There’s no doubt about it – South East Asia is home to some stunning coastlines. Despite becoming increasingly popular, it is still possible to escape to the road less traveled. Here’s your personal guide to finding top secret beaches in Thailand, many of which are almost unknown to the world of tourism.
Whether you prefer romantic strolls through soft white sand, peaceful evenings watching the sun dip below the horizon or snorkelling among the diverse species which inhabit Thailand’s coral reefs, you can rest assured that there is an idyllic hidden beach waiting for you.
Koh Mai Phai
Also known as Bamboo Island, the clear waters of Koh Mai Phai are home to one of the many hidden beaches in Thailand which remain relatively secret from the tourist industry. Unlike some of it’s more popular neighbours, you can be sure to find privacy in this stunning coastal paradise.
A superb spot to take a dip, the shallow waters are home to an abundance of peaceful marine life. As of yet, there are no resorts on the island, however, for a truly unique experience visitors are permitted to pitch a tent and enjoy a night of stargazing in complete isolation.
Location: Kok Mai Pai Island, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand
Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe
Towards the Malaysian border lies the island of Koh Lipe, a picturesque and blissful retreat which will have you believe you have stepped into a postcard. It will come as no surprise that the location has become known among tourists as the ‘Maldives of Thailand,’ due to the pristine waters and white sands.
With some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, Sunrise Beach, in particular, is an unmissable place to catch some early morning rays. The stunning hues of red and orange glancing across the sky make for a fairy-tale start to the day.
Location: Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe, Satun, 91000 Ko Lipe, Thailand
Shark Bay Beach, Koh Tao
Although popular amongst snorkelers and divers for obvious reasons, Shark Bay Beach remains one of the top secret beaches in Thailand. A hive of beautiful marine life, this spot in Koh Tao also boasts an exceptionally clean and tranquil beach, sparsely dotted with palm-trees and jungle plants.
A perfect day trip, there are plenty of eateries nearby, although the unparalleled scenic view makes for a great picnic spot. Even the less brave should take full advantage of the opportunity to snorkel here; locals guarantee that the blacktip sharks which frequent the area are harmless!
Location: South East Koh Tao, Koh Tao, Thailand
Monkey Beach, Koh Phi Phi
Inaccessible by land, visitors can rent a kayak from the northern bay of Koh Phi Phi for a few hundred Baht before making the twenty-minute paddle to Monkey Beach – one of the many hidden beaches in Thailand. Take the trip towards the evening –you’ll have the place to yourself and can watch the sunset between awe-inspiring rocks on your return journey.
As the name suggests, a group of wild monkeys still frequent the soft white sands of this bay and will pinch anything that is left unattended for too long! Rest assured that they won’t bother you so long as you watch from a respectful distance.
Location: Monkey Beach, Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand
Thong Nai Pan, Koh Pha Ngan
Koh Pha Ngan is famed among backpackers for the booze-fueled half and full-moon parties which take place in the south of the island. Perhaps why the beautiful northern coast remains home to some of the most top-secret beaches in Thailand, which are often overlooked.
Thong Nai Pan lies on the north-easterly tip of the island and boasts stretches of unblemished golden sand so wide that it is unlikely to ever feel over-crowded. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset!
Location: Thong Nai Pan Beach, Ban Tai, Ko Pha Ngan District, Surat Thani, Thailand
Another spot of postcard-perfect bliss, Koh Kradan is certainly among the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. It is known for pristine white sands and sparkling clear waters which are sure to steal the show in any family photo album.
Located close to the Trang mainland, this beach is perfect for a lazy seaside stroll in peace as there are no roads nearby. As most of the island is under the protection of the Hat Chao Mai National Park, it is still a haven of unspoiled nature and seclusion.
Location: Island Road, Koh Kradan, Thailand
Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi
Despite its high popularity, Maya Bay still deserves its place on any list of the most beautiful secret beaches in Thailand – so long as you know when to visit! After the 2000 film The Beach, the bay has become increasingly popular, however visiting as early as possible will allow you to enjoy the scenery in relative peace.
You won’t regret the early morning trip – the awe-inspiring jagged cliffs make for a breathtaking experience which will make you feel like you’re in a movie yourself. Although not one of the top secret beaches in Thailand, Maya Bay deserves its place on this list. Truly a once in a lifetime experience!
Location: Maia Bay, Phi Phi Ley, Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand
Nestled to the south of Koh Lanta are the twin islands of Koh Rok Nok and Koh Rok Noi, both of which remain practically undiscovered by tourists. On these islands, you will find some of the most gorgeous hidden beaches in Thailand that you’ve never heard of.
Particularly excellent for snorkelling, expect to see angelfish, turtles and sea snakes among the underwater corals – if you look hard enough! Featuring some of the finest, whitest sand you are likely to come across, these beaches are a genuine hidden gem.
Tubkaak Beach, Krabi
Tubkaak Beach is the perfect spot for families, as despite being situated near the popular town of Krabi it remains refreshingly isolated from tourists. This long, sandy beach is perfect for anyone in the area looking to get an exclusively peaceful glimpse of the sunset.
With very little nearby, be sure to pack everything you will need for your relaxing evening on the beach before you arrive – the beach is a half-an-hour taxi drive from Krabi, and you are unlikely to find much in the way of commercial operation in between.
Location: Tubkaak Beach, Nong Thale Subdistrict, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand
Koh Nang Yuan, Surat Thani Province
Often, tourists breeze through the port of Surat Thani on their way to the larger islands of Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan without stopping to think – which is why Koh Nang Yuan (near Koh Tao) remains home to one of the top secret beaches in Thailand.
For those willing to explore the island of Koh Nang Yuan, the pristine and unspoiled natural landscapes will be a well-deserved reward. A short walk up to the nearby viewpoint will provide an almost birds-eye panoramic view of the whole beach, which is stunningly picturesque. A relatively sheltered bay with shallow waters, this beach is ideal for kids.
Location: Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Tao, Thailand
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