Thailand is full of natural beauty, and whilst you might think every island and beach is the same, you’d be very wrong in your assumption. Basically, Thailand’s scenery rivals some of the best in the world, and some may give claim to the title of the most beautiful, simply because of the diversity and wonder of the sights you come into contact with.

Having said that, Thailand is large, and getting around and seeing everything will certainly take up a large portion of your time. To save you a little mileage, here are my favourite islands and beaches, to help you pinpoint where to head on your Thai adventure.

Ko Tarutao

For sheer peace and serenity, Ko Tarutao is the place to go. Part of the Tarutao National Marine Park in the south of the country, here you can enjoy outdoor pursuits in totally restful surroundings, away from the neon-lit, loud resorts that are plentiful in Thailand. The dramatic landscapes capture the imagination, as well as plenty of opportunities to get out into nature and explore, searching for exotic wildlife. The beaches? Well, they’re pretty stunning too.

Patong Beach, Patong

A completely different change of pace to our previous choice, Patong Beach is predictably the most popular and biggest beach in the area. Despite that, it’s a great way to cool down in the heat, enjoying one of the many water-sports, and everything is within easy reach, such as vibrant night-life and nearby shopping opportunities. You don’t have to wander far from this beach to find everything you need, and the beach itself is beautiful with a capital B.

Ko Samui

Even if you haven’t been to Thailand, you’ve heard of Ko Samui. This is a haven for backpackers, with plenty of budget hotels and hostels on offer, sitting next to some more exclusive accommodation choices too. You’ll find amazing beaches, culture, history, festivals, and the chance to truly kick back and relax in beautiful and very natural surroundings.

Ko Phangan

Another favourite choice amongst backpackers, however Ko Phangan offers more than budget accommodation and Full Moon Parties. The natural setting is mind-blowing, the beaches are stunning, and the plentiful Buddhist temples offer culture and traditions to explore. Rainforests stretch down into castaway-style beaches, giving you the best of both worlds – adventure, and relaxation.

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Ley

My final choice is a pretty exclusive and cut-off beach, and despite the fact it’s not so easily accessible as some of the other beaches around Thailand, it’s worth the extra effort in getting there, simply because this hidden gem is so naturally beautiful, you won’t believe your eyes. Boat trips leave to Maya Bay regularly, however you won’t find any hotels or other accommodation here, so it’s purely a day trip kind of deal. No words will do this beach justice, so instead I suggest you head there and experience it for yourself.

These are just five of my favourites, do you have more to add?

Photo Credit: Syeefa Jay

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