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Thailand

 

Phi Phi
Phi Phi

 In recent years Thailand has really come into its own as a cruising area, but the true appeal of its islands has been thousands of years in the making. To begin with, many of the islands themselves are bizarre outcroppings of weird and wonderful rock formations honed into shape in a previous era and rising up out of aquamarine seas. They appear as humped and jagged prehistoric giants cloaked with electric green palm trees and exotic flora and fauna, but there’s far more to them than meets the eye and the hidden wonders of Thailand will enchant you. Perhaps you’ll visit the island of Ko Pannyi to see a fishing village suspended on wooden planks over the water, or delve into the historic Khao Khain (Cave of Writings) to wonder at the wall etchings of dolphins and fish reputed to be over 3,000 years old. On the eastern side of Ko Phi Phi is the haunting Viking Cave, while on Krabi you can visit the lair of a Sea Princess where the local fishermen still ply her with offerings in return for great catches of fish. But aside from ancient legends, Thailand is also a great place to party! 

photo courtesy of Kevin Miller
                                                             

Itinerary

Phuket: Thailand’s third largest island, Phuket, lies in the Andaman Sea and is joined to the mainland by a causeway. The landscape is full of lush hills, coconut groves and several spectacular beaches. There are many restaurants, bars and resorts here and a large group of ex-patriots from various countries around the globe. Phuket is Asia’s most popular holiday resort and has all the ingredients for a perfect holiday.

Phuket offers great accommodations with some of the finest resort hotels, beautiful beaches, leisure activities like diving, game fishing, elephant riding and sailing around Phi Phi and the local islands. Why not take a sea canoe or kayak tour of Phang Nga Bay? Better yet, why not try a live-aboard dive cruise to the Similan islands?

For entertainment, Patong Beach, Kata and Karon offer bars and restaurants with exquisite seafood, and interesting nightlife. Whether you are looking for a quiet corner to enjoy a romantic holiday retreat or an action packed time surrounded by swaying palms, turquoise seas and tropical sunshine, Phuket has it all.

Patong Beach:  Patong (banana plantation) Phuket’s most famous beach and center of the island’s night-life has the largest concentration of visitors on Phuket Island. Set in a deep, well-protected bay that has long been used to shelter ships from the northeast monsoons, it offers a beautiful tropical beach ringed with lush green mountains. The bay is a 4 km gently curving crescent of beautiful white sand, suitable for every kind of water sport. It is the most developed of all Phuket’s beaches, almost solidly lined with hotels, bungalow complexes and a concentration of restaurants, shops and nightspots appealing to all tastes. It is not recommended for those in search of tranquility, but definitely suitable for those looking for a lively holiday.

Ko Khai Nok: Situated off the coast of Phuket, the island of Khai Nok or Ko Khai Nok (Ko means island in Thai), is a tropical paradise. This island offers spectacular views of Phuket’s coastline that can be seen on the horizon. The white sandy beaches are always perfect for a picnic and a swim. 

Thai Beach

Thai Beach

 

Ko Lipe:  On the imaginary line that divides Thailand from Malaysia, the forested peak of Ko Lipe rises like a giant mushroom. A magnificent beach stretches around the island and there are beautiful protected reefs full of coral and fish — perfect for diving. There is also a rainforest here – take a walk and look for the local monkeys having their lunch in the coconut palm trees.

 

Ko Miang: A tiny, but beautiful island filled with limestone cliffs and sandy beaches. This is a relaxing stop for those who want to just get away from the maddening crowds.

Ko Rok Nok: One of the 15 islands that make up the Lanta group, just off the East Coast of Thailand, these islands are a crucial part of a National Marine Park.

Phan Nga: A region of island clusters which includes the islands of Dam Hok and Dam Khwan. This area is where the James Bond movie, “Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed. The islands are so close together that it is possible to swim between the two. They feature wonderful sandy beaches and superb coral reefs for snorkeling enthusiasts.

Phi Phi Island: The twin islands of Phi Phi lie south of Phuket in the Andaman Sea. Phi Phi Don, the larger and more developed island offers excellent swimming and beaches. Phi Phi Ley is smaller with a beautiful coral reef and magnificent limestone caves.

Similan Islands: The Similan Islands or Nine Islands are nestled in the Andaman Sea, north of Phuket and are world renowned for the diving and underwater sites. Only accessible by sea, the Similan islands are indeed a tropical paradise.

Surin Islands: A National Park since 1981, the Surin Islands just south of Burmese waters are famous for excellent diving and sport fishing. There are five islands total and the channel between the North & South Islands is where the best diving is found.

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