What are Thailand’s best beaches?

Retreat to dunes, limestone crags and beautifully clear waters

Thailand has the benefit of possessing a disproportionate amount of the world’s top beaches, Lonely Planet says, leaving visitors spoilt for choice. Many of them have powder-soft dunes, dramatic limestone crags and beautifully clear waters.
Some of the very best are: Hat Phra Nang, Railay (“perfect sand, limestone cliffs and caves, emerald water” but “tends to get crowded in high season”), Hat Khao Lak (“expect outrageous sunsets and lazy days”), Ko Tao (“hit the island’s west side for tiki-torched beach bars” then escape to the eastern side for a “hermitic retreat”), Ko Mak and Ko Kut (“sling your hammock up on a desolate beach”) and Ao Bang Thao, Phuket (“this laid-back yet lively beach has something for everyone”).
Lonely Planet
[pictured: Hua Hin Beach; courtesy TAT]