Visiting the islands of Thailand is a feast for the senses. There are countless attractions which include: turquoise waters, coral beaches of dazzling white when the sun shines, the lush vegetation and mangroves, the visibility of its waters, ideal for scuba diving, delicious cuisine … etc.
Photography by Shazron
To start planning the trip we have to divide the area of islands in two, as each stands on the side of the Thai coast. In the west, the islands washed by the Indian Ocean on the east side, which are located in the Gulf of Thailand.
Both areas are very different and its climate is also affected at different levels by the monsoons. Although at first glance may appear to be very close to each other, as the tongue of land that divides them is very narrow, we must bear in mind that if you do not travel by plane, need to take various means of transport and the road can be very long if we’re wrong path.
If you travel by plane from Bangkok, Krabi and Phuket are the two most common airport to begin our tour of the islands of the Andaman Sea.
Phuket is now the Mecca of beach tourism in Thailand, the coast is among the most exploited, but has lost much of its multicultural heritage, a legacy of its past as a meeting point on the routes of traders in the old town you can still find Sino-Portuguese architecture.
Krabi has preserved its native environment and is characterized by its friendly people, mostly Muslim population. If you arrive by plane and have already booked accommodation, you’ll probably also offer a shuttle from the airport to your hotel. So probably not much will stand in the city, since it is a crossing point, where shipments are taken to the coast and islands. But if you have time, it is advisable to spend a day in the city and taste its cuisine, one of the most respected in Thailand.
Photography by ssedro
Ao Nang is a coastal town that is growing thanks to tourism. Noted for its peculiar promenade, more typical of Mediterranean populations, and the population of monkeys that live in trees at the end of the main beach of the city. In Ao Nang there are accommodations for every budget, from resorts (Thai style) to cheap hostels, located mostly in the center.
Photography by Argenberg
If you do not want to stay too long on the same island, Ao Nang is an ideal place to stay and start from there tours to the islands. To get there you can use the ferry, recommended if you do not want to go back in the day, or rent a long tail boat to pilot the craft is uniquely Thai. There are several places to rent these boats along the entire beach.
You can also book full day tours in restaurants, hotels and the many agencies engaged in this activity. These tours are recommended to maximize time. Although slightly more expensive than renting a long tail, it should be noted that they include transport (road, collection and return to hotel, and sea), food, snorkeling equipment and you can refresh at any time with slices watermelon and pineapple. These fruits are very common in Thailand and surprisingly, they always have a delicious flavor.
Railay is a peninsula located near Ao Nang, but which are only accessible by sea. It is a lovely place to spend a couple of days relaxing and enjoying the karst landscapes, beaches and coves along the coast and lodging in cabins that integrates without damaging the environment.
Ko Phi-Phi. Located 40 kilometers from the coast of Krabi, is undoubtedly the most famous and picturesque islands. Were greatly affected by the Tsunami of 2004, as the giant wave passed literally above the main island of Ko Phi-Phi Don, because its geography is narrow in the middle and barely rises a few feet above sea level .
Currently has reconstructed almost all its infrastructure, but you can see remnants of the disaster and stand as witnesses the signs that tell visitors where to flee in case of Tsunami alert.
Between Ao Nang and Koh Phi Phi there are small islands with no hotel facilities where you can enjoy a day of isolation and relaxation in a tropical paradise.
To move from the west side of the Thai coast (Phuket, Krabi, Ko Phi Phi …) to the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand have the option to do so by air, faster and more expensive, but in addition also has the disadvantage that we will not know the landscape and the people that did go through if you make the journey by land.