Newcomers to Bangkok tend to arrive via the Suvarnabhumi
Airport, with its oddly positioned golf course right next to the runway,
or the antiquated Don Mueang airport. With the hustle and bustle of
each, it can seem a far cry from the relaxed atmosphere of the beach.
Although Bangkok sits not far from the Gulf of Thailand it is not
blessed with a truly great beach. With just a little onward travel you
will find some true beauties, however. Whether you are looking for a
busy resort or a chilled out beach experience, you’ll find what you are
looking for not far from Bangkok.
Pattaya Beach has a global reputation which has definitely become a bit tarnished these days, caused by an over influx of tourists. However, it still retains some of its original charm. Allow a few hours to drive the 130 kilometres from the city centre. Yes, the nightlife in the city of Pattaya attracts sex tourists but the area has more to offer than that. Check out the largest beach resort in Asia which has two distinct fronts on a stunning sweeping bay.
Venturing a little further than Pattaya, via the ferry that runs from it, is Ko Lan. This island is famed for stunningly beautiful beaches that lie on its western side. Tourists tend to flock to Tawaen Beach because it has a small harbour and some shopping. For more unspoilt natural beauty that you can explore without a crowd, try Tonglang Beach instead.
Another island with great beaches not to be missed, and is also positioned to the south east of Bangkok, is Ko Samet. It lies off the coastline of the provincial area of Rayong. The beaches of Ao Phai, Ao Wai and Ao Kio Na Nai all offer fine white sand. All three beaches lie on the eastern side of the island where you are likely to see a few monkeys as well as fellow travellers. Expect to bump into Thai people escaping city life as well as tropical coral reefs and crystal clear seas. However, avoid June when the island’s beach resorts are likely to be closed down for the rainy season.
If you head westwards from Bangkok it takes a bit longer until you find a truly beautiful beach, but the effort is worth it. Road and rail connections will bring you to the resort of Hua Hin which also has a more chilled out feeling than the city, although it remains popular with Bangkok residents. Accommodation near to the five kilometre beach is easy to find if you don’t want to make the return journey back to the capital and ranges from luxury hotels to simple beach huts.
Press on a little further along the coast southwards until your reach Cha Am Beach which has a stunningly long seafront with perfect sand. Much of the beach front is served by reasonably priced bars which operate in a relaxed atmosphere. Once you have found the right spot on the beach you may find you don’t feel the need to explore any further.
With so many relaxing beaches to choose from, Bangkok can be an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Flights from London to Bangkok are usually cheapest between two and four months before departure so if possible, try to book within this time frame. Why not use a tool like the momondo flight insight tool to get a better idea about which airports might be cheaper to fly from. Good value accommodation is also quite easy to come across if you book a few months in advance of if you turn up last minute, you might find some amazing hotels offering extremely low rates just to fill their empty rooms!
Author Bio: David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about travel, interior design, online marketing, telecoms and small business solutions. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter
Koh Samui is the premier island destination in the Gulf of Thailand; Samui is easily accessible, features beautiful beaches and a variety of activities, and caters to visitors on any budget.
Koh Samui, Thailand’s second most popular island destination, is located in the Gulf of Thailand roughly 700km south of Bangkok and 80km from Thailand’s eastern seaboard.
Samui is the third largest island in Thailand and the largest in an archipelago of more than 80 islands that includes the Ang Thong National Marine Park, a kayaking paradise and top day trip from Koh Samui. While Samui is small enough to be circumnavigated in just a couple of hours by motorbike or car, the island features such a variety of beaches and activities that it would be impossible to experience everything in a single visit. However, this was not always the case.
Until the late 20th century, Samui was home to a small community engaged primarily in fishing and harvesting coconuts. There were not even any roads on the island until the early 1970s. However, once foreign visitors discovered this island gem, lush with tropical forest, fringed with palm tree lined stretches of golden sand, and surrounded by pellucid, aquamarine water, development quickly followed.
Which Thai island is for you?
KOH LANTA Best for: When you can't make up your mind
Of all Thailand's islands, Koh Lanta is one of the best all-rounders. Less than an hour's boat ride from Krabi, Koh Lanta is actually made up of several little islands, the most-visited of which is Koh Lanta Yai. It has got nature reserves and beaches where you won't see another soul; it's got accommodation that runs the gamut from spare to super-swanky, which attract more 30-, 40- and 50-something travellers than backpackers. Bringing the children? The waters are calm and the island safe.
If you want to have it all on holiday - suntanning on beautiful beaches, a bit of world-class diving, a great massage, fun beach bars, kayaking through a mangrove forest, eating seafoodtom yumwith the locals in a friendly fishing villages - then Koh Lanta is where you get it.
It is no wonder that Thailand comes to mind whenever one thinks of an Asian beach destination. Thailand’s islands are teeming with beautiful beaches with a wide range of accommodations for every type of traveler. It’s a challenge to list the country’s top beaches not only because there are so many, but also because they all offer something that will surely appeal to someone. Different strokes for different folks.
Getting to Thailand’s beaches is not difficult (a short flight from Bangkok) and there are lots of options for Thailand Beach Villa Rentals.
Based on general things we normally look for in a beach destination, here are my picks for the top 5:
1. Haad Yao Beach, Koh Pha Ngan
Also known as “Long Beach”, the one kilometer beach is one of the most picturesque beaches on Koh Pha Ngan. It is also very wide making it ideal for diverse sports and beach activities. The best thing about it is that it has retained its natural beauty and careless atmosphere despite its increased popularity. It has a wide range of accommodation facilities from budget rooms to high end resorts and a great selection of dining establishments.