This part of Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast contains some of the most inviting beach scenery in Southeast Asia. Using the international resort of Phuket as a base, visitors have 12 long sandy beaches on their doorstep and a full range of shopping, dining, entertainment, land and water sport services. The towering limestone stacks of Phangnga Bay can readily be explored in a day. An alternative base is quieter Krabi, which combines fine beaches with spectacular cliff landscapes. The idyllic island scenery of Ko Phi Phi is accessible from Krabi and Phuket. The monsoon forests of the Tenasserim mountain range provide a backdrop to the little frequented beaches of Khao Lak. Avid divers and snorkelers can visit the remote Similan and Surin archipelagos acclaimed for their superlative corals and aquatic life.
Getting There Most visitors make use of Phuket’s modern airport, and Phuket or Krabi make the best bases to explore the Upper Andaman Coast. Reliable air-conditioned bus services link Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga, and Ranong, although car rental in Phuket or Krabi is much more convenient. There is no railroad in the region. Ko Similan is accessible from Phuket, and Ko Surin from Ranong. Thailand’s water taxi, the long-tail boat, is the best way to explore smaller bays once in the Phi Phi, Phangnga Bay, or Ko Lanta areas