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4 weeks traveling around Southern Thailand from Khao Lak to Koh Lanta

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.

Railay Beach Krabi

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.

Railay Beach Krabi

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

Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi during rain, still beautiful

Khao Lak

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:

Similan Islands

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

Trip with Love Andaman

Similan Islands

Surin Island

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.

Trip with Love Andaman

Morgan Village

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.

Devasom Khao Lak

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

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

Devasom Khao Lak

Khao Lak Emerald beach

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

Khao Lak Emeral beach resort


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 Krabi

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.

Pooltara resort

Things to do:

Khaothong Hill

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.

Khao Thong Hill

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

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.

Koh Lading

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?

Rai Island

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.

Lunch at Koh Kao Lading

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

Koh Lao Lading

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

Dragon Crest Mountain

Railay Beach

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.

Railay Beach

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.

The Grotto

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.

Railay Garden view

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

Phra Nang Beach

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.

private luxury boat tour by Railay Eco tour

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

Railay garden view

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

4 Island trip with Eco tour

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.