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    Thailand: a great comparison of Thai resorts and beaches


    Thailand: a great comparison of Thai resorts and beaches


    When you say Thailand, everyone associates something different with this kingdom in Southeast Asia. Some people think of the renowned exotic cuisine full of flavours and aromas, while others think of ornate Buddhist temples and royal palaces. Most people however, associate this "Land of Smiles" primarily with its beautiful beaches and renowned bathing. Thailand's beach destinations can be divided by location into two large units – the Gulf of Thailand and the area off the west coast in the Andaman Sea. Both locations have their own charm and are definitely worth a visit. But which resort and beach to choose? This article can help you choose the right one for you.

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      Gulf of Thailand

      Let's first take a look at the Gulf of Thailand, in which you can find, among others, the resorts of Ko Samui, Koh Phangan, Ko Chang and the notorious Pattaya.

      Ko Samui

      The island of coconut palms, as Ko Samui is nicknamed, is one of the most visited islands in Thailand. Its strategic location goes in its favour, as it is spared the summer monsoon compared to other destinations, especially in the Andaman Sea. Thanks to its specific microclimate, the island has two main seasons, from December to February and during the summer holidays. It is in July and August that the weather is beautiful, prices are lower than in the winter season and, as this period is still neglected by tourists, the beaches are less crowded. This makes it an ideal destination for people who can only take their holidays during the school summer holidays.

      View of a mountain surrounded by sea and beaches in Ko Samui

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE ISLAND: The island of Ko Samui can be reached either by air or by a combination of several means of transport, including ferry. However, there is only one airline that operates direct flights to the island, and thanks to its monopoly, airfare prices are skyrocketing. If you don't want to spend a fortune on airfare, there is a cheap and relatively convenient option to get to the island. From Bangkok, you can get low price tickets to one of the cities on the coast of mainland Thailand, where ferries regularly leave for nearby islands. Namely, these are the cities of Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat. For such a trip, set aside a full day; in addition to the flight itself, you must take into account a two-hour ferry ride and approximately two to three hours by bus from the airport to the port. If you are apprehensive about doing such a journey on your own, rest assured in the fact that you can do the entire route with a local low-cost airline that offers a complete package including all partial forms of transportation.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: The Andaman Sea is considered to be nicer than the Gulf of Thailand, but Ko Samui can compete with the resorts on the west coast in terms of the quality of the sea and the beaches it washes over. The island has countless beautiful sandy beaches with palm trees leaning over the sea. There is no shortage of coconut palms and you'll see them at every turn. The island is dotted with them. The island's most famous beaches with the most tourist traffic are located off the east coast. In the northern part there are quiet beaches with fewer people.

      1. Chaweng Beach

      Chaweng Beach is often described as the most beautiful beach, with its alluring white sand and gently sloping sea. Unfortunately, tourism here has already made an indelible mark on the local atmosphere. The beach offers plenty of water sports and vendors of all kinds cruise up and down the beach all day. This is the liveliest resort, you won't enjoy much peace and quiet here.

      + PROS: beautiful fine sand; pleasant sea; long and wide enough beach; plenty of activities

      - CONS: very busy; lots of people; the beach is bordered by a wall of hotel complexes – no proper public access to the beach; small stinging jellyfish in the water from time to time.

      2. Lamai Beach

      The second most beautiful beach is Lamai Beach. Both beaches are similar in character, but Lamai is less crowded and less busy. Compared to Chaweng, it looks more natural; the hotel wall is not so big and noticeable. Here you will also find stalls offering water sports, but the atmosphere is much quieter. Combined with the beautiful fine sand and ideal swimming conditions, this is a nice compromise for a family holiday with everything you need.

      + PROS: ideal beach for family holidays; more natural than Chaweng; easy access to the beach

      - CONS: in some places there is a watercourse just behind the beach which creates pools of stagnant water; as with Chaweng, there are occasional jellyfish

      3. Mae Nam Beach

      One of several beaches in the northern part of the island, with coarser yellow sand, it is pleasantly long. The sea is often cloudy and visibility is not good. Compared to the aforementioned beaches, this is a really quiet place with fewer tourists. If you're looking for a good place to swim, head here. The seabed slopes quickly. Of these three beaches, this is the greenest.

      + PROS: beautiful semi-empty beach; nice scenery; ideal for swimming

      - CONS: often murky water; fast sloping seabed

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: Ko Samui, as one of Thailand's most popular islands, boasts one of the most developed tourist infrastructures. In all parts of the island you will find ample accommodation and restaurants of all price ranges and levels. In the most popular eastern part, around Chaweng and Lamai beaches, you'll find the largest range of restaurants from local cuisine, to European cuisine, to branches of American fast food joints. The island's nightlife is mostly concentrated on Chaweng Beach, which is the liveliest and most developed. But this brings with it problems – the beach already lacks its original Thai authenticity, and it's also the most expensive part of Ko Samui.

      + PROS: two main seasons throughout the year; beautiful beaches ideal for swimming, from lively beaches to quiet ones; great activities; wide choice of accommodation and dining at all price ranges; very tourist friendly.

      - CONS: expensive or more complicated transport from Bangkok to the island; very touristy.

      Koh Phangan

      Close to Ko Samui is the famous party island of Koh Phangan. The Full Moon Party, which takes place on the southern part of the island on Haad Rin beach during the full moon, is world renowned. Thousands of tourists flock to the island for the party. The full moon was originally the start of the party, but nowadays there is a party on the island almost every day. There's always a reason, no matter what the moon phase. And so Haad Rin regularly turns into an open-air dance floor. On the other hand, in the northern part of the island there are quiet beaches with fewer people, to relax on.

      A boat, turquoise sea and beach surrounded by trees and houses in Koh Phangan

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE ISLAND: The island is easily reached by ferry from neighbouring Ko Samui. If you only wish to visit this islet, it can be reached from Bangkok in the same way as Samui. From the mainland port, catch a ferry in a slightly different direction, or buy a package from an airline with transport to your chosen destination.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: A specific feature is the very shallow sea. At low tide, it is quite common for the water level to be ankle level and several tens of metres from the shore. It is therefore not an ideal destination for keen swimmers. Overall, however, the island has beautiful and wild nature.

      1. Haad Rin

      Thailand's famous party beach in the southern part of Koh Phangan. This is the busiest beach on the island with the largest number of tourists. The beach itself has fine white sand and turquoise sea with a sandy seabed.

      + PROS: in the heart of the action with the largest number of beach attractions; nice beach surroundings; pleasant swimming

      - CONS: cleanliness of the beach and sea can be affected by nightlife; the busiest beach on the island

      2. Beaches in the northern part of the island

      The beaches of northern Koh Phangan, such as Haad Yao and Mae Haad, are quieter and less developed. Compared to the southern part of the island, there are fewer people here; only during the Full Moon Party does the whole island fill up. Nice beaches with white sand, only in the water there are sometimes rocks and corals. The sea is very shallow in this part.

      + PROS: quiet beaches suitable for relaxation; the beach area looks more indigenous, wilder

      - CONS: very shallow sea suitable only for paddling; rocks and corals with sea urchins in the water

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: Thanks to its proximity to Ko Samui and its famous Full Moon Party, the island sees crowds of tourists throughout the year, and the local infrastructure has adapted to accommodate them. Compared to Ko Samui, Koh Phangan has fewer accommodation and dining options, but there's still something for everyone. You'll find European-style restaurants as well as local budget establishments on the island. In terms of tourist infrastructure, it is a smaller and more secluded version of Ko Samui.

      + PROS: like Ko Samui there are two main seasons; smaller island with semi-empty beaches in the north; clean and very warm sea

      - CONS: more complicated and lengthy transport from Bangkok; southern part of the island very busy and noisy during the full moon; mostly very shallow sea not suitable for swimming

      Ko Chang

      A short distance from the border with Cambodia is one of Thailand's most beautiful islands, which fulfills the promise of a beach from a brochure. This is Ko Chang. If you're looking for a truly tranquil holiday in a real Thai paradise, where you can lounge for days on the warm, bright white beaches and sip cocktails in the shade of the adjacent trees, you should set your sights on this island.

      View of the forest and a beach next to a crystal-clear sea in Ko Chang

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE ISLAND: Compared to the islands described above, transportation to Ko Chang is very easy. There are several minibuses and buses that run directly to the island daily from Bangkok, and a ferry ticket may be included in the price. A great advantage is that minibuses also leave directly from the airport. Tourists heading from central Bangkok can then take advantage of the minibuses and buses heading from Ekamai Bus Station in the eastern part of the city. An alternative is to travel through Trat town, where it is possible to spend the night cheaply. This option is suitable for travellers who miss the last direct connection to the island and don't want to spend the night in Bangkok. Alternatively, you can also fly into Trat.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: The undeniable advantage of the island is the really clean and clear sea, which has a pleasantly sloping seabed with fine sand. The difference between high and low tide is not as marked as on Koh Phangan, for example, so it is an ideal sea for swimming. In this respect, Ko Chang is very similar to Ko Samui. If you require palm trees on the beaches that slope over the tropical waters of the adjacent sea, you would struggle to find a better place. This area of Thailand has beautiful nature. Unsurprisingly it is a national park. As well as palm trees, you can also enjoy breathtaking views of the hills with tropical forest in the interior of the island. There are also several waterfalls inland. The vast majority of the beaches can be found in the south and west of the island.

      1. White Sand Beach

      Perhaps the largest and most popular beach on the island, boasting beautiful surrounding nature and ideal sea conditions. The clean sandy beach slopes gently down to the depths of the sea, making it ideal for all forms of swimming. And although it is the most touristy spot on the island, you will still find your own quiet spot.

      + PROS: the most suitable beach for a holiday with all the facilities; beautiful surrounding scenery; ideal slope of the seabed

      - CONS: there is perhaps no minus regarding nature, maybe only the smaller number of palm trees around the beach; more expensive accommodation and meals

      2. Beaches in the southern parts of the island

      To the south of White Sand Beach there are smaller sandy beaches with similar swimming conditions, but they do not reach the quality of the main beach. Some beaches have only a limited number of accommodations, that can be counted on one hand. The beaches in the very south are rather deserted and, as they are not properly maintained, you can find heaps of rubbish expelled from the sea throughout the year. An example is Long Beach in the very south of the island.

      + PROS: nice beaches with minimum people for a really quiet holiday; some have really fabulous surrounding landscapes

      - CONS: sea and seabed quality not up to the standard of White Sand Beach; more litter; very limited choice of accommodation and dining in places

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: Compared to the above mentioned islands, this is a really quiet location where you would hardly look for nightlife. This is concentrated in a few bars, more suitable for drinking and chatting with friends than for wild dancing. This makes it the perfect place for a family holiday and for couples who want privacy. The island's infrastructure is well developed with a good choice of accommodation and restaurants. Ko Chang is generally one of the more expensive Thai locations where it can be a challenge to find really cheap, quality accommodation. Even the food is more expensive than in other places. Fortunately, there is a daily night market with food at the island's largest beach, White Sand Beach, where you can eat cheaply and well. In general though, don't expect Ko Samui-level tourist infrastructure.

      + PROS: naturally one of the most beautiful places in the Gulf of Thailand; ideal beaches and sea for swimming; a large selection of resorts on the island from touristy to almost deserted

      - CONS: the island is generally more expensive; fewer activities for more active tourists


      Famous resorts are not only found on Thai islands, and Pattaya is an example. There's no place in Thailand with a more raucous reputation than "Sin City" on the Gulf of Thailand coast, a stone's throw from Bangkok. It is a location that still attracts crowds of tourists.

      View of the city beach and a sea in Pattaya

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE RESORT: Perhaps the most affordable resort in the whole country. The city is serviced by an international airport and connections to Bangkok couldn't be easier. Large buses run between the cities roughly every half hour.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: You can more or less count the green spaces on the fingers of one hand, and the surrounding backdrop of the beaches is mostly concrete monstrosities of hotel complexes. It is not a typical beach destination. Although the beaches look nice at first glance, the quality of the sea water will not impress you. It is perhaps Thailand's dirtiest resort, with a large sewage pipe running into the sea in the middle of the beach, from which unpleasant smells waft. The urge to run and jump into the warm coastal waters will pass very quickly.

      1. Pattaya Beach

      The city's most famous beach is at the heart of the action. It's in the vicinity of the famous nightlife.

      + PROS: the perfect place to party; all amenities within easy reach

      - CONS: not a suitable resort for families or general beach holidays

      2. Wong Ammat Beach

      North of Pattaya Beach you will find another local beach, quieter and more "beachy". Yet it is bordered by large hotel complexes.

      + PROS: suitable beach for swimming holidays; further away from the busy and noisy centre

      - CONS: expensive accommodation and dining nearby; sewage pipes leading into the sea in the middle of the beach

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: Beaches however, are not what people come here for. The place, famous for sex tourism and spectacular shows of all kinds, attracts mostly nocturnal creatures. During the day, the city is relatively dead. Everyone's gathering strength for another wild evening, which, like a snap of the fingers, turns into early morning. The city has a multitude of accommodation and restaurants of varying price and quality. The well-developed tourist infrastructure detracts rather than adds to the place. Don't expect typical Thailand anymore.

      + PROS: entertainment and nightlife can definitely be found here; large number of accommodation and restaurants of all price categories; easy accessibility

      - CONS: unsuitable for swimming holidays; loss of Thai-specific charm; concrete jungle without nice surrounding nature

      Andaman Sea

      The coast and islands of the Andaman Sea are considered to be the best and most beautiful areas in Thailand, in terms of beaches and swimming. The most famous destinations here include Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Ko Lanta, Krabi and Khao Lak. Each location in the Gulf of Thailand can be matched with one of these destinations depending on the nature of the place. Let's start!


      One of the two undoubtedly most visited destinations in Thailand is Phuket. The other destination is Ko Samui. Phuket in particular cannot be considered a typical island as most of us imagine. It is separated from the mainland only by a narrow strait, which at first glance looks like a river. The island is connected to the mainland by an existing bridge, making it easily accessible.

      Boats on a crystal-clear sea in Phuket

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE ISLAND: A great advantage of Phuket is the presence of an international airport, which can be easily reached. If you choose the capital Bangkok as your gateway to the country, you can get to the island really cheaply using one of the local low cost airlines. From Bangkok, you can fly directly to Phuket or to the nearby airport near Krabi, where flights tend to be cheaper. From Krabi to Phuket you can take a bus across the aforementioned bridge, but expect to spend a few extra hours.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: Good accessibility and nice beaches make the island one of the most touristy places in Thailand. Although the beaches are quite crowded throughout the year, it is still a nice place for a holiday. Here you will find ideal sandy beaches with a pleasantly sloping seabed. In some places, litter may appear, especially during high tide. The sea is not that shallow, but it recedes considerably at low tide. The scenery here is not the most beautiful, but given the large tourist infrastructure it is a nice compromise.

      1. Patong Beach

      The most famous and most visited beach on the island known for its rich nightlife. This is perhaps the place where most tourists head and you won't enjoy much peace and quiet. However, you will be close to all the amenities.

      + PROS: in the centre of the action; the biggest tourist infrastructure of all the beaches on the island; still a nice sandy beach

      - CONS: very busy beach; more litter

      2. Kata Beach and Karon Beach

      Two quieter beaches south of Patong Beach, separated by a headland. Ideal beaches for a family holiday where you have everything you need close by. At the same time the destinations are not so busy and noisy and have very nice surrounding nature. There is a road directly behind the beaches, which is separated from the beach by only one row of trees.

      + PROS: nice swimming with nice tourist infrastructure; large choice of accommodation and restaurants; nice sandy beaches

      - CONS: roads behind the beaches; more litter; beaches are narrow and almost disappear at high tide; smelly watercourses near the beaches

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: Of all the beach destinations in Thailand, Phuket has one of the best tourist infrastructures. You can find everything on the island. If you're tired of lying motionless by the water for a week, Phuket offers a wide range of activities, from tours of the surrounding islands to waterfalls in the island's interior. Although Phuket is generally more expensive than other locations, you can find cheap accommodation and dining thanks to the high competition.

      + PROS: very accessible; high level of tourist infrastructure; great choice of accommodation and restaurants; still nice beaches

      - CONS: not very pleasant surrounding nature; high concentration of tourists; more litter

      Koh Phi Phi

      A renowned party area of the Andaman Sea is the Koh Phi Phi archipelago located between Phuket and Krabi. The two largest of the islands are each famous in their own way. The smaller uninhabited Koh Phi Phi Leh could even be considered a movie star! Alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, it starred in the film The Beach. For this reason, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the island every year. Since spring 2018, however, the famous Maya Bay, for which tourists mostly head to the island, has been closed indefinitely for coral and underwater life restoration. Tourism is mainly on the largest island, Koh Phi Phi Don, where all accommodation and restaurants are located, as well as nightlife.

      View of the mountains, beach, sea and people in Koh Phi Phi

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE ISLAND: Transportation to the islands is not difficult. Just fly to Phuket or Krabi airport and catch one of the fast boats. All boats head to Koh Phi Phi Don, where it's easy to find smaller boats to the surrounding islands.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: If you head to this location, you'll be treated to perhaps the most beautiful scenery in all of Thailand, with incredibly turquoise and warm seas. It really is the "Pearl of the Andaman Sea" as the archipelago is often nicknamed. It is from this area that most of the catalogue photos of Thai beaches come from.

      1. Loh Dalum Beach

      The main beach of the island, on the opposite shore from the main harbour, from which it's a five-minute walk. A beautiful sandy beach in a bay formed by high karst rocks. Behind the beach is the largest tourist resort in the archipelago.

      + PROS: beautiful scenery and surrounding nature; clean and warm sea; in the centre of the largest tourist resort

      - CONS: very shallow sea, receding noticeably at low tide; corals on the seabed in places; a high concentration of tourists in high season; boats anchored off the shore

      2. Ton Sai Beach

      Located around the main harbour, opposite Loh Dalum Beach. The beach itself is in the centre of the action, not suitable for swimming due to the presence of the harbour; swimming is only possible on the sides of the beach.

      3. Beaches suitable for a trip

      Some of the beaches suitable for a trip include Monkey Beach and Nui Beach, located on the same shore as Loh Dalum Beach. From here you can take a trip to them on a chartered boat or paddle out on your own in a kayak. These places lack tourist infrastructure and you will only be kept company by monkeys, in the case of Monkey Beach, or piles of garbage on the otherwise beautiful Nui Beach.

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: Due to the characteristic shape and difficult terrain, tourist centres are concentrated in only a few places. The largest of these is spread around the main harbour and connects the beaches on both sides of the island. This is where accommodation ranges from the cheapest cottages and hostels to luxury resorts. With a little effort and searching, even cheap local restaurants can be found. However, as the island is quite small and all ingredients have to be imported, this is one of the more expensive places in Thailand. The shaded area of the island, which looks almost dreamy during the day, unfortunately turns into a nightmare after sunset. The quiet bars turn into wild discos blaring loud music that bounces off the surrounding hills, leaving nowhere to hide from the noise. Only people in the more remote resorts can enjoy some peace and quiet.

      + PROS: naturally one of the most beautiful places in Thailand; amazingly warm sea; easy and frequent connections to larger resorts in the area

      - CONS: generally more expensive destinations; very noisy evenings; really shallow seas

      Ko Lanta

      If we wanted to assign Ko Lanta to an island from the Gulf of Thailand, it would be Ko Chang. Both islands are very quiet with minimal nightlife. Ko Lanta is even quieter and offers itself as a really serene holiday where you won’t want to do anything other than lounge on the beach and swim.

      Boats, sea and white sandy beach in Ko Lanta

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE ISLAND: When travelling to Ko Lanta, it's best to fly into Krabi or Trang and take a couple of small ferries to your destination from there. Most accommodations offer pickup directly at the airport, which can be a convenient option. A cheaper option is to travel by minibus, which can easily be arranged directly at the airport.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: If you're picturing a coastline full of beautiful coconut palms, don't expect that from Ko Lanta. Instead of palm trees, there are coniferous trees that give the beaches a different charm. Although these are not the classic catalogue beaches, this does not detract from their beauty. However, the quality of the beaches and the sea itself is already catalogue. The beaches are beautiful and sandy and the sea is ideal for swimming.

      1. Long Beach

      The largest and most touristy beach is located in the northwestern part of the island. Yet it is still a deserted oasis of peace and quiet. As the name suggests, it is a long beach with yellow sand and pleasant sea. Thanks to the size of the beach, everyone can find their own quiet place.

      + PROS: beautiful, empty beach; ideal sea for swimming; sufficient tourist facilities

      - CONS: nightlife and wilder entertainment fans will not be disappointed

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: Like Ko Chang, Ko Lanta is one of the more expensive destinations. The formerly low-cost destination is now a more expensive destination, due to increasing tourist interest, alongside islands such as Ko Chang and nearby Koh Phi Phi. It is still possible to find cheap and quality accommodation here, but the problem arises in restaurants. Most restaurants offer food in the higher price ranges. If you can find food at prices common in the rest of Thailand, you will get a smaller portion. In general though, it is not such a massively touristy place.

      + PROS: ideal beaches and sea for swimming; a great location for a quiet holiday; easy transport

      - CONS: perhaps too quiet a place for some; nature is not typically catalogued; more expensive meals


      Krabi, perhaps the most famous mainland resort on the Andaman Sea located south of Phuket. This part of Thailand is often used for catalogue photographs. Along with Koh Phi Phi, it is the most familiar resort to most people. People may not even know that it is Krabi, but the image of the local beaches is inherently linked to Thailand.

      View of a beach, boats and rock formations surrounded by sea

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE AIRPORT: With its own airport near Krabi, this destination is very easy to reach. As mentioned above, there are some really cheap flights from Bangkok with local low-cost airlines. If you would like to travel from one of the nearby resorts, you can take advantage of the regular buses and ferries. This is a major transport hub of Southern Thailand.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: Krabi is famous for its magnificent cliffs, which are widely sought after by climbers from all over the world. However, there is also the renowned Railay Beach, which can rival nearby Koh Phi Phi for its beauty.

      1. Railay Beach

      A beautiful bay with fine sand and crystal waters, accessible only by sea. The view from the beach offers a breathtaking view of the natural scenery made up of high karst rocks that enclose the bay on all sides. As on Koh Phi Phi, there is a big difference between sea level at high tide and low tide. At low tide, the water recedes by a considerable amount and the shallow water makes the beach less accessible at this time. A short walk ashore through the shallows awaits you.

      + PROS: one of the most beautiful beach sceneries in Thailand; pleasant sea for swimming; easily accessible by boat despite the cut-off from the surrounding land

      - CONS: very touristy; unsuitable destination for swimmers; more expensive surrounding tourist infrastructure

      2. Ao Nang Beach

      Neighbouring Ao Nang Beach is easily accessible by land and there are disproportionately more options nearby. However, its beauty and water quality cannot compare to Railay Beach. It's more of an ordinary city beach with a road leading right behind it.

      + PROS: easier accessibility; cheaper accommodation and food; more options in the area

      - CONS: worse swimming; a less pleasant beach; road just behind the beach

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: The whole Krabi area offers a very well developed tourist infrastructure. But a lot depends on the location. Railay Beach is more suited for a day trip or a short stay. Due to its isolation, prices for accommodation and food in restaurants are exorbitant. A cheaper option may be the next beach, Ao Nang, where you can find accommodation and restaurants of all price ranges and quality levels. This is generally a popular location.

      + PROS: beautiful surrounding nature; easy accessibility from Bangkok and surrounding resorts; very developed tourist infrastructure

      - CONS: not suitable for lovers of empty beaches; really expensive in places

      Khao Lak

      The part of the mainland around Khao Lak, north of Phuket, which can offer twenty kilometres of coastline with beautiful beaches, escapes most visitors' sights. It is here that you will find some of Thailand's wildest beaches. This area was the worst affected by the 2004 tsunami. Nowadays, the area is a popular destination for families with children, for whom the level of facilities matches.

      View of a forest, beach and a sea with boats

      TRANSPORTATION TO THE AIRPORT: The best way to get to Khao Lak is from Phuket, from where you have to take a two-hour journey by local bus or taxi. An alternative is to fly to one of the towns on the east coast and make a stop in the beautiful Khao Sok National Park inland on the way to the sea.

      NATURE AND BEACH QUALITY: This destination is characterised primarily by the beauty of the surrounding countryside. It's no coincidence that the Khao Lak area is another Thai national park. The beaches here are truly photogenic, the vast majority of them covered in fine yellow sand, with only the seabed turning rocky in places. This is something to keep in mind when choosing this location. In bad weather, the sea can also be quite rough with large and strong waves that make swimming impossible. Especially in the rainy season, the sea here is dangerous and completely unsuitable for swimming due to the strong currents. This is one of the few places not worth visiting in the monsoon season. If you choose this destination, it is better to go here in the high season.

      TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE: You won't find many bars and nightclubs in Khao Lak, it's a really quiet place to relax. There is plenty of accommodation and restaurants of all price ranges around the beaches, there is something for everyone. Generally speaking, however, it is mainly mid-range and upmarket accommodation.

      + PROS: nice nature around the beaches; a suitable place for a quiet holiday; nicely developed tourist infrastructure without annoying street chasers

      - CONS: less accessible location; poor swimming especially in monsoon season

      It's impossible to pick the objectively best Thai resort. It depends on everyone's preferences. If we took into account all the factors, from the quality of the sea and the cleanliness of the beach, to the beauty of the surrounding landscape, to the level of infrastructure, we would never get a definitive result. And so, based on the information in this text, you can make your own ranking of the best Thai resorts based on your preferences. But one thing is for sure, whichever place you choose, you most likely won't regret it. After all, Thailand is definitely not just about the beaches, but more importantly about the local people who will welcome you with open arms. And that's what makes Thailand a paradise for many of us.

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