By Jennifer Chen
January 16, 2012

An unspoiled beach in Thailand has become an increasingly rare sight. And an unspoiled beach destination with decent accommodation is almost unheard of these days. So I was excited to learn about Khanom in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province, which faces the Gulf of Thailand. It’s got eight miles of pristine beachfront property as well as dramatic waterfalls and caves. The waters offshore are also breeding grounds for the rare pink dolphin. One newcomer, Aava on barely inhabited Na Dan beach, could be a sign of things to come. Owned by a Finnish husband-and-wife team, the resort has 28 bungalows and villas whose minimalist design is inspired by their countryman, Alvar Aalto. (The fusion restaurant is named after Aalto.) A few villa and condo developments are in the pipeline, so now is the time to visit Khanom.

Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia Correspondent.