Thailand’s Southern Beaches



Thailand’s Southern Beaches

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Airports Fly into Ko Samui International Airport from Bangkok and from Samui to Phuket International Airport. From Phuket you can fly back to Bangkok or on to other destinations, including Europe.

Transport Both car ferry and passenger ferries reach Ko Samui from the mainland, and Phuket is connected to the mainland by bridge, so self-drive is another option for this tour. Buses also connect Samui and Phuket.

Day 1: Ko Samui

Choose one the two best beaches on Ko Samui’s east coast: Hat Chaweng is longer and has more entertainment options; Hat Lamai is better for families. Both are great for swimming and water sports, from windsurfing to parasailing. At sunset, visit the Big Buddha statue near Hat Bangrak , on the island’s quieter north coast. Dine at one of the excellent restaurants in the nearby fisherman’s village at Hat Bophut.

Day 2: Ko Samui

Head inland to the Namuang waterfall. Walk to the falls, and cool off in the clear pool at their base. Afterwards, take a Thai cooking class or play a round of golf on one of Samui’s many worldclass courses.

Day 3: Angthong National Marine Park

Catch a boat from Ko Samui to this beautiful and un developed group of some 40 islands. Explore via kayak, go snorkeling, or hike to caves on the wild interior of one of the islands. Return to Ko Samui in the afternoon and fly or drive to Phuket.

Day 4: Phuket

Spend a morning in charming Phuket Town visiting two Chinese temples, Bang Niew (p364) and Chui Tui established by the Chinese immigrants who flocked to the tin mines here in the 19th century. Both celebrate the Taoist tradition and the often raucous ambience is unlike the serenity that prevails in Buddhist temples. The Chinese Mansions, once home to tin barons, are a fascinating mixture of Asian and Western architecture. After lunch, head for the secluded beaches of Hat Nai Yang or Hat Nai Thon at the northern end of the west coast of the island.

Day 5: Phangnga Bay

A day trip to Phangnga Bay, reveals the spectacular limestone stacks and hidden sea caves that create a home for the marine and avian life for which it is famous. For the best views, hire a long-tail boat or join a sea kayaking tour for some cave paddling.

Day 6: Patong Beach

No trip to Phuket is complete without a visit to Patong Beach. Every seaside diversion is offered here, from jet skis to late-night discos. Hat Kata and Hat Karon to the south, while developed, are more relaxing.

Day 7: Ko Phi Phi

Take a morning boat from Phuket for a day trip to this spectacular island. Cool off in one of the hip cafés in Ban Ton Sai village, then step across the isthmus where you’ll find a lovely bay bounded by coconut palms and limestone crags. A steep but quick walk leads to a magnificent viewpoint. Alternatively, walk along the level trail to Hat Yao and go snorkeling on the reef, where iridescent fish dart among the vivid coral. Return to Phuket for the sunset.

To extend your trip…

The Ko Surin and Ko Similan archipelagos, north of Phuket, are home to spectacular and world-famous diving sites, such as Burma Banks. The waters are crystal clear.



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