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Beaches and Islands

Beaches and Islands in Thailand

Thailand is well known for its wealth of beautiful Islands and Beaches

There are several distinct areas of the long coastline that are home to a good assortment of beaches with a wide range of activities.

Of course there have been several films featuring Thai beaches and islands - James Bond included!

When we refer to the beaches in Thailand, we are not simply talking about a stretch of sand with blue water - and blue sky for most of the time. We are talking of beach life and activities which are second to none.

Many of the beaches are white coral sands, lapped by azure blue or emerald green water.

There are still secluded beaches - especially in mid-week periods, but most beaches are large enough, with enough in the way of activities, to cater for their growing popularity.

Thailand has an extensive coastline - over 2,000 (3,000kms) of it - dotted with tropical Thailand islands - all having superb beaches. Beaches to laze, dine, do things or simply to relax in the sun - or shade.

The beaches of course are also jumping off places for the islands, coral reefs and snorkeling bays that abound.

Each of the six areas that we concentrate on, has its own unique character - in part because of the topography and geographical differences, in part because of the varied climates, in part because of the local cultural practices, and not least because of the localised activities of the millions of visitors who come to the beaches of Thailand.

The East coast for instance, is very different to the Andaman - or the neighboring Upper Gulf.

The Thai weather systems play a large part in determining how the different areas present themselves during the generally accepted three season year! One thing all the beach areas have in common is the provision of sunshine for most of the year - even in the rainy season.

The Gulf of Thailand: China Sea

The Eastern Seaboard (South East Thailand)

The area of the Thai Eastern Seaboard has a good all year climate, thanks to being well sheltered by the mountains of neighboring Cambodia.

Whilst this area is well populated, and the home to much of Thailand's industries, the east coast beaches are superb, lush National Parks, and (in places) night life famed the world over.

Thailand Upper Gulf

This area is on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand - is bordered to the West by the mountainous region of Myanmar - Burma that was - and again is in a well-sheltered situation from the East - sitting snugly in the bay.

The Thailand Upper Gulf beaches are virtually all white sanded, and clear but azure seas. It is a well sought out area for scuba, wildlife, natural beauty, and a slightly more relaxed way of life than that of east coast or of nearby Bangkok.

Thailand Lower Western Gulf

This region takes in the remainder of the Gulf of Thailand waters before giving way to the Deep South. There are land-based national parks of stunning beauty, and also several sea based national parks - not least being the Ang Thong Marine National Parks. The Lower Gulf in Thailand is also host to the stunning islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

The South of Thailand

The Deep South - as it is known - is a different area to any other in Thailand. The South of Thailand adjoins Malaysia, has a Muslim-based culture, and is rich in cultural and historic heritage - which is not found in any other area of Thailand.

There is unfortunately some unrest with bombings and shootings.

The Andaman Sea

On the other side of the land mass of southern Thailand we have the Andaman Sea and coastline. It is part of the Indian Ocean, (as distinct from the China Sea which is host to the Gulf of Thailand.)

Probably the most famous name on this side - The South West of Thailand - is Krabi - with Koh Phi Phi running a close second. It is deservedly described as the most beautiful place in the world. Some will disagree.

We hope to demonstrate that Krabi is not the only place of note on this coast of the Andaman. The seas are invariable green blue with pure white sand beaches. Look away from the sea and you are sure to see the spectacular cliffs that adorn this area - beloved of rock climbers.

The beaches have a wide range of 'sporting activities, and if you have never seen sea life close up, then this is the area to be gently introduced to snorkeling.

Again the limestone cliffs and beautiful greenery behind you as you laze about - or are active - on the many beaches of this area. Pristine is a word often used for its own sake. Here we have pristine beaches galore.

The Upper Andaman Coastline is also home to the 'island' of Phuket. The beaches of Phuket are varied - full of life, but also with a sprinkling of sanity! Phuket is awash with luxurious beach hotels, but there are other more reasonable options.

The Upper Andaman Coast is also home of the famed Surin and Similan Islands - some of the finest dive venues in Thailand with - as yet - relatively unspoiled coral reefs.

Heading north from the Upper Andaman, Thailand becomes beach-less, as Myanmar (Burma) lays claim to the rest of the Andaman.