Literally meaning Crystal Sand Beach, Sai Kaew is lined with bungalows, karaoke bars, restaurants and shops. Sailing, diving, windsurfing, canoeing, snorkeling, jet skiing, windsurfing and banana boating are all available in the warm waters, while beach sports include volleyball and soccer.
Popular with Bangkok-based Thai and expat families, the best thing about Haad Sai Kaew may be its seafood. Almost every hotel here has its own restaurant, but a stroll along the beach reveals a number of cozy restaurants and beach bars. After sunset, the atmosphere is more relaxed as a dozen restaurants lay out mats, pillows, tables and chairs for meals under the stars. Elaborate seafood barbecues also offer Western favorites like pizzas and hamburgers. Dazzling choreographed fire shows light up the beach, entertaining diners nightly.
Party-goers will appreciate Silversand, the most famous bar on the island, which plays house and dance tunes 'til the wee hours. More relaxed bars dot the entire shoreline, however, and there's a scene to suit every taste.
Visitors can shop in the small nearby town, and if sunbathing on the beach can also enjoy very reasonably-priced fresh fruit, BBQ chicken wings, dried squid, and spicy papaya salad and ice creams sold by local hawkers. One som tum lady even lets customers make their own papaya salad.