Here's why I prefer Thailand's beaches:
|Can't do this at an Aussie beach!|
Warm water: Oh, for water as warm as a bathtub, that you can walk straight into instead of inching your way in, screaming and cursing as the icy tendrils send electric currents through your system! In Thailand, the water is refreshing without the shock factor. My sort of swimming.
|Hideous, isn't it??|
Shady shores: Much as I love the direct sun, I can't stay out in it for that long. Last weekend I had to head back to the house to escape the fury of the sun. In Thailand you can find a shady palm tree on the fringe of the beach and set up camp under there. No need to leave when the going gets hot.
|Park yourself in the sun or the shade!|
Beach bars: Still feeling the heat? Then escape to the shade of a beach bar, which will inevitably just be a few steps away, if not on the sand itself. Crack open a Chang or sip on a fresh pineapple juice to the soothing accompaniment of Bob Marley, 24/7 - heaven on earth! And you don't have to lose the view by being indoors.
|Drinks with a view|
Beach restaurants: Ditto. Hungry? Just a few steps away from the water's edge - or even in the water itself (see pic below!) will be a great Thai restaurant, serving up all your favourite dishes as well as great seafood. What more could you ask for?
|In Thailand, the food comes to you!|
Great shopping: In Thailand, canny shop vendors set up shop just behind the beach, so if you feel like a stroll, there's always something to look at or buy.
Massage: Bored? Sore? In need of even more relaxation? Then have a beach massage under a thatched sala, ironing out all those chinks under the strong fingers and elbows of a Thai masseuse.
Day beds: This is a contentious issue ... most Aussies prefer beaches sans daybeds, particularly row upon row of resort-issue beds and umbrellas. But sometimes it's nice to lie back without sand blowing all over you, and have a friendly waiter bring you a freshly squeezed fruit juice.
Crowds, or lack thereof: It's all about choosing your beach wisely. Yes, some Thai beaches are horrendously overcrowded. So are some Aussie beaches. Do your homework and seek out a beach where the package tourist don't go. They do exist. And you won't be disappointed, I promise!