The Southern part of Thailand has long been renowned as one of the world’s premier beach holiday destinations, with a range of options to keep any sun worshipper and beach lover happy. Stretching from Bangkok do en to the Malaysian border, Thailand has thousands of beautiful beaches both on the mainland and on the numerous idyllic islands, offering a huge range of choices for those wishing for the perfect beach holiday.
Thanks to the southerly latitude of this part of the country, however, travellers are advised to avoid the monsoon season, which affects the Andaman Coast between May and October and Gulf of Thailand between November and April, as it is an integral part of enjoying Thailand’s beach scene to go island and beach hopping. Each venue has a different character, making them all worthy of discovery.
The premier destinations of the South start with the town of Hua Hin, an upmarket and elegant beach destination favoured by Thai Royalty and home to the weekend retreats of the Thai political and social elites. Moving further south, the Andaman coast is possibly the most beautiful region in the country with some of the most dramatic karst scenery in the world. Phuket is the jewel in the crown of this area of the coast, and with good reason. Other not-to-be-missed destinations include Koh Phi Phi, Ao Nang and Krabi. Here, the world under the sea is as spectacular as the world above it, with corals and tropical shoals making these areas among some of the world’s most popular destinations for diving and snokeling enthusiasts.
On the opposite coast of the Istmus of Kra in the Gulf of Thailand lie the islands of Koh Samui, Phang-Ngan and Tao, each and island paradise and packed with some of the world’s top resorts. Koh Samui possesses the most established beach resort scene, and here many award-winning resorts can be found. Koh Phra-Ngan is home to the famous full moon parties and is famed for its well being retreats offering detox programmes and massage courses. Koh Tao is know as a world famous diving destination, blessed with some of the best diving spots in the Gulf.
Along with the region’s more established tourist destinations, other idyllic venues are emerging which are attracting some of the more adventurous visitors. The beaches of Trang and Pranburi are hotly tipped to become tomorrow’s top of the range beach havens,while Koh Lipe and Surin Islands are now offering accommodation options that provide the perfect escape from tourist crowds. Indeed, with so much to offer, it seems Thaialnd’s southern regions will never go out of fashion.