Phuket is one of the most popular places for an island holiday in Thailand but 10 days in Thailand which is how long most people go for is only just enough to get a taste of what Southern Thailand has to offer. Our one-month Thailand itinerary exploring the beaches and islands of southern Thailand allowed us to thoroughly explore Phuket, Khao Lak, Ao Nang, Railay, Krabi, Koh Lanta, and other islands in the south.
As we traveled during the Rain season we use an extra day at every place to cover the lost days during rain or overcast weather for our photography. In the end, we were still able to get some good photos on our trip and only lost one day in Phi Phi when it was raining all day during our trip. But be aware if you travel during the rainy season, it might be sunny but the ocean will be rough and not as beautiful as during the high season between November and March.
Southern Thailand Itinerary
Phuket – spend more time here if you want to shop, visit attractions and have a choice of lots of beaches and resorts.
Khao Lak – stay longer if you’re looking for a relaxing vibe.
Ao Nang/Railay/Krabi – spend more time here if you like busy tourist towns with lots of cheap eats and well-priced hotels.
Koh Lanta – stay here for a week if you’re looking for beautiful beaches and an island lifestyle.
Phi Phi – spend more time here if you want to party.
Phangnga end your trip here as its near the airport and many beautiful view points
We started our trip in Khao Lak a small seaside resort town on the west coast, just north of Phuket, which was decimated during the 2004 Tsunami so it’s great to see its recovery in full swing. Khao Lak is about 1,5 hours from the airport
The best time of year to visit is December to March.
As we travel with a rental car it was easy to go around but you can also rent scooters to go around. Visit White Beach, Khuk Khak, and Memories Beach for stunning white sand and crystal-clear water. It is an idyllic place, where the beaches are lined with shady trees, restaurants, and massage stands.
Things to do:
A trip to the Similan Islands is the best thing to do from Khao Lak. Spending a day snorkeling on the rich coral reefs and beautiful National Park beaches out in the Andaman Sea is like a dream come true the fish life is abundant but so are the tourists. You can easily book online with Viator which we use for all our trips and they will pick you up at your hotel. With Viator, you can cancel up to 24h before your trip so it will give you good insurance when there is bad weather, as local companies don't cancel or refund your money
In a new format, Similan and Surin islands are open from October 15 to June 15, to visit the beautiful paradise. Surin Islands is approximately 110 minutes from Thaplamu Pier, Excellent diving, snorkeling, hiking, and fishing are why most travelers come to the Surin Islands. Those hoping to find a quiet place far from tourist traps and urban centers will be delighted with the islands’ relatively untouched settings. For Surin Island, Koh Surin is outstanding with crystal clear water and a view of Ao Khat with the clear green-blue ocean which you can see on the sandy bottom. The sea at Surin Island is not very deep but great for snorkeling.
Furthermore, if you book with a reputable agency (we recommend Viator which we also used for our tours in Thailand), you have the option to cancel any tour up to 24 hours in advance. It’s also easier to get a refund in case of any problems. Try to reschedule a tour or get a refund from a local kiosk…Many tours just go even with bad weather and they don't give a refund
Another landmark of Koh Surin a must-go is Morgan Village which is the highlight of this trip. Morgan Village is a tribe that has been with Surin Island for a long time. And we can still get closer to them and learn the Morgan lifestyle.
Where To Stay In Khao Lak
There are many beautiful beaches to choose from, all lined with upmarket resorts and low-key guesthouses.
Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort and Villas is a brand new resort found by the water of a natural lagoon to one side and Khaolak’s pristine sunset beach to the other, the 69 spacious sea view guestrooms and beachfront pool villas are ideal for a luxury beachfront getaway. Paying homage to the opulence of the 6th and 7th centuries, the resort’s design is based on the intricate and breathtaking archaic art and architecture of a lost civilization that once flourished here.
The Devasom Khao Lak is a luxury resort in Khao Lak, Phang Nga, Thailand.
The perfect place to relax and unwind. This Resort has the Most Beautiful & Unique Design where we stayed during our trip. “At Devasom, you are invited on a journey to unwind into relaxing luxury and to rewind the senses of time.”
Devasom Khao Lak has fronted the sea and is hugged by a natural lagoon. During high tide, guests can enjoy water activities; during low tide, the clear fresh water discloses small marine life underneath. We recommend using Agoda with booking as they are most times cheaper than the hotel Book Now
If you looking for a more affordable hotel we can recommend Khao Lak Emerald beach resort.
The staff is very friendly and they have spacious rooms, the pier to Similan Island is only a 10-minute ride. On the beach, there are many restaurants and there are a few shops to buy all kinds of things just outside the hotel. The hotel has 2 pools and another one for kids too. Rooms are around 60 Eur a night including breakfast. Book Now
Our next stop was Krabi, as most tourists go directly to Ao Nang and Railay we decided to spend some time in the mangrove forest and jungle of Krabi. There are a few places you can go for a Kayak trip. At Ao Thalane Pier you can book a guided tour around the mangrove. We stayed at Pooltara and there you can just grab a kayak at the property and do a small trip at the mangrove with crystal clear water. It will take about 2 hours round trip at the resort if you kayak slowly.
Pooltara is a basic resort with small bungalows and the greenest pool I have ever seen in my life, and also some bigger rooms, in the morning they served rice soup with some sweets. You can also choose to have breakfast in the bakery as they have their own bakery cafe. We didn't do this but we had lunch there and it was very good they serve Thai and Western food. Just a few minutes from the resort you can find a small village with some supermarkets and some days there was a market.
Things to do:
A great place to watch the sunset with some great food for a reasonable price is Khaothong Hill
Some great Thai and Western food is served here with amazing views over the Andaman sea. It was definitely one of the best restaurants with a view even if the weather was not that great.
There are some nice beaches here too in this area of Krabi if you want to hang out on the beach, but a lot of restaurants and cafes disappear here during covid and get broke so we just go there for a walk sometimes and go back.
Koh Hong trip
At Pooltara you can also book a trip to Koh Hong it will be the cheapest option in Krabi as from this part it's not far to Koh Hong, expect a double price if you leave from other places in Krabi like Ao Nang or Railay beach.
Koh Hong, better known as Hong Island, is an island off the coast of Krabi. Hong Island is part of the Than Bok Khorani national park and you can do one of the offered tours from Phuket, Phang Nga, or Ao Nang and Railay to visit this gorgeous island, or like we did just book a private longtail boat at Pooltara resort. The advantage of a trip like this is that you don’t have to wait for more people to fill the rented longtail boat. You can just start your trip right away as it is a private trip
Furthermore, if you book with a reputable agency (we recommend Viator which we also used for our tours in Thailand), you have the option to cancel any tour up to 24 hours in advance. It’s also easier to get a refund in case of any problems. Try to reschedule a tour or get a refund from a local kiosk…Many tours just go even with bad weather and they don't give a refund. It gives you so much more relaxation on holiday if you don't have to worry about the weather might be bad or you getting sick and you don't get a refund.
On arrival at Koh Hong, you will be required to pay an additional fee for the national park. This fee is 200 Baht per person and 20 Baht for Thai and in high season it doubled. Eventually, after that, you can straight head to the beach. The beach is separated into two parts by a huge rock. The more beautiful part of it is located between that rock and the big limestone cliffs. Here you can find a small bay where you can have a great swim and some snorkeling. The water is pretty clear and the sand is wonderfully white. Does it get any better?
The Hong Lagoon is another attraction of the Hong Island Tour and so it’s always a part of every excursion. With the longtail boat or speedboat you drive through a narrow rock opening and inside the lagoon, the visitors get surprised by a unique landscape of turquoise water and mighty limestone cliffs. If you like, you can do some snorkeling and swimming here too.
The excursions offered by the local agencies take you to Koh Hong and at least to Koh Lao Lading and Koh Pak Bia for a day or half-day tour. It is a nice tour but also very popular and therefore if you have a chance leave at around 08:00 in the morning to avoid the crowd
Hiking Dragon Crest mountain in Khao Ngon Nak Krabi
Dragon Crest mountain offers one of the most epic viewpoints in all of Thailand. The National Park Khao Ngon Nak, aka Dragon Crest Mountain is a stunning 3.7 km hike located in northern Krabi. This hike will indisputably offer some of the most breathtaking views you’ve seen and amazing photo opportunities. But be prepared for the hike, it’s strenuous and takes about 1,5 hours to get to the summit of Dragon Crest Mountain. The best way is to go in the early morning or afternoon around 16:00, after 17:00 you're not allowed to go up anymore as you will not be in time back before dark
Our next stop is Railay Beach in Krabi which is located on the Railay Peninsula of the same name and is certainly one of the most spectacular places in all of Thailand. This paradise is especially famous for its imposing limestone cliffs, which together with the turquoise sea, the tall palm trees, and the powder-sugar fine white sandy beaches conjure up a true picture-postcard setting. In addition, unforgettable activities and incredibly beautiful attractions await you during a visit to Railay Beach. Climbing, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and of course swimming at Thailand’s most beautiful beaches are just some of the best things to do. Although the peninsula is no longer an insider tip, Railay Beach is absolutely legendary and a visit is a real must on any trip to Krabi.
Things to do at Railay Beach
There are really great things to do on a visit to Railay Beach. On the small peninsula, there are no less than 4 beautiful beaches and numerous interesting attractions, and you can also take terrific excursions and enjoy plenty of activities.
Railay Beach is an absolute dream beach in Krabi and certainly one of the most important attractions of the peninsula. The emerald sea and the mighty rock formations conjure up a picture-perfect backdrop here. Due to the fine sand and the hardly existing stones or corals in the water, the sea invites quite wonderfully for bathing. In the evening you can watch spectacular sunsets and in the high season, there are stunning fire shows evenings. Some restaurants and bars are also located directly on the beach and invite guests to enjoy and chill out with a view of the sea.
Phra Nang Beach on Railay is the absolute must-see and actually the dream beach of the region par excellence. Due to its striking stone formations and scenic beauty, it has become one of the most famous beaches in Thailand. Look on the app for the times of tide as during high tide you cant walk to the other side of the beach. The entire beach scenery is like a picture book, and the famous rocky island in the sea adorns all postcards of Krabi. Beautiful is the powder sugar fine light sand beach, where the turquoise blue sea colors invite us to splash, swim and snorkel. Thanks to the tropical trees, you’ll find plenty of pleasant shady spots, and if you like, you can even get a massage right there on the beach overlooking the sea.
A few years ago this side of the Island all the tours landed with their longtail boats from 4 island tours but nowadays it looks like they were banned from this side of the Island which makes it even more beautiful. The only disadvantage is that there are no longtail boats anymore selling foods and ice creams on this side so bring your drinks
Tip: The stunning Hotel Rayavadee is one of the best hotels on Railay and is many years on the top list of best hotels in the world. The pool is beautiful and of course the exclusive location directly on the dream beach. But it comes with a price
Best day trips from Railay Beach
Railay Beach is a great starting point to explore the most beautiful islands in Krabi via a boat trip. We can recommend the following excursions and day trips in Krabi:
A unique experience is a Krabi 4 Islands Tour, where you can explore several dream islands like Chicken Island and Koh Poda, and do some wonderful snorkeling. If you do a private tour you can ask the captain to go first to Koh Pda as that way you avoid the crowd there and at least you have one good pic with not many people on it.
We booked our trip by Railay Eco tour as they also offer luxury private tours
You can also take a trip to Hong Island a real pearl and one of the most beautiful islands in Krabi. A trip there, if you have time, should not be missed.
Where to Stay
Railay Garden view resort is a beautiful place if you love back to basics, it only has a fan but you always have the breeze from the ocean and beautiful views. We sit here for hours watching the monkeys playing in the trees. Great rooms for a budget price. They also arrange trips to other islands and rock climbing. Railay Garden view resort is a small and quiet resort located on the eastern hillside of Railay. The resort offers fan bungalows that are spread in the garden with a relaxed atmosphere. The only thing is the long-tail boats drop tourists on this side of the Island, so you get a lot of noise from them. If you are a light sleeper this place is not for you as they run too late evening and start again at 05:00 in the morning
Just a few meters from the Railay garden view you can find the best restaurant in Railay as in the main street most serve tourist food and they charge foreigners double prices as Thai people so we didn't like it to eat something there as for me all people are the same no matter their color or where they come from. You just can't charge someone a double price because he is white or black or whatever color or comes from. They also do this in Bangkok at the main tourist attractions they charge people double the price for a bottle of water. For me, it is not done. I also try to avoid private companies that charge different prices.
The government also charges foreigners at least 10 times more in national parks, even foreigners who are living here, and pays tax.
Mabey they have to look at some other countries with the same price level as what they do, some countries like South Africa you pay double the price for national parks and that sounds ok to me as people living there pay more tax than tourists and the least all the money there go to national parks In Thailand, it's different, as in no way it goes to national parks as with that money coming in, you can make stairs from gold and most of the time the stairs are broken here, or the parks not take care well and you can find a lot of rubbish and plastic and the people working just relax together at the entrance
Anyway it's by The last bar easy to find on google maps the best restaurant in Railay
Tip: Directly on the beach is the Railay Village Resort. The hotel delights its guests with two beautiful pools, a brilliant location, and a quiet, well-kept garden.
Railay Bay resort One of only a handful of resorts with beachfront access to Krabi’s famed Railay Beach, the 4-star Railay Bay Resort & Spa is ideally situated on a white sandy beach with crystal clear water, exotic marine life, and colorful coral reefs. Nature can be truly enjoyed with the limestone cliffs of Railay, the beaches of Phra Nang and Ao Nang, as well as the Phra Nang Cave.
Whether you are dining in the Railay Restaurant, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying the view from each room’s spacious private balconies, you will never have to miss the amazing sunrises and sunsets. coconut trees and tropical fauna decorate the beautifully landscaped grounds, accenting such facilities as the outdoor pool and spa with a hot tub and massage treatments.Book Now
Another great place to stay right on the beach is the Sand Sea resort and it's also not that expensive. It's a great alternative if you travel with kids or you just want aircon or didn't like the sound on the other side of the Island at Railay Garden view. Book Now
Getting to Railay Beach is best possible by boat from Ao Nang or Krabi Town. The peninsula is cut off from the mainland by deep jungle and high limestone cliffs and can thus only be reached from the sea. Longtail boats run several times an hour, and the trip takes about 15 minutes.
It costs around 100-150 baht to get there, and tickets can be bought directly at Ao Nang Pier, Ao Nam Mao Pier, or Krabi Town Pier.
Koh Lanta is my favorite part of Southern Thailand as it’s perfect for relaxing but there’s also heaps to do, and if you have more time from Koh Lanta you can easily travel to the Maldives of Thailand, Koh Lipe. But be aware as during Thai and Chinese holidays the Island is full of tourists so better avoid the holidays, especially Chines new year as it will be too full on a small Island.
How To Get To Koh Lanta
You can either get a private speedboat transfer or a public ferry, or a minibus which you can book everywhere around Krabi or Phi Phi. Or you can book online with 12Go as the vouchers are everywhere accepted in Thailand.
We went in our rental car and you have to pass on a small ferry but it takes only 10 minutes to cross, as the other part of Lanta is connected by a bridge.
Where to stay
Most people stay in one of the beach resorts which are pretty nice but you also have a lot of budget options here, it's the cheapest area in Southern Thailand to stay for a while. We stayed in a Fishermen's hut in the old town of Lanta and it cost us about 12 Eur a night. It's basic with no aircon but you always have the breeze from the ocean and a beautiful view. We love it very much here and it's within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. It was the perfect time for me to get some work done on the computer. It had a good wifi connection and we can cook by ourselves with fresh products from the market.
Pimalay Koh Lanta
If you want to pamper yourself with some luxury Pimalay Koh Lanta is a good option. It's a 5-star resort with beautiful pool villas in the mountains looking out over the ocean and also has beach bungalows. a ‘luxurious island getaway.’ This beachfront resort on Koh Lanta has Thai-styled villas snuggled into a hillside jungle, panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, and a dreamy, secluded vibe. It’s the perfect choice for a luxury getaway
Pimalai is unique in that it’s one of the only luxury resorts on Koh Lanta. It is tucked away on the tree-covered cliffs and overlooks Ba Kantieng Bay near the quiet southwestern end of the island. It has everything you could want in a luxurious island getaway including several incredible restaurants, two infinity pools, and a huge beach practically all to yourself.
The Pimalai has a variety of high-end rooms, suites, and villas for all tastes and budgets of luxury travelers. We stayed in a one-bedroom ocean-view pool villa. It came with our own private pool and outdoor lounge area, which separated the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom from the living room.
The Pimalai has four onsite restaurants: Seven Seas Wine Bar, The Banyan Tree Poolside Cafe, Spice and Rice, and Rak Talay. The dining atmosphere ranges from fine dining to casual beachside eatery. Each restaurant offers its own unique dining options and the menus have a nice selection of both Thai and Western dishes. Book Now
Thing to do
Our favorite thing to do here was to relax and enjoy the beautiful ocean or just grab a scooter or car and visit the lighthouse of Koh Lanta which has a beautiful white beach and is part of the National park
Renting motorbikes and exploring the island was another great way to spend our time.
From Long Beach, all the way down to the National Park at the southern tip
Alternatively, head on over to Old Town for lunch. It is a beautiful historic wooden town overhanging the ocean and filled with amazing seafood restaurants.
You can also arrange snorkeling trips from here, as well as day trips to Koh Phi Phi.
4 Island tour
The 4 Islands snorkel tour included 4 famous islands, Koh Cheuk, Koh Muk ( The Emerald Cave), Koh Ngai, and Koh Ma. We did this trip 10 years ago and didn't do it this time as during the rainy season some Islands might be closed
You can easily book tours with Viator online and you can cancel up to 24h before, which is something I like to do as in Thailand you never know the weather.
Koh Phi Phi
Now, we last visited Koh Phi Phi over 10 years ago, you can do day trips to Koh Phi Phi from Koh Lanta, Krabi, and Phuket. But the best way is to stay a couple of days on the Island
It was certainly a different place with much (over) development occurring in the years since.
The island has become so popular, that in low season it was a struggle getting off the pier and such a contrast to our quiet days on Koh Lanta.
However, the beauty of Koh Phi Phi still remains underneath all of that and it is a wonderful place to visit, if only for a couple of days. This time we rented a car so we just did a day trip but I will give you all the info about our last trip a couple of months ago when we stayed 4 nights.
How To Get To Koh Phi Phi
A ferry from Koh Lanta’s Saladan Pier takes one hour.
From Phuket, Ao Nang Krabi, and Railay beach Krabi there are speedboats and Longtail boats to Koh Phi Phi too. So it's not so hard to get there you can book tickets everywhere or you can see the literary and book online at 12Go as the vouchers are everywhere accepted in Thailand.
Where to stay
The eastern end of Loh Dalum Bay is the party zone so if you are like me, you want to stay as far as possible from that. We stayed at the western end of the village a couple of times and could not hear any thumping music. There are some wonderfully remote resorts as you go around the easternmost point on private beaches which would be amazing.
In the low season, visitors can expect discounted room rates. In the peak season, it is recommended that you book your room in advance or you will end up sleeping on the beach.
During our last visit in November, all hotels were fully booked
In case you’re after recommendations for beachfront accommodation near the center but away from the noise of party people, here are our best picks:
ChaoKoh Phi Phi Hotel and Resort is easily one of the best stays in Phi Phi Don. A nice resort design with a great pool welcomes you that has most of what you’ll need for a relaxing, comfortable stay. Very close to the beach with only 3 minute's walk. Definitely one of the nicest hotels on Phi Phi Island. At Chaokoh Phi Phi Hotel & Resort you’ll be within a short 5-minute stroll of Tonsai Pier and Loh Dalum Beach. Highlights at this beachfront hotel include a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a beach bar. Book Now
Another worth recommendation is the Viking Nature Resort. The resort offers classically furnished rooms adorned with simple interiors made with natural materials. It’s authentic with a private beach and close to nature stay on the island. Amazing peaceful stay with friendly staff but a little bit farther away from the center Book Now
Mama Beach Residence is a unique 24-room hotel located at the western end of Tonsai Bay on Phi Phi Don Island with No Bikes, No Cars, and No noise. Monkeys at 200 Meters. The market and the Pier at 700 Meters Book Now
SAii Phi Phi Island Village is still the unbeatable luxury hotel in the most gorgeous setting on Phi Phi Island. The location of the resort is astonishing and situated along Lo Ba Goa Bay with a great sea view. It offers spacious accommodation and features a private beach and infinity pool equipped with a pool bar. The rooms come with a thatched roof and solid wood furnishings. Staying here to enjoy the exclusive gorgeous beach of the most beautiful island, with amazing professional service. A peaceful hideaway on Phi Phi island. Book Now
We stayed 4 days at PP Princes resort before the full reopening of Thailand so it was nice as there were no party people on the Island. When Thailand was fully open we did go back to that side of the Island but next time we will avoid it as there is loud music until 4 in the morning. PP Princes resort is just a little walk from the pier to the other side of the Island. ( The party side of the Island ) The room was spacious and have everything you need to stay a couple of days on the Island, we had a room with a balcony overlooking the garden. The PP Princes resort has a beautiful swimming pool looking out over the ocean and also an infinity pool which you can see in one of the pics I made there, very beautiful to watch the sunset here. The rooms were clean and all looked out over the garden, they have also had beach villas which are a little bit pricier but have a beautiful look over the ocean. The resort provide also free kayaks to use during your stay so you can explore monkey beach or Nui beach which are 30 minutes kayaking away from the resort.
What To Do On Koh Phi Phi
A long-tail boat trip is the number one thing to experience on Koh Phi Phi. A half or full-day tour will set you back between 1500 to 3000 THB per boat.
Depending on the weather, the skipper will recommend visiting Koh Phi Phi Lei and Maya Bay (the scene from the movie The Beach), Viking Cave, Monkey Beach, Bamboo Island, and Mosquito Island. Choose your activity from snorkeling, diving, or swimming
Ao Nang Krabi
We spent a week in the resort town of Aonang which is an excellent base to explore the Phi Phi islands and is also next door to the stunning Railay beach book the 4 Island tour if you didn't do this at Railay beach. This bustling place is pretty touristy nowadays.
There is a McDonald's, Coffee Club, and Boots all on the waterfront along with fantastic seafood restaurants all vying for space along the top of the beach.
Ao Nang is Krabi’s most popular destination a beach town that’s home to a wide range of resorts and hotels, restaurants, and bars. While Ao Nang’s beaches aren’t the best in Krabi, its big selection of tours and attractions makes it a convenient and exciting place to stay.
Longtail boats ferry visitors between Ao Nang and nearby Railay Beach frequently, making this somewhat crowded beach town a great base for exploring the area. Ao Nang’s selection of hotels is the most diverse in Krabi Province, with five-star resorts and budget hostels.
Since it’s a short distance from Krabi Airport compared to the region’s other destinations, you will probably pass through Ao Nang even if you’re staying elsewhere in Krabi.
Main Areas of Interest in Ao Nang
Ao Nang Beach Ao Nang is a small town, with most attractions clustered around the beach. Ao Nang Beach is the area’s most popular beach, home to soft sand and relatively clear water. You’ll find the majority of Ao Nang’s restaurants and nightlife along the beachfront area. Longtail boat operators can be found at both ends of Ao Nang Beach, offering trips to Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach, and other destinations in the area. Most longtail boats won’t leave the beach until they’re at least 80% full, meaning you could wait quite a while in low season.
Nopparat Thara Beach Located north of Ao Nang, Nopparat Thara Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach that’s home to several of Ao Nang’s hotels and resorts. Nopparat Thara Beach is a good choice for day trips and dinners, although the beach’s strong tide makes it far from ideal for swimming.
Tubkaek Beach Located about 30 minutes from Ao Nang by car, Tubkaek Beach offers a quieter and more peaceful experience than the two beaches in Ao Nang itself. Used as a filming location for The Hangover 2, Tubkaek Beach is a great day trip destination close to Ao Nang.
Where To Stay In Ao Nang
We stayed at Whalecome Aonang as it is just perfectly located and not expensive near the main street and 2 minutes to the beach. They have small bungalows in a tropical garden and a small pool. It's just a basic place but a very good location to explore the area if you want to stay in Ao Nang and don't want to pay a high price. Book Now
Another great place in Ao Nang is Ban Sanai resort is nestled well away from the crowds yet still in close proximity to Ao Nang city center by a five-minute drive away. It is approximately 1 km away from Ao Nang city center or 1.6 km away from Ao Nang beachfront. The resort offers a complimentary scheduled shuttle service to Ao Nang beach daily ranging from 09.00 hrs. in the morning until 09.45 hrs. at night. The location of our resort is amidst the tranquil and tropical greenery with its unique setting over a terrain, a small hill, surrounded by coconut groves, and natural streams, and with a highlight of the sheer limestone cliff as the magnificent backdrop. Book Now
Another great place to stay and not too expensive is White Sand House it's a little bit farther away from Ao Nang but this side of Krabi is perfect for sunsets and you can find many good restaurants in this area and a lot fewer tourists in this area.Book Now
If you travel by yourself you will pass the Emerald pool on your way to Koh Lanta or when you travel back. It's a great visit as I have never seen water so blue like this and it's a lovely easy hike in the jungle. In the blue pool, you can't swim but in the emerald pool, you can take a dip in the crystal-clear water pond. To enjoy a different slice of nature, taking a day trip to Emerald Pool is a fun way to experience Krabi’s lush interior and tropical rainforests. Situated in the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, the Emerald Pool is a firm favorite among hikers, explorers, hot spring bathers, and wildlife enthusiasts. What really makes this freshwater pool so unique is its inviting turquoise-colored waters. It’s safe to swim in the pool, and since the water is surprisingly warm, one could easily spend hours relaxing here. You can explore by yourself or book a tour
The last days of our trip we spent in Phannga right on the beach located a short distance from the Airport, Phuket, and Khao Lak. It's also a great place to go for a trip to Phangnga bay to watch the sunrise or soft light during sunset or go for a day trip to James Bond Island
Where to stay
Aleenta, Phuket's best-kept secret. We end our trip with some luxury at our own pool villa just a few steps from the beach with lots of privacy. From the moment you arrive at Aleenta Phuket, you get the feeling you’re somewhere special. The water garden that runs under the walkways, the beautiful villas with private pools, and the divine beach on your doorstep it’s a pocket of paradise
Located on the sunset side of the Andaman Sea and the pristine Natai Beach, the 5 Star Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa in Phang Nga is just 25 minutes north of Phuket International Airport, a short distance away from Khao Lak, Blue Canyon Golf Course, and the picturesque Phang Nga Bay. The concept of "all suites, all private" is delivered in luxury suites and villas, that come with plenty of private space. Aleenta's luxury resort accommodation ranges in sizes from 80sqm for the smallest suites to up to 4-bedroom beachfront Grand Villas.
The 40-room luxury boutique Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa offers a high level of comfort in a quiet, somewhat isolated location on Khok Kloi’s Natai beach. The resort’s minimalist, low-rise white-cubed exterior looks almost Mediterranean, and rooms are similarly chic. While there's little in the immediate area, making it is ideal for those looking to escape Phuket's loud nightlife scene. The landscaped grounds are beautiful, and the beach has sofa-style seating, along with bean bags and parasols. Breakfast gets particularly good reviews; the same is true of the food at the Natai and Edge restaurants, the latter of which has impressive sea and pool views
Phuket’s no longer the untamed paradise it was, but a place like Aleenta proves that, if you pick your spot properly, you can still get that old desert-island feeling.
Best time to go
The west coast of Thailand enjoys its peak season between November and March when the weather is relatively cool (30C!) and there is little rain. From March it warms up (typically around 35C) and before the monsoon season hits from May to October. The Andaman seas can get very rough and you can expect some strong but short downpours (especially in May, June, and September).”
Passport holders from most countries will not need a visa for entry into Thailand, so this makes immigration a breeze. Your tourist visa you can extend if you need more time in Thailand
Thai rent a car is the most trustworthy rental company, I don't say the others aren't but we have such a good experience all the time and most of the time they are cheaper than the rest. The first thing we do is look for a promotion as it can save you lots of money. Go to the website and look for promotions, if there is nothing in your travel time you can also try to look for a promotion at Nok Air as they work together. Fill in the promotion code during booking otherwise, it doesn't work. We rent a car for one month for 10.000 Bath that's about 260 Eur. You don't need expensive insurance here as the max own risk in Thailand is 5000 Bath if you have an accident and we have some during our trip over the roads in Thailand
Bonus tips if you have time left
Visit Koh Yao Yai
Escape to the lesser-known shores of Koh Yao Yai, between Phuket and Krabi off the Andaman coast of Thailand. Here, you’ll find pristine beaches and gin-clear waters peppered with world-class scuba diving spots.
If you have the time it's definitely worth a visit,
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Koh Yao Yai is from the Bang Rong Pier in Phuket. This pier is a twenty-minute drive away from Phuket’s international airport. Long tail boats and speedboats leave every hour from about 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. The long tail boat will take about an hour and costs 120 baht per person. Some hotels leave also from Ao Po Grand Marina, or like we did bring your car to Rhine son pier
You can also travel from Tha Len pier near Krabi. Long tail boats leave every hour between 7:30 AM and 5:00 PM and cost 120 baht per person, per ride. From Nopparat Thara Pier in Ao Nang speedboats leave at 11:00 AM and at 3:00 PM, with one ride costing 650 baht per person
Authentic is the correct word to describe Koh Yao Yai. Even though Koh Yao Yai is a long, and narrow island measuring 30 kilometers in length, it’s unspoiled and small-scale.
It’s never busy, not even on the beaches. On Son Bay Beach on the west coast, beaches are particularly deserted and empty. Everything is completely untouched
What about Hua Lam Beach, at Koh Yao Yai’s northeastern tip?
This is a long beach with white sand where, likewise, you won’t find anything else.
You’ll encounter fishermen and local kids, playing in the shades of the palm trees. That’s it.
Where to stay:
Koh Yao Yai Village is an eco-friendly boutique resort on the northeastern side of the island. The resort is located on a private beach and the small clusters of bungalows occupy the lush green hillside above. Everything manmade blends in nicely with the natural surroundings, and the area is pleasantly free from noise. A luxurious option with literally everything you would expect from a tropical paradise. It has upscale (family) bungalows, a private beach right in front of it, and a swimming pool with a view over the Hong Islands. This is the best place if you’re looking for a restful holiday!
This island is perfect for travelers that don’t want to do anything for a couple of days, except stay in a resort and enjoy the calm that reigns supreme on this island.
But it’s also fun to go out and explore the island, with its many miles of paved and dirt roads, on your own. There’s not a lot of traffic and taxis are expensive, which is as good a reason as any to rent a motorbike and see even more of this island, something we always love to do!
No matter what your preferences are, this is the best island to avoid the tourist crowd and enjoy an authentic piece of Thailand.
Luxury Escape from Phuket to Naka Island
If I were to recall the best-designed resort with comfort, convenience, beautiful natural surroundings…and most importantly easy transportation access… one luxury resort often comes to mind… Naka Island, Phuket.
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa is a luxurious resort part of Marriot, which of course guarantees its quality and service but you can also use some Marriot Bonvoy points here for a cheap luxury getaway. The resort itself is located on Naka Yai Island close to the shore, a boat ride just minutes away from the mainland. This island itself is in the midst of natural beauty, and crystal clear sea, and is home to a local village where we can experience the locals’ way of living of which the majority are fishermen.
One of the most impressive aspects of this resort is the design and décor of its rooms which blends in well with its natural surroundings. Their rooms offer comfort in a relaxing ambient. Above all, the rooms here are mostly Pool Villas. Each villa has its own private swimming pool surrounded by trees and gardens. This is ideal for those seeking peace and quiet within nature’s reach. One activity not to be missed when visiting this resort is kayaking around the island or visiting the other side of the island where you can find a white powder beach
Naka Island features two dining venues, located beside each other, where you’ll probably have all your meals because of the isolated setting of the resort. Tonsai restaurant serves a buffet breakfast as well as à la carte lunch and dinner with a focus on Thai and international cuisine. Meanwhile, the My Grill restaurant serves grilled dishes with a Southern Thai influence and has a romantic feel because of its charming sunken dining area surrounded by pools. Freshly caught fish and seafood play a starring role in both restaurants. Private dinners and barbecues can also be arranged on the beach.
Koh Yao Yai
Krabi with Koh Hong trip
Railay beach with 4 Island trip
Ao Nang visit Koh Phi Phi 1 day trip
You can find more blog post about Thailand if you click the category Thailand, we did some amazing trips here
Here are some resources to help you get your trip going:
Travel Essentials what's in my bag: To help you get started on packing, here are my essential travel and photography gear
Flights: WayAway to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
Car Rental: DiscoverCars.com is a great and reliable platform to find rental cars all over the world.
Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and has reliable internet access for your trip. All you need is an Esim-compatible smartphone, install it on your phone prior to your trip, and you are all set.
Tickets & Deals: Tiqets is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions
Klook to find the best deals for trips in Asia, somehow they are 30% cheaper than when you buy them at a local agency
Train, buses, and ferries 12Go to find your travel route for local buses, and ferries, we use them all the time as you can easily see the reviews, and the vouchers are everywhere accepted. tickets are sold for more than 5,000 destinations in 100+ countries worldwide.