November 21, 2017 | admin

Beaches of Thailand

This module will help enrich your knowledge of the popular and lesser known beaches in Thailand, all of which offer a variety of activities. The most popular destinations for beach lovers from all over the world are Phuket in the Andaman Sea and Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand.

When to go Where

In Thailand, the rainy season is dominated by the southwest monsoon and usually lasts from July to October. However, the name “rainy season” is slightly misleading. While it certainly does rain during this season, it’s likely to consist of a heavy but short downpour in the evenings.

Fortunately for beach-lovers, Thailand’s different coasts have slightly different rainy seasons, allowing visitors to find sunny beaches year round.

In the South, on the Andaman or the west coast, where Phuket, Phang-Nga (Khaolak, Mu Ko Similan), Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta) lie, the southwest monsoon brings storms from April to October. On the Gulf of Thailand or the east coast, where Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, and Ko Tao lie, the most rain falls between September and December.

Beaches Close to Bangkok

Pattaya Beach in Chonburi

To the east of Bangkok, less than an hour and a half from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport or about 2 hours from Bangkok CBD by car, Pattaya is a popular seaside resort town both for locals and tourists from overseas. Visitors are drawn to Pattaya to windsurf, water ski, swim, sunbathe, snorkel, sail, or take trips to nearby islands. More adrenaline pumping activities include Bungee jumping, sky-diving, go-karting, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), zip-lining and paintball. Other fun activities to do with friends and family are a visit to one of the waterparks or to the 3D museum Art in Paradise with its optical illusions (known locally as the ‘Trick-eye Museum’). For those who like watching stage performances, check out KAAN Show (cultural show) and Tiffany Show (transgender cabaret). Golfers, both novice and expert, are well catered for as well, with a wide selection of golf courses available around Pattaya. A major drawcard for Pattaya is the wide selection of restaurants, from some of Thailand’s freshest seafood, to an excellent selection of authentic foreign eateries (due to the high number of expatriates).

Best Time to go

In general, the high tourist season in this region is from November to April as there is less rainfall and the sea tends to be calm.

How to get to Pattaya from Bangkok

By land: Pattaya can easily be reached by car in an hour and a half from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport or about 2 hours from Bangkok CBD.

There are regular bus services from Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) to Pattaya. The journey takes just over 2 hours.

By Air: There are a few domestic flights to U-Tapao, the closest airport to Pattaya.


Active travellers can enjoy golf, Muay Thai, water activities (such as parasailing, jet skiing, water-skiing, wake boarding, scuba diving, snorkelling and canoeing), land activities (such as cycling, mountain biking, zip-lining and abseiling) and even skydiving.


Beaches: The 3km Pattaya Beach is lined with hotels and restaurants. The northern section is more tranquil, whereas the central and southern sections are packed with hotels, restaurants, shops and nightclubs. The 6km Jomtien Beach, south of Pattaya is popular for windsurfing and other water sports. To the north of Pattaya Bay is Wong Prachan Beach, which is quiet and good for swimming.

Ko Lan is great for snorkelling, scuba diving and viewing coral reefs in glass bottomed boats. Ko Lan can be reached by ferry from Pattaya.

Ko Lan

Besides the beach, Pattaya offers a variety of activities and attractions for all ages. Examples of the attractions for the whole family include:

The Sanctuary of Truth: This is a gigantic structure made entirely of wood and with exquisite architectural carvings. It was conceived out of the vision that human civilisation has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth. (

The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya

Flight of the Gibbon: Here you can see the jungle through the eyes of a gibbon. The high ropes adventure course is 3km in length, with exhilarating zip-lines, abseils and scenic sky bridges. You will be guided by highly trained, safety-minded Sky Rangers who share their knowledge of the biologically diverse rainforest along the way. (

Cabaret shows: Pattaya has many popular transgender cabaret shows such as Alcazar and Tiffany.

Waterparks: Pattaya is home to Thailand’s biggest waterpark Ramayana Waterpark ( and the world’s first Cartoon Network-themed waterpark – Cartoon Network Amazone ( The parks offer many different challenges, so both kids and adults can enjoy their visit.

Pattaya Floating Market: A complex of over 70 shops offering handicrafts, clothing, antiques and eateries – Pattaya Floating Market was established to present the cultures and traditions of the four regions of Thailand – the North, the South, the Central, and the Northeast.

Thai Thani Arts and Culture Village: This is a reproduction of Thailand of a bygone era, preserving what it means to be truly Thai, including culture, traditions, arts and crafts, Thai activities and performances. (

Cha-am Beach in Petchaburi & Hua Hin Beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan

Just two and a half hour drive southwest of Bangkok, Cha-am and Hua Hin are renowned tourist destinations for both locals and foreigners. Besides its beautiful sandy beach, waterfalls and fresh seafood, Cha-am and Hua Hin feature many world-renowned golf courses, award-winning wellness spas, waterparks, markets and even a vineyard.

Best time to go

These two resort towns lie on the Gulf of Thailand, so the most rain falls between late September and December (and occasionally until February). The high season, therefore, is between March and October.

How to get to Hua Hin from Bangkok

By Land: Driving from Bangkok to Cha-am takes approximately 2 hours and from there another half an hour to Hua Hin.

Bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to Cha-am takes about 3 hours and from there another half an hour to Hua Hin.

Train from Bangkok Hua Lamphong Station to Cha-am takes around 4 hours, and to Hua Hin about 4.5 hours.


In Cha-am and Hua Hin, there are plenty of things to see and do for families, couples and friends. Hua Hin is home to Thailand’s first golf course, Royal Hua Hin, which opened in the 1920s. In the last decade, Hua Hin has become a continental hub for golf tournaments, both local and global, with several world-class golf courses within a short drive from town centre.

For people who love water sports, Hua Hin is the best destination in Thailand for kitesurfing. The right wind and flat, shallow water have made Hua Hin beach a perfect place for kitesurfers at all levels. Other water sports on offer include water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, and parasailing. Cha-am and Hua Hin’s other charm is that you can ride a horse along the beach.

Hua Hin is also one of Thailand’s best spa destinations. The best known include Chiva Som, the Barai, Cenvaree, and Anantara.


Waterparks: Hua Hin is home to two large waterparks: Black Mountain and Vana Nava. Both waterparks are perfect for families, catering for both adults and children, with different levels of rides and slides. The highlight of Vana Nava is its challenging long waterslide, the largest slide in Thailand.

Markets: For shopping and dining like the locals, check out Hua Hin Night Market, Cicada Market and Plearn Wan. Hua Hin Night Market is a must for every visitor to Hua Hin. There are more than a hundred stalls selling street food, clothes, jewellery, crafts, home décor, souvenirs, etc. It opens every day from 5pm until late. Cicada Market is unique due to its hybrid nature, a fusion of modernity and Thai culture. Cicada market comprises four areas: the A La Mode sells handmade bags, cloths, souvenirs and cards; the Cicada Art Factory exhibits artworks of young artists; the Amphitheatre focuses on entertainment – a mix of Thai traditional and contemporary performances; and the Cicada Cuisine is the eatery, filled with a wide variety of cuisines from Thai to international cuisines. It opens every Friday and Saturday from 4pm until late. Plearn Wan focuses on the traditional Thai practices, particularly showcasing the Thai way of life. Plearn Wan preserves the old traditional architectural styles whilst highlighting the lifestyle, foods and drinks that were prevalent through the late 1950’s. Thai street food is another highlight of the Plearn Wan. It open is daily from 9am to 9pm.

Winery: Another place worth checking out is Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. Here you can relax with pleasant views while enjoying fine food and excellent wine.

Beaches Further to the East


Trat is Thailand’s eastern-most province. With over 50 large and small islands featuring white, sandy beaches and unspoiled coral reefs, Trat offers delightful scenery and tranquil hideouts for beach and nature-lovers.

The best time to visit:

Trat is located on the Gulf of Thailand’s east coast. The high tourist season in this region is from November to April as there is less rainfall.

How to get to Trat from Bangkok:

By Air: Bangkok Airways operates daily flights from Bangkok to Trat and the journey takes approximately 40 mins.

By Land: Trat is about 4 hour drive east of Bangkok. There are regular buses departing from Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) and the journey takes approximately 5 hours.


Trat is suitable for travellers looking for a tranquil holiday or eco-tourism. Activities on offer here are:



Sea Kayaking & Canoeing

Snorkelling & Scuba Diving


Spa and wellness


Ko Chang National Park comprises an archipelago of 52 islands, of which Ko Chang is the largest and the second largest island after Phuket. It features rainforests, steep hills, cliffs, waterfalls, fine beaches, coral reefs and plentiful marine life. Other islands include Ko Mak, Ko Kut, Ko Wai, Ko Lao Ya, Ko Kradat, Ko Kra and Ko Rang. These islands are good for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Ko Wai

Ko Kut is a romantic getaway with charming scenery away from the crowds, perfect for couples to blissfully enjoy the romantic landscapes.

Koh Ngam is an enchanting island with a very narrow sand dune that creates two spectacular crescent shaped lagoons. It’s a splendid sight to see. Active visitors can hike up the rocks to a viewpoint 100m above the ocean, for a glorious view over the island.

Khlong Phrao Beach is perfect for families as it is easily accessible, uncrowded and has a unique natural environment.

Beaches Down South


Further down from Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong is full of mountainous and heavily forested areas and home to a number of fine beaches. It is characterised by dense tropical greenery, picturesque waterfalls and coastal waters. It is also renowned for its hot springs. From here, visitors can travel to Myanmar by boat.

Best Time to go

In this part of Thailand, the monsoon season is between late April and October, and usually less rainfall from November to early April.

How to get to Ranong from Bangkok

By Air: Air Asia and Nok Air operate direct flights from Bangkok to Ranong.

By Land: Ranong is 568kms southwest of Bangkok. Buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus terminal and the journey takes approximately 9 hours.


Bamboo rafting


Visit the hot springs

Snorkelling and scuba diving


Ko Chang is a perfect island for visitors wanting a peaceful holiday away from major tourist hotspots. Ao Yai is great for swimming and has a spectacular sunset view.

Chan Damri Beach is the best location to watch the sunset in Ranong and to witness the exquisite panorama view of the Andaman Sea.

Namtok Ngao National Park is renowned for the magnificent waterfall that runs down from a steep cliff. The untouched national park is home to wild animals including the Chao Fah Crab, which has white claws and body, and purple legs! In December the Komarsum Orchid is also in full bloom.

Ranong Hot Springs and Raksawarin Public Park has natural hot springs with temperatures between 40 and 65°C. The Department of Science Services has officially certified it to be permeated with important nutrients from sulphur. The water in the hot spring is beneficial to the body as a natural treatment.

Ko Phayam is the second largest island in Ranong. Yai Bay has a beautiful fine sandy beach, its colour being a mix of yellow and grey. Wat Ko Pahyam is a temple with a chapel built in the middle of the sea with a Buddha image on top of the roof overlooking the island.

Surat Thani (including Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao)

Southwest of Ranong, and approximately 650km from Bangkok, lies Surat Thani, the South’s biggest province. Thailand’s third largest island – Ko Samui is located just 80km off the coast of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand. A 50km ring road around the island makes it easy to explore Ko Samui by jeep or motorbike.

Best Time to go

As Surat Thani is on the Gulf of Thailand or the South’s east coast, the most rain falls between September and December/ January. Scuba divers should go between March and October.

How to get to Surat Thani from Bangkok

By air: Thai Airways, Nok Air and Air Asia fly to Surat Thani from Bangkok daily. The flight time is 1 hour 15 minutes.

By train: There are several trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani every day. The train ride is 12 hours.

By bus: Buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal daily.

How to get to Ko Samui from Bangkok

By air: Several airlines fly to Ko Samui from Bangkok. Bangkok Airways also flies to Ko Samui from Phuket. Flight time from Bangkok to Ko Samui is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Bangkok Airways also operates direct flights between Phuket and Ko Samui.) Several airlines also fly to Surat Thani and Chumphon, where travellers can then catch a bus, followed by a ferry or speedboat to Ko Samui.

By land & sea: Travellers can take an overnight train from Bangkok, then the bus-ferry combination. The ferries for cars and passengers depart from Don Sak Pier to Ko Samui and take about an hour and a half.


Khao Sok National Park: Covering an area of over 700km2 in the west of Surat Thani, Khao Sok National Park consists of tropical rainforest draped over limestone outcrops, which form hundreds of islands in Ratchaprapha Dam. The park is home to elephants, bears, gibbons and hundreds of bird species. The best time to visit Khao Sok is between January and April when the sky is usually clear, and activities include canoeing, bird watching and hiking. (

Ratchaprapha Dam

Wat Suan Mokkh Forest Temple: Thai people and foreigners flock here to join meditation courses which begin on the first day of every month and last for ten days. (

Ko Samui:

Beaches: The main beaches of Ko Samui are Chaweng and Lamai. Both have abundant accommodation, shops, water activities, bars and restaurants. Other popular beaches nearby include Bo Phut and Mae Nam. Travellers looking for tranquillity should opt for the smaller beaches towards the north, the west or the south of the island. Some 5-star resorts have their own private beaches.

Big Buddha: A large gilt Buddha statue stands high above the coastline on Plai Laem Bay, close to the airport.

Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks): These curiously shaped rocks which humorously resemble certain male and female private body parts are on Lamai Bay.

The Mummified Monk: This naturally embalmed body of a monk, who though no longer alive, remains seated below the same tree he preached under during his life.

Na Thon: Na Thon is Ko Samui’s main town and visitors can explore its streets, shops and eateries.

Bo Phut Fisherman’s Village Night Market: Every Friday evening until late at night, the quiet town of Bo Phut bustles with stalls selling street food, souvenirs, clothes, etc.

Other islands near Ko Samui

Ko Phangan is popular among backpackers and the venue for the world famous full moon parties. It can be reached by ferry from Ko Samui.

Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan are two small islands which boast some good diving and snorkelling spots. Ko Tao is another popular spot for backpackers.

Ko Nang Yuan

Ko Matsum is a small island just a 15 minute speedboat ride from Ko Samui. The larger neighbouring island Ko Taen is located just a few minutes further away. There are fine stretches of sandy beach and clear waters suitable for snorkelling.

Mu Ko Angthong Marine Park is a protected area of 40 islands which can be reached within 2 hours by boat from Ko Samui. There are plenty of private and public island-hopping day tours on offer at local travel agents. One of the islands, Ko Mae Ko, has an inland saltwater lake. Visitors to Wua Talap Island who are prepared to take a mild climb are rewarded with incredible views of the islands.

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Further down from Surat Thani to the east lies Nakhon Si Thammarat. The province has a number of beaches and two lush jungles with beautiful waterfalls, exotic wildlife and a variety of vegetation. It is also renowned for ‘Nang Talung’ or Thai shadow puppets and home to one of Thailand’s most revered Buddhist temples – Wat Phra Mahathat.

Best Time to go

The monsoon season in this part of Thailand is between late September and February. The high season is, therefore, between March and October.

How to get to Nakhon Si Thammarat from Bangkok

By land: Nakhon Si Thammarat is about 800km from Bangkok. There are daily buses departing Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal, with the journey taking about 12 hours.

Main train stations in Nakhon Si Thammarat are Thung Song (more frequent) and Nakhon Si Thammarat Town. The train journey from Bangkok takes about 10 – 11 hours.

By air: Nok Air and Air Asia offer direct flights departing Bangkok every day. The journey takes about an hour.

Activities and Attractions

Wat Phra Mahathat is the South’s largest Buddhist temple and believed to be more than 1,000 years old. The complex is dominated by a 77m high Chedi, topped by a solid gold spire. Several halls enshrine Buddha images and other religious objects.

Khao Luang National Park: Nakhon Si Thammarat is mostly mountainous and forested. The 570km2 Khao Luang National Park is noted for its waterfalls, the largest of which, Namtok Karom, is about 1,300m high and falls over 19 levels.

Ban Khiriwong is a peaceful ancient community which settled at the foot of Khao Luang in Tambon Kamlon, near a path that goes up the mountain. Ban Khiriwong is a prototype of eco-tourism management and won the 1998 Thailand Tourism Award in the City and Community category.

Ban Nang Talung Suchart Subsin: Mr. Suchart is a well-known shadow puppet performer and maker. He opened his home to the people who are interested in puppetry with the hope of reviving Nang Talung – the shadow puppet play.

Khanom: The district of Khanom has not really been discovered by foreign tourists so it is an ideal place for those who look for a quiet holiday by the beach. Visitors can get there by hiring a taxi from the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat or the city of Surat Thani. There is a direct bus from Bangkok to Khanom that runs twice a day. Khanom Bay is a large bay with several excellent beaches, resorts and great dining places. A must-see attraction in Khanom is the Pink Dolphins, with the best time of the year to see them being between March and September.

Khao Wang Thong Cave: This cave is situated 77kms from town and is one of the most impressive caves in the area. It has many large and small chambers, each with stalagmites and stalactites of odd shapes and sizes. Some chambers can only be accessed by crawling or climbing. Visitors must first obtain the cave key from the keeper at the cave entrance.


Hae Pha Kuen That Festival is a unique festival of Nakhon Si Thammarat which is celebrated on the Buddhist Makhabucha Day. Villagers carry the holy cloth along the road in a procession to Wat Phra Mahathat. The cloth is then draped around the stupas in a merit-making ritual. The custom is a form of communal merit-making designed to strengthen community spirit and foster unity.

Hae Pha Kuen That Festival at Wat Mahathat


Located southwest of Surat Thani and north of Phuket is Phang-Nga, home to some of Thailand’s best scuba diving sites. The main attractions here stem primarily from its geographical formations – small islands, caves and limestone cliffs. The most notable are Phang-Nga Bay, Mu Ko Similan and Ko Yao Noi, and Ko Yao Yai.

Best Time to go

The high season is November to early April as there is less rainfall and the sea is usually calm.

How to get to Phang-Nga

By Air (to Phuket Airport):

Direct flights from Australia

Jetstar (from Sydney and Melbourne)

Direct flights from Bangkok: Flying time is 1 hour 20 minutes.

Bangkok Airways

Thai Airways

Nok Air

Air Asia

Thai Smile

Direct flights from Ko Samui to Phuket:

Bangkok Airways

By Land: Driving from Phuket Airport to Phang-Nga takes one to one and a half hours.

Bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to Phang-Nga takes approximately 12 hours. (788km)

Activities in Phang-Nga

Snorkelling and scuba diving

Deep-sea fishing

Wind surfing

Sea canoeing / kayaking

Bamboo rafting and white water rafting


Mu Ko Similan (Similan Islands) is a group of nine islands with white sandy shores, pristine rainforests and distinctive granite boulders marking their headlands. With a rich marine life hard and soft coral reefs, a variety of fish species and crystal clear waters, Mu Ko Similan is rated among the world’s best dive areas. It is also home to sea turtles, manta rays and sharks.

Similan Islands

Phang-Nga Bay is the place where hundreds of limestone outcrops rise from the sea in exquisite shapes. Ko Tapu (aka ‘James Bond Island’) and Ko Hong are two exquisite islands worth exploring, and the best way to do that is by sea canoe or aboard the luxurious June Bahtra. For an overnight stay on the bay, board the Suwan Macha, another luxurious traditional Chinese junk-rigged sailboat.

Phang-Nga Bay

Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai: Accessible by boat from Phuket, Phang-Nga and Krabi, the two islands offer a peaceful atmosphere and the lovely lifestyle of the local Muslim community. Accommodation options include budget to high, end as well as homestay.

Ko Phra Thong is a small island, perfect for those seeking a tranquil atmosphere close to the nature. To get there, visitors can take a speedboat from Kuraburi, about an hour’s drive north of Khao Lak Town.

Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park encompasses beaches and forests. It offers offshore coral reefs perfect for diving and snorkelling. In land, visitors can trek, go bird watching or have fun floating along a river through the forest on a bamboo raft.

Khao Lak Town is a good place to socialise with the locals as well as other tourists. It offers shops, bars and restaurants.

Takua Pa Old Town: For a real local experience, visit Takua Pa Old Town.


Krabi is located on the mainland of Thailand, opposite Phuket. It is a scenic, beautiful province marked with limestone outcrops rising from both land and sea. Visitors to Krabi can expect to be enchanted by its stunning natural beauty and wide variety of adventure opportunities.


Best Time to go

In general, the high tourist season is from November to early April as there is less rainfall. The monsoon season is between late April and October.

How to get to Krabi from Bangkok

By air: There are frequent domestic flights from Bangkok to Krabi. The journey takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

Airline options include:

Thai Airways

Nok Air

Thai Smile

Bangkok Airways

Air Asia

By land: Buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal and the journey takes about 12 hours.


There are many activities for nature and adventure enthusiasts to pursue, including:

Rock climbing and abseiling

Hang gliding

Sea canoeing

Scuba diving and snorkelling

White water rafting


Beaches: Khlong Moung Beach is suitable for travellers who prefer a relaxing and tranquil holiday. Many 5-star resorts are just a few footsteps from the beach. Ao Nang Beach is plenty of places to shop, eat and be entertained.

Ko Phi Phi (Phi Phi Islands): Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le Islands are great snorkelling and scuba diving spots. They lie between Phuket and Krabi and can be accessed by frequent ferries and speedboats. Phi Phi Don has more accommodation and activities on offer, such as kayaking, rock climbing and abseiling, whereas Phi Phi Le has fewer tourists.

Railay Beach: Railay beach is on a peninsula and only accessible by ferry. The lime-stone cliffs of Railay Beach is Thailand’s most famous site for rock climbing and abseiling.

Occupation Development Centre at Baan Nateen: This is a community project run by locals and includes a home-stay program and a craft centre where items are made from local materials such as coconut shells.

Ko Lanta: Ko Lanta to the south of Krabi, has only limited markets and nightlife. It is seen as a ‘getaway’ destination with accommodation for backpackers as well as luxurious resorts.


Phuket is an island in the Andaman Sea, often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’. While Phuket is internationally known for its astonishing beaches, exquisite off-shore diving and stupendous water activities, the old town features classic Sino-Portuguese style buildings with small shops, local cafés and restaurants. Phuket’s visitors can easily take a day trip to Ko Phi Phi (in Krabi), Mu Ko Similan (in Phang-Nga) and Phang-Nga Bay (in Phang-Nga).

Best Time to go

In general, the high season is November to early April as there is less rainfall. The monsoon season is between late April and October, so while this period is not suitable for scuba diving and sailing, it is the best time to surf.

How to get to Phuket

By Air:

Direct flights from Australia:

Jetstar (from Sydney and Melbourne)

Direct flights from Bangkok (flying time is 1 hour 20 minutes):

Bangkok Airways

Thai Airways

Nok Air

Air Asia

Thai Smile

Direct flights from Ko Samui:

Bangkok Airways

By Land: A bus ride from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to Phuket takes approximately 12 – 12.5 hours (867km).


Snorkelling and scuba diving

Deep-sea fishing

Wind surfing

Sea canoeing

White water rafting




Beaches: Patong on the west coast is the most developed beach of Phuket. The 3km long sandy beach is lined with hotels, shops, restaurants, night markets and vibrant nightlife. Patong Night Market offers opportunities for vigorous bargaining on items from souvenirs to clothing and handicrafts to tattoos.

The nearby Kamala, Karon, Kata and Kata Noi beaches are less crowded and suitable for swimming, snorkelling, wind surfing and sunbathing. These beaches are popular for families with kids and visitors who would like to stay close to everything. Bangtao beach is home to Asia’s finest integrated resort complex – Laguna Phuket. Whether you’re travelling with friends, vacationing with family or planning a romantic escape, Laguna Phuket offers something for everyone with accommodation, spas, restaurants, bars, shops, a golf course and options of water and beach activities. The southernmost point of the island is Promthep Cape, a popular spot to watch sunsets. Close to Promthep Cape is Rawai Beach, home of a sea gypsy village and a lot of good-value seafood restaurants.

Nai Yang and Mai Khao beaches on Phuket’s northwest, just a 15 minute drive from the airport (next to Sirinat National Park) back onto pine trees and a mangrove forest. They are ideal for relaxing, swimming and sunbathing. These beaches are suitable for families with kids as well as couples.

Sunset at Promthep Cape

Phuket town is quaint with its old Sino-Portuguese architecture and some worthwhile shopping. The centre of the old town is made up of five roads and several small lanes: Rasada Rd, Phang Nga Rd, Thalang Rd, Dibuk Rd and Krabi Rd.

Entertainment and cultural shows: Siam Niramit ( is a magnificent stage production featuring cutting-edge special effects and a huge cast of performers showcasing art, history, culture and the heritage of Thailand. Simon Cabaret is a spectacular cabaret/ musical floorshow performed by the world famous “lady boys”.

Splash Jungle Water Park is Phuket’s wildest water park that offers a fun day for the whole family. (

Baan Teelanka and Garden Maze is Thailand’s first and only upside-down house. It is fully furnished with a quirky vibe. (

Flying Hanuman and Hanuman World are among Phuket’s top eco-tourism attractions. Trained professionals guide you on this popular zipline attraction, where you can walk through treetops and witness the natural beauty of the forest. (

Major Festivals/ Events

Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival: The biggest and most famous annual festival in Phuket is Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival, usually held in early October. It is the time when Phuket islanders of Chinese descent follow a vegetarian diet as a form of purification in order to ensure good fortune in the coming year. During the 9 day festival, besides vegetarian diet, there are ascetic performances such as fire walking and body piercing. (

Phuket King’s Cup Regatta: Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is Asia’s biggest and most popular regatta which is held every year in the first week of December to coincide with the birthday of the late King Bhumibol. (

Laguna Phuket’s Marathon (usually held in June) and Laguna Phuket’s Triathlon (usually held in November) are some of Phuket’s biggest international sports events which attract athletes from around the world. (


Very similar to Krabi and Phang-Nga, Trang has a stunning coastline with some of the finest white sandy beaches and lots of small islands. Trang however is much less known among overseas tourists, and therefore suitable for those looking for quieter and relaxing holidays.

Ko Kradan

Best Time to go

In this part of Thailand, the best time for sea travel is from November to early April as it tends to have less rainfall.

How to get to Trang from Bangkok

By land:

Trang is located about 830km south of Bangkok.

Daily buses depart from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. The journey takes about 12 hours.

Daily express trains depart from Bangkok Hua Lamphong railway station and take 15 hours.

By air:

Air Asia and Nok Air offer flights from Bangkok to Trang, which take approximately 1 hour.


Trang Sea consists of over 45 small islands. Highlights include:

Ko Libong is the largest island of Trang Sea. The waters around the island are home to the endangered dugong, whereas the land is home to a variety of native and migratory birds. There are many Muslim fishing villages on the island.

Tham Morakot is a cave which can only be entered by swimming through a dark 80m tunnel at low tide. Once inside, visitors are confronted with enchanting scenes of a sunlit lagoon and sandy beach completely surrounded by sheer cliffs.

Ko Kradan is one of the most beautiful dive sites in Trang Sea with crystal clear water, colourful coral reef and a variety of colourful fish. Non-divers can simply relax on a sandy beach and enjoy the tranquillity.

Ko Ngai: Ko Ngai is another small island which offers white sandy beaches, clear water, magnificent corals and colourful fish.


Every year on Valentine’s Day, Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony is held in Ko Kradan. The group wedding ceremony starts with a Bridal Procession around Trang municipality, continuing on to Ko Kradan by long tail boats. The unique Thai wedding ceremony is held on the beach, but the registration of the marriages takes place at specially decorated seabed altars 10m underwater with hundreds of vibrant fish as guests.


Further South, Satun shares part of its border with Malaysia and is a gateway to Thailand’s southernmost islands. It is renowned for the crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and abundant marine life. The beauty and diversity under the water make Satun a must for divers.

Best time to visit:

In general, the high season in this region is November to early April as there is less rainfall. The West coast/ Andaman monsoon season is between late April and October, so avoid this period when traveling.

How to get to Satun from Bangkok

Satun is about 973km by road from Bangkok. In order to get to Satun, visitors traveling from Bangkok (by air or by bus) must disembark at Hat Yai, and continue by car, local public bus or taxi. The connecting drive is approximately 2 hours (97km).

By land: There are daily buses departing from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal to Hat Yai. The drive is approximately 13 hours.

By air: There are no direct flights from Bangkok to Satun. Visitors must catch a plane from Bangkok to Hat-Yai, which is approximately 1.5 hours. Nok Air, Air Asia, Thai Smile and Thai Lion offer direct flights daily.


Satun is one of the quieter tourist destinations in Thailand, therefore suitable for more relaxing activities:

Snorkelling and scuba diving

Canoeing and kayaking


Ko Lipe offers white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, with an abundance of marine life ideal for snorkelling and diving. The island is also perfect for those looking for serenity and peacefulness.

Ko Tarutao, Ko Khai and Ko Adang Rawi are ideal destinations for travellers looking for well-conserved and untouched nature. These islands have white sandy beaches, a laid-back atmosphere, yet offer various water-based activities, shopping and nightlife. In the early 1940’s Ko Tarutao was used as a prison because it was considered remote and hard to escape from.