Welcome to Thailand's Islands & Beaches
With white-sand bays, technicolour coral reefs and jungle-covered karst formations emerging from turquoise seas, Thailand's islands and beaches are everyone's dream of a tropical paradise.
Best Beach Ever
Thailand’s beaches are legendary. Palms angle over soft white sand, warm turquoise seas conceal colourful coral gardens, and beach parties beckon everyone to let their hair down. With two long coastlines and jungle-topped islands anchored in azure waters, Thailand embraces the hedonist and the hermit, the luxury lover and the budget backpacker. Scale Krabi's sheer sea cliffs, dive with whale sharks off Ko Tao and the Surin Islands, toe the curling tide alongside Trang's gypsy fishermen, stroll Ko Lipe's crescent beaches, feast at Hua Hin's sizzling seafood stalls or delight in luxury Phuket digs. The choice is yours.
Beaches may bring you to Thailand, but it’s often the food that lures you back and then sends you in search of it when you return home. Thai cuisine embodies the country's culture: generous and warm, outgoing and nuanced, refreshing and relaxed, delicate and surprising. With its tropical bounty, the varied national menu twirls around four fundamental flavours: spicy, sweet, salty and sour. And it's exquisitely hot and salty in the seafood-focused south. Dishes build on fresh, local ingredients, from pungent lemongrass, juicy yellow mangoes and searing chillies to just-caught seafood, plump tofu and crispy fried chicken.
Whether it’s the glimmering eye of the meditative wâi (the palms-together Thai greeting) or the joyful grin of passers-by, it’s hard not to be charmed by the Land of Smiles. The name is apt. Thailand has long been Southeast Asia’s most friendly country, inviting travellers from near and far to indulge in the kingdom’s natural splendours. While development has had an impact on Thailand's beauty, the welcome is still as delightful as ever and on the islands and beaches you're still greeted by a heady mix of sparkling seascapes, limestone towers and equatorial sunshine.
Thailand's natural beauty is all the more intoxicating for the different ways it can be savoured. From white-knuckle jungle ziplines and river rafting, to seaside horse rides and stand-up paddleboarding, Thailand's activities menu is endlessly exhilarating. Outdoor lovers can hike sultry jungles in Ko Chang and Khao Sok National Parks, kitesurf off Phuket, Ko Lipe, Ko Samui and Hua Hin, practise yoga on Ko Lanta and Ko Samui, kayak past Ao Phang-Nga's limestone spires, rock climb Railay, and dive deep under the blue sea across the South. Post-adventure, let the region's brilliant masseuses twist and click you back into place.