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Thailand's best exodus from the islands
Thailand's isles are some of the most popular places on the world' s most popular tourist destination, but you can still go astray. Thailand has not recently been enjoying the biggest media, with the 2010 rallies, the tsunami fears and the fact that some parts of the country have become a tourist hymn of praise for complacency, sexuality and generaledonism.
Although we cannot guarantee more "red shirts" demonstrations or the (rare) reappearance of big ripples, we want to point our reader in the rightly best possible directions of what this pretty and beloved land has to show. Instead of annoying you with a review of a balsamic sandy somewhere, the following is a users manual to some of the most beautiful Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand island, along with helpful information and a choice of the best accommodations.
There is a cause - lack of knowledge, probably - that connects the whole of Phuket with its most favourite destinations: the seaside areas of Patong, Kata and Karon. However, most travelers choose Phuket because it has a) some of the best properties in the whole wide open space and b) is an ideal basis for exploring the nearby isles and their sands.
Thuket also has some great own shores, and the south tip of Rawai is one of the best areas to take a long tail to travel to the next isles. Evason also provides free entrance to its own privately owned Koh Bon, just a few kilometers away.
Hobycat can be obtained from here or just float along its wonderful wall of corals with the currents. Situated in a large, immaculate African-style residence, this 40-metre-long infinite swimmingpool has a splendid view over the bay of Chalong. The breakfast is generous, the personnel is kind and all mansions are provided with free of charge webacces.
There are also shuttle services to and from Nai Harn Strand near by. When years of uncontrolled evolution have corrupted parts of Philuket, keep in mind that this piece of the western shore is only a tiny part of what it is. It is only one of 39 major isles and about one hundred smaller ones spread across the area.
Like its name suggests, this favourite day-trip isle has its own shore area. As it is the simplest of the islands that can be reached from southern Phuket, one should not wait to be the only one. Directly in front of Krabi, Thailand's southwestern city, is the vast Koh Lanta with its green underwood and 27 kilometres of cliff.
Alternatively, take a 30 km cruise to the small uninhabitated Koh Rok Nok and Rok Nai islets. Snorkeling here is great, with frequent spotting of blacktipped and loggerheads. Situated southeast of Phi Phi Phi, this small island range has a series of rocks of rocks of limestone similar to those of Phang Nga.
As the center of this honey crumbled, an aspamarine tank was formed, encircled by a semi-circular sandy shore amidst perpendicular crags. In spite of the masses of people, Maya Bay - where'The Beach' was filmed - is as breathtaking as ever, but there are many other bays within range. Swim in the Pileh Lagoon, nature's largest natural swimming pools, explore Monkey Island and its maquis and snorkell in clear water so you can see further than 50m.
Nine-teen kilometers off the southern shore of Phuket there is a wonderful little village that you can hardly see. In Siam Bay we found paradise in the form of a country-style bambooscan beach diner that serves the best curried bananas we have ever had. Located off the eastern shore of Phuket, these eight islets are home to some very high quality resort located.
That'?s what Phuket was like in the 80', on unsealed streets and such. The Railay is the most popular meeting place in the area, a foothills with a sand on both sides; West Railay is the Pozher side and East Railay the Backpacker side. In Krabi you also have easy acces to places like Hen Island and the Phi Phi Phi Isles.
Easy to reach from Koh Lanta, the seductive, uninhabitated Koh Rok Nok has a small campsite near Had Koh Rok. Its powdery beaches, off-shore sea and pristine water make it a true Robinson Crusoe adventure. Founded in 1985 as a kind of hippie meeting place, this village boasts a choice of authentic Thailand houses amidst luxuriant greenery, just a few meters from the extraordinary West Railay bath.
It is an excellent place with a fantastic swimmingpool and beach entrance from which you can watch the astonishing sundowns. The Haad Rin half-moon sandy beaches are renowned for their alcohol-powered full moon events and should be best shunned unless you like a little noise and a little overindulgence. On the other hand, the whole of this is always surprising.
In spite of its growing appeal, Koh Samui offers a pulsating insular adventure with its palms. The majority of visitors still come to the crescent-shaped Chaweng Strand on the eastern shore, but if you don't like the noise of blues and reggae, we recommend that you avoid the confusion and go to its quieter south tip at Chaweng Noi instead.
That is the Thailand you see on post cards - evil lime stone mountains in blue waters. Koh Tao's ocean offers some of the best dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand (hence the many dive sites on the island), but it is the small twins of Koh Nangyuan that impress the most.
The sandbank that divides the island at low water gives this place a real paradisiacal state. There is not much to do here either, except chilling and snorkelling on the beautiful sands. Best-of-breed in this contemporary mid-range resort is easy acces to Chaweng Noi Beacht. It' s beachside cocktail is particularly noteworthy for its excellent pad-tai and headspinning drinks.
Located on the Haad Rin beaches, the cabins here have a modern ambience and great design bathroom made of rock. The chic yet elegant fashion center consists of around 40 mansions in traditional Japonese design and an inflinity swimming complex with a view of the sandy beaches below. Swimming poolside mansions are the best choices as they offer the best view. It is quite shady, but there is a lot of sun on the central basin and the shore.
Sightseeing on the islands can be booked for less than renting a cab. A simple but enchanting bungalow on the shore that has been constructed on the cliffs at the other end of Thong Nai Pan Noi shore. In the adjacent barbeque barbeque barbeque served on the seashore, which includes alligators.
Since the May protest, the Thai economy has cooled down considerably. When you are not sure about remaining in Bangkok, just continue to the shore. EVA Airways operates two flights a day to Bangkok and has a codeshare with Bangkok Airways to offer flights to Chiang Mai, Phuket and Samui; BA and Qantas both operate flights there.
Check rates before you book - Return to Bangkok via the Gulf from around £340. Cheap travelers can choose the low-cost carrier Air Asia, which operates flights from Stansted via Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok. Andaman Sea is the best way to explore the Andaman Sea area. We have used Siam Sailing three times and offers large, sturdy eight-bed cruisers and skippers (or without if you are an expert sailor) from its Chalong, Phuket based area.
The majority of long-tail vessels take you to one of the near isles, but if you want to go further away, you have to make a reservation. Well-versed Simba crews will take you to the squares before all the other crowded touring vessels are there. There is a moist subtropical weather that is affected by three seasons: warm, arid and wet.
It is the best travel period is the drought (and high season) between the middle of November and March, when it hardly rains, it is less moist, not quite as stuffy and warm (approx. 28°C) and the ocean is quiet and clear. The Phuket area is a great place for snorkeling. To get the full cousteau effect, you should go to one of the local hard water sandy beaches, some of which can be reached by swimming a few meters.
Best dive sites are around Phi Phi Phi, the Similan Islands (84km northwest of Phuket) and the Surin Islands on the border to Burma. In the Gulf of Thailand Koh Tao is also well-loved. Bangkok Shortlist will take you directly to the latest locations, give you advice on the latest fashion and fashion trends and give you the most important events - all in a convenient and simple way.