Which has Better Beaches Thailand or Cambodia?
Here we go again brother and sister, Thailand vs Cambodia being put head to head on the beachfront. In general, We believe Thailand has better beaches due to more choice, variety and sheer natural beauty. Thailand has more variety of beaches and alot more developed islands, thus more choice for the desired beach dweller.
However, there are some beaches in Cambodia down near the south coast and on the islands. The mainland beaches in Cambodia are few thus mostly at the popular destination of Sihanoukville.
Due to the small number of beaches they can be subject to overcrowding during peak season, with in some parts a big party crowd…if thats you kind of beach holiday! Personally, I think i like most prefer more options…if i wan’t to go a secluded beach i can, if I wan’t to go a busier party style beach I also can!
However, don’t write of Cambodia’s beaches just yet…there is still the matter of Cambodia’s mystical islands!
Cambodia’s Island Beaches – Hidden Gems.
Hands down, the best beaches in Cambodia are on the islands. From Koh Pos (Snake Island) to Koh Thonsáy (Rabbit island)!
These islands are great places with wonderful beaches, however most are still considered to be undeveloped with a small amount of high quality accommodation and not many good eating options.
However, some people don’t mind this and consider it more authentic to the built up Thailand islands, covered with a massive amount of hotels, resorts and massage spots. Whatever your taste here at Mtravels, we have outlined a review of the best beaches in Cambodia…for your viewing pleasure!
Top 10 Beaches in Cambodia
10. Sihanoukville – Victory Beach.
Starting at number 10, is the most popular beach area in Cambodia. Situated on the wonderful south west coast, some say on a map it looks like an arrow head pointing to neighbouring Thailand,( How fitting!).
Sihanoukville has several beaches within it’s area. Probably the most popular and easily accessible is Victory Beach. The beach is covered with glistening white sands and surrounded by an army of palm trees all ready for you to dive under when things get too hot!
Victory beach is great if you would like a fast and accessible spot which is safe and welcoming for families. Around the beach you wont be short of choice with plenty of seafood restaurants and cafes allowing an on beach dining experience.
There is also a good choice of restaurants around the beach area, if you would like to stay closer for a few nights. While laying on the beach you will see plenty of activity on Sihanoukville port with boats coming in and out on regular basis.
This makes it a great hub of access to all the other little islands (Koh Themi, Koh Pos etc) surrounding it. A popular place to start your trip and even base yourself.
9. Koh Themi
If you fancy trying out an island after a stay at Sihanoukville head to Koh Thmei which can be reached from the Sihanoukville port and is just of the coast.
Koh Thmei is a scenic destination with beautiful beaches which actually make up a section of the Ream National Park.
If you like your wildlife it is a good spot for dolphin spotting and bird watching. Snorkelling is also great to try here as you can explore the wonderful reef which is surrounding the island.
The only downside of this island is it is releatively underdeveloped with just a small number Bungalow style accommodations only. We suggest a day trip or stay 1 night depending upon you timescale.
8. Koh Tonsay (“Rabbit Island”)
Heading toward the Vietnam border, is a small island called Koh Thonsáy or Rabbit island. This is a great little island for hiking, snorkeling and secluded private beaches. It is located a 20 minute boat ride from Kep, so easily accessible.
Like many other islands in Cambodia development is slow with only a few bungalows and restaurants tailored towards tourists. If you like plenty of seclusion with no big crowds of tourists then it is a nice spot to check out.
7. Koh Pos (“Snake Island”)
Another island located just of the coast of Sihanoukville is Koh Pos or “Snake island”. A small bridge called the “Techo Morakat Bridge” makes it more easily accessible then other islands around Cambodia.
If you like an adventurous Jungle paradise then this is your island, but be careful the inland jungle is home to everything from cheeky monkeys to deadly pythons! If you would prefer to stick to the safety of the beach you will have just as much fun with scenic waterfront dining and lovely seafood.
A popular restaurant is “Treasure island” which is popular among visitors and definitely a spot to visit.
6. Sokha Beach (Sihanoukville) – Private Owned.
Sokha Beach is a privatised area, making it a very clean, safe spots to relax and sunbathe. It is also less crowded due to the entrance fee required to stay at the beach for the day. We recommend staying at one of the nice resorts which are on the private beach. Expect restaurants and activities such as snorkeling.
Town and Tourist Adventure Tip: If you would really like to see some breath taking views, you should definitely try the great hike along the coast. This will take you between Sokha and Serendipity beach.
5. Koh Rong – Have you watched the TV show Survivor??
Yes that’s right the popular television show Survivor was filmed on the popular Sok San Beach or “Long beach” due to the great captivating coastline.
Located just of Sihanoukville, you will experience plenty of wonderful coastline and brilliant pristine beaches!
This beach can be accessed by boat and even on foot. Great activities like many other of the islands include, snorkeling and swimming. After sunset the phosphorescent plankton can actually been seen to magically sparkle which is a great site.
“The glowing plankton is truly magical and a must see for anyone visiting Koh Rong!”
4. Koh Ta Kiev – (The Natural Spot)
There are a variety of beaches on Koh Ta Kiev, with one of the most scenic being Coral Beach.
This tropical beach is pristine, authentic and a natural spot to soak up that fresh sea air. The island is located of Southwest Cambodia, close to the Ream National Park. Local amenities include a small selection of accommodation with a variety of food and drink venues.
Overall this is the perfect place to get away from it all, relax, unwind and breath! Hammocks are popular on the island and you can choose to rent one for the day…a great place to read, relax and even take a nap. If your feeling energetic there are plenty of fun activities from cliff diving to spear fishing.
3. Serendipity and Ochheutal Beach – Sihanoukville.
Serendipity beach is a great spot with around 3 kilo meters of exquisite platinum sands. From Serendipity Beach Road you’ll find a number of amenities from bars and restaurants to a full size golf course! Although this area is popular with backpackers there are still a large number of luxury hotels to accomodate.
2. Koh Rong Samloem (“Lazy Beach”)
Another great islands just a short boat ride away from Sihanoukville is Koh Rong Samloem. Picture the scene lush green jungles, pristine platinum beaches and crystal waters…that is lazy beach.
We also like this beach because it is pretty quiet with only small groups of tourists here at any one time. In terms of accommodation there is a small number of beach bungalows which overlook the crystal waters. Local amenities include a bar and Restaurant on the beach offering delicious food…what more do you need!
1. Otres Beach
Otres beach is the less crowded and quieter alternative to Serendipity in Sihanoukville. It’s still within close proximity to the popular resort of Sihanoukville but just more relaxed with a chilled vibe.
However, this island is far from boring with plenty of day time activities from windsurfing to Kayaking.
By night, there is plenty of bars along the vast stretch of wonderful coastline. Come Saturday nights, head down to Otres Market, where a great atmosphere of live music and food stalls can be experienced till the early hours! Travel Fashion Girl has great tips on protection and what to wear at the beach in Cambodia.
Thailand’s Best Beaches!
1. Koh Phi Phi:
Ko Phi Phi is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the whole of Thailand. With gigantic limestone cliffs, caves (such as the famous Pirates cave) and long white sandy beaches.
A boat ride up to Phi Phi from Krabi or Phuket is amazing the shear size the limestone cliffs look like something out of a King Kong movie, a lost tropical paradise! This island and the surrounding areas probably had the best beaches in Thailand.
The reason I say had is that due to the sheer number of tourists numbers which have exploded in recent years and thus extra shipping pollution, litter etc.
This has resulted in the majority of the once beautiful and vibrant coral to die. Don’t get me wrong though are still some beautiful parts and I would recommended a visit for a couple of days or a day trip from Krabi or Phuket.
2. Maya beach/Bay
This is a beautiful white sandy beach surrounded by crystal clear waters and idyllic scenery.
As I mentioned previously access to this beach is now restricted due to coral damage, however you can still see it on an island boat trip which takes you from Maya bay, to monkey beach, pirates cave and around the coast. Most boat trips allow you to snorkel near the beach area which can be pretty nice in the clear waters.
3. Bamboo Island Beaches
Bamboo Island (or Ko Pai )is tiny island located around 5 km from the northern tip of Phi Phi Don Island. It takes 45 to get here by longtail boat from Ton Sai Beach On the north and east sides of the island are beautiful sandy beaches. A small bar serves drinks and snacks.
4. Loh Dalum Bay Beaches
On the opposite side of island from Tonsai Village, Loh Dalum Bay is considered one of the most scenic beaches in Ko Phi Phi, surrounded by gigantic limestone cliffs , an emerald sea fills the shoreline exquisitely.
By night the famous beach bars/ club have spectacular fire breathing/dancing shows with partying and music going on throughout the night. Although a great beach it can get busy.
5. Phuket Beaches
Although Phuket is a very busy island there is still some scenic and magnificent beaches to go to. My advice is to avoid Patong beach, unless you like crowds as it can get really busy. Luckily for Phuket there are plenty of beautiful beaches.
6. Kata Beach, Phuket
If you staying in Patong or Kata I would recommend heading to Kata beach over Patong beach it is a mere 10 mins scooter ride or taxi from Patong but it’s a much nicer beach.
It can still get busy but not to the extent of Patong. Kata is more of a family area so expect a more family oriented vibe. As it is surrounded by alot of restaurants and bars it makes a very social beach, great for lunch.
Costs for extras:
Sun-loungers & umbrella’s available for low cost rental (Approximately 150 baht ($5) all day). Fresh coconuts (50 baht each $1.70) and beers (80 baht each, $2.70)
7. Layan Beach, Phuket
If you would like peace, quiet, beauty and more seclusion check out Layan Beach. This is a beautiful beach with soft white sand, crystal waters and more of a relaxing vibe.
Usually, you would expect to find substantially less people than Kata beach, no annoying touts trying to sell you things and no loud speedboats and jet skis on the waters. Come here if you would like to fully relax!
8. Karon Beach, Phuket
Located on the west coast of Phuket. This beach is especially popular among families and couples, and less popular with singles than Patong.
With a Hilton hotel close by it’s great for people who would like more of a relaxed vibe. The best part about the beach is that it is not over crowded and has an international crowd. Fewer restaurants and minimum disturbance by the sale touts. Number one place to watch the sunset!
9. Does Koh Samui have a good beach?
Koh Samui does have a beach, but it also has a high tide by 1pm which practically engulfs the entire beach! Your best bet would be to relax in one of the coastal or hotel beach clubs on a lounger to avoid getting washed out! This is not an exaggeration.
10. Koh Phangan Beaches
Koh Phangan, the must see tropical rain forest style island is just a short ferry ride away from Koh Samui and has some of Thailands most natural, secluded and breathtaking beaches!
The Malibu Beach is located at the Malibu Beach Resort in the northern village of Chaloklum. The sand is brilliantly white and is surrounded by an array of palm trees, wonderful turquoise waters and a small bar.
Malibu Beach Bungalows is a great place to stay! Use the which below to check availability, as it can sell out fast.
Haad Son (The Secret Beach)
Haad Son is located in a hidden bay along the west coast of the island. Some people call it the “Secret Beach”. There is a small restaurant and resort located nearby. This is a great place for snorkelling with its crystal waters.
The beach is a small dreamy beach with wonderful white sands surrounding by scenic tropical views. The only downside is a lack of shade spots which can be an issue during high season if it gets busy. Still it’s definitely one to visit and our favourite here at Town and Tourist.
Bottle Beach (Haad Khuat)
The infamous Bottle Beach is a well known beach on Koh Phangan. However, as it is only accessible by long tail boat or the notorious bottle beach trek through the mountainous forrest (If your feeling adventurous!
This means the beach remains a secluded paradise for the most part. The sand is fine and smooth and the crystal water is fantastic.
My favourite part is that you are surrounding by a lush mountainous wilderness, which really makes you feel like your on a tropical island. Don’t worry about being trapped on here forever though (although I wouldn’t mind!) there are regular boat taxis from the beach and a restaurant which offers food, drinks and those mouth watering fresh coconuts.
11. Krabi Beaches
Railay Beach (Phra Nang Beach)
Railay Bay is a gorgeous, unspoilt beach area, when you see those classic “Thailand” photos it’s probably from here or Phi Phi islands which is a short boat ride away. Although the area of Krabi has plenty of beaches within the vicinity, Phra Nang beach is one of the most spectacular!
If you would like to experience the majesty of nature, relax and bronze in the sin then your in for a treat with this place. TownandTourist Fun Fact: Close by there is a particular and strange looking “rocky phallus shrine” embedded into the rocky cliff. Some believe this helps in fertility! Who knows! Either way it’s a great rock climbing area if your feeling adventurous.
TownandTourist – Must visit island of 2019!
Koh Chang Island “Elephant Island,”
Think of an island the size of Koh Samui or Phuket which is a lot less developed and but still beautiful paradise! Enter, Koh Chang, part of the Mu Koh Chang National Park. It is the largest island in eastern Thailand.
“It is, at present, far less touristy and far less well-known. – We suggest getting here while you can, before word gets out! “
This attracts alot of sensible travellers and does not follow the standard package tour routes in the south. However, despite not being as popular as places like Phuket it is still a fully fledged destination, so you won’t be left stranded!
A wide variety of accommodation can be found on Koh Chang ranging from luxury resorts to backpacker beach huts and trendy hostels. There is also a variety of boutique resorts. If you’d like an up-close-and-personal encounter with the world’s largest land mammal…there are plenty of elephants here also! Check Availability below:
For other Hotel/Beach Resorts in Thailand or Cambodia, use the powerful tool below to compare thousands of Hotels in Asia and get you the best price.
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