Phuket, the biggest island in the region with a surface area equal to that of Singapore, is 560 miles south of Bangkok. Visited by tourists (in droves!) in search of seaside pleasures, its west coast is hemmed with pleasant sandy beaches. While it is without a doubt an enthralling setting it has unfortunately been negatively affected in some areas by outrageous overdevelopment (Patong, Karon and Kata). But Phuket, which has seemingly reached the limit of its accommodation capacity, still possesses an endless number of undeveloped areas and beaches for those in search of solitude and calm. In the immediate south, the bay of Phang-Nga, opening to a maze of mangrove swamps, hides dozens of underwater treasures in its emerald waters. A relief found on the island of Phi Phi, off the coast, is said to be the most beautiful in the country. The coast of Phi Phi, facing a strip of coral reef, is a wonderful site for underwater diving. The beaches of Ao Nang (14 miles from the city of Krabi), Rai Leh and Phra Nang (accessible by boat from Krabi and Ao Nang) are the region's flagship destinations, a pure marvel.
Laoliang island is part of the Mu Ku Phetra National Park© Office National du Tourisme de Thailande
The beach of Koh Phi Phi Ley served as a backdrop to the film 'The Beach' directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio© Office National du Tourisme de Thailande
The Phi Phi Islands form a small archipelago off the coast of Krabi. Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Lee are the two largest islands.© Office National du Tourisme de Thailande
Koh Lanta is found in south-west Thailand and is home to many moderately sized hotels.© Office National du Tourisme de Thailande
Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand, covering an area of over 300 square miles.© Office National du Tourisme de Thailande