Searching for Thailand’s most beautiful, uncrowded beaches
The Thai islands are firmly scribbled on the bucket list of 95% of the world’s population, so a secluded beach is hard to find. Even so, with a little effort it’s still possible to carve out your own little space in paradise.
Photos: Koh Ha / Tam P
Koh Ha, Krabi
This archipelago of 5 small uninhabited islands is around 20 km southwest of Koh Lanta. The main island, Koh Ha Saam is home to a single sandy alcove. This tiny beach has fine white sand and small rippling waves, thanks to 2 other small islands just offshore. Together the islands form a lagoon, making this area perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling. There are no facilities here, so anchor offshore and swim into the bay for a relaxing afternoon on the sand. You’ll have the beach to yourself if you go early in the morning.
Photo: Koh Jum / Tara Lucille
Koh Jum, Krabi
Koh Jum is a large island off the coast of Krabi, between Krabi Town and Koh Lanta. While the sand and water aren’t as spectacularly paradise-like as Koh Ha, the relaxed atmosphere and lack of people is a big draw. There are a few resorts and chilled out beach bars, but the roads are still unpaved (for now). Long, sleepy beaches make up the entire west coast, so choose your bungalow and hammock and enjoy the sunset.
Photo: Koh Tachai / JDL
Koh Tachai, Andaman Sea
This small uninhabited island is part of the Similan Islands Marine Park. It’s become a favorite of jaded Bangkok tourists who have already been to Phuket, Krabi and Koh Phi Phi, so that’s saying something. Gorgeous pictures of the islands even went viral on Facebook in Thailand. So go now before the rest of the world discovers it.
Photo: Koh Phayam / LinVoyage
Koh Phayam, Ranong
The island of Koh Phayam in Ranong province is home to Moken fishing villages. It is also fast becoming a favorite among Bangkok-based island hoppers. There’s no convenient flight to the island, which might help keep it under wraps for a while longer. Instead, take a bus to the Ranong Pier then a ferry to the island. Ride motorbikes through the cashew nut tree forests and enjoy long walks on the lonely beaches.
Photo: Koh Mak / Neajjean
Koh Mak, Trat
This secluded island in the Gulf of Thailand offers a change of pace from nearby Koh Chang. With just a couple dozen resorts and restaurants spread across 27 km of coastline, you’ll definitely find your very own island escape. During low tide you can walk across a sandbar to Koh Kam for snorkeling and swimming – just beware of spiny sea urchins. Neighboring island Koh Kood is also secluded, with high end resorts to really get away from it all.
Photo: Naithon / Simon Jones
Phuket might seem like the last place to look for your own personal stretch of sand, but Naithon still offers white sands where you can be alone with your thoughts, and a coconut or beer in hand, of course. Celebrities love Naithon for its resorts and convenient location north of Phuket’s Bangtao Beach and just south of the airport. But thanks to all the other nearby beach options, Naithon has managed to remain pretty secluded.
Header Photo: Koh Phayam / LinVoyage
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Haad Rin: Party hard in paradise
Lamai: The Koh Samui beach you haven’t been to
Beaches of Phang Nga: Phuket’s quiet neighbor to the north
Battle of the Phuket beaches: Kata vs. Nai Harn