Contrary to popular belief, it gets cold in Australia. I can see all the people in the south-east slowly nodding their heads from here. I don’t know about you, but I get sick and tired of getting up every morning and seeing my breath misting in front of me. Trust me, it gets old after 4 months.
The good news is that there are other parts of the world that are warm. Something to do with the axis of the Earth. This is a food website and I’m not an astrophysicist, so ask Google if you’re really curious.
Back to the warm places. There are heaps of them—especially around the tropical paradise that is Southeast Asia. And one of Australia’s favourite beach destinations is Thailand.
It’s a well-worn flight path between Australia and Thailand, with over 800,000 Australians making the trip annually. And there’s a good reason for that—it’s a spectacular country full of colour, culture, amazing sights and even better food.
And while we’re pretty spoilt for beaches in Australia—I mean, we live on an island after all—Thailand has some pretty bloody good ones too.
So here—in no particular order—are some of our favourites. They’ll make you warmer just by reading about them.
Patong – Phuket
If you love Russians and families, then this is the beach for you! Situated on Thailand’s biggest island Phuket, Patong is maybe not the most naturally beautiful beach on this list, but may be the most convenient. Smack bang in the middle of all that matters on Phuket, it’s a five-minute walk from shops, restaurants, night life and resorts. And you can fly direct to Phuket from Australia. What could be easier!
Long Beach – Koh Lanta
“Koh” is Thai for “island”. Great! Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about Long Beach. First off, it’s long. Yes, the Thai aren’t very good at naming things either. Secondly, it’s one of the few beaches on Lanta devoid of sharp rocks and spikey things like sea urchins. There’s heaps of restaurants on the beach and plenty of parties on the sand to keep you up all hours.
Just a short ferry from Phuket, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Lamai Beach – Koh Samui
Samui gets busy; it’s just a short flight from Bangkok after all. But Lamai Beach is quiet and pretty enough to fulfill all your tropical island paradise fantasies. And I do mean all, with some questionable establishments having opened up at the southern end of the beach.
Because you’re in Thailad, the beach transforms at nightfall as all the bars and reastaurants fire up and beach parties take over.
Sairee Beach – Koh Tao
Tao used to be the haunt of divers resting up between dives, and there was very little else going on. Things are different now.
Now it’s got nightlife to rival anywhere in Thailand, but this mile-long stretch of sand is still a beautiful spot to visit during the day. There’s a bunch of smaller islands scattered across the horizon, which provide a great view, and the local sealife is plentiful and thriving.
Just hop a ferry from Koh Samui and get ready to relax. Or party. Or both.
White Sand Beach – Koh Chang
Named using the same convention as Long Beach, White Sand is everything the name promises—a white sand beach. Still developing its resort scene, it’s not as busy as some of the other beaches on this list, and still holds some of its spectacular natural beauty.
You might even be able to find a few bamboo bungalows to stay in!
Because it’s less developed than some of the other islands, the food and nightlife options are less plentiful, but you do get a quiet beautiful beach instead.
Sunrise Beach – Koh Pha Ngan
Fine. So this isn’t exactly about the beach. But you can’t write about Thailand without talking about full moon parties.
Once a month, Sunrise Beach on the east side of the peninsula goes on an all-night bender that continues until noon the next day. There’s plenty of drinking, dancing, and music. You’ve been warned.
Even when there’s not a full moon party on, the island is teeming with revelers all looking to go large. And the beach is pretty. And a great place to sweat out bad decisions from the night before.
And if you go a bit too hard, there’s a health and wellness resort not far away called The Sanctuary, and they’ll detox the hell out of you.