Photo: Lazy time at Kwang Peeb.

The beaches of Ko Phayam

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Ko Phayam’s beaches range from secluded slices of sand hidden between mangroves to wide expanses that stretch on for several kilometres. All beaches offer plenty of space and are free of hawkers, jetskis and other annoyances found on busier islands, though sandflies are common. Also keep an eye out for giant sea otters swimming offshore.





Ao Yai Also known as Long Beach, Ao Yai (“Big Bay”) boasts four kilometres of soft white sand. While narrow at high tide, it widens enough at low tide to host football and volleyball matches. It’s one of the few beaches in Thailand where the waves get big enough for surfing and boogie-boarding, and several resorts rent out boards. Phayam Lodge offers surf lessons as well. You can swim at any time but the sea often has stingers, tiny jellyfish larvae that make swimming unpleasant.

Ao Yai can get pretty busy... Photo taken in or around The beaches of Ko Phayam, Ko Phayam, Thailand by David Luekens.

Ao Yai can get pretty busy... Photo: David Luekens

Pine-like tonsai trees tower to the south before a small canal that can be crossed easily at low tide to reach Ao Yai’s more secluded far southern stretch. The bulk of resorts are found along a central to southern section that can get noisy at night due to beach parties. Backed by flat land with quite a few trees, Ao Yai is great for watching sunsets and for jogging at low tide. In low season it bares the brunt of hissing monsoon winds.

North Ao Khao Kwai Ao Khao Kwai (“Buffalo Bay”) is the name used for a single four-kilometre-long bay with two different beaches separated by a fairly long patch of rocks. North Ao Khao Kwai is the longer and busier of the pair. Its gold grainy sand is a letdown compared to South Ao Khao Kwai, but the swimming is good at any time. The atmosphere is mellower than at Ao Yai after dark, but livelier than South Ao Khao Kwai. At the north end, Hippy Bar throws monthly parties and most resorts have their own little bars. Neither of Ao Khao Kwai’s beaches sees big breaks like Ao Yai, making them better options for families with small children. We also like the scenery better here thanks to the hills that back ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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The beaches of Ko Phayam
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Popular attractions in Ko Phayam

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ko Phayam.



Best places to stay in Ko Phayam

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ko Phayam.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ko Phayam.
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