Thailand’s Gulf Coast boasts some of the most alluring beaches in the country. From the stunning shores of Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan to the tranquil coastline of Chumphon and Khanom, this region is perfect for a beach holiday. In addition to its plentiful beaches, the area offers a diverse range of attractions with royal palaces, breathtaking national parks, world-class golf courses, and luxurious spas.
Chumphon province serves as the gateway to Southern Thailand with many travellers departing from the mainland on boats that transport them across the Gulf of Thailand to Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Samui. Only a small percentage of tourists take time to explore mainland Chumphon, but those that do are often pleasantly surprised to find quiet beaches and a laid-back atmosphere.
Hua Hin & Cha Am
The twin resorts of Hua Hin and Cha Am have been popular among Thai tourists for almost a century. The arrival of the railway in the 1920s transformed Hua Hin from a fishing village into Thailand’s first seaside resort. With its easy accessibility from Bangkok, a variety of beaches, and family-friendly attractions, this area continues to attract both Thai and international visitors.
Ko Pha Ngan
Although Ko Pha Ngan is famous for its Full Moon Party, there is much more to this island. With a series of picturesque beaches, a good selection of accommodation and a family-friendly atmosphere, Ko Pha Ngan offers an enjoyable alternative to nearby Ko Samui. The proximity of the two islands also makes Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan ideal for a twin-centre holiday.
Ko Samui is an attractive destination for anyone planning a trip to Thailand. The island offers beautiful beaches, excellent hotels, and convenient access. As the largest and most developed island in the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Samui appeals to a wide range of travellers, whether they are looking for a family holiday, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure. Samui’s enduring appeal is evident from the number of repeat visitors who return year after year to enjoy its soft sandy beaches and warm aquamarine waters.
One of the best dive locations in South-East Asia, Ko Tao is a must-visit for snorkelers and divers heading to Thailand. While the underwater scenery is the main attraction, the island also serves up several stunning viewpoints. Hike to John Suwan Viewpoint for panoramic views and pay a visit to Ko Tao’s neighbouring island of Ko Nang Yuan for more sumptuous views.
Nakhon Si Thammarat
While nearby Ko Samui has become a busy tourist destination, the mainland beaches at Khanom in Nakhon Si Thammarat province have remained virtually untouched by tourism. This makes the area perfect for those seeking a less developed destination or wanting to enjoy the simple pleasures that Khanom has to offer. Additionally, visitors should take the opportunity to explore the historic city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and other attractions in the province.
One of the country’s most spectacular natural attractions, Thale Noi, can be found in Phatthalung province. This area also boasts a thriving handicraft scene that helps preserve local culture. If you’re interested in exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and experiencing more of “Unseen Thailand,” Phatthalung is worth a visit on your next trip.
If you are visiting Southern Thailand, try to find some room on your itinerary for Khao Sok National Park. Situated approximately midway between the Gulf Coast and the Andaman Coast, this is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Embark on a serene longtail boat journey across Cheow Larn Lake to appreciate the breathtaking scenery before putting on your hiking shoes and walking trails that lead you through some of the world’s oldest evergreen forests.