panorama destination

panorama destination

Koh Kradan Voted World’s Best Beach
28 April 2023 | Written by Chris Alexander

Thailand’s Koh Kradan has been named the best place in the world for beach-lovers by the UK-based World Beach Guide. Part of the Hat Chao Mai National Park, the island is one of 40 in the Trang archipelago, located just off Thailand’s Andaman coast.

The World Beach Guide highlighted the island’s untouched natural wonders in their description: “the waters of the Andaman Sea which surround the island are relatively sheltered and shallow, which means they are always warm i.e., ideal for swimming. On top of that they are crystal clear, making for some excellent snorkelling in the protected waters.”

Four other beaches from the Land of Smiles were named in the top 100, including Railay Beach in Krabi province (9), Freedom Beach in Phuket (18), Laem Beach on Koh Yao Yai island in Phang Nga province (21) and Tanot Bay Beach on Koh Tao island, Surat Thani province (44).

While the award is a blessing for many tourism operators in Thailand, some observers and local stakeholders are concerned it could also be a curse. After Maya Bay was made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2000 film ‘The Beach’, the site was nearly destroyed by mass tourism.

To ensure Koh Kradan does not suffer the same fate, tourism will be carefully monitored and restricted so that the delicate natural wonders that make it so appealing to visitors are not compromised by those coming to see them.

The island will remain closed to tourists for four months each year – from 1 June to 30 September. Residents, business owners and park officials say tourists are welcome, but they must refrain from littering and harming marine life, while also being prepared to do their part and protect Koh Kradan.

“Regardless of the award given, everyone is doing their best to protect the island,” says Prit, a park official tasked with protecting the island. “Hat Chao Mai National Park will now focus more on regulations to maintain the beauty of our environment,” he said.

Prit added that, since the island’s beaches have gained global fame, an influx of tourists is inevitable. To mitigate any possible damage and also ensure visitor safety, the marine park authorities will invest more in the island’s infrastructure, including water and electricity, while enforcing regulations designed to protect it.