The southern part of Thailand, which stretches along the Malaysian border and south of Bangkok, is a major tourist destination. Due to its topography, the west side of the area facing the Andaman Sea while the east is adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand, it is widely popular for its numerous beautiful islands. And while different monsoons affect the south east and south west year round, tourists will have a great time whenever they choose to visit this part of the country. Here are some of the hot spots you should visit while wandering the lands of South Thailand.
The Central Gulf Coast is one of the popular beach destinations in Thailand. The region contains some of the most splendid islands worthy of one’s visit. Ko Samui, being the largest island in this area, has the most popular and commercialized beaches in Thailand. If you are looking for pearly white sand, turquoise waters and all day sun, this is the place to be. Chaweng Beach is the most famous beach on the island, and one of the most beautiful, too. Here, you can find Italian pizzerias, Irish pubs, hotels and bars. Nightlife is another unforgettable experience in Chaweng. Prepare for some real beach parties. Lamai Beach, about 10 km south of Chaweng Beach, is another great place for exciting fun under the sun and lively nightlife. It is less crowded than Chaweng but equally spectacular. For a more relaxing and quiet time at the beach, Mae Nam Beach is the perfect choice. With its calm and shallow waters, it is ideal for swimming, especially for families with children. Mae Nam is an isolated beach and, compared to the first two beaches, offers a more serene experience. With less noise and disturbances, you can spend your day reading a book under a palm tree or just lie on the sand while watching kite-surfers. Other notable beaches are Choengmon Beach, Big Buddha Beach and Bophut Beach, which is a starting point for diving tours. What separates Ko Samui from other islands is a written law that prohibits building and construction of structures taller than the nearest coconut palms surrounding it. It is a way of preserving the natural wonders of this island. Visit Ang Thong National Marine Park and be enthralled by the sights of 42 or more fascinating islands of different sizes and shapes covered with thick forests.
Ko Pha Ngan is an island near Ko Samui. It is popular for its coconut trees and the infamous Full Moon Party, which attracts travelers and backpackers. Haad Rin Beach hosts this monthly happening where tourists enjoy dancing and partying from dusk till dawn. Away from this party scene is the Haad Saikantang, also referred to as Leela Beach. It is a peaceful alternative to the hustle and bustle of Haad Rin. Or have a more laid-back beach experience when you stay at Haad Khuat or Bottle Beach, one of the most isolated beaches in the island. If you enjoy water sports and other outdoor activities, Ao Nai Wok, also known as Baan Manali Beach, is one of the best areas for sailing, wind surfing and kayaking. Aside from its beaches, Ko Pha Ngan also offers fishing trips, elephant trekking, zip lines and kite-boarding. You can also try archery at First Bow and Arrow Archery near Chalok Lam.
The third island off the Central Gulf Coast is Ko Tao, which literally means Turtle Island. With an abundance of amazing diving sites, it is Thailand’s top diving spot and divers’ heaven. Chumphon Pinnacles, Green Rock, Hin Pee Wee and Shark Island are some of dive locations you might want to explore. For non-divers, aside from gorgeous beaches and beautiful sceneries, you can enjoy hiking, yoga and other non-water based activities. You can also watch out for whale sharks that swim the waters of this island every once in a while.
Phuket Island is Thailand’s largest island. The Pearl of the South is a highly developed island with a wide variety of lovely beaches that attract millions of tourists annually. One of these beaches, and the most frequently visited, is Patong Beach. With a powder-fine sand beach and crystal clear waters, it is reasonably a favorite for tourists. It is also said that Patong is one of Asia’s party capitals. Get around Phuket by riding a tuk-tuk to complete the experience.
On the Southern Andaman Coast, Trang is a must-see with its untouched natural beauty and hospitable people. Trang has old Buddhist temples, rainforests, and pristine waterfalls. Other natural attractions are found in Krabi, a province along the coast of the Andaman Sea. Ko Phi Phi. Ko Lanta and Railay Beach are some of Krabi’s best.