A body has been found in a shallow grave on a beach in Thailand popular with foreign tourists.

It was discovered on a beach in Ban Lamai, in Koh Samui, the country's second largest island, this afternoon by rescue workers.

Tourists detected a smell from the beach while swimming nearby, the Bangkok Post reported.

Pieces of clothes were found sticking out the sand. The gender and age of the victim is not yet known.

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Police are investigating.