Thailand, Thailand, Thailand…what a stunning country with even more stunning beaches.
Months before my trip I spent numerous hours carefully crafting what I wanted to see and do in Thailand. Little did I think of actually double checking the weather patterns and making sure that I will be able to actually go forth with that list. Once arriving to Phuket, which was my main hub, I quickly realized that my list of beaches to visit is going to be severely cut down due to it being off season. Now technically off season is August to October but this can start as early as May and can continue into November and December. These months are the “wettest/stormiest” out of the year therefore the tourism slows down (most people want to avoid this) and many boats stop their routes for those months completely. This was exactly what caused me to shorten my list. Some of the islands that I wanted to see were physically unreachable which was quite the bummer.
I was forced to reroute my plans and to rework my list. Here are the beaches that I eventually chose to visit and my thoughts and opinions on them.
*I honestly suggest seeing them all since mostly all of them are iconic, but I want to be honest and craft a fair expectation for you so that you won’t be as shocked as I was. Many bloggers edit the hell out of pictures and paint this idealistic image of what the place is supposed to look like while leaving out the behind the scenes footage if you may. I want to patch that missing gap.
To my surprise this is basically the main beach in Phuket instead of Rawai Beach, which is technically just a port of some sorts. When driving by there wasn’t much sand, just a whole bunch of boats tied to the shore.
Naiharn beach is clean, quiet and dare I say perfect. Now I can’t guarantee that this is how the beach is on an every day basis, but it was so calm and empty when I went there. It is situated between some rock formations which makes it quite picturesque, which is always a bonus. Near by there are a couple of restaurants and bars from which you can buy some drinks.
This day was absolute perfection. It was the first day that my friends joined me and that alone made me happy but really there were so many other factors that joined in. It was the way the beer hit me. It was the way the sun warmed my skin. It was the way the waves were just big enough to crash against you and make you laugh like there was no tomorrow. The mix of all of these things felt so euphoric.
If you are in the area, do not miss this jewel.
KOH PHI PHI & VIEWPOINT
Let’s be real. If you have heard of Thailand, you have heard of Koh Phi Phi and if you haven’t, get out from under that rock and go visit.
To get to this island from Rawai beach you have to drive to Rassada Pier which takes about an hour. From here you take a ferry to Tonsai Pier which takes approximately two hours. The way is quite scenic so if you’re not going to be sleeping I would suggest keeping your camera nearby.
The Koh Phi Phi island is actually fairly new and by that I mean the physical infrastructure was rebuilt basically from the ground up after the 2004 tsunami. The actual land and geography seems to be untouched and beautiful as ever.
As you can see Koh Phi Phi is everything it is hyped up to be. It looks like a dream and I understand why it’s a huge hit on postcards…
The island itself is not only gorgeous but also fun. It is actually quite well known for the lively night life and music scene. They main strip of the island is full of restaurants and bars which come alive after dark and the variety is pretty intense. You have beach parties, college like bars, clubs, and sports bars.
I spent some time at a college bar where my friend and I had buckets of liquor for literally a couple dollars a piece.
We played some pool, beer pong and moved on to something that was actually recommended to me. If you’re reading this, a huge thanks goes out to you.
Welcome to Raggae Bar…aka the Kick Boxing Bar. This experience was exciting. I am not a huge violence lover but this sparked my interest really quickly and I loved every second of it. If you visit Koh Phi Phi, you must also visit this bar. They even let tourists kick box each other for free buckets and that my friend is hilarious. Below is a little video of the action that went down the night I was there. It’s pretty intense (you have been warned).
Another must see while on this island is the viewpoint. This is a fairly quick twenty minute hike up some steps and a little path. I am not going to lie it may kick your ass, but the view from there is stunning, breathtaking, heart stopping and absolutely worth it. I would suggest going early in the morning to avoid other people and the heat.
This beach is the place that I was extremely disappointed in. Talking to numerous people about going to Koh Phi Phi always involved talking about Maya Bay. Everyone always said you must go here, it’s stunning. While I will admit this is for sure a must see, I was not completely floored like I was by other places and I guess that is my fault by assuming that every place would make me feel that way. I had a blast taking the long tail here and my mood was extremely awesome until I was greeted by waves of trash by the shore. Let’s not kid here, there a lot of things that piss me off but trash is probably the number one on that list. If you’re a tourist and you’re reading this, please get your act together and stop leaving places so dirty. We need to love and respect the land we step on and the oceans we swim in. There are plenty of trash cans around so don’t be lazy.
The beach is pretty rocky so be careful when walking around. If you have more than a few hours here I would suggest checking out the rocks. They have these cave like formations from the tide coming in and out that are really cool.
If you stay there for the whole day the long tail will take you back before the sun sets which was absolutely my favorite part because you get to see the sunset from the boat and that is quite a feast for the eyes.
This beach was the solution when one of my initial choices turned out to be unreachable and let’s just say I was not upset by it. I actually really enjoyed this place (besides the tail boat ride to there in which I, along with all of my stuff, were drenched by the rain and the waves). This is a very quiet and romantic destination. If you are a solo traveler…not sure if I would recommend it because not everyone can handle the loneliness. There just isn’t enough much to do besides the beach, eating and getting massages. Wait…that sounds pretty heavenly. If you like having some quiet and some peace, this is your perfect destination. The beach is serene, not rocky and totally swimmable. The sunsets here are grand as well which is always a nice bonus.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
I really enjoyed my time in Thailand and especially my time on the beaches. Even though some places fell short of my expectations, I left feeling extremely loved on by the sunshine and the sea. Like I mentioned before, I do suggest seeing all of these places but keep in mind that you are a human and not a social media super star…you will be seeing this for yourself without a filter on and it may be different than you expected. If you keep that wall down you will enjoy every location a million times more.
Here is a video of the beaches incase you want to see them in action, sometimes pictures just don’t do a place justice.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!