Monday, 09 December 2019

 

Thailand is undoubtedly among the best beach destinations in the world, with a coastline stretching 2,000 km. on the Gulf of Thailand and 1,000 km along the Andaman Sea. When talking about sea, sand and sun, many beach lovers automatically think of beautiful beaches and islands dotting along the coast of the Andaman Sea. What’s so special about it? Well, the answer lies in its alluring beauty of white fine sandy beaches, the crystal-clear blue seawater and the amazing biodiversity of marine lives.

Here are the six popular island groups in the Andaman Sea based on the information provided by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

1. Phuket Island

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, facing Andaman Sea on the west. With over 20 beaches, many of them easily accessible and featuring soft white sands, it is one of the world’s top beach destinations. Phuket's west coast is the island's most popular area, and the most famous beaches are Patong, Kata, and Karon beaches. Besides featuring a large number of accommodations and tourism facilities, Phuket is a major transport hub for boats to other islands in the Andaman.

Best travelling period: 16 November – 15 May

2. Similan Islands, Phangnga Province

The Similan archipelago consists of eleven islands – Ko Bangu, Ko Bon, Ko Ha, Ko Hin Pousar, Ko Huyong, Ko Meang, Ko Payan, Ko Payang, Ko Payu, Ko Similan and Ko Tachai. The Similan Islands are the perfect travel destination for tourists who like to dive and explore the underwater world full of wildlife, as they have been ranked as one of the top diving sites in the world.

Thanks to their location in the deep sea, the Similans are blessed with crystalline water whose hue is light blue where the sea bed is shallow and aqua blue where the water is deeper. This yields a perfect visibility while diving. Strolling along the beach here, you will find that the sand under your feet is very fine like powder. The underwater world with colourful coral formations as well as schools of lovely fish will cast its spell upon you. If you are a diver, you should not miss an opportunity to explore the underwater world of Similans.

Best travelling period: 16 November – 15 May

How to get there:

  1. From Phuket: Hire a speed boat at Patong or Chalong piers. It takes about 70 minutes.
  2. From Phangnga: You can take a boat from Thap Lamu Pier. It takes about three to four hours by large boats or liveaboards. If you travel by speedboat, the journey is between 60 and 80 minutes.

3. Surin Islands, Phangnga Province

For those who are fond of snorkeling, the Surin Islands are a must. It is safe for this activity because the currents are quite mild. The islands are well known for their magnificent fringing reef formations which are the largest in the country with a width of 1,200 metres. They are rich in biodiversity. More than 200 species of fish have been discovered around Torinla Island alone. You may also see unusual marine lives such as frog fish and ghost pipe fish. Besides snorkeling, Surin Islands are also famous for scuba dive sites around the Richelieu Rock, situated 8 km. to the east of the Islands. It is one of the best places in the world to dive with whale sharks in clear water.

Best travelling period: 16 November – 15 May

How to get there:

  1. Khura Buri Pier in Phangnga is the nearest launching point to Surin Islands, where ferryboats regularly make the 4-hour trip.
  2. Most dive operators in Phuket can arrange liveaboards, or you can book a trip by speedboat which takes only an hour.

4. Phi Phi Islands, Krabi Province

The archipelago lies on Krabi’s emerald sea about 45 km. east of Phuket. The Phi Phi Island group is composed of several islands such as Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Le, Ko Yung and Ko Phai. The first two islands are most famous. What attract people around the world to visit the islands are its wide range of diving possibilities, sheer cliffs and wild unspoiled beaches. Several Hollywood movies have been shot here, with The Beach starring Leonardo Dicaprio among others, introducing the beautiful Phi Phi Islands to the world.

In many places, hard-coral gardens grow profusely, providing home to a vast array of tropical creatures including several species of anemone fish. Apart from this, Phi Phi Islands are famous for its sheer limestone cliffs which have drawn climbers from around the world.

Best travelling period: November – April

How to get there:

  1. Ferries take about two hours from Phuket and 90 minutes from Krabi. The main departure port in Phuket is Rassada Pier; and in Krabi, Klong Jirad Pier.
  2. You can hire a private speedboat from Phuket or Krabi to Phi Phi, taking about 50 minutes.

5. Tarutao Islands, Satun Province

Tarutao, the former hell on earth for political prisoners and people convicted of violent crime, has been turned into a secluded refuge for sea-lovers. The beauty of this pristine group of islands is guaranteed by its prestigious designation by the UNESCO as one of ASEAN Heritage Parks and Reserves in 1982.

Stunning islands in the cluster are Ko Khai, Ko Li-pe, Ko Hin Ngam and Ko Rawi. Ko Khai boasts the natural stone arch that stretches from the beach to the sea, and has become its landmark. Ko Li-pe features powdery sand and mirror-like sea water which allows you to see through the two-metre-deep water. Ko Hin Ngam stands out from others because there is no sandy beach and you’ll see only blackish pebbles around the shores that add the unique beauty to the island.

Best travelling period: 16 November – 15 May

How to get there:

Several companies at Pak Bara Pier in Satun Province run speedboats between Pak Bara and Ko Tarutao in high season. The journey takes 90 minutes.

6. Krabi Bay, Krabi Province

Krabi Bay refers to the overall areas of Ao Nang, Ao Phranang and Ao Rai Le including island clusters such as Ko Hong, Ko Poda, Ko Kai and Ko Thap. These islands highlight bizarre shaped rocks together with some of the most pristine beaches you will ever see.

The outstanding feature of Krabi is the fact that many dive centres here provide tourists with diving courses for beginners. What’s more, the dive sites are not that far off enabling divers to enjoy other activities for the rest of the day.

In addition to water-related activities, the tourism in Krabi has expanded into adventure, especially rock climbing both at Ao Phranang and Ao Rai Le. These two bays have become a Mecca of climbing. Throngs of rock climbers from around the world come to conquer these famous routes.

Best travelling period: November – April

How to get there:

There are many tour agents at Ao Nang, where you can hire a long-tail boat to visit all the islands around Krabi Bay.

7. Phangnga Bay, Phangnga Province

Phangnga Bay is second to none. If Vietnam’s Halong Bay is famous worldwide, Phangnga Bay receives the equal prestige but is more tranquil. To be able to say that you have reached Phangnga Bay, you should not miss visiting Khao Phing Kan or James Bond Island and Ko Tapu.

Ko Khai Nok, Ko Khai Nai and Ko Yao Yai possess white clean beaches as well as fertile coral formations. One of the most popular activities here is taking a cruise around Phangnga Bay’s islands to enjoy the scenes of sunrise and sunset. Ko Panyi is another attraction where tourists pay a visit to witness a Muslim village extending on stilts over the water. The inhabitants are chiefly fishermen, but there is a large number of souvenir shops and seafood restaurants catering to visitors.

Best travelling period: November – April

How to get there:

In both Phuket and Phangnga provinces, there are travel agencies offering several tour packages to Phangnga Bay.


Remark: If you are interested to spend your holiday at any of these islands, you can contact any travel agency to arrange a tour programme for you. We would highly recommend a good travel agent to you – Alex Holiday Co., Ltd. Tel: 0 2880 7388, 0 2060 8518 Mobile: 08 1818 3805
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.