Undoubtedly, Thailand is one of the craziest places to travel in South-East Asia. It astonishes you with beautiful surprises at every step of your journey. While the reasons to travel across Thailand could be different for different people, mine was major to party and enjoy the beach life. During my 7 days backpacking trip across southern Thailand, I came across various beaches and mini-islands, each one with its own tale to tell. Find out below how these beauties contributed to making my trip successful.
Patong Beach, Phuket
Patong is one of the most prominent and famous places in Phuket. Situated close to famous (or infamous) Bangla Walking Street, the area boasts of a lot of pubs, restaurants and night clubs. Although the area remains crowded almost every hour of the day, the beach here provides travellers with a wonderful spot of chill and get soaked in the sun. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy various water sports for some trill. Since it’s a major tourist spot in the city, don’t be surprised to see hawkers commercialising the place. Also, as the day waves good-bye, you can enjoy one of the best sunset views. What’s after that? Party in Patong, what else? Party like a maniac till you drop.
Ao Nang Beach, Krabi
Complementing the overall vibes of the town of Krabi, the beach has some chill energy to offer. It makes you travel back in time. Although the beach remains full of tourists, it still does its magic. One can easily find a myriad of pubs, restaurants, hotels, budget-hostels, hawkers and vendors. Although Thai cuisine can be found in abundance near Ao Nang, there is easy availability of the cuisines from almost each prominent parts of the world, including Indian, Continental, Italian etc. So no chance that you ever feel homesick in Krabi.
Although Ao Nang area is commercialised, the beauty of this place is unbeatable. One can clearly gawk at the rock island clusters while enjoying the view of the sun sinking into the horizon. Ao Nang beach also serves as a gateway for many neighbouring islands and beaches like Phi-Phi Islands, Railey Beach, James Bond Island. These islands are just a boat-ride away from Ao Nang beach.
One of the major tourist attractions at Ao Nang is the Swordfish monument that just has to be the part of your selfies.
Banana Beach, Coral Island near Phuket
Coral Island, or Koh He can be reached from either Rawai Beach (20-25 min) or Chalong pier (15 min) in Phuket via a long-tail boat. One of the most beautiful beaches on the island is Banana Beach. Frequented by a very handful of tourists, the beach can be wandered at, in its pristine form. The crystal clear blue sea lashes its waves against the warm white sand, which is backed by dense green jungle. The trail to the jungle is a delight for all the adventure lovers. It’s a perfect place where you can rent a small space in one of the bamboo shacks and let the soothing roar of the sea waves calm you down. Keep your camera ready because Banana beach is indeed very photogenic.
Bamboo Island, Krabi
Bamboo Island, or Koh Pai mollycoddles in between Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi Islands) and the mainland Krabi. It can be reached through speedboat in 15-20 min from Ao Nang beach, Krabi. As the name suggests, the central part of the island is covered with Bamboo trees along with Casuarina trees. This island mostly is ideal for the tourists who are looking for a respite from the hustle-bustle of mainland towns of Phuket and Krabi. Sparling sand and aquamarine blue water can easily take anyone into an alternate chilled out dimension. Take a dip into the sea, soak in the crystal white sand, plug-in the earphones, relax on your favourite song.
Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands or Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands in southern Thailand reachable from both Phuket and Krabi. This Thai paradise boasts of transparent aqua green-blue water, golden sand, gigantic rock structures and dense green jungles.
This idyllic seascape has been one of the most famous tourist attractions in Thailand, especially after Leonardo DiCaprio starer and one of the Danny Boyle‘s masterpieces The Beach was shot here in Maya Bay. Due to excessive tourism in the bay, many marine species began declining after which the Thai Government had to put a ban on tourism at the bay. The tourists can choose to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the bay from their respective boats but cannot set foot on the bay until further notice from the authorities. The unparalleled beauty of the area around the bay is good enough to bring out the adventurer in you.
Stay ready with your snorkelling gears to take a dip into the turquoise water of the Andaman Sea, as the snorkelling area is not far away from the bay.
Before we conclude, here are some honourable mentions to the list:
1. Railey Beach, Krabi
2. Karon Beach, Phuket
3. Kata Beach, Phuket
4. Nai Harn Beach, Phuket
5. James Bond Island
Read about how to plan a budget trip to Thailand here.