As a lover of all things Thai, I have been exploring the country's beauty through its breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage for years. But recently, I stumbled upon a whole new way to experience Thailand's beauty – through its scenic coastal drives.
From the mountainous highways along the Andaman Sea on the west coast to the tranquil coastal roads along the Gulf of Thailand on the east coast, Thailand has an abundance of scenic coastal drives that will leave you in awe of its natural beauty. Not only are these scenic routes a feast for the eyes, but they also give you a glimpse into the local way of life, where fishermen cast their lines and farmers tend to their fields that stretch as far as the eye can see.
In this blog post, I will share some of my favorite scenic coastal drives in Thailand, so you too can discover the unspoiled beauty of Thailand's coastline. Whether you're a nature lover, a beach bum or a culture buff, there's something for everyone on these drives. So sit back, buckle up and get ready to be swept away by Thailand's stunning coastal scenery.
Phuket's Coastal Road
Thailand has a vast coastline that stretches over 3,200 kilometers, and its beauty is just mesmerizing to look at. What better way to appreciate the coastal vistas than by driving. Phuket's coastal road is about 44km long, and it extends from the north to the south of the island. The breathtaking scenery along the route is just jaw-dropping, and there are numerous points where you can pull over and take in the views. The road snakes past palm trees and small towns that dot the coastline, with plenty of beaches to stop at. It's no wonder that this route is regarded as one of the ultimate coastal drives in Thailand.
Krabi to Trang
Take a drive from Krabi to Trang, and you will witness some of the most idyllic scenery in Thailand. The route spans roughly 120km along the coast, and it can be done in 2 hours. The drive takes you past karst limestone cliffs that rise dramatically from the Andaman Sea, and they are a sight to behold. There are also numerous limestone islands that are visible in the distance as you make your way along the route. You'll drive through small towns and villages that offer authentic glimpses into the local Thai way of life. There are many secluded beaches along the way that provide perfect opportunities to stop and take in the surrounding beauty.
The Serene Samui
Koh Samui is an island in the Gulf of Thailand that offers some of the most beautiful coastal views that Thailand has to offer. The island is connected by a ring road that lets you take in scenic views at almost every turn. The route spans just over 50km, and it can be driven in less than two hours. The route passes through small villages nestled at the foot of lush green hills, and the island's countless beaches are just a stone's throw away. Some of the highlights on this route include the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks, waterfalls, and countless roadside stalls selling locally grown produce.
Hua Hin to Sam Roi Yod
If you're looking for a more peaceful and serene drive, then the route from Hua Hin to Sam Roi Yod is an excellent choice. The journey covers about 60km of coastal beauty and takes around an hour and a half to complete. Along the way, you'll see miles of crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches, along with numerous fishing villages and bustling markets. One of the highlights of this drive is the Sam Roi Yod National Park, where you can stop and explore the many trails that lead to secluded beaches and hidden coves.
Chanthaburi to Trat
The route from Chanthaburi to Trat spans approximately 80km along the Gulf of Thailand's coastline. This route is a must-do for seafood lovers as there are many fishing villages along the way that specialize in freshly caught seafood. The road itself is relatively straightforward to drive, and you'll be treated to beautiful coastal views of palm trees swaying in the gentle sea breeze. When you get to Trat, take some time to visit the Trat Museum, which offers an excellent insight into the area's long and fascinating history.
Stunning Phang Nga Bay
The route that takes you through Phang Nga Bay is arguably one of the most beautiful coastal drives in Thailand. The route is about 160km long, and it takes you past some of the most impressive natural formations in the world, such as towering limestone cliffs, hidden lagoons, and extensive mangrove swamps. There are plenty of photo opportunities along the route, and there's a good chance you'll see some wildlife, such as dolphins and monkeys. If you have time, stop off at the James Bond Island, which was used in the filming of the movie 'The Man with the Golden Gun'.