Beaches of Thailand

KATA BEACH - PHUKET

The pleasant bay of Kata, just a few minutes south of Karon Beach, entices and charms many visitors with its white sands and clear waters. Very popular with families, Kata is an all round favourite due to its spectacular palm-lined beach, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife and varied accommodation options - all close to the beach. From May to October surfers flock to catch Kata's waves and from November to April the beach is alive with sunseekers.
 
Kata is split into two focal areas: Kata Centre, which is at the northern end close to Karon and Kata South, home to several resorts. Visitors will find an abundance of shops to browse in, from souvenir and ready-to-wear outlets, to 7-Elevens and local mini-marts, to name-brand fashion stores.
 
 
RAILAY BEACH - KRABI
 
Phra Nang Beach (not to be confused with nearby Ao Nang) is the southern strip of sand in Railay Bay. With 450 metres in length, and reachable in a mere 20-minute long-tail boat trip directly from Ao Nang, or by foot from Railay East (about 10-minute walk) if you are already on the peninsula, it is more popular and busier than Railay West during high season (Nov- April).
 
With duvet-soft sand, clear shallow water for safe swimming, two small islands (Koh Rang Nok and Nai), coral reef, and caves, Ao Phra Nang has all the ingredients of a perfect beach. All this, set against a backdrop of picturesque limestone cliffs that provide natural shade from the hot afternoon sun, and offer rock climbers one of the most stunning sites for this thrilling activity in Krabi Province.
 
 
DONALD DUCK BAY - SIMILAN ISLANDS 
 
Similan Islands are located just 84 km northwest of the bustling crowds of Phuket. Koh Similan is one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea, largely because of the wonders that wait beneath the clear blue waters that surround it. Generally counted among the 10 most interesting dive areas in the world, this little archipelago has also become a favourite destination for yachts and tour boats. 
 
"Similan" is derived from the Malay sembilan, and means "nine". Each of the Similan Islands has a number as well as a name. These are, running from north to south: Koh Ba Ngu (No. 9), Similan (No. 8), Payu (No. 7), Miang (No. 4, No. 5 and, in some opinion, No. 6), Payan (No. 3), Payang (No. 2), and Hu Yong (No. 1). Hin Pousar, or "Elephant Head Rock", is alternatively designated No. 6 by some. Koh Bon, lying 17 nautical miles north of Ba Ngu, is part of the Similan National Park and may be granted honorary status as No. 10.
 
Please note that the Similan islands are officially open to the public from 15 October until 15 May, but dates may vary each year.
 
 
Koh Lipe - Pattaya Beach
 
Koh Lipe's main beach is a large sheltered bay with soft powdery sand, crystal-clear blue water and good snorkeling right from the beach. There is a wide range of accommodation on Pattaya Beach, but over the last few years there has been a trend for larger, more upmarket resorts.

There are a dozens of bars and restaurants on the beach or around the corner in Walking Street. In high season it can get quite busy, but the other beaches are only a short 15-minute walk away, so it is still relatively easy to escape the crowds.