Southern Thailand Beaches

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Southern Thailand Beaches Regions and Islands

Andaman Coast & Islands

Thailand’s west coast is littered with bizarre limestone rocks jutting out of azure waters. The whole length of the coast is sprinkled with low-key resorts and busy beachside towns, while smaller islands farther offshore are tropical gems in the ocean.

Gulf of Thailand

This long stretch of coast hugging the South China Sea offers less dramatic scenery than the west coast, with flat coasts and unremarkable towns, but it harbors the tropical paradise that is Koh Samui and its neighboring islands.

Phuket

Thailand's largest island, located on the Andaman Coast and linked to the mainland by a bridge, offers jungle-clad hills, striking beaches, fantastic diving, and a cultural mix of Buddhist and Muslim peoples. Add to it endless shopping opportunities and a vibrant nightlife and you have the perfect holiday destination. See our Phuket Travel Guide

Phang Nga Bay

This idyllic bay filled with limestone outcroppings is the perfect day trip from Phuket. Discover eerie mangrove swamps and secret tidal lagoons hidden inside karsts that seem straight out of a James Bond movie. Explore via sea kayak or a two-day excursion on longtail boats.

Khao Lak

This string of serene beaches is still associated with the 2004 tsunami, though the area has been completely rebuilt. Go elephant trekking in jungles, sample fresh seafood from fishermen's huts, and stay in breathtaking boutique resorts.

Koh Phi-Phi

These two limestone islands rising from the Andaman Sea are most recognized from The Beach, the Leonardo DiCaprio film shot on the beach connecting resorty Ph Phi Don and uninhabited Phi Phi Leh. Forty minutes from Phuket by ferry, they see hundreds of day trippers arriving daily, so think about booking a night or two at one of the tranquil resorts overlooking nothing but beach and ocean. Diving and snorkelling possibilities are divine.

Krabi

An appealing town halfway between Phuket and the Malaysian border, Krabi is the center of a region filled with mangrove forests, rolling hills, and stupefying rock formations. It’s not terra incognita, but tourism tends to be on the low-key side here, with deluxe and budget resorts occupying hidden bays.

Koh Lanta Yai

Hailed as a slice of undiscovered paradise, this inviting island southeast of Phuket features what is basically one long white-sand beach on its west side, which harbors hip boutique hotels and lone, palm-ringed resorts.

Koh Samui

This gem of an island is a tropical paradise, with jungles, beautiful white-sand beaches, a thriving nightlife, and a plethora of first-rate resorts. From fine French dining to water sports, it satisfies the needs of the most discerning visitor, and fleeing the crowds is an easy task. Its compact size means you can circle it in one day and then relax on your beach.

Koh Phan Ngan

The huge granite rock visible from the northwestern coast of Samui has long been the party island for jet-set backpackers who flock here for the notorious Full Moon Parties, despite recent clampdowns. Aside from that, it’s a low-key, rugged place with tiny beaches hidden in isolated coves.

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