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BEACHES


It's a shorething


From the neon-lights and pumping music of party beaches to lantern-lit secluded coves,Thailand has it all


W


hatever holiday style your client loves, Thailand has a beach to match...


PATTAYA PATTAYA BEACH: Nearest to The Strip’s nightlife, this is Pattaya’s busiest, most central beach. This is the party beach. JONTIEM: A family favourite, good for watersports and still close to the action. NORTH PATTAYA: A good tip for quieter, chilled holidays, still fairly central. NAKLUA & WONG AMAT: Sleepier villagey beaches, a taxi hop from central Pattaya.


HUA HIN HUA HIN BEACH: A favourite with Thais, including the royals. High-rise but laid back with spas and a foodie night market. CHA AM: Next to Hua Hin with horse-riding, good seafood and Thailand’s longest beach.


KOH SAMUI CHAWENG: A white sand choice at the heart of the action with restaurants, nightlife, ladyboy shows and watersports. LAMAI: For upmarket resorts and spas; and sniggering at the phallic ‘grandmother and grandfather’ rocks. The mummified monk and Na Muang waterfalls are nearby. BOPHUT: With traditional houses, good restaurants and boutique hotels, plus transfers to Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan. MAE NAM: Known for its backpacker bungalows, five-star hotels and pretty island views. A windsurfer’s favourite. CHOENG MON: Luxury resorts away from the party crowd. Handy for Bophut. BIG BUDDHA (BANGRAK): The cost- conscious hang-out here by the giant gold statue, between the airport and Chaweng. QUIET HUA THANON: A fishing village beach with a Centara and backpacker options.


KOH CHANG


With the exception of its Centara resort, the island's hotel stock is low rise and independent. The interior is leafy and offers elephants safaris, zip lines and island hopping to neighbours.


8 KOH SAMET


Pick-up truck taxis lead to white-sand beaches. Suggest Hat Sai Kaeo for low budgets, Paradee’s villas for romantics.


KOH KOOD


A low-development luxury choice, home to Shantaa and Soneva Kiri resorts.


KOH TAO


Near neighbour to Samui, offering snorkelling day trips and beginner diving.


KOH PHA NGAN


Famous for its full moon and other beach parties at Hat Rin. Jungle interior. A ferry hop from Samui.


PHUKET PATONG: the ‘in-place’ for party animals, divers, island-hoppers and major facilities. The beach has seen a major clean-up. KARON: White sand and Pattaya at arm’s length. The north end is the quietest. KATA: Suits swimmers and surfers and


Hua Hin, Thailand’s royal beach resort with beautiful white sands, is just a few hours’ drive from Bangkok


LEILA GROCHOWSKI, PRODUCT MANAGER, COSMOS TOURS & CRUISES


 TOP TIPS


Island hopping day trips are plentiful in the main resorts and most include snorkelling.


Thailand repeaters may enjoy the lesser-worn island-hopping scene around Trang.


Hua Hin and Samet are busier on weekends as Thais take time out from life in Bangkok.


Low season is great for bargain accommodation and quiet beaches but check ferries and excursions are still running and explain swimming may be safest in the pool.


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