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.
Table of Contents
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Kristina from I Left Home picks Koh Phangan
I highly recommend you travel to beautiful Koh Phangan!
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.
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.
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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.”
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.
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.
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!
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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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