Southern Thailand Travel Guide

The southern region of Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning islands. When people think of Thailand, the islands of the south are the tropical paradise that comes to mind.


Southern Thailand extends as far as the Malaysian frontier along a narrow peninsula. When Thailand first started to seriously contend for the tourist dollar, the south, with its tropical islands and beautiful beaches, became one of the focal points. Now, it is one of the most popular destinations in the region and rightly so as its beaches and islands compete with the world’s best. The number and variety of islands allow for world class resorts, isolated and deserted hideaways and everything in between.

Situated on the southwest coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, Phuket, Phangnga and Krabi provinces are awash with magnificent blue waters and white sand beaches often set against spectacular limestone cliffs. The natural scenery in this area is breathtaking and has been the location for many international movies.

There is no shortage of world-class resorts and spas here, along with fine dining and international and local seafood restaurants. Activities range from scuba diving, rock climbing and trekking to just relaxing on the beach enjoying the sunshine. There are some fantastic boat tours that take you around the smaller national park islands and offer a look at untouched tropical paradise.

Located on the east coast, in the Gulf Of Thailand, the province of Surat Thani has many islands. The most famous of these are Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. Koh Samui hosts an airport and many luxury hotels and resorts. The island has beautiful beaches and a busy nightlife.

Koh Phangan is well known for the full moon party, which attracts up to 10,000 partygoers monthly. Further north in the Gulf, the smaller island of Tao is a favorite with scuba divers and marine life enthusiasts. With many great dive sites, flourishing marine life and inexpensive scuba instruction, it is easy to see why.

The Ang Thong National Marine Park is a short boat trip from Koh Samui. These beautiful islands are untouched, with no development allowed and only day trips available. The islands have dramatic limestone walls towering hundreds of feet high and an abundance of tropical rainforests. Wildlife abounds, including long tailed monkeys, lizards, pythons, sea turtles and many different species of birds.

Southeast of Surat Thani, is the coastal town of Nakhon Si Thammarat with its clean beaches and great fishing. In the district of Sichon, architectural ruins dating back over 1,500 years can still be seen. With some significant and beautiful Buddhist temples, there is much to see and do here.


  • Quiet and secluded, Ko Chang on the west coast offers one of the most secluded get aways in this region (Ranong Province).
  • The Similan and Surin Island groups are regarded as the best diving sites in Thailand - check them out (Phang Nga Province).
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park is a nature lovers paradise (Phetburi Province).
  • Stay in a tree house in Khao Sok National Park between wanders into the dense rainforest (Surat Thani Province).
  • Hugely popular and rightly so, Ko Tao still has its quiet and secluded bays - get there while they still exist (Surat Thani Province).