Don't anticipate azure waters and blinding-white sand â€“ its frumpiness is part of its charm and even on long weekends, the beach is not unbearably crowded.
Reminiscent of Hua Hin and Cha-am, the sand is largely taken over by beach chairs and umbrellas, as Thai vacationers prefer to be at the beach yet not in the sun; you'll have the sand and water to yourself during the sunny hours.
The water is not suitable for surfing or even boogie-boarding, and there is no lifeguard on duty. There seems to be a general rule that if you sit on the beach chairs, you must order something, at least a drink. The seafood is fresh and tasty, with four different restaurant options, and vendors sell fresh fruit, smoothies, and home-made beach trinkets along the shoreline.
Past the beach chairs there is a stand for beach rentals (T: (087) 144 3856, (082) 483 4176), including a goofy banana boat (600 baht per 30 minutes), kayaks (100 baht per 30 minutes, 150 baht per hour), diving masks (50 baht per day), life vests (50 baht per day), and blow-up rafts (20-40 baht per day depending on the size.
You can also make use of the glamorous bathroom and showers at Tampang Beach Resort (20 baht adults, 10 baht children, 5 baht for toilet use).