Where to find some solitary sand in Thailand, and yes it’s still possible if you’re adventurous!
Despite the fact that Chanthaburi is not so far from both Bangkok and Pattaya, it remains off the main tourist track and boasts some pretty decent beaches.
Chaolao beach isn’t isolated or empty but it is generally fairly quiet during the working week and features soft dark sand.
With several small low profile resorts and guesthouses, it’s a great beach to relax and wash the stresses of life out of your system.
Ao Krathin is in Chanthaburi’s Khao Laem Sing Forest Park. It’s a beautiful, calm small beach which is perfect for swimming or just relaxing by the sea. It is so peaceful that it feels like the whole beach belongs to you.
It’s a lovely spot to chill out and enjoy a pic-nic under the shade of the many trees on some solitary sand.
Koh Mai Phai is about 5km from the northern tip of Koh Phi Phi Don, and is a real tropical paradise.
This stunning little island has just a short strip of white sand beach about 600 meters wide and 700 meters long, shaped like a heart.
The beach is often considered the best in the Phi Phi islands group, with very soft sand and clear turquoise water.
On the north-eastern side of the island, under the shade of trees, there is a small bar for visitors, which serves drinks and snacks.
The island is part of a marine national park and there is a small official landing fee. Access is by boat from Phi Phi Don.
Narathiwas province in the deep south of Thailand has endless kilometers of golden sand beaches.
One of the most popular (but still very quiet) is Narathat Beach about 1km from Narathiwas city, which is about 5km long.
This white sand beach stretches for 5 kilometers near the estuary of the Bang Nara River, where the annual Korlae boat races are held.
The beach is lined with dense pines trees, which offer a peaceful, shady area.
There are a few beach eateries serving southern-style food, and there is some rustic accommodation if you want to stay overnight.
The bay is often full of pretty Korlae boats operating out of local fishing villages.
You can hire a samlor or take the minibus to get to the beach.
The only foreign visitors you’ll see here are Malaysians who head across the border a little further south for a change of scenery.
The beach only gets a little busy during public holidays.
Ao Minao Park
This beautiful and often deserted beach is a little further south of Narathiwas city off the Narathiwas-Tak Bai Road, and should not be confused with the equally beautiful Ao Minao in Prachub Kiri Khan province.
It’s a beachside National Park created in 1993, adjacent to a Royal Palace. There is an easy 1km nature trail here too.
Further south in Tak Bai district are some of Thailand’s finest unspoiled beaches running all the way down as far as the river border with Malaysia.
Apart from the occasional local, you’re likely to have these wide golden sands mostly to yourself
Local people are friendly and helpful. Narathiwas is predominately muslim and people often speak a local dialect of Malay called Yawi.
You are strongly advised to read the travel advice published by your country’s embassy in Thailand before travelling in the provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwas.
Thai Muang Beach
This amazing and largely unnoticed beach is about 13km long, with soft pristine white sand fringed by a variety of different trees, with an extensive area of mangroves.
It lies north of Phuket on Highway 4 in the stunningly beautiful Phang-nga province, and partly in the 72sq km Khao Lampi Hat Thai Muang National Park.
There is virtually no development, apart from a local village and a handful of hotels, so you’ll often have a big chunk of beach all to yourself.
A major feature of the beach is that it is a protected turtle nesting area. Between November and February sea turtles arrive to lay eggs.
In March a local festival marks when the newly hatched turtles make their way back to the sea.
Pranburi is about 30km south of the resort town of Hua Hin, on the main north-south road.
While there are quite a number of high and mid end resorts along Pranburi’s main beach, it remains very quiet in the small bays between Hua Hin and Pranburi, and beyond Pranburi town.
The beach has nice soft darkish sand but few facilities (except close to Pranburi town), making it the perfect spot for an escape from reality!
Prachuabkirikhan is a small quiet provincial capital set alongside some lovely beaches, about 100km south of Hua Hin.
Ao Minao (Lemon Bay) is one example of a beach that’s as beautiful as it’s name, and is inside a military base.
Access is usually freely available but you need to cross an active navy runway to get to it. Obey the posted signs and look very carefully before crossing.
Ao Minao is well signposted. It has plenty of shade from beachside trees and food hawkers are often there to fill your tummy.
While right next to the town, the beach is rarely busy outside weekends, with wonderful views too.
The town is on the main Bangkok-South Highway and the North-South railway. Ao Minao is right next to the town and you could walk, or take a motorcycle taxi.
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Travellers often head for the beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand, but they are increasingly overcrowded and expensive.
Staying on the mainland brings some real rewards if you want peace and quiet.
Hin Ngam beach very rarely gets busy. The only people you’re likely to see are fishermen and a couple of locals.
It’s a long unspoiled, deserted beach with fantastic views. Despite its unusual stone beach its a wonderful spot to swim and unwind.
Take your own food and drink, and anything else you may want at your almost private beach.
Close by is Kho Khao with a long sandy beach, where there are some places to get a snack or bed down in cheap digs.
Less than a kilometer north is Sichon beach which is also a great long sandy beach with some rocky outcrops.
It’s quiet and peaceful on working days but some parts have become a weekend playground for the folks living in Surat Thani city.
Sichon beach has some decent eateries and accommodation, so it might be the place to base yourself. You can get a motorcycle taxi to take you to and from Hin Ngam beach.
Getting there is a little challenging. Head to Nakhon Si Thammarat bus station and then take a passenger van back north the 70km to Sichon.
Travelling from Surat Thani (which is nearer as the crow flies) involves a couple of changes of transport.
Koh Rok Nai & Rok Nok
These beautiful twin islands are part of Trang province, but the easiest way to get there is by boat from Koh Lanta in Krabi.
Koh Rok Nok has some very beautiful, quiet beaches, as well as fabulous viewpoints at Pha Samed Daeng and Thong Cape.
The National Park Ranger station has public toilets and camping facilities.
Bring your own pic-nic as food supplies are extremely limited.
Well, that’s our suggestion for a few lesser known beaches where you have a good chance of being alone, or at least being one of just a few.
Of course there are still some other hidden beaches we haven’t mentioned, but we’re keeping those for ourselves!
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