So our journey through Thailand continues, with this next instalment of my list of 12 must-visit places in Thailand.

In part A, we took you to all the places in northern and central Thailand that you shouldn’t miss. This time, we show more places to visit in Thailand that are located in the southern part of the country.

As you might already know from my last post, I have joined forces with a number of travel bloggers who share their favorite places to visit in Thailand. This means that you will not only hear from me, but others in the industry who share their experiences traveling in this beautiful country.

So without further ado, here is our list of places that you must visit in the southern part of the country.


Koh Tao

Tara from ShaTara Travel picks Koh Tao

Koh Tao is the smallest of the three most famous islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Whilst Koh Samui is known for it’s luxe resorts, and Koh Phangan for its hedonistic full moon parties, Koh Tao is known for being the worlds most popular (and cheapest) place to get your diving certifications.

Koh Tao | Places to Visit in Thailand | Travel in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog

The diving is great around Koh Tao, and it definitely is great value for money, but that’s not the only reason I think people should visit. This little island is so full of activities to do above and below the water, I’m sure you will be left wishing you scheduled a little longer on oh Tao.

Being a rocky island, partially covered in jungle there are no less than 5 view points that you can spend an afternoon hiking up to. Take a picnic and you can relax while enjoing the sunset over the beautiful Gulf of Thailand. Not a hiker? Every bay offers amazing snorkelling right off the beach, so you can walk, or ride a scooter and find your own patch of under water paradise.

Koh Tao | Places to Visit in Thailand | Travel in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog

There are even opportunities to become a volunteer environmentalist with beach and ocean clean ups scheduled around the island every week. A great way to give back to mother earth while you are traveling. I hope you enjoy this beautiful island as much as we did.

Koh Lanta

Ashley from Adventure to Anywhere picks Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is an unspoiled island paradise in Southern Thailand that is known for its long, white sand beaches and pure serenity.

Just a short 90 minute ferry ride from Krabi, Koh Lanta provides a sometimes much-needed escape from the eclectic tropical chaos of Southern Thailand’s party scene.  While you won’t find many night clubs or full moon parties here, what you will find are uncrowded blissful beaches, pristine scuba diving spots, and stunning sunsets that just might have you extending your stay.

Beach at Koh Lanta | Places to Visit in Thailand | Travel in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog

If you grow tired of the constant relaxation, rent a moped and head into Old Town for an afternoon of seafood and shopping.  With only two main roads that connect this long and lean island, Koh Lanta is easy to explore and even easier to fall in love with.  Pick a private beach, grab a couple of cold Changs, put your feet up and watch the sun sink into the horizon without a care in the world.


Yours Truly, Raya, picks Phuket

Phuket is one of the more popular spots in southern Thailand, and for good reason.

Phuket is a beautiful island surrounded by turquoise blue water and lush green nature, with a strong culture and a Sino-Portugese history. Plus, Phuket can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.

Surin Beach | 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Phuket | Places to Visit in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog
Beautiful blue waters at Surin Beach

Sure there are those who venture out to Phuket to party. But if that is not your scene, you can avoid it and stay in areas like Panwa, Kamala, Karon, Surin, Laguna or Mai Khao.

Villa Life | 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Phuket | Places to Visit in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog
Villa life at the Ayara Kamala Resort at Kamala Beach

So whether you are looking to relax by the beach or at the resort pool, or looking to do some exploring, there is something for everyone in Phuket.

Still not quite sure about Phuket? Here are 10 reasons why you need to visit Phuket.

Koh Phangan

Kristina from I Left Home picks Koh Phangan

I highly recommend you travel to beautiful Koh Phangan!

Aerial view of Than Sadet beach, taken by photographer Gaspard Walter | Places to Visit in Thailand | Travel in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog
Aerial view of Than Sadet beach, taken by photographer Gaspard Walter

It is still less developed than it’s adjacent islands, allowing you to explore the island authentically. You still find the fancy resorts, tourist markets, outdoor activities, and the crazy parties such as the infamous Full Moon.

You should rent a motorbike, drive around and discover the island on your own. I have found the most gorgeous beaches and waterfalls just “off the beaten path”.

I live in Thong Nai Pan – on north side of the island where things are much quieter. The beaches are white sandy bays that are never crowded.

Noi beach on Thong Nai Pan | Places to Visit in Thailand | Travel in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog
Noi beach on Thong Nai Pan, the area where I live!

There is a gorgeous beach nearby that I love escaping to on my day off called Than Sadet. It is still relatively untouched, and the accommodation built nearby has either been left behind or still gear towards the “hippie” style. You can climb over the rocks; go through a “cave” that leads you to a path going up the hill to a lovely local restaurant with a breathtaking view.

There are a few options to get here; however whichever method you chose you will always need to take a ferry over to the island. I recommend taking the night train over to Surrathani where a bus will take you to the pier. It is the most confortable and convenient way to travel by land.

Sailing around Phang Nga Bay

Yours Truly, Raya, picks Sailing around Phang Nga Bay

The area between Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi is the Phang Nga Bay, which is made up of over 100 islands. You may have heard of this area because of the famous “James Bond Island,” which made its debut in the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”

Sailing | 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Phuket | | Places to Visit in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog
Sailing around the islands of Phuket

There are many sailing options around the Phang Nga Bay area, with many tourists opting for day trip options. I recommend doing a few day sailing trip on-board a catamaran, because then you will get to also visit many hidden gems along the way.

Exploring the Islands | 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Phuket | Places to Visit in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog
It is possible to explore the many different islands. We enjoyed kayaking around some of them!

The best time of the year to sail Phuket is during the dry season, which is between November to April. The water is calm, the sun is out, and there are showers only here and there….plus you’ll get to see some beautiful sunsets.

If sailing is on your radar, read all about my experience sailing around this beautiful part of the world.

Koh Phi Phi

Allison from Fash Packing by SFH picks Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi (or PP for those in the know) is one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands.

PP came to fame when Leonardo DiCaprio and his crew descended on the tiny island in 2000 to shoot the movie ‘The Beach’. And yes, it really is as spectacular as it looks on film.

Koh Phi Phi | Places to Visit in Thailand | Travel in Thailand | Hello Raya Blog

Clear aquamarine water laps the spectacular white sand beach to the left of the pier where traditional long boats line the shore as their owners loiter nearby soliciting business from the passing tourists.  There are no cars on the island and the only two scooters in use are by the Police and as an ambulance yet the tiny ‘streets’ are bustling with activity as push carts, pedestrians and bicycles jostle for space.

Dining options are a little hit and miss so read my guide to eating out on Koh Phi Phi before you venture out for a meal. Once you have had your fill, head to one of the beach bars and pull up a bean bag on the sand before dancing the night away in the casual surroundings.

I have visited Koh Phi Phi for the last three years running and with each passing year I see increasing development that threatens the simplicity that sets PP apart from Thailand’s larger islands. My advice? Go now before it’s too late!

So our round up on some of the best places to visit in Southern Thailand ends here. But check out all the places we recommend to visit in Northern & Central Thailand.

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17 Comments on 12 Epic Places Not to Be Missed in Thailand (South Thailand)

  1. I needed a good overall Thailand post to send to a friend that is finally able to start traveling. Soraya to the rescue. Great comprehensive post. Thank you

  2. I still can’t believe i’ve never been to Thailand. This is a great post. Definitely good to know there are some places in Phuket that aren’t party central. Kamala looks amazong!

  3. Thanks so much for featuring me on this! I’m so excited to have been a part of this project! I didn’t know you could get your diving certification on Koh Tao. What really drives me to the place are the full moon parties and hiking viewpoints. Would you happen to know how much it costs to get certified?

  4. I loved Thailand so much when I went years ago.
    I would so love to go again with my husband who has never been.
    The people are so kind and the food is amazing!
    I’ll definitely keep this list in mind when booking my next holiday.
    x Luci

  5. Even though I knew about all these places before (from books, movies or friends’ stories), they are still on my bucket list. And now EVEN MORE so. Thanks for the inspiration and that lovely round-up, I like the idea a lot. Hope to read more from you in future!

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