10 Best Beaches to Escape to and Relax on near Bangkok

There are hundreds of beaches and islands to choose from in Thailand, and while many do involve a flight to the south of the country, here are a few that are closer to Bangkok, plus some of the top draws that require longer travel. If you need a quick dose of sun, Ko Larn, which lies just offshore of Pattaya, is a great bet, with plenty of white sand and beautiful water. For solitude seekers, Ban Krut on the mainland is an excellent choice. For easy access, good resorts, and a nice small town feel, Hua Hin can't be beat. Slightly further afield, the eastern Gulf islands of Ko Mak and Ko Kood remain real tropical paradises, with pure squeaky white sand, turquoise water, and plenty of long sunsets to gaze into.

If all these are too close to home, hop one of the many budget flights now available out of Bangkok and head south to the Andaman or Gulf coasts. On the east side, Ko Tao remains lesser developed, with good diving and its cute offshore paradise island of Ko Nang Yuan. Back on the Andaman side, the rock climbing cliffs of Railay Bay are as famous as its paradise white sand beaches, worthy of an extended vacation. And then there is the grand old dame Ko Phi Phi, certainly overtouristed yet still gorgeous after all these years.

Outside the city
Ko Tao
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Spared the developers wrath that has destroyed nearby Ko Samui and Ko Phangan mainly due to its topography (think steep mountains), Ko Tao remains a gem in the southern Gulf of Thailand. The small island is extremely mountainous, jungle clad,...  Read More

Outside the city
Phi Phi Island
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Untouched it is not. One of the most overtouristed spots in the world, and yet the beauty of Ko Phi Phi is undeniable, and everyone ought to make the pilgrimage here at least once, if only for the views. Now easily accessed from Bangkok with the...  Read More

Ko Lanta
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

While a long way from Bangkok, Ko Lanta is now feasible as a weekend getaway, as several of the budget airlines now fly into Trang and have quick ferry transfers built into their tickets, whisking you from the airport to a Lanta beach in under 3...  Read More

Outside the city
Ko Lipe
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

While it may be the furthest beach in the country from Bangkok, once again, the abundance of budget air flights combined with transfers from Hat Yai city to the Pak Bara Pier and waiting speed boats make Ko Lipe do-able even as a long weekend....  Read More

Outside the city
Hua Hin
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Famed for its history as a royal residence, Hua Hin remains Bangkok's most popular weekend seaside getaway. While the five kilometer beach isn't anything overwhelmingly special, not to mention quite crowded with families at its center, the town...  Read More

Outside the city
Ko Mak
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Despite being voted as one of the top 10 islands in the world by a British newspaper and having a spate of resort development to handle its newfound status, Ko Mak remains a sleepy and lovely alternative to nearby Ko Chang, and certainly one of...  Read More

Outside the city
Ko Larn
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

It is amazing to think that one can find such clear water just off the coast of Pattaya and so near to Bangkok, but here it is. Ko Larn is a small isle, reached by a short ferry or speed boat ride from the pier in Pattaya. It gets very crowded...  Read More

Khao Sam Roi Yod is one of the better day trips a family can make from Bangkok. The National Park has something for everyone, from some nice beaches to excellent hiking, sea views, and a magical royal throne located inside of a mountainside...  Read More

Outside the city
Ban Krut
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Ban Krut is reminiscent of the Thailand of old. While it is popular with Bangkok Thais, especially on the weekends and holidays, it still flies under the average tourist radar. There aren't many bars or shopping malls, but if you are looking for...  Read More

Outside the city

Koh Kood is considered by those who know it to be one of the last real paradises left in Asia. Nowhere near as built up as its neighbor, Koh Chang, Ko Kood sports some of Thailand's last empty white sand beaches with nary a development in sight....  Read More


Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in Berkeley, California, Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 40,000-kilometer bicycle...  More About Dave

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