fresh and cooked right in front of you; it’s an experience not to be missed.
Prachuap Khiri Khan
Prachuap Khiri Khan is a hidden gem that’s located about halfway between Hua Hin and Chumphon. This charming coastal town is known for its fresh seafood, and there's a wide variety of seafood to choose from.
The best way to enjoy seafood in Prachuap Khiri Khan is to head to the fishing village of Bang Saphan Noi. You’ll find a variety of seafood restaurants that offer excellent seafood dishes cooked fresh from the day's catch. If you’re an early riser, you might also want to check out the local morning market to see what’s on offer.
Traditional Festivals and Beach Life
Thailand is known for its festivals, and there are many festivals that take place throughout the year. Here are a few of my favorites that take place close to some of the best beaches in Thailand.
Songkran is the Thai New Year festival which takes place every April. It’s a fun and vibrant festival where people celebrate the coming of the New Year by throwing water at each other.
One of the best places to experience Songkran is in the beach town of Pattaya. During Songkran, the town becomes a huge water park, and people from all around Thailand come to party and celebrate.
Loy Krathong is a festival that's held across Thailand every November after the end of the rainy season. It’s a beautiful festival where people float candles and flower garlands down the river in small banana-leaf boats called krathongs.
One of the best places to experience Loy Krathong is in the old capital of Sukhothai. The festival here is one of the most beautiful and peaceful Loy Krathong celebrations in Thailand. Sukhothai's ancient ruins are illuminated by thousands of candles, creating a surreal atmosphere.
Respectful Tourism and Cultural Sensitivity
It’s essential to respect Thai culture when you’re visiting the country. There are many cultural taboos that you might not be aware of, and it’s always a good idea to do some research before you arrive.
Thailand is a Buddhist country, and it’s important to dress respectfully when visiting temples or other sacred places. You should dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees, and avoid wearing clothing that’s too revealing.
There are many things that are considered taboo in Thai culture. For example, you should never touch or point at a Buddha statue or the soles of someone's feet, which are considered the lowest part of the body, should not be pointing towards a shrine or temple.
Thailand is blessed with beautiful natural surroundings, but it’s essential to take care of them. You should never litter, and you should respect the wildlife and avoid damaging the environment.