Hi I'm planning a trip to Thailand and definately want to stay on Railay beach for a few nights, possibly going to kata beach in Phuket , but I'm struggling to find a white sand/clear water clean beach that is very quiet (couple of sunloungers tops) around these areas and nearby islands, that doesn't take ages and lots of hassle to get to. So far I've read about Ko Lipe and Ko Adang which seem to take 6 hours to get to from Railay, and Ko Racha which I dont think is as quiet as I'd like. Ideally I'd like to get to this beach on a day trip but don't mind staying for a night or two. Any suggestions please help!
Other options I've seen are Koh Kood and Ko Samet coming from Bangkok as we will be flying to and from Bangkok airport to get to Railay and Phuket anyway. Thanks!
#1 LauraJ87 has been a member since 3/7/2012. Posts: 3
Some of the quietest and most attractive beaches close to Railay are at Phi Phi of all places - on the laid back east coast which most Phi Phi visitors never get to.
The best way is to stay overnight or more than one night - I'd suggest Relax Resort at Relax Bay (Had Pak Nam), a flashpacker joint on its own little beach which gets excellent reviews on the user sites. Google this place and have a look.
If you can afford upmarket, joints at Laem Thong (Phi Phi Natural, Holiday Inn etc) although this beach is a bit busier. If you can afford way upmarket check Phi Phi Island Resort on very uncrowded very beautiful Ao Bakeo.
Lanta also has some nice quiet attractive beaches. Google Klong Jak and Mai Pai.
South of Lanta you have the Trang islands of Ngai and Kradan whose main and other beaches can meet your asks, but you are starting to stretch distances a bit.
Small point - the Railay area's Phra Nang (5 minutes walk from East Railay, 10 from West Railay) has to be one of the whitest, most spectacular beaches in Thailand. But yeah, it does get spectacularly crowded in high season. Thing is if you hit it early or later in the afternoon and push up thru the crowds near the entrance path and go around the reverse curve in the beach to the far sections you often will find very few people. And the beach is wider and whiter here.
Oh yeah, Phuket.
Mai Khao north of the airport has about 14km of seemingly deserted beachfront. Seemingly,because the dozen or so resorts along this stretch are restricted to development behind the tree line by National Parks (its a turtle hatching spot) - even the sun lounges.
For budget to flashpacker Google Seaside Cottages.
Thanks for the info Laem Thong and Ao Bakeo look amazing I think we'll be trying one of those! If we do stay in Kata do you know how easy it would be to get to Mai Khao beach for a day or would we need to stay overnight?
#4 LauraJ87 has been a member since 3/7/2012. Posts: 3
The trouble with Mai Khao is that it is at the north end of the island - Kata towards the south. You don't seem to be backpackers so hiring a car would be the go - but it would still take an hour or so to reach. I reckon the best bet would be to get dropped off at the line of seafood restaurants which is the only place the main road gets adjacent the beach - this is just past the security checkpoint that all traffic leaving and entering Phuket island must pass thru.
Check the map at this fabulous site which has info and pix of ALL Phuket's beaches - http://www.phuket-info.asia/ - the restaurants are pretty close to SARASIN BRIDGE (the map calls the beach there SAI KAEW but it is simply a continuation of MAI KHAO).
The beach here is nice and the fact that the restaurants attract lots of locals means the food must be pretty good and reasonably priced.
CLOSER TO KATA?
Check NUI BEACH and YANUI BEACH towards the south. Less crowded than most and white sand (btw Mai Khao/Sae Kaew is more yellow).
KATA NOI BEACH tends to be much less crowded and more attractive than KATA YAI so if you are staying at the latter, walk 10 minutes south over the steep headland for a nicer beach.
You mentioned KO RACHA in your opening post. KO RACHA'S main arrivals beach PATEK is gorgeous and has the whitest sand and crystal clear water. some nice fish and a bit of coral on the left hand side just off the sand - look for the snorkellers. But yeah, it does get very crowded in high season with day-trippers and people staying on the island.
Not so SIAM BAY about 10 minutes walk away - go in from the arrivals beach, follow the road up over the not too steep hill, turn left at the signs. This beach is almost as nice (nicer if you don't like crowds). I'm suggesting it as a nice daytrip (would be easier than Mai Khao because the daytrip company picks you up at your hotel - your hotel's tip booking desk will be able to organise it as will any travel desk on the street). btw RAYABURI RESORT is a nice midrange joint on this beach if you want to spend a night.
CORAL ISLAND is another possibilty. Its arrivals beach LONG BEACH is pretty nice although not quite up to PATEK standard IMHO. But it too gets very crowded in high season (although I found the far western end was pretty quiet on such days).
However the island's second beach BANANA BEACH gets way fewer people and is pretty sweet. Easily reached - 10 minutes via a bush path which goes above the rocks from the far eastern end of LONG BEACH
Seems travelfish has set a limit on length of post. Okay, here's the rest:
Ifyou want to stay on Coral Island, CORAL ISLAND RESORT on Long Beach is prettygood. Some dudes have set up accommodation at the restaurant behind BananaBeach since I visited but from what I can gather it is tent accommodation orsimilar and grossly overpriced.
GOINGIN WET SEASON (before early/mid November)? Thischanges the equation. Most of west coast Phuket beaches can be exposed to bigwaves and unpleasant blowiness on those 15-20% of days when the monsoonwesterlies get blustery. One really nice sheltered beach not too far from Katais PARADISE BEACH. Because it is less known it doesn't get too crowded but willbe busier than say Mai Khao gets in high season. If you want fewer people on anokay but less attractive beach, check pix and info for nearby TRI TRA BEACH onthe above link.
BTWthe east coast of Phi Phi is nicely sheltered on those more blowy days. One ofthe best wet season locations in the Andaman.
SiamBay on Racha is sheltered in wet season as usually are both Coral Island's beaches. ButI would hesitate to visit in wet season - transport is by speedboat and I havehad some very wet, very very uncomfortable speedboat rides in Thailand in wetseason. For the record Coral island is half the distance of Racha.
Thegood thing about Phi Phi is that the big ferries are not too badly affected onrough days in wet season.
Phi Phi island is a great choice. you will get that clear water and white sand there, and the number of tourists there are just a few. then again you could opt for Langkawi and get a hold of your own private beach. You can have the entire beach to yourself and your travel companion. Check it out, its a beautiful place!
#7 Ann80 has been a member since 18/6/2012. Posts: 10
@ Tezza - Unfortunately, that seems to be no longer the case with Phra Nang. I was there in the first week of April so it should have been quieter but by 8 am the long boats were roaring past and by 8:30 the four island tour speedboats were pulling in.
It was feeling very crowded by 9:30 all along the beach with people traipsing up to to the cave. A few years ago it would have been OK until about 11am. Again, people were staying until sunset, so it was busy all day.
It seems to have become well-known on the domestic tour front. There were thousands of Thai tourists and I was chatting to a lady from Bangkok on a two night package. Perhaps it was featured in a drama or something.
White and clear water beach that is very silence nearbyislands,
Islands quite and good beaches list are given below.....
1. Coral & Raya Islands:
Off Phuket's southern coast are a number of small islandswhose pristine shores lure scuba-divers and beach bums away from the mainland.
2. Ko Adang
Thailand's remote Ko Adang is an ideal island for nature-lovingtravellers who seek a less-populated haven well away from peak-season beachespacked with sunbathing limbs.
3. Ko Bulon Lae
While under the radar for many, little-known Ko Bulon Laeremains popular with returning vacationers (particularly families) year afteryear.
4. Ko Chang
Most of Ko Chang's beaches are on the western coast, andeach has built up with a distinctive atmosphere based on shopping, activities,partying or chilling out.
5. Ko Kham
An idealic little blink-and-you'll-miss-it island barely akilometre from Ko Maak, Ko Kham is a perfect spot to really get away from itall.
6. Ko Kho Khao
A rriving at Ko Kho Khao tends to leave visitors feelinglike they've stumbled onto a wonderful secret -- but with a cluster of resortsalready operating on the island and plenty more in the making, it's a secret thatwon't last long.
7. Ko Phi Phi
Ko Phi Phi -- oh what this beautiful island could/shouldhave been.
8. Ko Mun Nork
Ko Mun Nork rarely finds itself on the itinerary of rovingbackpackers and travellers
Phra Nang beach is the best beach in Krabi and it's 5 min walk from Railay. Otherwise Khlong Muang which is 20 min bike ride from Ao Nang. Koh Hong has an awesome beach - best done on a 600 baht full day longtail boat tour. Price includes lunch and 2 other stops and about 3 hrs on Koh Hong. Awesome beach with great snorkelling right off the beach. Quiet during low season.
#10 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
"Phi Phi island is a great choice. you will get that clear water and white sand there, and the number of tourists there are just a few"
PP gets tens of thousands of tourists every month.
#11 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
Thanks everyone I've got a lot to go on now, before I was beginning to feel that the beaches you see in the brochures didnt actually exsist in Thailand. I'll definately be staying in Railay even though its crowded at Railay West and Phra nang bay I think it will still be worth it! Koh Hong looks beautiful and we've also decided to stay in Phi Phi probably at the Holiday Inn so we can explore the less crowded beaches on the North and East side. Even though Phuket's beaches are mainly crowded I feel the need to stay in Kata for a few nights, I like the idea of there being a lot going on with the option of day trips to Racha and Coral Island.
Does anyone know if its possible to do a day trip to ko Adang or the surrounding islands from Railay or Phi Phi? I've read that it takes around 6 hours from Ao Nang and the ferry times to and from Railay don't allow for any time on the island, its time to come back as soon as you get there!
#13 LauraJ87 has been a member since 3/7/2012. Posts: 3
Yep, that daytrip would not work. Even if the ferry times allowed some time on the island I would avoid it - each way is a looooong uncomfortable trip. So much so I wouldn't comtemplate it with an overnight stay. Maybe 3/4 nights.
The only place I'd do a daytrip to Adang from is Lipe - abt 1km and
"I like the idea of there being a lot going on"
thought u wanted a quiet beach area? Depends how much time you have when it comes to choosing multiple beaches.
#17 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
I just got back from Railay. It wasn't what I would call busy or crowded. Beach was nice enough - but it reaffirmed my position that I don't like beaches. Family wanted to go. By day two, I was ready to get back to Issan.