Southern Thailand Beaches

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When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in Southern Thailand Beaches

Krabi beaches

Starting from the resort town of Ao Nang with its run-of-the-mill resorts and cute walking promenade, the southern end of this string of beaches ends ab aruptly at huge, sheer limestone cliffs that open at the stunning headland of Laem Phra Nang and its two resort-lined beaches. Accessible only by boat, these laidback places offer nothing but the cliffs, the sea, and some serious rock climbing. Krabi, Hot Rock; 011-66-75-621-771; www.railayadventure.com

Wildlife at Khao Sok

Southern Thailand's most impressive national park boasts rainforests, towering limestone crags, a mountain-ringed lake, and long, rewarding hikes. The wildlife sanctuary is home to elephants, bears, tigers and Rafflesia (the world's largest flower). Come in the cool season and stay in treetop huts overlooking streams and cliffs. Khao Sok, 54/3 Moo 6 Klongsok, Panom; 011-66-86-470-3234; www.dnp.go.th & krabidir.com/artsriverviewlodge

Diving on Koh Tao

This small island south of Samui has developed into one of Thailand’s top diving destinations thanks to amazing visibility, stunning underwater rock formations, and vibrant marine life (including whale sharks). Non-divers can relax at inviting boutique resorts. Asia Divers, Koh Tao, Baan Mae Haad; 011-66-77-456-055; www.asia-divers.com

Sea kayaking on Phang Nga Bay

Discover eerie mangrove swamps and secret tidal lagoons as you paddle among this remarkable bay’s vertical limestone giants. Book in advance for a two-hour trip or multi-day excursion from Phuket. Phuket, 367/4 Yaowarat Rd.; 011-66-76-212-172; www.seacanoe.net

Street vendors

Southern Thai food tends towards the rich and the creamy, with Malay and Chinese influences. Favorites include Gaeng Massaman (beef or chicken curry with peanuts, pineapple and potatoes), Roti (Muslim pancakes, both savory and sweet), and Mee Pad Hokkien (stir-fried noodles). All-night stalls in most towns offer these dishes, but you’ll find the best reasonably priced authentic grub in Phuket Town and Krabi Town.

Tamarind Springs

This affordable spa, located between towns Chaweng and Lamai, hides in a hillside jungle. Packages include an herbal steam bath tucked between two huge rock, followed by massages in a breezy, open-air pavilion. The highly individualized villas blend into the hillside. Koh Samui, 205/3 Thong Takian; 011-66-77-424-221; www.tamarindretreat.com

Vegetarian Festival

During this nine-day event in October, Chinese devotees turn herbivorous and pray to the Nine Emperor Gods, who ensure purification of body and soul. The daily parades through Phuket Town are exciting (and often gruesome) affairs – participants perform fire walking, body piercing with huge sabers, and other acts of self-mortification. Phuket Town, various Chinese temples; www.phuketvegetarian.com

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