Thailand and beaches are the two words that are synonymous to each other. Thailand's increasing popularity as a tourist destination is attracting more travelers from the west to visit the country.
However, with a country that has over a dozen beaches an island worth exploring, it gets difficult for new travelers to pick what islands to cover and which ones to tick off the list. Here is a quick round-up to help you make your choice.
Pattaya is a beach town which is situated at a three-hour drive from the capital city of Bangkok. Unlike other beach destinations in the country, Pattaya is not an island, but essentially a fishing village that was developed into a tourist destination. Although there are other more breathtaking beaches farther in the country, Pattaya serves as an ideal tourist spot for those travelers who do not have the time and budget to travel farther up in the country and look for a quick short getaway near the urban capital. Pattaya offers a happening nightlife and entertainment options, attractions for kids and families, elephant safaris and amazing sightseeing options. You can also head to the nearby Koh Lan, also known as the Coral Island, to get a flavor of the island destination.
Phuket is the largest island of the country and has managed to emerge as a stand-alone travel destination with its international airport. If you wish for a beach experience that is full of life, music, entertainment, parties, and booze, Phuket is the best place on the planet to be. There is an unparalleled range of Phuket attractions that cater to all kinds of travelers, be it budget or luxury tourists, honeymooners or families with kids. There are breathtaking islands, pristine beaches, dense rainforests with refreshing rivers and waterfalls, scrumptious food and vibrant shopping options that will make you keep coming back to this lively haven of fun and retreat.
If the touristy, commercial and loud Phuket does not fit your idea of a holiday, check out the neighboring Krabi for a more quaint, exotic, peaceful and relaxing experience. Krabi is all about cherishing the divine beauty bestowed by mother nature, soaking under the tropical sun on soft beach sand and rejuvenating your mind and body in a relaxing and therapeutic spa. Krabi consists of two main areas that are divided by a rocky strip: Ao Nang and Riley. Ao Nang has a bit of commercial side to it with eateries and nightclubs, while Riley is a white sand beach that has almost negligible commercial activity. The motor-free Riley is as close to nature as it can be and is worth the experience.
The nightlife of Phuket and the quaintness of Krabi are integrated into a distinct destination in Koh Samui. The island is a private property that has been strategically developed and tailored to create a careful balance between the limited commercial activity and quaintness of an island. It is not one of those islands that will make you feel that you do not have much to do, but it is not commercial enough to kill the natural flavor of the island. Koh Samui is undoubtedly one of the best island destinations in the world.
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