10 Gorgeous Hidden Beaches in Thailand To Visit Other Than Krabi & Phuket

10 Gorgeous Hidden Beaches in Thailand To Visit Other Than Krabi & Phuket

Grab your swimsuits and sunglasses, it's time for a tropical vacation in Thailand!

Ah, the island life. Imagine yourself all sprawled out on a beach towel, enjoying a tan and the occasional breeze that brings the salty aroma of the ocean along with it.  Splayed across your chest – your favourite read, and to your right, anchored in the sand, a fresh coconut to sip on slowly. Sounds like the best beach vacation indeed.

If you’re craving an escape to a tropical beach paradise, where it’s just “the sun, the sea and me” away from tourist-infested areas like Krabi and Phuket, we’ve got just the list for you! Here are 10 spectacular hidden beaches for the perfect getaway in Thailand:

1. Emerald Cave, Koh Muk

Image credit: Connie

Koh Muk is a little paradise island that lies south of Krabi and near Trang, where you’ll find pure white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that are gentle and calm. On the west coast of the island, you’ll find the mysterious Emerald Cave (aka Morrakot Cave), where pirates used to bury their treasure (according to legends)!

Visiting Emerald Cave makes for an interesting beach hunting expedition, because getting in and out of the cave can only be done when the tide is low.

Image credit: hojusaram

To enter, the only way is for visitors to swim to the island  and walk in a single file while holding onto a rope. Led by the tour guide through the cave, you’ll then soon emerge to a little glade, where rocky cliffs surround an area of sandy beach and green waters (hence the name Emerald Cave)! Enjoy the sight of sunlight filtering through the cave as you wade in the water or just lie back on the shore for a short snooze. Sounds like pure bliss indeed.

Apart from the little paradise cove within Emerald Cave, other beaches in Koh Muk that you can enjoy include Hua Laem beach and Haad Farang Beach.

2. Koh Kradan

Image credit: Alessandro Caproni

Koh Kradan is located off the coast of the Trang mainland which boasts a gorgeous beach vacation experience. Studded with vegetation along the shore, the powder-sand beaches are just absolutely pristine, as they meet the inviting, turquoise sea that sparkles under the sun.

This is definitely the perfect beach to take long strolls along, or find some shade under one of the trees and have a picnic as you watch the lazy waves roll in and break onto the shore.

Image credit: Mark Fischer

To get to Koh Kradan, simply rent a longtail boat which costs about THB2000 (~S$82). With your boat, you can wander out deep enough for a snorkel or a dive and explore the colourful, vibrant underwater life that the island has to offer! It’ll be an unforgettable beach vacation for sure! So grab your gear, a towel, and let’s go!

3. Koh Kood

At Koh Kood, immaculate sand and unspoilt beaches stretch as far as your eyes can see, and the alluring crystal clear waters are in different shades of blue! Although getting to Koh Kood requires an internal flight from Bangkok, the island’s remoteness promises to be an ideal place where one can just lay back, unwind and disconnect from the world.

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While you are here, don’t miss the opportunity take a short paddle around the island on a kayak, which can be easily rented from one of the beach resorts, or go on a speedboat tour out to explore and snorkel around the neighbouring islands of Koh Chang and Koh Mak! If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even go diving for clams which you can then cook for dinner!

4.  Koh Mai Phai, Bamboo Island

Image credit: Mark Fischer

Also known as Bamboo Island, Koh Mai Phai is one of the many hidden gems in Thailand, located between Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands. However, unlike its more popular neighbours, be rest assured that you will have your peace and quiet on this tiny island, which invites its visitors to enjoy a slice of paradise. Although it is named “Bamboo Island”, no bamboo grows on it. In fact, the landscape and vegetation here is not exceptionally diverse, but the lovely waters definitely make up for it — they are superb for a swim at anytime of the day.

Image credit: Sergey

But if you aren’t keen on a swim, surely the clear waters call out to your feet for a dip, so why not splash around the shallow areas where you’ll be able to discover all sorts of marine life such as hermit crabs? Whatever activity you decide on, a relaxing trip to Koh Mai Phai is definitely a good opportunity to find some zen!

Also, with absolutely no resorts on this island, visitors are invited to pitch a tent and have an authentic wilderness camping experience! A whole night on the beach gazing at the stars? How exciting, count us in!

5. Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

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There are many beautiful beaches around the island of Koh Samui, but Chaweng beach is by far the most secluded and peaceful. Its fine, sandy shores are fringed with shady palm trees swaying in the breeze. Imagine thumbing through a magazine while listening to the sound of the waves lap up towards the shore, how relaxing!

Image credit: Lim Ashley

If you’re craving for a bit more action, there are loads of watersports to keep the thrill-seeker busy. Take your pick from kayaking, to banana-boating, windsurfing and wakeboarding! You can even choose to rent a jet ski and explore the waters on your own too! The staff on the beach are also more than willing to take you out on a fishing trip.

Come evening, the shore becomes embellished with beachfront tables set out by the restaurants, where you can have a romantic candlelight dinner. From relaxing, to having fun and ending the day with a dinner under the stars, what could be better?

6. Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a Thai island out in the Andaman sea, near the borders of Malaysia. Famed for its picture-perfect beach landscapes of pristine shores swirling into azure blue waters, it is definitely of no surprise that this place is also known as the ‘Maldives of Thailand’!

Koh Lipe is commonly reached from Pak Bara, Thailand or from Langkawi, Malaysia. Simply hop on one of the many speedboat charters, but during the high seasons, you can find boats from Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta that come here too.

The most popular beach on Koh Lipe is Sunrise Beach. No prizes for guessing why! Be sure to catch the stunning scene where the sun emerges and dawn breaks, causing a riot of red and orange to spill across the sky. Locals guarantee that it’s also the best seat in the house for a sunset view, so we won’t be surprised if you decide to plant yourself on this beach for the entire day, in order to catch these marvellous sights!

Sunrise Beach also has plenty of good restaurants and affordable accommodation so you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice and well taken care of while you’re there!

7. Koh Nang Yuan, Surat Thani Province

Image credit: David Corcoran

Situated next to Koh Tao province, Nang Yuan island is a secret beach hideout like no other. Enticing aquamarine waters, picturesque rocks and sandbar shores aside, Nang Yuan is also famous for being an idyllic diving island, so diving enthusiasts, take note! If you’re a little rusty, the resorts on the island also have refresher courses, so there’s no need to worry at all!

For a birdseye view of the whole beach, you can choose to take a fifteen to twenty minute hike up to the viewpoint, where you’ll be able to admire the scenic panorama and get some postcard-perfect photos too!

Image credit: irumge

If a hike really isn’t what you’re keen on, then make a beeline for the beach! With superbly crystal clear waters, Nang Yuan makes for a glorious snorkelling spot, where you can find a plethora of coral varieties just a few metres away from the shore. You can even spot parrotfishes and trigger fishes amongst the corals, too! The bay area is also rather shallow, calm and sheltered, making it a great place for kids to swim and try out snorkelling as well.

8. Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi

Image credit: Diego Delso

Sheltered by majestic, jagged cliffs on three sides lies Maya Bay, which is located on the island of Phi Phi Ley. If this beach looks familiar to you, that’s because it was where the movie, The Beach (2000) starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed at! This sunny, tropical slice of paradise promises clean, brilliant sand and strikingly cerulean waters that are just great for swimming and snorkelling in!

For those looking for an adventurous experience, Maya Bay Sleep Aboard also offers a sunset cruise and plankon tour or a Maya Bay sleep aboard tour where you’ll get to swim in the waters that come alive with bio-luminescent plankton when night falls. What an intriguing underwater light show indeed!

On the sleep aboard tour, you’ll get to camp on the boat overnight after swimming with the plankton! After a party at the bottom deck, the crew will bust out the sleeping bags and mattresses, where you’ll get to sleep peacefully under the stars out on the deck! How cool is that?

9.  Thong Nai Pan, Koh Pha Ngan

Image credit: Filipe Fortes

There are two main beaches on Thong Nai Pan, which is on the northeastern tip of Koh Pha Ngan: Ao Thong Nai Pan Yai and Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi, with the former being the bigger beach as “Yai” means large. With wide, level stretches of unblemished golden sand, this beach provides the perfect setting for the kids to romp around and build endless sandcastle forts, or pack a frisbee and volleyball for some extra family fun!

Image credit: Filipe Fortes

As the day draws to a close, gather everyone around to watch the sun melt into the distant horizon, and marvel at the pinks and oranges that streak across the sky. A beautiful sunset is such a heartwarming sight to behold indeed!

A carefree day spent out at the beach playing games and just having a break from all the stresses and worries of life, coupled with a gorgeous sunset view? We can’t think of a better way to end the day!

10. Shark Bay Beach, Koh Tao

Image credit: Irumge

Like its name, it’s not surprising that Shark Bay Beach at Koh Tao is a popular snorkeling site, where visitors get to swim with the blacktip reef sharks that frequent the area everyday. The smaller ones lurk closer to the shore whereas the bigger ones can be found if you swim further into the deeper areas. There hasn’t been any incidents with the sharks here, and the locals guarantee that these creatures come and go peacefully, so there’s no need to fear!

At certain periods of the year, there are also harmless little jellyfish that invade the bay. Although they are not poisonous, be on the watch out because nobody likes to be repeatedly stung!

Image credit: Hüseyin Kici

The beach itself is quiet and clean, with fine, sandy shores dotted with sparse vegetation and a few palm trees. Have a packed lunch picnic or a few drinks as you admire the tranquil, scenic view. There are lots of resorts and eateries around the area, so getting more food and drinks or accommodation for the night is not difficult at all!

Well, what are you waiting for? Skip mainstream beach destinations like Krabi and Phuket, and choose from these 10 hidden gems instead! There’s no better vacation than enjoying your own little piece of island paradise, with an extra dose of vitamin sea! For more information on travelling around amazing Thailand, head to their official website or their Facebook page and kickstart your Thailand vacation. 

Brought to you by Tourism Authority of Thailand.

About Author

Beatrice Tan
Beatrice Tan

Beatrice absolutely loves stargazing and often fantasises about going into space one day. However, since she won’t be an astronaut anytime soon, her heart is set on being a globetrotter instead. She is always craving for a new adventure, and believes that travel nourishes the soul. You can most likely find her strolling around the museum, or in a quiet café with her nose buried in a book, and a soy latte in hand.