Southern Thailand

All the Islands, Beaches and Attractions
in a Picture Perfect Piece of Paradise

Khao Sok National Park

Tropical Islands and Beaches

The narrow peninsula of Southern Thailand stretches from the province of Ranong near the Burmese border all the way to Malaysia. The region also covers a vast area in and around the Gulf of Thailand as well as the Andaman Sea. It is as unique in spectacular scenery as it is rich in multicultural heritage.

Expect to see majestic forested mountains, rubber and coconut plantations and lush green jungle trails along much of the interior while mangrove forests, rocky out-crops, countless tropical islands, colourful coral reefs and the most beautiful soft white sandy beaches which extend along much of the hinterland.

Some of the best diving sites can be found along the southern coastal shores of the Andaman islands while the popular beach resorts of Phuket, Krabi and Don Phi Phi draw the most tourists. Koh Samui is world famous for its beaches, Koh Pha Ngan is world famous for its parties and Koh Tao, all of which lie in the Gulf of Thailand, is the destination of choice for superb offshore diving.

The deep south may have more in common with Malaysia than with the Thai heartland further north, but it may also be worth visiting simply to experience the region's unique culture, dialects and their delicious Indian, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine.

Equally alluring are the spectacular mountainous scenery of the interior, the unspoiled beaches and islands on the west coast and the historic, cultural sites like those found at Nakon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla.

Rawai Beach in Phuket

Southern Thailand - The West Coast

Phuket is a magnificent tropical island resort in southern Thailand and one of the top beach resorts in the country with Patong and Karon beach possibly being the most popular. There is much to do and see on the island, some of which include numerous water sports, boat trips to nearby islands as well as amusement parks, zoos and aquariums which the whole family is sure to enjoy.

There are also temples, Thai villages, shopping markets and a whole host of attractions to make your holiday here most enjoyable. And don't forget about the vibrant nightlife either. It's a crazy kaleidoscope of friendly folk, fabulous food and extraordinary lively entertainment.

Days can be spent relaxing on the beach, leisurely shopping or visiting places of interest. Nights can be spent wandering around the streets, stopping for a bite to eat at local and international restaurants. Later on you could pop over to one or other local pub or club and sip on your favourite cocktail or cold beer while listening to rock music and chatting with some new found friends.

As an added bonus, should you be lucky enough to arrive during any number of the Phuket festivals, then why would you not want to join in with all these fun social activities.

Caves and Beaches of Krabi

Southern Thailand - The West Coast

The western shores of Southern Thailand incorporating the upper Andaman coast contain some of the most inviting beach scenery in the whole of Southeast Asia.

The towering limestone stacks of Phang Nga Bay can easily be explored in a day and until recently boat tours of the bay took in all the best known sights such as the Ko Panyi Fishing Village where Muslim families live, work and play in homes built on stilts above the waterline in the shadow of a giant limestone mountain.

A major attraction is James Bond Island made famous as the location where part of the 1974 James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun" was filmed. Technically it's not an island as it forms part of the mainland, but nevertheless it is a popular day excursion from Phuket though there are no facilities to stay over. 

Towering Limestone outcrops are a symbol of Krabi and they stand proud like sentinels at each end of the river. Mangrove swamps can be toured by renting a long tail boat from the pier in the center of town, as are daily excursions to a few islands such as Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi to the south and southwest respectfully and Koh Nang to the west and Koh Yao to the northwest.

Another excursion from Phuket includes the Khao Lak Coast, comprising of long stretches of rocky and sandy beaches. Off the coast is Koh Similan with its massive boulders and underwater grottoes offering some of the best diving sites in the world.

And nearby is the Khao Sok National Park forming the largest and most dramatic tract of virgin forest in Southern Thailand. 

The Governor's Residence in Phattalung

Southern Thailand -The Deep South

Unofficially the first town you'd come across in the deep south is Nakhon Si Thammarat though it's seldom featured on any tourist itinerary. It is however the most historic town in this region and its lively center has several attractions worth visiting.

From a historical standpoint Nakhon Si Thammarat was an important city of the Srivijaya Empire when it became a religious center bringing with it many Indian traders. Hindu shrines are a big feature here as are the shadow puppet plays and intricately etched nielloware.

One of the few rice growing areas and the next big town as you travel further into the deep south is Phatthalung. Though the town earned its reputation and income from rice crops, it's now best known as the place where shadow puppetry was first performed in Thailand.

So much so that the name Nang Talung is said to have been derived from the name of the town. Phatthalung lies between two picturesque peaks and one of the largest wetland sanctuaries in the country.

Further south is the town of Songkhla once known as Singora the Lion City. This town grew to prominence during the Srivijaya period. In the past it had a reputation for being a base for pirates, but now days, its traders are mainly a mixture of Muslim, Indian, Chinese and Khmer descendants. So much so that the cuisine, culture and language here reflex a multicultural heritage.

Shark Fin Soup Restaurant in Hat Yai

Southern Thailand - Deep South Continues

Though the southern commercial and transport capital of Thailand known as Hat Yai won't win any major prizes for its beauty. And coupled with the fact that there are few cultural attractions here, most visitors tend to spend their daylight hours either shopping or dining at the reasonably priced restaurants. There is another side to Hat Yai but that normally begins after the sun goes down and it's mainly for men.

The only real cultural attraction can be found at Wat Hat Yai Nai in the form of a reclining Buddha, said to be the third largest of its kind in the world. Other than that, there are some friendly markets and a few shark fin soup restaurants.

Rubber, palm oil and fishing are the main economic ingredients of Trang as tourism has yet to cause a major impact here. However the many islands in this region off the coast of the Andaman Sea have begun to show imminent signs of intense development, leaving little doubt as to what's coming.

Trang has a strong Chinese characteristic with its equally excellent Chinese restaurants to boot. Attractions around here include cave exploring, beautiful beaches and cascading waterfalls while sporting activities include snorkelling and scuba diving.

James Bond Island

Southern Thailand - Gulf of Thailand

Koh Samui is the second largest island in southern Thailand and has become an international resort destination of choice. The island comprises of forested hills, coconut plantations, palm-fringed beaches and quiet coves. You'll also find a modern airport, abundant transportation, luxury hotels and resorts as well as a magnificent array of water sports. It is one of the best islands for a stay over.

Koh Pha Ngan is just seven kilometres from Koh Samui though less developed for tourism due mainly to its bad road system. The island is however better known for its lively party atmosphere than for its tropical combination of powdery beaches, accessible coral reefs and rugged forested interior. Koh Pha Ngan is a favourite haven for backpackers who flock to the island to revel in a bohemian lifestyle while staying in rattan huts or simply sleeping on the beaches and especially at Hat Rin Beach where the full moon parties are held.

Koh Tao is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Koh Pha Ngan. It might be the smallest island in the Samui archipelago, but it sure is one of the prettiest. The main attraction here is the wide range of superb offshore diving sites where not only is there excellent visibility, but also a rich variety of marine life, making it one of the most rewarding diving spots in the whole country. The island itself is rather rugged with a dense forested interior, but the quiet coves and fine sweep of sandy beach on the west side, makes it all the more worth while.

Phi Phi Don Island

Southern Thailand - The Andaman Sea

Phi Phi Don is arguably one of the most sort after islands in southern Thailand with its crystal clear turquoise waters and dazzling white beaches. Spend your day swimming, snorkeling or just lazing on the beach. This has got to be one of the very best southern Thailand islands for quality time and absolute relaxation.

Hat Chalathat Beach at Songkhla

Return from Southern Thailand to the Home Page

Visit Luxury Thailand Travel's profile on Pinterest.

Recent Articles

  1. Bangkok Escort Chanel

    Sep 24, 16 07:36 AM

    Bangkok Escort Chanel is offering hot blooded males a once in a lifetime opportunity to make their erotic fantasies a reality, but you'll need to strike the iron while it's sizzling hot.

    Read More

  2. Bangkok Escort Chrystal

    Sep 24, 16 04:32 AM

    Asian girls don't come more fresh faced than Bangkok Escort Chrystal. Not only does this bubbly babe sport a smooth and flawless skin tone, she has an exceptional hourglass figure to match.

    Read More

  3. Bangkok Escort Ivy

    Sep 23, 16 07:26 AM

    Look no further than Bangkok Escort Ivy as your perfect dinner date, dance companion and bedroom babe as this bubbly lass has more than enough energy to make all your erotic pleasures come true.

    Read More

  4. Bangkok Escort Venus

    Sep 22, 16 08:41 AM

    While the planet Venus may be the second brightest object in the night sky, Bangkok Escort Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, is the brightest star in the city of angels.

    Read More

  5. Bangkok Escort Pam

    Sep 19, 16 12:25 PM

    Look no further than Bangkok Escort Pam for a truly unforgettable girlfriend experience. She cordially invites you to join her for a wild ride that's sure to bring the whole house down.

    Read More

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.

Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page and or book your hotel reservation to amazing Thailand using the HotelTravel search box below. Have a happy holiday and a safe trip.

Rooms :

Additional Info

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Luxury Thailand Travel.

Touristlink Certification Badge

Free Web Submission

Build a Better Travel Blog

Thai Dating

Hotel Booking – Worldwide Leader in Hotel Bookings with Guaranteed Lowest Rates and Discounts of up to 75% Off!

Hotels and Resorts

Top Thailand Hotels



National Parks



Kids Stuff

Bangkok Markets

Bangkok Temples

Arts and Crafts




Herbs and Spices

Mythical Creatures


Go Go Bars

Blog Traffic 

privacy policy