Photo by Laura Bell

Thailand’s varied landscapes are what makes it so appealing to tourists, but the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of its southern coast are unmatched. Here are just a few of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand.

Railay Beach, Krabi

The towering limestone cliffs and crystal blue waters of Railay have solidified its reputation as one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Thailand. Surrounded by lush jungle and the warm waters of the Andaman Sea, Railay is the perfect place for photographers, water lovers, and outdoor adventurers as well.

Railay is best photographed in early morning light or right at sunset. Try to climb up to the lookout to photograph the beach below, and be sure to explore the large cave filled with shrines and see if you can capture a monkey on camera!

Photo by Koen Hameetemen
Photo by Hannah Schmitz
Photo by Laura Bell
Photo by Joshua Foo

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi

Best known for its appearance in the 1999 movie “The Beach,” Maya Bay is photogenic enough to warrant the massive crowds of tourists who flock to its pristine shores. Make sure to visit between November and April for calm seas and pleasant weather.

The bay is sheltered by large limestone cliffs on three sides, and the shallow water is perfect for snorkeling and for underwater photography. Keep an eye out for magnificent coral reefs, exotic fish, and the families of monkeys that live on the beach.

Photo by Laura Bell
Photo by Tatiana Stelmakh

Koh Samui

Head to Koh Samui for relaxation, outdoor recreation, and unbeatable views. This island has it all: from the surfing paradise of Chaweng Beach to the spas of Lamai Beach to the sleepy paradise of Bophut Beach.

Head out with your camera in the early morning to snag shots of the surfers, white sands and coconut palms, long-tailed boats, and turquoise waters. If you can get an overhead vantage point, photograph the shoreline — where blue meets white and tiny boats anchor in the harbor.

Photo by David Nakamurah
Photo by David Nakamurah
Photo by Edden Ram

Koh Nang Yuan, Surat Thani

Koh Nang Yuan was made to be photographed by drone. This unique cluster of islands can be photographed from the sky or from a nearby lookout that can only be accessed by foot.

If you’re able, get a birdseye view of the surf hitting the white sand beaches, and capture the boats going to and from the shore. Divers and underwater photographers will be delighted by all that this island has to offer, and it’s only a short trip from the larger island of Koh Tao.


Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is tiny, but it’s one of Thailand’s shiniest jewels. The southern-most island in Thailand, Koh Lipe is frequently visited by those from neighboring countries, and it’s only 40 miles (60 km) from the mainland, making it the perfect remote getaway.

Prior to a high speed ferry, visitors had to endure a five hour longtail boat ride to Koh Lipe. Those days are long gone, so visit from November to April, which is high season, or from May to October, if you don’t mind a few days of rain. Photographers to Koh Lipe will revel in the natural beauty and won’t have to compete with many tourists for shots of open, empty beaches.

Photo by Ragnar Vorel
Photo by Ragnar Vorel