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BEACHES


Few destinations can rival Thailand for its array of beaches, as well as the activities and adventures within easy reach


B KOH CHANG


Elephant safaris and zip lines traverse the leafy interior of this Gulf of Thailand island and now big name resorts have hit the beaches. Its wider archipelago is good for island-hopping and nearby Koh Kood is home to plush Shantaa.


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PATTAYA HEDONISTIC PATTAYA BEACH: Pattaya’s central beach, favoured by party-lovers with plentiful facilities near nightlife drag ‘The Strip’. SPORTY JONTIEM: Plentiful watersports and


MIX AND MATCH Twin Phuket with Phi Phi, the pretty, road-free setting for The Beach, or with Koh Racha for good diving and a handful of hotels including boutique option The Racha


popular with families, it’s within easy reach of Pattaya Beach. LOW-KEY NORTH PATTAYA: The hotels and attractions in Northern Pattaya have really upped their game with hotels such as the Royal Cliff Beach Resort and the Amari presenting a completely refreshed product now joined by five-star newcomer Cape Dhara. North Pattaya was the original but now the most peaceful of the three main beaches. CHILLED NAKLUA & WONG AMAT: Neighbouring beaches offering a respite from party Pattaya. A villagey feel with beachside restaurants.


HUA HIN & CHA AM Hua Hin is the Royal favourite, driveable from Bangkok and chilled out on weekdays, popular with Thais at the weekends and


eaches in


Thailand can be split into two camps: the Gulf of Thailand in the east, and the Andaman Sea in the west. The


latter has the bigger choice for island hopping but the former has some great beaches close to the capital if your clients are short on time. Fly into Krabi or Phuket to access the southern beaches.


Look out for recently opened resort hotels. They often have special introductory rates for the first few months


boasting upscale spas and a famous night market. Hua Hin’s neighbour Cha Am, has a similar vibe and is famed for its seafood.


Pattaya


NIGHT HAWKS Party people should head to Phuket or Koh Samui for beach parties. From Samui it’s an easy transfer to Koh Phangan’s famous full, half and even black moon parties


combines well with...


largely undeveloped Koh Samet and its thriving budget beach scene


KOH SAMUI STAR TURN, CHAWENG: The island’s most popular and beautiful beach, with white sand, plentiful accommodation, watersports and a buzzing nightlife. LUXURY LAMAI: Plays second fiddle to Chaweng but is still home to upmarket resorts and spas, its own nightlife, decent surf and phallic rocks. BOHEMIAN BOPHUT: Honeymoon gem with the Fisherman’s Village, Chinese shop houses, great restaurants and top hotels.








LIFE’S A BEACH


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