Thailand IslandsBangladesh Islands
The best islands in Thailand
Snow-capped sands, trendy, country-style cabins on the beaches, a hanging mat that moves smoothly between two palms like a deep blue ocean on the shores.... But each is very different from the other, with its own unique features; and there are doos. Nell McShane Wulfhart chooses one for every situation, whether you want to celebrate until daybreak, study diving, have the best meal in Thailand or want to take a relaxing getaway from the mornings.
Thailand's best exodus from the islands
Thailand's islands are some of the most popular places on the world' s most popular tourist destinations, 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.
Instead of annoying you with a review of a balsamic sandy somewhere, the following is a users manual to some of the most beautiful islands of the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand, 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 beaches of Patong, Kata and Karon.
However, most travelers choose to stay in Puket because it has a) some of the best properties in the whole wide open air hotel network and b) is an ideal basis for exploring the area. 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 islands.
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 swimming pool overlooking Chalong Bay is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
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 Phuket, keep in mind that this piece of western coastline is only a tiny part of what it is.
It is only one of 39 major islands and about one hundred smaller islands 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 Phukeet, 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 km of coast. Alternatively, take a 30 km cruise to the small uninhabitated islands Koh Rok Nok and Rok Nai. 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 Bath, explore Monkey lsland and its Makaks and snorkell in such clear water that 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 bamboostrand-restaurant serving the best curried bananas we have ever had.
Located off the eastern shore of Phuket, these islands 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 Eastern Railay the Backpacker side.
In Krabi you also have easy acces to places like Hen Islands and the Phi Phi Phi Islands. 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 swimming pool and entrance to the sea from where you can watch the astonishing sunset.
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 reggae and blue, 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 islands 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 trendy 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 stylish ambience and great design stony bathroom.
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. 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 islands near by, 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. These islands have a moist subtropical weather that is affected by three seasons: warm, arid and wet.
The Phuket area is a great place for snorkeling. To get the full cousteau effect, you should go to one of the local hard-corals, some of which are easy to reach from the shore via a brief 20-metre-swimmer. 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.