The tropical beach vacation always finds its way to everyone’s bucket list.
Dreamy beach with swaying coconut trees, warm seawater, endless sunshine, sensational sunset, and tan body in sexy swimwear surely give you enough reason to add a tropical beach vacation in your “to-do” list.
Phang Nga province in Thailand’s south has many stunning tropical beaches to fulfill your dream vacation. Imagine yourself lying on the beach, basking in the sun, swimming in the ocean, and having a glass (or maybe two) of sundown cocktail to salute the sunset.
Stretching between Ranong and Phuket provinces, Phang Nga enjoys a long shoreline along the Andaman Sea. There are stretches of golden sand where you can enjoy the majesty of the blue sky and white-crested waves. These lovely tropical beaches are available for everyone to access. To top it all, they are without the crowds. Some beaches make you dazzled with their natural beauty, adrenaline-pumping eco-adventures, and rich wildlife. Other beaches add cultural attractions to the mix with mouthwatering cuisine and historical and architectural allure to take you back in time. You can head for the Similan and Surin Islands – where you can swim with the whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, and explore the spectacular underwater sceneries.
The best time to visit Phang Nga for the azure sky, crystal-clear turquoise water, silky golden beaches, and colorful reefs is from October to April.
The nearest airport to Phang Nga province is the Phuket International Airport – where the local carriers operate daily flights on the Bangkok-Phuket route. From the airport, you can get a rental car or private transfer to your beach destination in Phang Nga. Natai Beach is only a 30-minutes drive north of the airport, while the northern-most beach of Bang Sak is about 90 minutes’ ride from the airport.
Songthaew minibuses, motorcycle taxis, and long-tailed boats are available for the beach and islands hopping.
8 Best tropical beaches in Phang Nga
From the southern shoreline in Natai and Thai Mueang beaches, where stylish and ultra-luxury beachfront resorts make a home away from home for the vacationers, to the northern part with some tranquility and local colors, the stunning tropical beaches are everywhere. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, eco-adventure, or a family vacation, Phang Nga is stocked with gorgeous beaches to cater to all your needs.
1. Tranquility away from the crowds
Just about four miles north of Phuket Island, Natai Beach is a world away from the hectic city life. Six miles of the clean and unspoiled beach, with plenty of luxury private beachfront residences and personal chefs, apparently draws international celebrities to the quietest yet most beautiful side of Phang Nga. The long beach has none of the jet skis, speedboats, tailor shops, nor towering hotels to spoil the tranquil atmosphere. Sometimes it makes you feel like you’re genuinely on the edge of the world. Natai Beach is also noted for a spectacular sunset, making it ideal for a romantic beach walk. It is also a great place to have a seaside picnic and soak in a carefree evening.
2. Thai Mueang Beach, the turtle nesting ground
Located between Natai and Khao Lak South beaches, Thai Mueang Beach is a massive slice of an undeveloped tropical beach with 19 miles of the pristine sandy strip. With arrow-straight for the majority of it, this long beach is also a nesting ground for sea turtles that lumber out of the sea to find a tranquil place to lay eggs. The baby turtles will hatch and leave the shore between November and March. If you’re dreaming of an idyllic tropical beach bathed in sunshine and far from the crowds, Thai Mueang Beach fits the bill. With a short ride to the national park, you can soak up in the beautiful rainforest with waterfalls, swimming holes, and natural trails. Thai Mueang district was once thriving with tin mines. Old tin mines scattered around the scenic valley and wrapped around by rugged trails – become a playground for fun-filled ATV riding adventure.
3. Stylish and peaceful Khao Lak South Beach
Blessed with a blue sea, national park, golden-sandy beach bristling with pine trees, and some of the friendliest people in Thailand’s south, Khao Lak South Beach ticks all the boxes for a tropical vacation destination. The peaceful two-mile-long beach boasts a strong sense of tranquility and relaxation, making it the perfect place for a beach walk. You will find stylish beachfront resorts and small shack bars packed together in the beach’s northern corner. Well-known resorts in Khao Lak South Beach are X2 Khao Lak Anda Mani Resort and The Briza Beach Resort Khao Lak, to name a few. The area is also noted as a promising snorkeling site. Khao Lak South Beach is nestled along the main road. It is easy to jump into a minibus or taxi for beach hopping or take shuttle services to La On Village – the nightlife hot spot five kilometers north of Khao Lak South Beach.
4. Swimming and bar hopping at Nang Thong Beach
Located between Bang Niang and Khao Lak beaches, Nang Thong Beach offers the vacationers all the comforts and convenience. By day the golden sandy beach is long, tranquil, and excellent for swimming and basking on the sand, surrounded by high range covered with rainforest and crystal-clear emerald green water. After dark, a mile-long stretch of restaurants, bars, and boutique shops spring back in full swing. After spending all night living it up, you will get recovered in style by lounging poolside or having a spa treatment and steam bath at one of the many stunning luxury hotels and resorts in the area like Baan Khaolak Beach Resort, The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani Collection and KhaoLak Bhandari Resort and Spa.
5. The whole family fun at Bang Niang Beach
Nothing says “family fun” quite like Bang Niang Beach in Khao Lak. There, kids can enjoy a shallow and calm sea with excellent swimming conditions at any time of the day. The long stretch of golden sandy beach is fine and rock-free, making it perfect for a barefoot walk or run on the sand. Bang Niang is the second most developed beach with great dining, entertaining, and boating scenes, competing against Nang Thong Beach. Accommodation ranges from an unpretentious thatched bungalow in the garden to kid-friendly beachfront resorts like Ramada Resort by Wyndham Khao Lak and La Flora Resort & Spa Khao Lak. You can leave your children at their kid’s clubs supervised by professional staff while you thoroughly enjoy your vacation. You could also join day trips to many an attraction, such as island-hopping, hiking in the jungle, or snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea.
6. Chill out in style at Khuk Khak Beach
Stretching out three miles between Bang Niang and Pakarang Cape, Khuk Khak Beach is the edge of civilization and the beginning of an endless stretch of yellow sand. If you’re a solitude-seeker who loves the sun, sand, sea, Khuk Khak is the place for you. Here, you’re more likely to run into local fishermen going about their business than other tourists. Khuk Khak is also noted for promising beach bars and seaside restaurants. The Memories Beach Bar on the northern part of the beach is the best. In low season (May to November), Khuk Khak draws young travelers for waves, bonfires, lasting friendships, and surf culture. There are a few hotels in the area, and most of them are luxury beachfront resorts; Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort & Villas, JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, and Apsara Beachfront Resort and Villa. After a long day of island hopping, scuba diving, and snorkeling, you give yourselves a treat with pampering spa treatments.
7. Peaceful break on Pak Weep Beach
Within 15 minutes to the north of Khao Lak’s nightlife hot spot at Nang Thong Beach and La On Village, Pak Weep Beach is one of the quietest and most beautiful beaches along Phang Nga’s shoreline. The beach is vast, and the water is clear and calm, making it ideal for basking and swimming in the ocean. Pak Weep is mainly undeveloped, leaving more than enough sandy stretch for a beach walk, sunbathe, thatched restaurants, and resorts. The best place to lay your head is TUI BLUE Mai Khaolak – a luxury beachfront resort with a water park, spa, fitness, and fine dining restaurants.
8. Fun-filled outdoor adventure at Bang Sak Beach
Perched at the far northern reaches of Phang Nga’s shoreline, Bang Sak Beach proposes an exciting mix of the tranquil stretch of yellow sands, crystal-clear emerald water, and luxury retreat at the finest beachfront resorts. Away from the beach are waterfalls, streams, and evergreen forest, paving the way for bamboo rafting, hiking, and fun-filled outdoor adventure. The beach is also blessed with small seafood shacks, serving local beer, spicy seafood soup, fiery-yet-delicious yellow curry, and barbecued seafood. The luxury beachfront resort like Le Meridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa and Bangsak Village offer tropical beach holiday with silky, caramel-color sand sloping into the sublime turquoise water. Bang Sak also provides fast access to the mind-blowing scuba diving and snorkeling hot spots around Similan and Surin archipelagos.
7 THINGS TO DO IN PHANG NGA
With limestone formations, rainforests, the historic port town, beautiful coastline, and underwater scenery, Phang Nga province is the playground for the outdoor activities. In searching for the thrills and beauties beyond a tropical beach, here are the very best things to do in paradise by the sea.
1. Scuba diving of a lifetime
Set in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Phang Nga province, Similan Marine National Park spreads across 5,000 square miles of thriving coral reefs surrounding an archipelago. Due to substantial granite boulders, crystal-clear water, and vibrant underwater scenery, Similan Archipelago is one of the world’s best dive sites. Around Tachai Island, divers often see whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, and manta rays around Bon Island. The coral outcroppings are also home to groupers, sea turtles, trevallies, and reef sharks. The national marine park opens from November to mid of May. Your chances of spotting whale sharks and manta rays increase from February to April. Many divers make a day trip to the dive sites around Similan Islands before returning to the hotel in the evening. Other enthusiastic divers take liveaboard diving trips to more remote and often better dive sites and watch sunset and sunrise from the deck.
How to do scuba diving:
Many dive operators have a wide range of diving trips – day trip or night dive – available for the enthusiasts.
2. Sea Kayaking among limestone karsts
Phang Nga Bay is the most popular sea kayaking destination in southern Thailand. James Bond Island, limestone sea caves “hong” and some popular kayaking routes drawn thongs of tourists to the bay for sea kayak adventures. The eco-kayakers, who avoid congestion, might look at other places for remote yet scenic kayaking routes. At Baan Hin Rom, this seaside village allows you to paddle at your own pace underneath the mangrove tunnels and around estuaries of the picturesque Phang Nga Bay. Natural white noises from ocean waves lapping, blowing wind, and chirping birds, says a sound therapist, could improve your deep sleep. After all, you have a good chance of seeing white-belly sea eagles, Brahminy kites, Pacific Reef egrets, a variety of kingfishers, little herons, frigate birds, and blue rock thrushes. Within a short ride from the village, Samet Nangshi’s viewpoint offers a mind-blowing view of mangrove forest setting against stunning limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay as a backdrop.
How to get to Baan Hin Rom:
The seaside village is about 14 kilometers east of Takua Thung district.
3. Snorkeling with the giants at Surin Island
Moo Koh Surin, an archipelago off the northern Phang Nga coastline, secures its place in every snorkeler’s bucket list. The underwater sanctuary is home to extensive coral reefs and marine animals. Snorkeling in Surin Archipelago is to enter another universe with beautiful creatures varying in colors, shapes, and sizes. Turtles and manta rays cruise through the gardens of coral. At the same time, whale sharks – the gentle giants – often accompany guests of this paradise island. There are many excellent snorkeling sites dotted around the archipelago. The beaches are gorgeous with white powdering sands, making an ideal for barefoot beach walking. You can sleep out at the park and rough it out on the tent for the ultimate tropical island experience – or take a day trip from your hotel to Koh Surin.
How to do Surin Island snorkeling:
Snorkeling tours are available with picking-up at the hotel, lunch, and snorkeling gears. The journey promises to let you swim in the ocean, walk on the beach, and snorkel around Koh Surin.
4. Bamboo rafting like the old-time miners
One of the best ways to revel in the joys of Mother Nature is a trip on a hand-crafted bamboo raft along the Lam Ru Yai stream in the south of Phang Nga Province. Guided by a single boatman, the raft makes its way slowly along the waterway between towering trees and verdant foliage that has remained unchanged for decades. History tells us that miners used to travel from Phuket along Phang Nga’s rivers and streams on bamboo raft searching for tin. Even today, traces of tin can be found on the banks, though in such minute traces that it is often mistaken for tiny pebbles. But even if you don’t discover a speck of the treasured metal, you will find solace in this peaceful ride along the river, one of the most popular and soothing activities of this region. Bring some clothes if you want to jump off the bamboo raft and enjoy the thrill of swimming in the river.
How to do bamboo rafting:
Local tour operators, including Sutin Group Bamboo Rafting, offer three-hour rafting adventure with lunch and hotel pick-up and drop-off. Ask your hotel for more information.
5. Charming Chinese-European shophouses in Takua Pa
Takua Pa was an important trading post in the 15th century when the Arabs and Indians scoured the Malay Peninsula in search of eaglewood, ivory, and sappanwood. The small historic town, 25 kilometers north of Khao Lak Beach, now boasts its fair share of historical and architectural splendor. You will find a charming Chinese quarter, historic shophouses, Buddhist temples, a ruined city wall, and a tin mining legacy. Head to Muang Takua Pa Municipal Food Market if you’re in town in the morning. Nutty and spicy fish roe pancakes, chewy green-wrapped flavor bundles with pork of “miang lao,” and sweet red bean crepes are among the local delicacies for food hopping. Then check out “kopi tiam” (a traditional Hokkien coffee shop) for sets of dumplings served in small bamboo baskets. With abundant tin resources, Takua Pa enjoyed a tin mining in the 1960s. Its wealth can be told through the elaborate Chinese-European-styled shophouses and mansions. To marvel at the beauty of the local shophouse, you can take a stroll along the historic lane of Sri Takua Pa. You will be able to find two-story buildings with a narrow frontage, a beautiful façade, and a sheltered corridor, stand side by side. Takua Pa has undergone appealing makeovers that make it ideal for an excursion.
How to get to Takua Pa:
Ask your hotel for a private car arrangement.
6. Zipline sensations
Established in the Khao Lak/Lamru National Park, the Elephant Fly Zipline allows visitors and thrill-seekers to enjoy the Andaman Sea’s view and the thrill of flying in the rainforest. From one tree to another, you will be whisked away on a zipline while soaking up the fantastic bird’s-eye view of the Andaman coastline over the lush rainforest. What makes the Elephant Fly Zipline distinctive is that it is not dedicated only to ziplining. The distances between the 24 platforms in the forest canopy are filled with sky bridges, bicycle flying, spiral staircase, abseiling, and more.
Opening Hours: Daily from 8am – 5.30pm
Location: On Phetkasem Road, between Khao Lak and Nang Thong Beaches
Website: Elephant Fly Zipline Khao Lak
7. Wat Suwan Kuha – Buddha Cave in Phang Nga
About 35 kilometers northeast of the Natai Beach in Thakua Thung district, the large chambers of natural caves make a monastic sanctuary (and a home to playful monkeys). The cave temple, or “Wat Tham,” is popular among local tourists. They come to pray and explore the beauty of stalactites and stalagmites inside the cavern complex. Upon entering into the vast hole of Tham Yai, you would be impressed by a spectacular “underground temple.” The highlight is the 15-meter reclining golden Buddha. Blanketed by subdued light and shadow, the reclining Buddha looks mysteriously beautiful. The cave also holds several standing and sitting Buddha figures and ceramic figures of spiritual significance.
How to get to the cave temple:
The easiest way to access the caves is through an organized tour with a guide – or get a private car and explore the temple cave on your own.