The South contains many beautiful beaches and islands in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Well-known tourist destinations are Phuket Province, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lipe, and Koh Tao.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Chumphon city, the capital of Chumphon province, is the gateway to Thailand’s southern provinces as well as the Islands in the Gulf of Thailand, particularly Koh Tao. With more than 125 miles of coastline featuring numerous unspoiled beaches, Chumphon is an ideal destination for those who are seeking relaxation in a natural and quiet atmosphere and wish to enjoy such activities as sunbathing, swimming, yachting, paragliding, diving, and snorkeling.
Hat Sai Ree is one of the popular beaches with white sand and clear water. It is also a location of Prince Chumpon Shrine and Memorial. Located near Hat Sai Ree, at Khao Matsee Viewpoint, you can see a large view of the sea and beautiful Sunset.
Some interesting attractions are Soldier Youth World War II Monument which was built to honor the young children who died in World War II; Mu Koh Chumphon national park where you can walk on the mangrove forest nature trail and islands; Por Waterfall is a beautiful small waterfall with flowing water year-round; Koh Phitak where you can have a HomeStay experiencing fisherman community and other activities on the island.
Visitors can go white-water Rafting in Amphoe Phato, or riding on a raft to admire the beautiful view of Lang Suan River, or trekking at Phato Water Source Arrangement Unit, or snorkeling and diving. During September and October, visitors can see thousands of eagles migrating from Siberia to Chumphon.
Ranong is the most northerly province on Thailand’s Andaman coast, located 350 miles from Bangkok. Ranong is known for its long rainy season, which lasts for 8 months each year. A mountainous and heavily forested province, Ranong is best known for its capital city of the same name, which serves as a major fishing and trading port. It was originally settled by the Hokkian Chinese, and their strong influence remains evident in the town. Ranong town is also a gateway to Myanmar, with colorful longBoats ferrying produce and people across the narrow divide that separates the two countries. The traffic is even heavier these days since a casino opened at Victoria Point in Myanmar. Just outside of Ranong town are the famous Ranong Hot Springs, where an arboretum and various first-class hotels cater to visitors eager to benefit from the medicinal properties of the mineral waters.
Ton Phet Waterfall is an 11-level beautiful waterfall with all-year-round cascades from Phota Chong Dong Mountains which is the highest mountain in Ranong. Ngao Waterfall is located in Tambon Ngao which is now the area of Namtok Ngao national park. The water flows down from the high mountain ridge, so it can be seen from afar. Panda crabs, the latest-found crab species in the world, can be found in the waterfall area; Phukhaow Ya (grass hill) or Khaow Hua Lan (bald hill), or Khao Phee (ghost hill), the treeless hill with green grass.
Victoria Point or Koh Song is an Island in Myanmar with the Kraburi River that separates Myanmar and Ranong. It is the artisan center for jewelry makers, wickers, Myanmar’s lacquerware. From here, travelers can take a long-tailed boat to Myanmar.
The region of Phang Nga’s major landmark is Khao Chang which is a large mountain in the shape of a crouching elephant – the symbol of Phangnga province. Visitors can explore beautiful caves such as Ruesi Sawan cave and Luk Suea cave in Somdet Phra Sri Nakarin Park. The region also boasts beautiful Islands, including the Similan Islands. North Surin Island and South Surin Island are also famous for their beautiful bays. The most well-known is Aow Mae Yai.
The Phang Nga Bay National Park is a geological wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns, and startling rock formations rising vertically out of the sea. The bay is sheltered and therefore ideal for expeditions on sea kayak that explore the many fascinating caverns and islands throughout the bay.
Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand and sits on the Andaman sea. Phuket has a large Chinese influence which can be seen by the many restaurants on the island. A Chinese Vegetarian Festival is held there every year. Phuket is surrounded by many magnificent beaches such as Rawai, Patong, Karon, Kamala, Kata Yai, Kata Noi, and Mai Khao. Laem Phromthep’s viewpoint has the most beautiful sunsets in Thailand.
Krabi is famous for its scenic views and breathtaking beaches and Islands. Its coral reef vistas are also one of the world’s most beautiful, which makes the city a great spot for coral diving. With attractions including hot springs, a wildlife sanctuary, sea caves, flourishing coral reefs, and exotic marine life, limestone cliffs that draw rock climbing enthusiasts from around the world, and national parks that include the island paradises of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, one could easily spend weeks in Krabi and leave yearning for more.
Surat Thani is also known as the province of a thousand islands, many of which lie off the coast in the Gulf of Thailand, including the archipelago that contains Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, and the Mu Koh Ang Thong Marine National Park. Wonderful snorkeling is to be had at the various coral reefs and animal lovers can visit Khao Tha Phet Wildlife and Nature Education Station to enjoy an amazing view.
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT
Nakhon Si Thammarat is the second largest province in southern Thailand. The province boasts many undeveloped beaches as well as two national parks within an interior of verdant jungles abundant with luxuriant vegetation, beautiful waterfalls, and exotic wildlife. Nakhon Si Thammarat city contains many Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu temples and is an excellent place to see a Performance of Thai nǎng tàlung featuring handmade shadow puppets, a performance art the region is famed for. In fact, both Thai nǎng tàlung (shadow play) and lákhon (Thai classical dance-drama) art forms were developed in Nakhon.
A magnificent coastal province with a long, beautiful shoreline along the Andaman sea, Trang boasts two major rivers, the Trang River, which originates in the Khao Luang Mountain Range, and Maenam Palian, which flows from the Banthat Mountain Range.
Starting from the city center, Phraya Ratsada Nu Pradit Mahisara Phakdi museum is the former home of the governor of Trang. Ban Na Muen Sri is famous for its local hand-woven cloth. Hat Yao (Long Beach) is a long sandy beach with lines of sea pines spread along the beach. Hat Yao Pier is a major ferry port that tourists can catch ferries to Trang’s Islands.
Phatthalung is located in the far south of Thailand on the west coast of Songkhla Lake at the foot of Ok Thalu Mountain. Phatthalung is regarded as the birthplace of Nang Talung, shadow-puppet play, and the Nora dance. The town features a unique landmark, two curious limestone formations, one of which has a tunnel passing through it, and the most famous attraction in the province is the Thale Noi Waterfowl Park, the largest of its kind in Thailand.
Blessed with fine beaches, enchanting waterfalls, and a tranquil lake, Songkla has a unique identity of ancient and historical flavors through local architecture and cuisine. A historic town endowed with ancient ruins and places of cultural importance, Songkhla is a melting pot of Thais, Chinese and Malays, and charms visitors with its unique traditions, dialect, and folk entertainment. These characteristics are reflections of the province’s rich cultural heritage, which has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation.
Satun has almost 100 Islands; some are considered the most beautiful islands of the Andaman Sea. Besides its picturesque islands, Satun also features many cultural attractions. Satun town, the province’s capital, is a sleepy town that typically sees few travelers. However, mainland Satun does feature the Thale Ban national park, which contains a number of waterfalls and a large lagoon surrounded by towering mountains.
Pattani is a relatively flat region with a long coastline. It has outstanding cultural places such as Krue Se Mosque, Lim Kor Niao Shrine, and beautiful natural features including forests, rivers, and seas. Pattani still maintains the ruins of an ancient town in Amphoe Yarang that once served as an important port and center of administration, trade, and culture for many centuries.
The landlocked province of Yala is the administrative center for southern Thailand and features a pretty and well-organized town that contains a number of parks and ponds. Otherwise, there are few attractions within the town that are geared towards visitors, though local seafood restaurants are held in high regard by Thai and Malaysian visitors. Outside of Yala town, there are numerous waterfalls, caves, and other natural attractions for visitors to explore.
Located approximately 700 miles south of Bangkok, Narathiwat is the southernmost province in Thailand where borders Malaysia. With Amphoe Su-ngai Kolok serving as an economic and border tourism center, the province welcomes an increasing number of Malaysians and Singaporeans on short vacations or shopping sprees. In addition to its cultural attractions, Narathiwat has beautiful beaches and is the region where most Thai gold is mined.