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Tantalising Thailand – Part 3: Southern Andaman Coast

Next up on your tour of Thailand is the Southern Andaman Coast where island hopping fans will be in their element. This collection of islands, beaches and jungle has something for everyone. You’ll soon discover that you can never have too many white-sand isles. With so much to explore, we’ll keep the focus on the areas primarily for your agenda.

 

Railay

 

Arriving in Krabi from the east via plane, train or automobile – you’ll soon discover that Krabi has a very languid approach. Perhaps a touch too relaxed at times. Elysium recommends heading down to Railay where you’ll enjoy a much better view of the famous limestone karsts that draws thousands of rock climbers here each year. The beach of Hat Rai Leh West, with its picture perfect white sands and gorgeous blue seas is the place to call home for your time here. You’ll be well served by the numerous guest houses and hotels available, while fresh seafood is always in steady supply.

 

Koh Lanta

 

It’s well worth fixing up a stay on Koh Lanta while you’re in this part of the world – miles of golden sandy beaches coupled with a very relaxed vibe makes for a laid back time under the sun. Resorts line the beach of Koh Lanta Yai so finding accommodation isn’t a problem – Elysium recommends a stay at the Costa Lanta resort to take in the beauty of the beaches and have your fill of seafood. It makes for an ideal stop off for a few days before you head off to the much busier Koh Phi-Phi Don.

 

Koh Phi-Phi Don

 

You might have noticed that Koh Lanta and Railey were quite chilled and relaxed – this all changes when you arrive at Koh Phi-Phi Don. The beauty of this island is sometimes said to be its burden too, with the crowds all flocking here to sample some of the best azure seas known to man. Coupled with lush jungle it’s easier to grasp how this island became the jewel of the Andaman Coast. Phi-Phi Don is joined to the uninhabited Koh Phi-Phi Leh, making up the Koh Phi-Phi Marine National Park.

 

Your welcome to the pier of Koh Phi-Phi Don will be lined with stunning coastline either side, with resorts nestled between sandy beaches and jungle-lined hillsides. The beaches where you’ll be sunning yourself are likely to be Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Dalam. Navigating through the maze of small streets between them, known as ‘tourist village’, is quite the experience but will become easy once you’ve gathered your bearings.

 

 

Koh Phi-Phi Don became hugely famous after the filming of The Beach in 2000; mainly due to Maya Bay – a stunning secluded beach that’s accessible by longtail boat or speedboat. For this reason when you visit you’ll quickly realise that you’re sharing the moment with hundreds of other visitors all seduced by the beauty of this bay. This aside, the setting and scenery soon make you forget about others around you as you’re immersed in the magnificence of the place. This is the perfect setting to enjoy with your lady – a white sandy beach with crystal clear turquoise waters that’s drenched with continuous sun – be sure to bring the camera for those Kodak moments!

 

Snorkelling in Maya Bay and throughout Koh Phi-Phi Don is excellent, with large boulders encrusted with corals and surrounded by plenty of brightly coloured fishes. The island is part of the Koh Phi-Phi Marine National Park– providing some of the best dive sites enjoyed in Thailand. This continues to ensure its popularity.

 

 

Back on dry land, it’s worth the 300m hike up to Phi-Phi Viewpoint. You’ll be rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of Koh Phi-Phi Don’s coastline and lush hillsides. Restaurants are abundant throughout the island, especially along the main beaches catering to all tastes – take your pick of fresh lobsters and crabs grilled to perfection or sample some fine (and spicy) Thai curries.

 

Nightlife wise – you’ll always be able to find a party as the island is known for it’s late night revelry seven days a week. Large parts of the beach along Ao Lo Dalam are transformed into beach raves in the evening by bars looking to attract the masses of hedonistic party-lovers. It’s your choice whether you join them or not – remember you can always recover on the beach the next day.

 

You’ll notice the many memorials and signs of the tragic 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami that hit Koh Phi-Phi Don very hard. Practically every standing structure was damaged or washed away, along with the hundreds who sadly lost their lives. The island has been transformed since, but these memories stand as a poignant reminder of the brutality of nature, even amongst such a beautiful environment.

 

Captivated By Thailand’s Beauty

 

So there you have it, over the last three instalments of our adventures in Thailand we’ve taken you through enchanting temples, blissful relaxation, plentiful sandy beaches, delicious cuisine and hedonistic night life. The beauty of Thailand is that it’s a place where you set your own agenda and make of it what you will. Locations are well connected so getting around is no problem, so whether you have two weeks or six months – duration isn’t the issue.

 

The main factor is what you want to get out of a holiday. Having sampled all these delights, Elysium Magazine highly recommends a trip here at some point soon – the beaches, food, and culture are sure to inspire your mind – and her’s too. Full tourist info can be found here, while flights are widely available from major airlines – expect to pay around £600+ for a direct return flight dependant on the time of year. Best time to visit coastal Thailand is November-April to avoid the rainy season.

Tantalising Thailand – Part 1:Bangkok

 

Tantalising Thailand – Part 2: Southwestern Gulf Coast

Amit Chakravarty

Amit Chakravarty

Amit has a refined taste for all things luxury lifestyle, with a particular penchant for men’s style. He’s keen on the latest watches – especially classic timepieces, new drinks, luxury travel, fine dining, executive technology, new gadgets and sports for the discerning gent.