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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Coast of Thailand
Coast of Thailand - TravelPuppy.com

Gulf of Bangkok

Located in the Eastern Gulf, Pattaya, 1 of Southeast Asia's most notorious beach destinations, is crowded by massive development. The more peaceful nearby destination of Bang Saen could be a more pleasant place. A little further is Ko Samet, a peaceful and delightful island which is around a 30 minute boat ride from Rayong while Cha'am and Hua Hin are a 3 hour drive south of Bangkok. The latter was a royal holiday place and is currently enjoying a renaissance.

Phuket

Phuket Island is connected by 2 bridges to the mainland, Phang Nga. It is situated in the southwest corner of Thailand. Phuket has become the most popular beach destination in Thailand. Patong, a small town, is famous for its wild bars on Bangla Road, but a number of accommodations and hotels that are scattered around the abundant beaches on the island are excellent. Phuket is also large enough to accommodate backpacker beach-hut developments alongside deluxe hotels. Diving is popular but visibility can be a problem. Since the tsunami Phuket has recovered and again welcoming visitors from around the world.

Phang Nga Bay

Easily accessible from Phuket, Phang Nga Bay is home to 1 of the world's most remarkable seascapes; the area was shown in the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun. About 3,500 islands (ko) are spread out through this bay. Although obviously impenetrable from the outside, they are home to a wealth of unspoilt fauna and flora in their hollow interior. They were believed unreachable from the enclosing sea but now canoe trips can take you through some tunnels and cracks in the rocks, although this depends on the prevailing tide.

Ko Phi Phi Islands

These peaceful and pleasant twin islands which were battered by the tsunami is easily reached via a boat trip from either Krabi or Phuket. Ko Phi Phi Don, the largest island, covered with tropical rainforest, is a slice of paradise with its wide white sandy beaches. Ton Sai, the only town, is being rebuilt, unfortunately back to its ugly days before the tsunami struck.

Ko Phi Phi Leh, a short boat ride away, became famous when it was used as the setting for the Hollywood film, The Beach. There are no accommodations on this limestone island, but it is an ideal place for day trips from its larger island.

Ko Samui

Ko Samui, once a backpacker's paradise, has been transformed into a more advanced beachfront holiday destination, complete with an airport that provides regular flights from Bangkok and Krabi. The country's 3rd-largest island, Ko Samui's major industry is now tourism although it used to be coconut farming. The largest beach on the island is Chaweng Beach which features many nice hotels including bungalows, bars and shops that are suitable for budget travellers.

Ko Phangan

The comparatively undeveloped island is primarily visited by the more adventurous travellers who wish to escape from fast food eateries and chain hotels. Each month it is the setting for the all-night full moon beach parties at Had Rin with up to 10,000 revellers frolicking in the moonlit surf in a wacky festival that appeal to everyone from backpackers to the Bangkok young professionals. You will not find luxury hotels on the island, but many beach hut accommodations are located in small communities around Ko Phangan, providing a real escape or the opportunity to party with other travellers. The island can only be reached via boat from Ko Samui or Surat Thani.

Ko Tao

Ko Tao, translating as 'Turtle Island', is another undeveloped island, but it is becoming widely known as a scuba diving site. The only real town, Ban Mae Hat is being over run by budget accommodations and dive operators. The diving is great with clean water and good visibility.

Useful travel links
About Phuket all about Phuket
About Samui detailed information on Samui
Koh Samui information on Koh Samui
Phuket information on Phuket