11 Of Thailand’s Most Beautiful Hidden Beaches

Thailand is famous for its seemingly endless supply of glorious beaches.

Turquoise waters, fine white sand and swaying palms are never too far away when you’re in the Kingdom, while the hundreds of islands that dot around the coast – from far out in the Andaman Sea, to deep in the Gulf of Thailand, to those at the edge of Cambodia – are almost unparalleled across the world for the beauty and splendour of their beaches.

Of course, with such legendary beauty inevitably come crowds – and with crowds comes noise, litter and the disintegration of paradise.

That’s not to say that all Thailand’s beaches are crowded; not by a long shot – there’s a large selection of lesser known beaches and islands off the tourist track that boast beauty in spades while being secluded enough not to attract the usual droves of tourists.

And so, here’s our top picks for Thailand’s most beautiful ‘hidden’ beaches…

1. Koh Kradan Beach

Trang

thailand hidden beaches

By Mark Fischer (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)

Koh Kradan, close to Ko Muk, Ko Libong and the Trang mainland, is one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands and also one of its most cloistered – there are no ATMs, roads, police stations, or medical facilities, and it more or less shuts down during monsoon season. Most of the island is under the jurisdiction of the Hat Chao Mai National Park.

The main beach on Kradan is around 2 kilometres long, slim, an populated with fine white sand and swaying coconut palms. There’s a coral reef around 50-metres offshore and an array of limestone formations to catch the eye too. Although there are a few small resorts on the island, most visitors stop by for a daytrip by way of other islands nearby instead.

Best Hotels

The Sevenseas Resort Koh KradanLuxurious beachfront accommodation with spa
Kalume Kradan VillageEco-friendly and pet-friendly bungalows set in a beautiful tropical garden

2. Bamboo Island (Koh Mai Phai)

Krabi

bamboo island best beaches thailand

By Mark Fischer (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)

Part of the Phi Phi island group, Bamboo Island is exhilaratingly quiet in comparison to its tourist-saturated neighbours, Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Ley, simply comprised of a beautiful white sand beach, cerulean waters, washed up coral and a solitary snack bar.

The landscape on this diminutive island is not as diverse as its sister islands, but the water is perfect for swimming. There aren’t any resorts or hotels although you are allowed to camp out on the beach if you so desire.

Best Hotels

Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort5* hotel on nearby Koh Phi Phi Don with a private beach and dive centre
Villa 360Large villas on nearby Koh Phi Phi Don, a 15 minute speedboat ride from Bamboo Island

3. Tubkaak Beach

Krabi

While Krabi province is notorious for attracting hordes of tourists throughout the year, Tubkaak Beach – north of Ao Nang and Klong Muang – is refreshingly secluded. The beach is long and sandy, boasting stunning views out to the Koh Hong archipelago; sunsets here are not to be missed. Kao Hang Nak Forest wraps around the beach while a small handful of luxury resorts, including the boutique Tubkaak Resort, ensure that exclusivity is more or less guaranteed.

There’s very little else by way of commercial operation so you may need to escape to Krabi Town (30 minutes away by car) if you require anything further.

Best Hotels

Tubkaak Krabi Boutique ResortBeachfront accommodation with full-service spa
Anyavee Tubkaek Beach ResortRooms and villas with views of Ao Nang Bay

4. Koh Rok

Trang

koh rok thailand's best beaches

By dronepicr (CC BY 2.0 licence)

Koh Rok is the name given to the twin islands of Koh Rok Nok and Koh Rok Nai, found to the south of Koh Lanta and to the west of Koh Libong, Kradan and Muk in the Andaman Sea. Between them, the islands are home to a number of absolutely gorgeous beaches – and a host of brilliant snorkelling opportunities – that will redefine the meaning of paradise for you. Coral, sea turtles, angelfish, eels, sea snakes and anemones all inhabit Koh Rok, while the sand is super fine and super pale.

Both islands are quiet on the tourist front, although there is slightly more going on on Rok Nai around Ko Rok Beach. As with so many other beaches and islands on this list, there are no ATMs, medical facilities or convenience stores, and the islands are more or less shut down during the annual monsoon season.

Best Hotels

Layana Resort & SpaAdults-only world-class resort on nearby Koh Lanta
The Houben4-star villas on the hilltop of Kantiang Bay in Koh Lanta

5. Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong), Koh Lipe

Satun

thailand hidden beaches

By Vyacheslav Argenberg (CC BY 2.0 licence)

Koh Lipe as a whole is a beautiful island, even if it is comparatively more popular with tourists and crowds than some of the other hidden locations on this list. Avoid popular Pattaya Beach in the south and head for the western-facing Sunset Beach instead if you’re looking for seclusion. Positioned so as to enjoy exquisite sunsets, the beach is relaxing and chilled with gorgeous white sands and clear blue waters.

It’s quieter than the rest of the island yet only a 10 minute walk to Walking Street, with just a couple of resorts and restaurants in the near vicinity.

Best Hotels

AKIRA Lipe ResortLuxury hotel on the beachfront
Cabana Lipe Beach ResortOn the beachfront of nearby Sunrise Beach

6. Kluai Beach, Koh Kood

Trat

Arguably the most beautiful of the islands near Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, Koh Kood is home to a number of gorgeous white sand beaches and emerald waters. Kluai Beach is particularly stunning; decorated in seaweed with a tangible air of privacy. It’s very small – just 300 metres long – but offers one of the island’s most rewarding sunrises.

For accommodation, restaurants and a sense of community, you’ll need to head to the slightly more touristy beach of Khlong Chao, although note that there are no ATMs or even 7-Elevens on the island.

Best Hotels

Koh Kood Beach ResortResort hotel with free bike hire, also close to Klong Yai Kee Waterfall
High Season Pool Villa & Spa5-star resort offering villas with private pools and a spa

7. Thong Nai Pan, Koh Phangan

Surat Thani

thong nai pan best beaches thailand

Most people automatically think of the notorious Full Moon Parties on Haad Rin beach when they think of Koh Phangan, but the island’s northern section is world’s apart from the party atmosphere of the south. Thong Nai Pan refers to the area of northeastern Koh Phangan home to the two beaches of Thong Nai Pan Yai and Thong Nai Pan Noi. These beaches are two of the island’s most beautiful and secluded spots and just 15 minutes of walking apart from each other.

Both beaches have waterfalls and both are perfect spots to catch the sunrise. Being Koh Phangan, there’s slightly more going on here in terms of restaurants, shops and accommodation than some of the other spots on this list. Yai, as the larger of the two, is particularly well stocked with backpacker bungalows.

Best Hotels

Villa The HideawayA detached villa on Thong Nai Pan Noi with a huge outdoor pool
Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan VillasLuxury villas and suites on Thong Nai Pan Noi

8. Koh Phra Thong

Phang-nga

Koh Phra Thong is worth visiting for its unique landscape alone. Unlike Thailand’s other islands, which are often lush with forest and vegetation, Phra Thong pays more resemblance to the African savannah with its sand dunes and long grass. Its beaches are totally stunning: over 15-kilometres long and totally remote in atmosphere. Swimming here is great thanks to the arched bay of the beach with the Koh Pling islands within swimming distance.

Sea turtles, coral and some excellent birdwatching opportunities tend to draw those interested in wildlife to Koh Phra Thong. Despite being so quiet and undeveloped, there are a number of bungalow accommodations and eco-resorts on offer here.

Best Hotels

Prathong OasisPet-friendly waterfront accommodation
The Moken Eco VillageBeachfront eco huts

9. Koh Lao Liang Phi

Trang

koh lao liang phi best beaches thailandBy

By Lerdsuwa (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

The slightly larger, although less popular, of the two islands that make up Koh Lao Liang, Phi has one of Thailand’s most gorgeous beaches. Huge limestone cliffs overlook the white sand, while coral is visible in the crystalline waters. This is truly hidden Thailand: getting to the islands is not straightforward (see Travelfish for helpful pointers), while the only resort is on neighbouring Koh Lao Liang Nong. There’s no WiFi available and the islands are simply not open during the monsoon season.

While you’re there, you may notice locals breeding swiftlets. Their nests – unusually made of their hardened saliva – are harvested and sold to restaurants for inclusion in the controversial Chinese dish, Bird’s Nest Soup.

Best Hotels

Andalay Beach Resort Koh Libong4-star hotel on nearby Koh Libong with a pool and barbecue
Libong Relax Beach ResortGood value beach resort on nearby Koh Libong

10. Son Bay, Koh Tarutao

Satun

thailand hidden beaches

By Vyacheslav Argenberg (CC BY 2.0 licence)

While perhaps not as traditionally beautiful as many of the other beaches on this list, Son Bay on Tarutao stands out as a great place to spot the sea turtles who frequent the beach in order to lay their eggs, as well as to catch a magnificent sunset. Caves and mangrove swamps frame the western coastline while the topography of the island as a whole – jungle and mountains – is a sight to behold.

While Koh Tarutao is slightly more hospitable now than in the past – it’s a former Thai prison colony – it’s fair to say that the island is wild and probably not suited to those after a luxury break. Having said that, the wildlife and landscape are captivating, if you’re so inclined, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be disturbed by other tourists.

Best Hotels

AKIRA Lipe ResortLuxury hotel on the beachfront on nearby Koh Lipe
Cabana Lipe Beach ResortOn the beachfront of Sunrise Beach in nearby Koh Lipe

11. Ao Yai, Koh Phayam

Ranong

koh phayam thailand's best beaches

Koh Phayam is growing more popular with tourists, but its beaches could still not be considered crowded – it’s often referred to as what Koh Samui looked like pre-development, 30 years ago. Its best beach is probably Ao Yai – 3 kilometres long and very wide with beautiful fine, white sand beneath your feet. Although it’s the most popular beach on Phayam, its sheer size and positioning for stunning sunsets and surf swells means that it’s not to be missed and never too busy.

There are no ATMs or cars allowed on the island, although accommodation, bars and restaurants are reasonably in evidence.

Best Hotels

Phuree HutBudget bamboo huts with sea views (no air conditioning!)
JJ Beach ResortBudget accommodation with a bar, sun terrace, and views over the sea and garden

What’s your favourite secluded Thai beach?

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