In general, the Gulf of Thailand offers more classic settings, with long beaches and small coves that entice the visitor to sunbathe on the white sand or take a dip in the sea.
On both sides, east and west, much of the shoreline is protected as part of marine national parks, which therefore require you pay particular attention to the instructions on what is permitted and what is not.
Several beaches are close to Bangkok, which means you will not spend too much time on transfers when your stay is short.
You can find diving courses and diving areas everywhere, but the most popular is the island of Koh Tao, in the southern Gulf of Thailand.
In this post we help you find your ideal beach.
Koh Chang is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand with an array of genuinely delightful beaches around the whole of its perimeter.
We recommend using a motor vehicle to get from one beach to another. It can be rented on the island or you can bring your own car from Bangkok.
Koh Samet is an island that is quite near to Bangkok, so most of its visitors come from this city, both Thai residents and tourists from other countries. It is a quiet, family-oriented destination.
We have a post about Koh Samet.
Samui is the largest island in the southern group that it forms with Koh Phangan and the further-away Koh Tao.
Samui airport is near to the island’s most attractive beaches: Chaweng, Lamai and Bophut. You can be flying in the morning and swimming in the afternoon.
Koh Pha Ngan
Koh Pha Ngan is a strangely paradoxical place: for most of the time, it is the epitome of relaxation, a great location for walking, reading a book on the beach or chatting with friends in the sea.
However, when the time of the full moon approaches the ambience in the area around Haad Rin beach becomes increasingly charged until the final explosion of electronic music at the all-night Full Moon Party.
This is our post about Koh Pha Ngan.
Koh Tao is a pearl in the Gulf of Thailand with a very famous beach called Nang Yuan; however, the two main beaches are Sairee and Chalok Baan Kao.
The fact that this island is a fair distance from the coast makes it a highly recommendable destination in our opinion only when combining beach activities with snorkelling or scuba diving.
We have a post of Koh Tao.
Chumphon, on the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand, is one of the ports from which ferries sail to the nearby islands of Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Although very pretty, its beaches can’t compare to those of the islands; nevertheless, it has the advantage that it is faster accessible from Bangkok and has a long coastline, making it the perfect destination for those travellers who are looking for a quiet retreat next to the seashore.
Hua Hin is a coastal area about a 3-hour drive from the capital and a favourite destination among Thai tourists from Bangkok. Stretching on both sides of the town, to the north and south, there is a multitude of hotels and other seaside resorts.
Pattaya was one of the first coastal resorts in Thailand to receive foreign tourists, and thus it has a well-established, extensive range of leisure activities on offer both at the beach and in the town.