With crystal-clear tropical waters, mystical rock formations and a myriad of unspoiled islands, the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Thailand offers no-end of picture perfect beaches.
From world-famous bays to deserted sandy shores, we pick six of the best beaches to enjoy on your Thailand luxury yacht charter.
Located south of Phuket, the six small islands that make up Phi Phi overflow with fine white sandy beaches that give way to soaring limestone cliffs. Most popular of them all is Maya Bay, the setting for the 1999 film The Beach, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.
Made up of three beaches - the longest of which is a 200-metre-long stretch of silky sand - the beautiful bay is sheltered by 100-metre high cliffs on three sides, and surrounded by translucent waters that are home to iridescent coral and colourful exotic fish. To avoid the crowds of tourists who flock here during the day, it is advised to plan your visit early in the morning or after 5pm.
Home to some of the squeakiest sand in Thailand, Nai Thon Beach is a secluded one-kilometre stretch of sand in the north west of Phuket that has somehow managed to keep off the tourist radar. This is thanks, perhaps, to the thick foliage that obscures the beach from the roadside as well as the site’s inclusion in the Sirinath National Park, which keeps it free from development.
Backed by a steep forested mountain, the beach is divided into two by a small rock formation. Between these rocks, there is an even quieter spot to soak up the sun. Scuba diving can be enjoyed in the surrounding waters and rocky coves can be accessed by long-tailed boats.
A small peninsula between the city of Krabi and Ao Nany, Railay Beach can only be reached by boats due to the high limestone cliffs that cut off access from the mainland. These cliffs attract rock climbers from across the world, but manage to keep the beaches relatively tourist-free. There are three sides to the peninsular with West Railay Beach and Phra Nang Beach - on the south-facing side of the peninsular - offering some of the most stunning white sand beaches in the whole of Thailand. Plus, you don’t have to be a pro to join in the rock climbing as a number of operators cater for novices and the waters around the peninsula are great for kayaking.
Translated as ‘Nail Island’, Koh Ta-pu is one of Thailand’s most famous landmarks due to its starring role in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. Soaring 20 metres above the water, the tall vertical rock can be taken in from the sandy shores of Koh Phing Ghan. Again, it's recommended that you avoid the crowds of tourist to see this sight at its very best. It’s also worth noting that the 400 square metres of Phang Nga Bay is dotted with these incredible sheer limestone karsts and, home to 100 islands, there is guaranteed to be a remote beach in which to enjoy the magnificent vistas.
To escape the crowded beaches of Maya Bay, why not try Bamboo Island, situated northwest of Phi Phi Don. Less well known than its famous sisters, the remote getaway is a tiny island that has earned national park status. Pristine white sand emerges from shallow warm waters to create a paradisiacal setting in which to unwind in the Thai sunshine. Camping tents can be rented on the beach for a unique way to catch the sun rising and there are spectacular snorkelling opportunities at a coral garden called Hin Klang and at the nearby Koh Yung, which can be reached by tender.
The little-known island of Koh Ngai is worth adding to your Thailand luxury yachting itinerary. With a heavily-forested mountain backdrop which remains unfarmed, the island offers a rare piece of wild beauty. The single, two-kilometre-long beach consists of a thin stretch of sand facing east, lined with swaying coconuts palms. Offshore, a fringing reef runs parallel to the beach 120 metres out and makes for some fantastic snorkelling. This is the perfect tropical island beach.
For further information on planning a yachting vacation in the Andaman Sea, please contact your preferred charter broker.
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