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Southern Thailand

Southern Thailand

Many travelers who head to Southeast Asia plan to spend at least some of their time in Thailand. South Thailand is an especially popular region because it has such a diverse range of attractions to offer visitors.Once you head south from Bangkok, you can admire the view from stunning bays, discover island getaways or explore beautiful national parks; this part of the world has something for everyone. As you plan your next tropical getaway to Thailand, be sure to enjoy as many of these amazing destinations in Southern Thailand as possible.

The South contains many beautiful beaches and islands in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Well-known tourist destinations are Phuket Province, Ko Samui, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lipe, and Ko Tao.

Krabi

Highlights:

75 Million-Year-Old Shell Cemetery
Hat Maya
Mu Koh Lanta National Park
Ko Po Da Nok (Ko Dam Khwan)
Choa Le Village (To Ba Leaw Community)

Krabi is famous for its scenic view and breathtaking Beaches and Islands. Its coral reef vistas are also one of the world’s most beautiful, which makes the City a great spot for coral diving.

With attractions including hot springs, a wildlife sanctuary, sea caves, flourishing coral reefs and exotic marine life, limestone cliffs that draw rock climbing enthusiasts from around the world, and national parks that include the island paradises of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, one could easily spend weeks in Krabi and leave yearning for more.

If that wasn’t enough, Krabi features some of the most photogenic sunsets in Thailand, often accompanied by spectacular displays of cloud to cloud lightning, that are best enjoyed from a beachside bar or Restaurant.

“Town” to most visitors is Ao Nang, a seaside sTrip of guesthouses, hotels, bars, restaurants, and Souvenir shops that continues to grow as tourist arrivals increase, now spreading north into Noppharat Thara, whose quiet, shady beach is part of the National Park that includes the Phi Phi Islands. Ao Nang is the major launching point for Boat trips to nearby islands and the isolated beaches of Phra Nang Cape, where the famous former hippie enclave of Railey Beach is located.

Krabi also provides you with great Shopping venues such as Maharaj Walking Street (Friday-Sunday market from 5.00 – 10.00 pm) and Chao Fah Pier night market (daily market from 5.00 pm – 12.30 am).

Key Tips

 Visitors are advised to make early reservations (up to a year in advance) for Accommodation during the peak season from late December to early January because of the popularity of the Krabi and its attractions.

When travelling by ferry to islands around Krabi, it may be preferable to purchase only a one-way ticket so that your trip can be more easily altered and you can more easily arrange your departure.

Phang Nga

Highlights

Khao Chang
Mu Koh Similan
Mu Koh Surin National Marine Parks
Pung Chang cave
Rubber tree leaves artificial flowers

Phangnga has geographic features of mountains and forests and is 788 km from Bangkok. Its Landmark is Khao Chang which is the big mountain in a shape of crouching elephant – the symbol of Phangnga province. Visitors can go exploring beautiful Caves such as Ruesi Sawan cave and Luk Suea cave in Somdet Phra Sri Nakarin Park, Khao Chang road. Inside the caves is very Cool with clear beck and beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Pung Chang cave is also one of relaxing place with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites and all-year beck.

Phangnga also owns beautiful Islands, including the most famous one – Similan Islands. The attractive islands are waiting for travellers to experience their charm. North surin Island and south Surin Island are also famous for their beautiful bays. The most well-known one is Aow Mae Yai which is the big bay with gentle sea.

Rubber tree leaves artificial Flowers are the famous products made by groups of Farm women. You can buy dried Seafood and shrimp Paste from Local stores and markets around the City. Phang Nga is a province equally renowned for its beautiful land, spectacular bay, and amazing islands; Phang Nga national parks feature magnificent scenery with immensely different attractions. Most famous is Phang Nga Bay National Park, a geological wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns, and startling rock formations rising vertically out of the sea. The bay is extremely sheltered and therefore ideal for expeditions on sea kayak that explore the many fascinating caverns and islands throughout the bay.

Phang Nga’s Andaman coast offers equally stunning national parks of a different kind; the island groups of Surin and Similan are renowned for their beautiful, unspoiled beaches and spectacular underwater scenery, attracting divers from around the world. On the Phang Nga mainland, Khao Lak features a coastal park full of rare birds, exotic mammals, and scenic waterfalls, as well as many luxury and budget hotels along the spectacular coast that was devastated by the 2004 Tsunami but has since been completely rebuilt.

Visitors are also invited to participate in the turtle release fair. The 7-day EVENT is annually held in March with its highlighted activity – releasing young turtle hatchlings.

 

Koh Samui

Palm-fringed beaches and tranquil temples that transmit peace and serenity.
 

Once a fishing community, Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island, has retained its charming sensibility. Spending time in Bophut is a wonderful way to soak up local culture; the beachy village restaurants and pubs are perfect spots to experience the sunset.

There aren’t many other places where you can bask in the camp of a cabaret show and the serenity of a Buddhist temple. As far as the latter goes, Wat Plai Laem is a magnificent vision of gilded red rooftops and a massive spindly armed statue of Guanyin.

Phuket

Phuket province is located in southern Thailand. It is the biggest Island of Thailand and sits on the Andaman sea. The nearest province to the north is Phang-nga and the nearest provinces to the east are Phang-nga and Krabi.

Phuket has a large Chinese influence, so you will see many Chinese shrines and Chinese Restaurants around the City. A Chinese Vegetarian Festival is held there every year. While the Chinese community is quite big, there are many other ethnicities bringing all their traditions and festivals from all over the world to Phuket.

Being a big island, Phuket is surrounded by many magnificent Beaches such as Rawai, Patong, Karon, Kamala, Kata Yai, Kata Noi, and Mai Khao. Laem Phromthep viewpoint is said to feature the most beautiful sunsets in Thailand.

It isn’t all just beaches though, there is also fantastic classical architecture such as the Goom Restaurant. That and the very welcome atmosphere and the famous Phuket NIGHTLIFE, you can see why the island is a hotspot for tourists in Thailand.

Visiting Phuket is easy as there are many travel options.

Key Tips

The beaches of the south coast are typically crowded, while the north is far more tranquil.

All the major beaches (such as Patong Beach, Kata beach, Karon Beach, Nai Han beach, Mai Khao beach, Nai Yang beach) offer instruction and equipment for diving, Snorkelling, windsurfing and sailing. Don’t forget to notice the red flag! before swim.

Hat Yai

Hat Yai (frequently spelt Had Yai) is the largest City in southern Thailand, located near the border of Malaysia and populated by nearly 800,000 Thais. Hat Yai is located in Songkhla province and, while not the provincial capital, is home to The Prince of Songkhla University, making it Southern Thailand’s educational centre as well as the south’s heart of transportation, commerce, and tourism.

Regional attractions include Songkhla Lake (the largest in Thailand), an enormous reclining Buddha that visitors can walk inside, the Bhasawang Big Splash (a 15-meter long water slide), and the region’s most popular spectator sport, bullfighting.

Hat Yai is also a Shopping heaven. Kim Yong and Santisuk Markets are full of imported and Local goods which are sold at amazing prices as well as incredible Food that many shoppers indulge in, day and night.

The area is also home to nakhon Hat Yai Park. The cable car rides are a must if you are in the area. Or you can always travel to Songkhla and visit Tang Guan mountain, the old cities, or the mermaid statue at Samila Beach.

Among other things, Hat Yai is renowned for its outstanding Seafood, which is served in various styles thanks to Hat Yai’s diverse population of Chinese, Malays, and Thais. Hat Yai also features a multitude of markets, both local and international in style, and has a festive NIGHTLIFE, including pubs and discos that are particularly popular with tourists from neighbouring Malaysia.

Key Tips

– Monthly bull fights are held at Nurn Khun Thong Arena on Highway No.4 near the airport.

– hotels are frequently booked over Malaysian Holiday weekends when it is recommended to inquire in advance to make sure that rooms are available prior to arrival.

Chumphon

Highlights:

  • Mu Koh Chumphon National Park: You can walk on the mangrove forest nature trail and islands.
  • Soldier Youth World War II Monument: it was built to honor the young children who died in World War II
  • Hat Thung Wua Laen: a long beach with many resorts, hotels and restaurants.
  • During September – October, you can see thousands of eagles migrating from Siberia to Chumphon.
  • Por Waterfall: a small waterfall but have water flowing all year round surrounded by shady trees.

Chumphon City, the capital of Chumphon province, is the gateway to Thailand’s southern provinces as well as the Islands in the Gulf of Thailand, particularly Koh Tao. With more than 200 kilometres of coastline featuring numerous unspoiled beaches, Chumphon is an ideal Destination for those who are seeking relaxation in a natural and quiet atmosphere and wish to enjoy such activities as sunbathing, swimming, yachting, paragliding, diving, and Snorkelling.

Hat Sai Ree is one of the popular beaches with white sand and clear water. It is also a location of Prince Chumpon Shrine and Memorial. Located near Hat Sai Ree, at Khao Matsee viewpoint, you can see a large view of the sea and beautiful Sunset.

Some interesting attractions are Soldier Youth World War II Monument which was built to honour the young children who died in World War II; Mu Koh Chumphon national park  where you can walk on the mangrove forest nature trail and islands,; Por waterfall small waterfall but have water flowing all year round surrounded by shady trees; Koh Phitak where you can have a HomeStay experiencing fisherman community and other activities on the island.

Visitors can go white-water Rafting in Amphoe Phato, or riding on a raft seeing beautiful view of Lang Suan River, or Trekking at Phato Water Source Arrangement Unit, or snorkelling and diving.

During September – October, visitors can see thousands of eagles migrating from Siberia to Chumphon.

When visiting Chumphon, don’t miss Kanom Chin (rice noodles) with spicy curry in southern style. Fresh Seafood can be found easily because Chumphon is the centre of fishery. The famous products in Chumphon are lady-finger bananas, Sawi pineapples,and baegu leaves which normally are fried with eggs or boiled with curry soup.

Ranong

Highlights
Ranong Governor’s Grave
Ton Phet Waterfall
Ngao Waterfall
Koh Phayam

Ranong is the most northerly province on Thailand’s Andaman coast, located 568 kilometres from Bangkok. Ranong is known for its long rainy season, which lasts for 8 months each year. A mountainous and heavily forested province, Ranong is best known for its capital City of the same name, which serves as a major Fishing and trading port. It was originally settled by the Hokkian Chinese, and their strong influence remains evident in the town. Ranong town is also a gateway to Myanmar, with colourful longBoats ferrying produce and people across the narrow divide that separates the two countries. The traffic is even heavier these days since a casino opened at Victoria Point in Myanmar. Just outside of Ranong town are the famous Ranong hot springs, where an arboretum and various first-class hotels cater to visitors eager to benefit from the medicinal properties of the mineral waters.

Visitors should not miss these attractions when visiting Ranong: Ranong Governor’s Grave, the Chinese grave of Phraya Damrongsucharit Mahisornphakdee (Kho Su Chiang), the Ranong’s first governor. The grave land was dedicated by King Rama V, located on a small hill. Both sides of the grave are 15-meter-high ancient stone dolls. The grave is near waterfalls and Souvenir shops; Ton Phet Waterfall, the 11-level beautiful waterfall with all-year-round cascades from the source of water from Phota Chong Dong mountains which is the highest mountain in Ranong; Ngao Waterfall, located in Tambon Ngao which is now the area of Namtok Ngao national park. The water flows down from the high mountain ridge, so it can be seen from afar. Panda crabs, the latest-found crab species in the world, can be found in the waterfall area; Phukhaow Ya (grass hill) or Khaow Hua Lan (bald hill) or Khao Phee (ghost hill), the treeless hill with green grass. In the rainy season, the hill becomes lush and hill, but in summer, the grass dies, and the hill becomes brown

Victoria Point or Koh Song is an Island in Myanmar with the Kraburi River separating between Myanmar and Ranong. It is the centre collecting Local products such as Jewellery, wickers, Myanmar’s lacquerware. Tourists can take a long-tailed boat to Myanmar with the ticket price 200-300 baht. Before going to Myanmar, you have to go to the immigration office first.

If visitors fancy to spend a few nights on an island, Koh Phayam is good choice. It takes about 1-2 hours from the pier at Ranong estuary to the island. The island is known for its white sandy Beach and a place for planting cashew nuts. A number of sea gipsies live on the island, and you can rent a private long-tailed boat for 1000 baht to go back to the mainland.

Some don’t-miss festivals are Phra Tham Phra Khayang Fair, the fair is held during Chinese New Year’s Day for 3-7 days. People can go to Khayang Cave to pay homage to holy things; Ga Yu Fair, every March is the time when Ga Yu trees or cashew nut trees are fully ripe; Image Boat Procession and Races, boats will be beautifully decorated, and the Buddha image will be placed on the boat. The boat will be paraded along with the Kraburi River community.

Key Tips

May through October are the rainiest of all Ranong’s Rainy Months.

For a real off-the-beaten path Thai island, Ranong’s Phayam is one of the least visited in Thailand.

Surat Thani

Here are the top six tourist attractions in Surat Thani that will surely take away all your stress:

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park, one of the tourist attractions in Surat Thani, consists of 42 protected islands. All the islands are shattered like an emerald necklace, and each island is precious, untouched, and a perfect peach-colored!

Surat Thani City Pillar Shrine

The City Pillar Shrine is one of the province’s holy places. It is where Brahman tradition was held to bring prosperity to the city. It was built on April 21, 1782, by King Rama I, and considered as the first building in the capital. Tourists come to the shrine daily to offer gifts and prayers.

Khao Sok National Park

If you love outdoor adventure, Khao Sok National Park is the best place to be. It is perfectly situated in Southern Thailand and a fantastic place for vacation. You will get the chance to experience a close encounter with elephants and other animals. It is also covered with evergreen rainforest, massive limestones, exciting caves, and beautiful lakes!

Long Tail Boat Cruise

If you want to be away from urban congestion, the long tail boat cruise is best to experience. You will be swept into the rural landscape of Surat Thani province. Along the journey, you will get a closer look at the province’s tropical flowers, coconut orchards, palms, and more. You will also see families planting on freshwater.  The long tail boat cruise will allow you to witness the rich nature and culture of the province.

Suppadij Oyster Farm

The Surat Thani Province is famous for cultivating oysters. There are approximately 450 fishermen who raise oysters in the province. The Suppadij Oyster Farm is one of the tourist attractions in Surat Thani that also cultivates oysters located around the estuarine areas of the Kradae Canal and Thong River.

Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya

Srivijaya influence has a lot of impact on Thailand, and Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya is one of them. It is made beautifully with golden ornaments, Buddha statues, several iconic symbols, and surrounding small trees. As you visit the temple, make sure that you are in proper attire. You are also allowed to take photos, so don’t miss this chance!

Koh Lantra

As Koh Lanta lies just south of the Andaman coast’s prime attractions, namely Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket, it has maintained its laid-back atmosphere, even as Koh Lanta has slowly developed to include some of Thailand’s finest Beach resorts. Still, Koh Lanta remains an amazing beach Destination for families, couples, backpackers, and scuba divers: anyone who is looking for a Thai Island that has not succumbed to overdevelopment but still has many options in regards to Accommodation and activities.

Koh Lanta Yai is 6km wide and over 30-km long, featuring nine golden sand beaches and diverse terrain, including mangroves, waterfalls, and forested hills.

A paved road runs from the north to the south of the island, parallel to the coast, and provides access to the headquarters of the Mu Koh Lanta national park and the lighthouse on the southern tip.

Just south of Koh Lanta Yai lay the islands of Koh Ngai, Koh Kradan and Koh Muk, all of which offer equally stunning beaches and Snorkelling and even greater seclusion.

The tourist season in Ko Lanta runs from October through April with the most visitors here December to March. An increasing number of people are visiting in Green Season (May to October) when daily rainfall usually only lasts a few hours.

Krabi

Highlights

75 Million-Year-Old Shell Cemetery
Hat Maya
Mu Koh Lanta National Park
Ko Po Da Nok (Ko Dam Khwan)
Choa Le Village (To Ba Leaw Community)

Krabi is famous for its scenic view and breathtaking Beaches and Islands. Its coral reef vistas are also one of the world’s most beautiful, which makes the City a great spot for coral diving.

With attractions including hot springs, a wildlife sanctuary, sea caves, flourishing coral reefs and exotic marine life, limestone cliffs that draw rock climbing enthusiasts from around the world, and national parks that include the island paradises of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, one could easily spend weeks in Krabi and leave yearning for more.

If that wasn’t enough, Krabi features some of the most photogenic sunsets in Thailand, often accompanied by spectacular displays of cloud to cloud lightning, that are best enjoyed from a beachside bar or Restaurant.

“Town” to most visitors is Ao Nang, a seaside sTrip of guesthouses, hotels, bars, restaurants, and Souvenir shops that continues to grow as tourist arrivals increase, now spreading north into Noppharat Thara, whose quiet, shady beach is part of the National Park that includes the Phi Phi Islands. Ao Nang is the major launching point for Boat trips to nearby islands and the isolated beaches of Phra Nang Cape, where the famous former hippie enclave of Railey Beach is located.

Krabi also provides you with great Shopping venues such as Maharaj Walking Street (Friday-Sunday market from 5.00 – 10.00 pm) and Chao Fah Pier night market (daily market from 5.00 pm – 12.30 am).

Key Tips

 Visitors are advised to make early reservations (up to a year in advance) for Accommodation during the peak season from late December to early January because of the popularity of the Krabi and its attractions.

When travelling by ferry to islands around Krabi, it may be preferable to purchase only a one-way ticket so that your trip can be more easily altered and you can more easily arrange your departure.